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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Bloody to bearded makeup tricks shown



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The students were gathered around the huge square table in the middle of the classroom between mirrored makeup stations, watching as their instructor applied a beard to their female classmate.

The class is TA 136, Theatrical Makeup Techniques, and today Francesca Arnoldi, a 21-year-old English major, serves as guinea pig for their “messy and sticky” demo in class.

“Am I looking good?” Arnoldi asked her observing classmates as she laughed. The students replied with giggles and comparisons to Jesus and Wolf Man.

In that transformation Myers used strips of Crepe Hair out of the tightly woven, 10-inch long braids, and attached them to Arnoldi’s neck and chin.

Crepe Hair is a woolen material used throughout the entertainment world to resemble beards, mustaches and sideburns.

Prior to that, the students got a glance at what they might look like if they live to see their 90th birthday.

“Everyone was so excited ‘cause they were like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna see what I look like when I’m like 90 years old,'” Arnoldi said. “Many people were like, ‘Oh yeah, since we did old age makeup, I put sunscreen on every day,’ ‘cause everyone’s afraid to look how they did when we did our [old age] makeup.”

Theater Arts Instructor Rachel Myers said the students buy a kit that includes some base tools, and then add to it throughout the semester. She estimates the cost to about $100 to $150 per student, a fair investment.

“We do makeup in the class everyday like a demo and a hands-on,” Myers said.

Other projects they have practiced are animal makeup, clown makeup and highlights and shadows.

Theater and fine arts major Annie Diehl, 21, said she has found makeup to be a very important tool if you want to make a career in the field.

“Especially for auditions, you know,” she said. “If somebody wants someone who looks a little bit thinner, it’s good to be able to know how to draw in your face so you can appear a little bit thinner.”

The class of 17 students meets twice a week 2:45 to 3:05 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in room ECC 8 on East Campus.

“It’s fun to see yourself, change your face and turn into a different person,” Arnoldi said. “I feel like, since I’ve started taking the class, I understand my face shape better.”

Myers has a master degree in theatrical design from Yale and is a full time employee at City College and part time at UC Irvine.

She said that she “really enjoys it when students are able to do things with the community,” recalling last semester’s students doing accident victim makeup. “They helped do a moulage [application of fake injuries] for the Santa Barbara Department of Health.”

The accident victim project is up next for the enrolled students. According to Diehl, they will be using pictures of real accident victims as research.

“Luckily we live in a country where everything is made into a movie or made into a commercial or something,” Diehl said, “So I’m sure you can find some fake gore. Because the Internet is not easily censored… If you, for instance, type in ‘accident victim makeup’ into Google, chances are you are probably going to get some real accident victims in there.”

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