Emma Pickles: Facepaint, Fun and Fears

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Emma Pickles in normal make-up, and as Moon Elf
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Emma Pickles in normal make-up, and as Moon Elf

The most popular videos of Facepaint artist Emma Pickles have picked up more than 3.3 million viewers. An impressive statistic in itself, but even more remarkable when one considers that she’s never done a minute's beauty training in her life. Also incredibly, given her self-assured video presence, is the fact that she has suffered from social anxiety since her teens.
Emma's channel has more than half a million subscribers
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Emma's channel has more than half a million subscribers

Horror and Highlights

Emma, who lives in Brighton but is originally from Halifax, has created 130 videos for her 550,000 subscribers, placing techniques for work and going out  alongside fantasy characters from film and fiction. Emma uses make up and tools that can all be sourced on eBay, for those who fancy following a tutorial from her channel, when Halloween or a fancy dress party comes round in the future. 

 Her lighter creations include Snow White, X Men’s Mystique, and a Winter Forest Fairy, but many are far darker; such as  Edward Scissorhands, a Gothic vampire and a Black Ops 2 Zombie, which each have hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of viewers.
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Emma's Snow White-inspired video has been seen 1.2m times
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Emma's Snow White-inspired video has been seen 1.2m times

From Film to Face

So where do the ideas come from?
Emma said: “I recreate a lot of looks from games, films and TV, so those aren't too difficult to come up with. But my original designs usually come to me at 3am, when I'm on that crazy side of tired and I've had too much coffee, then I either jot the ideas down or just get the camera out and start filming.”
More than 60,000 people have liked the Pop Art video
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More than 60,000 people have liked the Pop Art video

Comic Book Capers

One of Emma’s most popular videos is the brilliant pop art tutorial,  a la  Roy Lichstenstein. The comic style is created using foundation, followed by the use of eyeliner to highlight contours and change skin tone. 

Urban Decay primer and Psychedelic Sister are used for eye lids, with clever use and non-use of lipstick to create a lighting effect, and a repetitive wall of  Snazaroo dots, are combined to make a look and a video now seen by 3.36 million viewers.
Emma's Fornicus character make up creation
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Emma's Fornicus character make up creation

An Absolute Horror Show

 Emma sees faces as blank canvases with which you can do anything, but the more difficult make up techniques are those that involve attaching items to the skin. Characters such as Mystique and Fornicus require this technique and each of Emma's videos of these characters have more than 1.9 million views. 

The  Cabin in the Woods character Fornicus, that inspired one of Emma's most popular uploads, is created in an incredible 11 minute video using a  bald cap, some  liquid latex for eyebrows, a lot of  foundation, and some expertly applied cardboard 'blades'. The effect speaks for itself, you can watch the video above to see how it's done. 
Emma believes young girls should experiment with makeup
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Emma believes young girls should experiment with makeup

Letting Youngsters Learn

Emma advises the parents of younger people to give them the freedom they need to figure out their own style and make the mistakes needed to learn, but also buy them the makeup with which they can experiment.

She said: “I always think that people are going to do things regardless of whether or not they have permission.

"I remember the girls at school every morning in the bathroom, applying the makeup their parents didn't allow them to have and washing it off again at the end of the day."
Emma as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones
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Emma as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones

Facing Her Fears

Emma's social media skills have also conquered her greatest fear, which expressed itself  as social anxiety from an early age.

She said:  "I knew it was an issue through my teens, but I never really knew what it was until around the age of 16, I always just thought I was weird because everyone else was so extroverted, but I wasn't. Then it became a lot harder before it started getting easier, as I learned how to deal with it. 

'I've been lucky enough to work for myself since the age of 18, so I've been able to take it at my own pace and not have to be surrounded by people all the time. It does mean I've missed out on a lot, though. I say no to a lot of events and opportunities but I'm working on it."
Emma as the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland
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Emma as the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland

Comfort from Characters

She continued: "Vlogging has definitely helped. I've always been quiet and don't speak much, and stutter and stammer when I do. 

"So for me vlogging has helped me to feel more comfortable speaking out loud, which might sound silly.

"Nowadays I can answer the phone, chat on Skype and go to the shops by myself without having some kind of anxiety attack. I haven't got rid of that awkward feeling yet, but I'm better at keeping my cool and pretending I'm not freaking out!"
Lightning has certainly struck for Emma's vlogging career
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Lightning has certainly struck for Emma's vlogging career

Making Up a Career

Emma's  family and friends, including fellow vloggers Marzia ( CutiePieMarzia) and  Klaire ( KlairedeLysArt) love how her career has progressed.

She said: "I think everyone was a little hesitant to support such an uncertain career path to begin with, since online media is still so new, but now they're all supportive and excited to see what I come up with next."

For those looking to enter the industry, Emma says: "I don't know if I'm the best person to ask, since I just skirt around the outside of the industry and I'm self taught.

"But I would say, from knowing a lot of makeup artists, that experience beats education. No piece of paper will get you work unless you have a portfolio and experience. Practice on anyone and everyone, document your journey, and get yourself out there!"
League of Legends is Emma's next target
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League of Legends is Emma's next target

Faces in the Future

And as for her next project?

“Oh! There are so many.

'I've recently become a little bit obsessed with  League of Legends and have a list as long as my arm of  Cosplays I want to do!”
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