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MUA of the macabre

Nicole Chilelli w/ Demon Lord Creature Suit
Nicole Chilelli w/ Demon Lord Creature Suit
Nicole Chilelli w/ Demon Lord Creature Suit

Face Off, season 3 winner Nicole Chilelli is an emerging makeup superstar on the Sacramento scene. She recently shared her experience about her busiest Halloween season to date as an FX artist.

Guru of gruesome, Bryan Patterson had team Nicole and her talented troupe of ViciousVanityFx interns as lead makeup and FX artists for the Callson Manor Haunted House Theme Park. callsonmanor.com

If you’ve never been to Callson Manor, it’s more like a full-out feast-ival of horrors, certainly not your typical haunted house haunt. You could say it’s more of a Haute Haunt.

Located deep within the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville, Carlson Manor fills the massive space with lots of food, fear, fire and fun.

Bee Girl aka Me @ Callson Manor Haunted House
Bee Girl aka Me @ Callson Manor Haunted House

They had some hot entertainment, literally, that included fearless fire-eaters and flame throwers. Callson Manor also featured several terrifying attractions to brave, if you dared, such as Slasher Café, Darkness, Asylum and Cirque Du Fantasy and The Tavern to name a few.

ViciousVanityFx created a variety of creepy corpse creatures, with each look fitting the look and “fear”, of each specific haunt. As Nicole tells us herself, the task was quite an insane undertaking. (Pun intended)

Fire Eaters @ Callson Manor
Fire Eaters @ Callson Manor

What was that experience like working for the Callson Manor Haunt in Roseville?

It was a blast! Very, very busy time for me but we pulled it off and I couldn’t be happier with what we did. I wanted to push the bar for “haunt” makeups. I wanted to create things that would really stand out and go bigger than the normal haunt looks. I hired a full team of artists and trained them along the way. We worked for a month and a half on just the designing and building of the makeup featured there. We made everything ourselves. Nothing was store bought. The time limit we had for each one was very small so we made things that could work quickly. I had two full creature suits there that were pre-made at my shop. That helped with time because it was a suit that the actor could just step into each night but was a full head to toe look.

Nicole Chilelli on left and Queen of Darkness on right
Nicole Chilelli on left and Queen of Darkness on right
Very Scary Lady...
Very Scary Lady…

How many ghouls did you and your team create on a daily bases?

Each night we would start around 4:30 applying makeup until about 7:30 when the haunt opened. We would do anywhere from 80 to over 100 makeup looks a night. It was all very fast so we had to pre paint things at my shop first so that we could apply the pieces faster. We had a ton of prosthetics this year. I wanted people to see more movie makeup type things at the haunt rather than masks or face paint. Each prosthetic we made was designed and built by me and my team. We did everything from Western era zombies, “The Hills Have Eyes” like characters with distorted facial features, full demons ,gargoyles, saloon girls infected with the zombie virus with skin ripping away to expose muscle structure. We had scary angry clowns and fairies that are not so sweet. We also did a ton if wounds and fabricated pieces to help each look.

Ghoul Guys...
Ghoul Guys…

How many interns did you end up using and are any of them staying on with you at Vicious Vanity FX?

I ended up sticking with a solid group of 5 interns, three local girls and two from Los Angeles that made the trip each week to be there. All of these girls have their own styles and I love how much they all worked so well together. It really became more like a family. We are all so close now.

ViciousVanityFx Interns

My right hand was Courtney Carmack. I brought her on because of her amazing skills as a beauty and fantasy makeup artist. She helped me before at my Raw artist show and I’ve loved her ever since. She has the ability to see things in a very artistic way and I knew she would be a great artist for the team.

Next I brought on Veronica Balibrera and Guity Rafik from LA. They had both taken my airbrushing class that I did for European Body Art and in that class they both really impressed me with what they did. They both have so much to offer. Veronica has a way with paint that I could never do. She knows how to really make things pop and Guity is a very driven artist who continues to push herself. That will get her very far in this makeup world.

I also used my local girl Kyrsta Shea, she reminds me so much of myself when I was young. At only 16 years old she has already shown me that she is wiser than most. She didn’t have much experience but I saw from what she’s already done that she had a natural talent for this craft. She is our little vicious baby haha.

ViciousVanityFx - All Dressed Up @ Callson Manor
ViciousVanityFx – All Dressed Up @ Callson Manor

Last but not least was June Ray Amis-Adelman, she was the last to come in and was a breath of fresh air for us. She has such a gift for 3-D paint it blows me away. She can make something look like it’s popping out and I still don’t know how she does it.

All of these girls have been brought on to Vicious Vanity Fx. I love them all for each of their talents and I am molding each one to learn more and try things outside their comfort zone. I plan on seeing these girls apply to compete on Face Off very soon. Over this last month they have all grown so much and I want them to continue to grow. Many of them had never sculpted or molded or applied a prosthetic but now they all know how. I’ve already hired them for tons of other projects with ViciousVanityFx. We will all be going to IMATS in LA together as well. Love these girls, my little Vicious family.

Intern Team - ViciousVanityFx
Intern Team – ViciousVanityFx

As a makeup artist is Halloween typically your busiest season? What’s next on the horizon?

Oh my gosh, yes!! This season has been the busiest I’ve ever been. I had about 2 months with not one day off. It has been great but it is the crazy time of the year. During the Halloween season I think us FX artists really have no life outside of work. I love it though. I’m just glad things have been going so well and I am able to stay busy working and growing my shop.

There are a ton of great things coming up. Things I can’t disclose just yet but huge things that I can’t wait to share!! I plan to keep this shop being talked about and continuing to do film work and other projects for whoever is in need of a great makeup team from beauty to FX. Now Vicious Vanity Fx really has it all and it’s only going to get better! Can’t wait to see where the studio goes for here.

Nicole also shared a few secrets about what to expect next from ViciousVanityFx.

Will you be working regularly with SMOSH? What all have you done with them?

Yes, I am the lead makeup artist now for all SMOSH videos. I have been with them for a few months now. I have done all kinds of fun stuff with them. I do it all, everything from corrective makeup to full on FX. I finally got to show some FX in a boogieman makeup I did for the episode Hickeys. I also did some fun stuff for their Assassins Creed 4 music video, lots if pirates and Black Beard… even a fun pink beard was in that. And coming soon will be the best makeups I’ve done for SMOSH yet!!! Look out for some zombies, me and my ViciousVanityFx girls did all the makeup and I will be working with them all the time now. I always have such a blast on set with them. They are so much fun and they crack me up. I’ve even been in a couple videos doing funny stuff. www.smosh.com

Nicole Chilelli on set w/ SMOSH
Nicole Chilelli on set w/ SMOSH

How are things shaping up at your shop? Is everything coming together according to schedule?

Everything is going so well. Staying incredibly busy and I love it. I have so much planned for the studio.

I will be teaching classes there, everything from corrective beauty makeup, airbrushing, mold making and of course, FX.

I’ll have classes for beginners too that anyone can attend just to learn more maybe. Those classes will be for the basic women who wants to do more fun things with her daily makeup and for people who just wanna learn some fun easy FX makeup tricks as well. Right now I’m just waiting on all of my products I ordered to come in so each student will have access to all my favorite makeups to use so they can learn with the stuff that I can’t live without. Soon I will be making a line of prosthetics that I’ll sell online at my website and will also be available at local makeup stores.

Where will your fans be able to see you/your work next?

There are tons of projects coming up and as soon as I can tell everyone what they are I will.

I will be at IMATS this year doing demos, it’s a huge makeup convention in Los Angeles. www.imats.net

I’ll be at some local conventions too. I’ll also be on an episode of travel channels Baggage Battles in Dec making a guest appearance.

Nicole w/ Baggage Battles
Nicole w/ Baggage Battles

And lastly, but very important: When will your Vicious Vanity apparel be available to the public? You can reserve a size medium tank for me.

Hahaha awesome I will do that!! They will be up on my website very soon!! I am doing a fun little shoot so I can have photos of each shirt design. I love that the fans helped me pic the name of my studio and I just thought it would be fun to have shirts for the people who really love the name and want to help support spreading the word about my shop, plus they are super cute on!!! www.viciousvanityfx.com

I want one!!!
I want one!!!

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