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Miss Northern Ireland: My friends and I love to get covered in mad face paint and go out


Spooktacular look: Miss NI Katharine Walker after her makeover
Spooktacular look: Miss NI Katharine Walker after her makeover
Katharine Walker
Model made up by Paddy McGurgan

Just before she heads off to China next week to prepare for the Miss World contest, Miss Northern Ireland Katharine Walker enjoyed being transformed from beauty into beast during a super-scary make-up session.

She was one of the models given a ghoulish new look by make-up expert Paddy McGurgan, which we can reveal today just in time for Halloween.

Katharine (24), from Hillsborough, loved the opportunity to take part in the unique makeover session.

"It was fascinating to see Paddy's vision come to life," she says.

"His make-up creations are always fantastic.

"My birthday is October 28, so I love this time of year. I absolutely love Halloween and my friends and I are always getting covered in mad face paint and going out for the evening.

"I am going to buy a pumpkin and carve it for Halloween and I think I will spend Halloween night watching the fireworks displays."

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Katharine admits that this year her costume was a little tamer than previous years, as she and her friends went to a party at the weekend dressed as the Spice Girls.

However, the next costume she wears will be slightly more glamorous as she prepares for the Miss World competition in China, which is on December 8.

"I can't wait," Katharine says.

"It is amazing to represent Northern Ireland at such an event and I'm so excited to go and take part."

Katherine admits that the last few months since taking the Miss Northern Ireland title have been something of a whirlwind.

"It has been amazing and such a fantastic opportunity for me," she says.

"I just got my first front cover on a magazine, which was very exciting, and I'm loving taking part in all the appearances and going along to such glamorous events."

It is certainly far removed from her day job as a children's intensive care nurse, which she is still managing to juggle along with her Miss Northern Ireland engagements.

"My job isn't easy and it can be very challenging at times but I love it," she reveals.

"I am happy and confident in work. I am surrounded by a great team. It is a world away from my role as Miss NI, but sometimes it is good to switch off. I deal with the job by talking to my team and we work through things together." With Halloween our annual excuse to go full blown adventurous with costumes and make-up, no-one is better placed to give creative advice than Paddy McGurgan and his team at the Make-Up Pro Store.

They have been trained by some of the most amazing SFX artists in the world, including Predators' SFX prosthetics head artist Christian Kotey and Make-Up For Ever SFX trainer Vincent De Monfried.

These SFX experts have jetted across the globe, perfecting their mind-blowing skill and sharing their makeup magic in the process.

Make-Up Pro Store's Halloween campaign this year has seen Paddy and his team create gory SFX imagery as well as stunningly striking and colourful paintwork, with the recreation of a character or two.

"Halloween is the most exciting time of year in Make-Up Pro Store and my team and I take so much pleasure in pushing the boundaries of what is expected and what our imagination can create," says Paddy.

"It is the one time of year that clients choose to opt for the experimental style of make-up that we love.

"What I love about combining creative make-up and Halloween is that you can give your imagination full freedom - there are no rules.

"If you wish to take your Halloween look to the next level, there are some key rules to remember: always ensure you are familiar with the products you are using, have all the right brushes and practise, practise, practise.

"With the looks we have created for Halloween, we have gone full throttle. Our Nun look is an interpretation of the character from the recent film release and the Voodoo Princess is synonymous with New Orleans' Day of the Dead festivities. My favourite is our Bewitched Beauty Queen, modelled by reigning Miss NI Katharine Walker.

"Most people do tend to lean more towards the looks that are easier to create, but Halloween is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and using the breadth of amazing make-up you have available.

"So, my advice is be brave, and let your imagination run wild."

Some of beauty expert Paddy McGurgan's tips for a Halloween look that will be truly terrifying

Base: When creating a Halloween look that is a gore or glam theme, it is important to choose a paler foundation for your skin. This will give a haunting effect and will also make any detail added to the face more striking and contrasting. This base will help any additional colours go on smoothly and stay in place long enough to get through a Halloween party or a long night of trick or treating.

Eyes: For your eye make-up, blood/red tones on the eyes are perfect for Halloween. Going wild with your eyes can have a mesmerising effect - so think fake lashes, deep colours and use a black cream eye shadow to add darkness and an eerie Halloween look. Take extra time applying make-up in this area and consider using temporary coloured contacts if they suit your costume.

Effects: Adding 'blood' to any look gives it an added eerie feel. You can simply add a few drops of fake blood for example under the eye or from the corner to the mouth for an extra horror effect. To create a stitch-like finish, get string and cut approximately 10 pieces into a 1cm piece each, spray or paint black using your black cream liner and using Spirit gum (a strong adhesive for the skin), place on the jawline.  

Set-it: To make sure your make-up stays put all night, set it with a light dusting of face powder. If you don't want it to be noticeable, try translucent powder from your regular make-up stash.

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