Q&A: Autumn Gold talks about her Halloween costume, SFX makeup


Lincoln Park senior Autumn Gold braids her hair before a cover shoot Oct. 28 at Central Michigan Life's office in Moore Hall.

For some college students, Oct. 31 means it's time to break out the cowboy hat or cat ears that they've worn for the last three Halloween seasons. For Autumn Gold, it's another opportunity to practice her special effect makeup skills.

Ever since she was in high school, Gold has been conceptualizing costumes and creating them herself. Using prosthetics, makeup and props, she's been honing her skills as a makeup artist by transforming herself into some of her favorite Halloween characters.

CM Life sat down with the Lincoln Park senior while she put on her costume and asked her about how she came up with this year's idea.

What is this costume you're putting on?

It's based on the Harlequin Demon from The Nightmare Before Christmas, he's the demon that makes hats out of things for the children.

Where did the idea come from? 

I think I was literally just scrolling through Facebook and someone had a picture with that demon on it and I just thought that it would be cool to transform into makeup.

How long did it take to conceptualize into a costume?

I made the prosthetic when I decided this was something I wanted to do. I had to plan what I was going to do and then make it on the mold that I have, which probably took about an hour and a half over the course of a few days. But the planning itself probably only took about 20 minutes.

How long does it take for you to get into this costume?

The first time I put it on it took about three hours because I didn't know what I was doing, I was just going with the flow. I've probably got it down to a little less than an hour now. This is the fourth time I've put it on, and I've changed it a little bit every time. 

Costume contest winner, Autumn Gold tells us about how she made her SFX makeup, how she puts it on and her love for Halloween. Catch her on the cover of the 2019 CM Life newspaper on Oct. 31.

What got you into SFX makeup?

Around Halloween when I was a junior in high school I was in technical theater and I was also involved in the local music in Detroit. I had a friend who was doing a music show so I thought I would try something out and I went with tech theater and started practicing more and more.

Lincoln Park senior Autumn Gold puts yellow eye shadow around her eyes before a cover shoot Oct. 28 at Central Michigan Life's office in Moore Hall.

How often do you practice it?

I'd do it a lot more if I had more time. It's just kind of whenever I get an idea and have time, or maybe I don't have time, but I have other things I can put off. Then I usually go and do it. I'm hoping I'll have more time after I graduate. It's usually around Halloween because that's when I have time.

Do you do SFX makeup just for fun or would you like to do it for a living?

I would like to eventually (do it for a living), but I feel like I need more practice before I'll be at that point. If I was able to do it professionally at some point in the future, I would like to. For right now, it's just for fun.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you made the prosthetic?

There's a bottom piece and a top piece to it made out of liquid latex. For the top piece, I have a cement mold that I made out of my face a few years ago. I take liquid latex and mix it with baby powder or flour to make a paste that I put on the mold of my face. The little teeth I have I made out of plastic that melts in hot water. So I melt the plastic in hot water, mold them how I want and when they cool I put them in the latex and flour mixture. 

What's your favorite scary movie?

I like scary movies, in general, a lot. It's a TV show, but The Haunting of Hill House is really good. I liked both the It movies a lot. I really appreciated the makeup and effects they did. I don't know if I have one solid favorite.

What's the candy that you hope to get when you go trick or treating?

Banana Laffy Taffy.

What's the one thing you don't want to get when you go trick or treating?

There was one house on my block growing up that used to give out rolls and rolls of dimes. That was kind of lame. 

What's your favorite Halloween costume that you've done?

My favorite would probably be last year's, I was Little Red Riding Hood who had been bitten by the werewolf and was halfway through the transformation. So half (of my face) looked normal and the other half was halfway through the transformation into a werewolf.

Lincoln Park senior Autumn Gold poses for photo Oct. 28 at Central Michigan Life's office in Moore Hall.

What do you like about Halloween?

I like the weather a lot. I think summer is too hot and winter is too cold. I really like the fall weather, it seems like everything could be on a 17-year-old girl's Instagram. It just looks pretty, and there are fall leaves on the ground and it's cute. It's just nice, it's a serene time. Plus, it's Halloween.

Is Halloween your favorite holiday?

I'd say so. There's no obligation to get anything for anyone, you get to dress up and candy is involved.

Any good Halloween stories?

A lot of my friends are in local bands, and one of my friend's bands throws a Halloween party every year. It's like a house show where people show up to play music and dress up, and it's gotten bigger and bigger every year. That's exciting. The second time I put this costume on, it was to go to another Halloween show. The Wonder Years played at Saint Andrews and I managed to keep the makeup on the entire night even though I was in multiple mosh pits in the front row with crowd surfers falling on my head. It was a fun time. I have pictures from afterward, (the makeup) looks pretty similar to how it did (before the show) except for my hair. A bunch of members of the band came up to me after the show and told me they liked the makeup. One of the guys pointed me out during the show, so that was fun.

What do you think makes a good costume?

I think just having fun with it, honestly. If you see someone wearing a costume and they really get into it and have fun with it, it really makes it a lot better than if they were just wearing it. I like Halloween a lot, it's fun. I love people who can get into their costumes and do a lot of fabric work and makeup work, but I also love people who have costumes that are stupid and really easy and it's just funny.