Meet the 20-year-old from Warrington with incredible Halloween SFX makeup skills

A 20-year-old girl from Warrington is ready for Halloween this year with her incredible special effects skills.

Harriet Layfield, from Stockton Heath, works part time as a makeup artist and part time for the NHS as a vaccinator.

She uses her special effects makeup (SFX) skills to create realistic Halloween looks, which she posts on her social media.

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Her skills are in demand, she is booked with back-to-back customers this Halloween from 6am to 8pm.

She told WarringtonLive that she was only 13 when she fell in love with makeup: “I actually started by accident. My mom gave me a camera, I think it was a Canon EO5D, and I started doing makeup on my friend.

“We would put on makeup, take a picture, then take it off and do another look.

“My friend said to me, ‘Why don’t you set up an Instagram account? “

“This was back when Instagram was pretty new and no one really had makeup pages.”

Bullethole Special Effects Makeup by Harriet

After posting on her Instagram, she was asked to do makeup on her mother’s friend, which gave her the confidence to jumpstart her beauty career.

When she was 16, she attended Salford University and obtained her Level 2 and 3 qualifications in makeup, art and hairdressing.

She learned to do a huge range of makeup styles, including bridal makeup, wig making, special effects, and prosthetic makeup.

Harriet aspires to do “a little bit of everything” in the future.

“I would love to teach, maybe have my own teaching academy,” she said, “I like being able to show what I’ve learned to other people.

“I would like to work on the set for a fashion shoot, where it’s all about full makeup rather than day to day makeup.

“I also like to do special effects. To make a film set while working on a horror film, that would be my dream.

“Bill Corso (an SFX makeup artist) is my idol. It’s awesome. Name a horror movie and it did the special effects.

Harriet’s own SFX work was even noticed by the great rapper 50 Cent.

She explained, “The very first Halloween look I did, actually five years ago… I did a can of coke on my eye.

“By doing this, I got noticed by UNILAD. Then I searched them by Harley Quinn, like fifty Harley Quinn for their parody video.

“50 Cent saw it and shared it, so I was on 50 Cent’s Facebook, which is pretty cool.”

Harriet's Bloody Coca Cola Can Watch
Harriet’s Bloody Coca Cola Can Watch

Other incredible creations include the Grinch, the Avatar, the horror character Smiley, the Joker, and a diamond skeleton that took eight hours to complete.

Harriet isn’t shy about creating a Venom character using clay and foil, making a mold of her face for the Grinch, and using bags of dog poop for makeshift bald caps ( unused, of course).

This Halloween, Harriet has big plans for her SFX makeup: “I want to do Voldemort, I just need to get my hands on the elderberry wand.

“I would like to do computer science, the clown, but that would require a lot of preparation. I had to do the prosthetics, do the hair, get the costume. This is my list of scary things.

She encourages everyone to try SFX makeup this Halloween: “You can get special effects without a license, you can buy them at the supermarket. You can get something called Spirit Gum, which is like an adhesive, and it’s removable, but always read it before you use it.

“If you want to do it on people, always make sure you practice.

“There are now a lot of people who practice makeup and special effects who don’t have any qualifications, license or insurance.

“It can go wrong if you use latex, so make sure you get your qualifications.”

Besides SFX makeup, Harriet is also skilled in eyebrows, eyelashes and beauty care.

She said, “Ultimately, I want to go the aesthetic route.”

Beauty is not currently her only job, as she works part-time as an NHS vaccinator.

“I also work in the NHS next door because the lockdown was quite difficult,” she explained, “I started doing a job as a health care assistant, doing the vaccinations the week I do not put on makeup.

“Then I do my makeup on Fridays and Saturdays, and I also teach people if they want to learn as well. “

She offers advice to anyone wishing to pursue a career in makeup and special effects.

“Just practice,” she said, “I was absolutely terrible when I started, and I still have a long way to go.

“I’ve had so many times, especially during the lockdown, I’ve been like ‘Do I want to do my makeup?’

“You’re afraid of what people think if you want to post stuff because society is pretty big when you don’t want anyone to judge what you’ve done.

“But I just put myself in the frame of mind like I really don’t care now. I had bald caps and put it on my Instagram.

“My friends are always supportive of me, as are my family and my boyfriend.

“So I think that’s a very important thing too, always believe in yourself. “

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