Tiinia Auler has been turning regular people into creatures of the night for at least a decade.
The makeup artist and now performer has been with Reindeer Manor Halloween Park since 2005. Last week, she took a few minutes to study faces and finally decided what she'd create: a "pretty clown" and a skull.
Alex and Jennifer Lohmann, the married couple that owns Reindeer Manor, were already fast at work zombie-fying one staffer and just plain scarifying a couple of others, including use of an airbrush machine, prosthetics and silicone.
How did Auler know when to stand back and admire the handiwork? "When there's enough layers that you can't tell who they are anymore," she said.
And that's how a few members of the Guide and GuideLive staff got their faces on for Halloween.
Five faces was nothing compared to what the artists do "every day that we're open." They make up "from the hair down" about 40 to 50 people within a "three-hour window to four-hour window."
"We started out as home haunters" in 1999, said Jennifer Lohmann. "Our makeup room was my car."
Now, they own a few haunted houses set on 33 acres that they will open for 13 days this year. During the rest of the year, the property at 410 Houston School Road in Red Oak is just home.
Well, a work in progress, too.
"In our off season, our makeup room turns into our shop," Lohmann said.
The Lohmanns may work on the attraction all year, but they also ply their craft in other ways.
(Auler is a freelance makeup artist and a wardrobe and hair stylist.)
Jennifer finds particular use for her degree in mortuary science by taking the occasional order for a death mask. Together, she and Alex teach transformation classes at conventions.
The couple also owns When Hinges Creak, a "haunted hardware store."
They know a lot about scare tactics, but there's one thing they've learned, says Alex.
"You see people's true colors at a haunt."
If you go
Reindeer Manor Halloween Park consists of Reindeer Manor, 13th Street Morgue and Dungeon of Doom haunted houses. It's open Fridays from 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 7 to midnight, and Oct. 28 and 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. The park is located at 410 Houston School Road, Red Oak. $10-$50; VIP is $35 for children, $50 adult. reindeermanor.com.
Making up on a budget:
Cover your face with a green base.
Use an eye shadow palette and play with different looks. Burnt orange, mauve and brown palettes -- you know, the color of cuts and bruises -- are good. Don't use every color in the palette, either. Choose a highlight color, and a shading or shadow color; purple for shadows and yellow for highlights are a couple of good ones
Avoid using black or white makeup; leave that to the pros.
Use shaving cream to mess up your hair.
Use a mud mask for complete coverage of eyebrows and hair.
Take 1 quart Karo syrup and add one bottle of red food coloring and four drops of blue for "3 o'clock in the morning blood," says Alex. (For the discerning zombie, Jennifer said, Ben Nye Fresh Scab "blood" is available online for $7.50-$38.)
Use baby powder and talc for a fresh-out-of-the-ground look, and as a setting powder.
Use coconut oil and-or baby wipes to remove makeup.
"You can do inexpensive but don't go cheap on applicators."
If you want to get something more substantive (and more expensive) than what you'd find at a seasonal Halloween store, Jennifer has news you can use: BITY Mold Supply at 521 Sterling Drive in Richardson sells some of the same supplies that the Lohmanns use, including something called "Undead Palette European Body Art." (Brick in the Yard Mold Supply also has more than 200 instructional/explanatory videos on YouTube.) And Norcostco at 1231 Wycliff Ave. Suite 300 in Dallas has much of the same, plus costumes.