Ruby’s creations turn heads – and stomachs!
When make-up artist Ruby isn’t vacuuming her face, she’s grating her cheeks and twisting her neck...
The black mascara smudged across my face, plus bright rosy circles of unblended blusher were a giveaway this time.
‘Whatever have you done?’ laughed my mum, Vicky.
I was 12, and I’d sneaked into Mum’s room to use her make-up again. I liked to think I knew what I was doing with all those posh brushes and magic wands.
But really, I just came out looking like a clown!
So, when Mum bought me my first mascara a few months later, she was happy to show me how to put it on properly.
And, as my very own make-up collection grew, so did my skills.
I loved making myself look primed and pretty for the day ahead. But I also discovered
I was a dab hand at face paints – much to my friends’ joy.
At Halloween, I’d give them drips of blood or protruding veins to complete their look.
At 16, I left school with no idea about what I wanted to do.
I was always better at the arty subjects, but nothing really stood out for a career.
Then, in summer 2017, I went on a short make-up course.
But it wasn’t just about creating glam looks. I was doing special effects, like cuts and bruises and eye-popping illusions.
I could do this all the time, I thought. So, I started to watch beginners’ special-effects videos on Youtube, recreating all the bites, wounds and blisters.
I had to add some pretty odd ingredients to my make-up bag! Liquid latex, scar wax and stage blood weren’t the usual teenage beauty buys.
I painted a gruesome cut on my finger, seeing if I could scare Mum.
‘I did it on the door,’ I said, showing her. But my acting wasn’t as good as my make-up and she twigged in the end.
‘You nearly gave me a heart attack!’ she snapped.
A few months later, at an open day at York College, I spotted a great course: Theatrical, Special Effects And Media Make-up.
I started it in September that year and learned how to design wounds at the different stages of healing.
Soon, I was having a go at the really difficult illusions.
A hole in my stomach, barbed wire running through my head, part of my leg cut out with a cookie cutter… It was Gore Central!
But in February this year, I was half way through painting a ruddy great gash down my face when the college fire alarm blared off!
‘Oh hell!’ I gasped to my friend Rachel.‘what a time for the alarm to go off!’
So while looking like I’d been mauled by a werewolf, we filed out into the courtyard.
Also spilling out were the blokes on the college’s construction course. Two of them looked at me wild-eyed as if they’d seen a ghost!
Rachel spotted some lockers. ‘Here, we can hide behind these.’
So we staked out there, hoping no one would see us and call an ambulance!
It’s a lot easier to show off my creations through social media.
That’s incredible, people
would write. You should work in Hollywood!
When I posted a picture on Halloween of Pennywise, from
the film It, things really took off.
People loved the illusion of me peeling my skin off to reveal the clown’s face underneath!
I now have 72,000 followers on Instagram. It’s mad!
And I’ve been offered jobs doing make-up for short films in the US next year.
Who’d have thought it?
I only wanted to try out Mum’s new red lippy!
See what I did there? It’s all done with skilful slap!
Here’s a clever twist That’s so grate!
Gotta hand it to me!
Ruby Mitchell, 19, Harrogate, North Yorks