December 09, 2009

By Rege Behe

Ginger Dickison is a special-effects artist with Spotlight Costumes, LLC, in the South Side. A native of Fresno, Calif., she came to Pittsburgh four years ago to study at the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects School at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen.

Dickison has worked on stage productions of "Beauty and the Beast," "Sweeney Todd" and "A Christmas Carol," and on some independent film productions.

One of her specialties is replicating the makeup worn by KISS members during performances. Here are her tips for putting on one's best KISS face.

For Paul Stanley (modeled by Abby Krizner, of WXDX-FM, 105.9):

Start by drawing the star points over the right eye. It's easiest to pinpoint five dots, then connect them into the shape of a star. Next, fill in the star with a black, creme makeup -- Dickison recommends Ben Nye -- using a synthetic brush.

Red makeup outlines the lips to exaggerate the peaks; red creme makeup is used to make the lips look fuller. Then, the eyebrow without the star is exaggerated, again using black creme makeup. A translucent powder is then applied with a puff to set the makeup, using a rolling motion.

Next, white creme makeup is applied to the outline of the star and lips to define them. Finally, white creme makeup is applied to all the other areas of the face to complete the character. Make sure there are no streaks or bare spots, then reapply the translucent powder.

For Gene Simmons (modeled by Trib reporter Rege Behe):

Simmons' makeup is symmetrical, a flame-demon pattern over the eyes with large points. Again, Dickison creates the outline first, one eye at a time, to create symmetry. Black creme makeup fills in the design, and translucent powder is used to set the makeup. Move on to the other eye and repeat process, making sure the points are as symmetrical as possible.

Next, the lips are exaggerated and filled in with black creme makeup. Add a widow's peak on the center of the forehead. Again, outline these areas with white creme makeup using a brush. Then, white creme makeup is applied to the rest of the face and set with translucent powder.