Tyrone woman’s videos notch up more than 5m views on TikTok
A Co Tyrone make-up artist has wowed her followers on social media with a stunning St Patrick’s Day leprechaun transformation which took around 48 hours to complete.
Ciara McKeown (29), from Galbally, who specialises in the creative side of make-up artistry, revealed the leprechaun look on Instagram on Thursday to thousands of likes and more than five million views on TikTok too.
The transformation was so detailed that several people thought she had used filters to create the look, which included ruddy complexion, chubby cheeks and wrinkles.
But it was all her own handiwork, and was achieved using a prosthetic piece which she painted, wore to bed and let dry overnight.
The magic was then completed with shading, colouring, the costume and props, which she found in a shop in Dungannon.
“For me, make-up is an art form,” said Ciara.
“I love the beauty side of it — making my clients feel amazing when they walk out the door — but it’s the creative side that’s really my passion.
“I’ve always had an interest in art and painting from my school days, especially portraits, and doing make-up was the next step really. It allows me to be as creative and artistic as I want.
“In make-up circles now, the standard is so high. To stand out, I like to create looks that inspire other people or provide the shock factor.
“I wanted to do something really dramatic and unique for St Patrick’s Day — to take something stereotypical like a leprechaun and give it a twist — and I was delighted with the response to the transformation.”
Before starting, Ciara, who trained at Paddy McGurgan’s Make-Up Pro Store in Belfast, visualised how she wanted the look to turn out, then drew up a plan to achieve it.
She visited a local costume shop where she bought the costume, beard, hat and pipe, and then, using special effects make-up, began working on the prosthetic piece for her nose, forehead and ears.
Ciara let it dry overnight as she wore it.
She then went to work on the look’s ruddy complexion, blending, shading and creating contrast between light and dark to accentuate the shadows and give the impression of bulging cheeks.
“I’ve done a few special effects courses and I’ve created lots of looks using face paints, an airbrush machine and special effects brands,” she said.
“In total, it took me two days to finish the transformation, but I think it’s one of my favourites now.”
Ciara has also created make-up looks inspired by Halloween, Christmas and television, film and literary characters, including another one of her personal favourites, Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus.
People in Galbally are so used to her weird and wonderful creations that they do not bat an eyelid when she goes out sporting one.
She said: “I drove around Galbally on St Patrick’s Day dressed as a leprechaun in full make-up, and no one even noticed me.”