Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show and wondered how an actor was able to be transformed into a vicious werewolf, or an alien with green skin covered in dripping space goop? There’s a good chance that a large amount of the transformation was due to CGI, but the rest was done with makeup. If you’ve ever seen the television show “Face Off,” you’ll know that it can take days of work to achieve your desired look. Thankfully, YouTube is the home to a large number of talented special effects makeup artists who put in all of the hard work and edit the videos so that we can see transformations in a lot less time. Check out the list below to see a few of our favorite artists. A warning to the squeamish – some of the videos below include simulated gore.
Top 5 special effects makeup artists on YouTube
Subscriber count as of today: 3,474,674
Glam&Gore, also known as Mykie, is a self-taught artist. Mykie started her channel in 2014 and it has blown up due to the popularity of series like ones where she makes gory versions of Disney Princesses. What makes Mykie special is, even though she uses high-grade makeup and other expensive tools for some of her videos, she also makes tutorials using drugstore makeup for artists who may be just starting out and can’t blow insane amounts of money on things like prosthetics.
Other content on Glam&Gore includes collaborations with other YouTubers where Mykie tries to transform herself into that YouTuber, and challenges where she lets apps like Tinder pick her makeup. Fun fact: Mykie was 2015’s winner of the NYX Face Awards, an open competition where contestants submit their most creative makeup tutorial video adhering to specific challenge guidelines. Prizes included $25,000 and products from NYX and other sponsors.
Subscriber count as of today: 474,019
Freakmo, or Kiana Jones, is an Australian artist best known for her thorough tutorials. Mainly focusing on technique and proper materials, Freakmo covers a wide range of topics appropriate for new or advanced artists. As well as popular Halloween looks like creepy dolls, demons, and zombies, Kiana has a lot of highly detailed injury tutorials to help you with your best severed hand or finger prank. Give your family a heart attack with this infected knee video!
If you want to know more specifics about materials, Freakmo is a good place to start. You can learn the best products to use to make molds, and how to sculpt a mask to make it look extremely realistic.
3. Simple Symphony
Subscriber count as of today: 243,961
If you’re a fan of “Stranger Things,” Simple Symphony has an amazing video for you! Demogorgons, the Mother of Dragons, and other popular characters from video games and television are just the tip of the iceberg. Simple Symphony, or Ophelie, is a French YouTuber who started posting her elaborate tutorials two years ago. She started making videos in her native French, but as her channel grew in popularity some were made in English. Language won’t be a problem, because some of these looks are so incredible that they’ll leave you speechless.
Subscriber count as of today: 2,533,864
Pinkstylist, or Charlie Short is an artist from the UK who gets inspiration for his tutorials mostly from film and comic book, like his video with a twist on the classic Joker. Charlie is extremely skilled in prosthetics and liquid latex, and we don’t know many people who can use contouring to create dramatic and detailed expressions as he does.
Along with his tutorials, Charlie also does subscription box and viewer mail unboxings, but our favorite part of Pinkstylist has to be his scare videos. Charlie films some of his most horrifying tutorials and then broadcasts on Omegle, a video chat website, to see how many people he can scare and makes hilarious compilation videos from their reactions.
Subscriber count as of today: 2,657,741
Alexys Fleming is a Chicago based YouTuber and her channel Madeyewlook is probably our favorite on this list. She has a wide array of content consisting of makeup tutorials, special effects instructional videos, bodypainting, makeup challenges, vlogs, and more. If it’s popular at the moment, Alexys has put her own twist on a recreation. Her most viewed video right now is when she made herself into seven different Snapchat filters!
If you’re into video games you’ve definitely found the right channel; a lot of Madeyewlook’s videos are character recreations. Alexys has recently begun live streaming herself creating her looks on Twitch, as well as playing the games that some of her characters are from. We’ve seen a lot of YouTubers moving over to Twitch part-time, and we’re milking the opportunity to see as much of these talented artists as possible.
Special effects makeup can be a really difficult field to get into for a number of reasons. Having some really awesome content creators who are familiar with some of the most intricate details of the craft is really useful, and it’s so much fun seeing all of the crazy creatures they can come up with. What’s your favorite special effects look?