Making monsters (and princesses)
Hair stylist Jennifer Jones provides haunted Halloween makeup services during last weekend in October
Beavertons Jennifer Jones loves Halloween.
She always has, she said, because its the one day of the year when we can dress up to become whoever we want.
But over the past four years, Halloween has taken on a different meaning for her.
A full-time stylist at the Chop Shops XOXO Salon in downtown Hillsboro, Jones looks forward to the last week in October because thats when she adds Halloween makeup to the list of services she provides.
From skulls and Disney characters to pop art and zombies, Jones is capable of completely changing a persons appearance with paint, makeup and other accoutrements and the transformations are astounding.
I always tell my clients that Im more excited than they are about how theyre going to turn out, she said. Seeing what they come up with its not just my imagination, its other peoples imaginations. And I like to bring their ideas to life.
Jones has been perfecting her talents for 15 years since enrolling in the theater makeup program at Mt. Hood Community College in 2001.
Growing up, I was a theater kid, Jones said. I was on stage performing, but I always had an interest in hair and makeup like most girls do. And when I got to community college, I took that first (theater makeup) class because it was a requirement for the theater programs that I was in. And thats when it all changed.
Jones was hooked. She worked on hair and makeup for all the community colleges theater shows during the three years she was enrolled, but concerns about how she could make a living at it stalled her forward momentum for the next 10 years.
In 2011 Jones enrolled in beauty school. After completing the two-year program in 18 months, she began offering hair and makeup services for weddings, quickly establishing her name in the industry over three years.
Now, along with her regular duties at the salon, Jones has weddings scheduled years in advance, working 38 on average between May and October the typical wedding season, she said.
She also provides the theater makeup services for Riverside Performing Arts Studio, a childrens production group in Portland, where shes worked on several productions over the past three years, including the Wizard of Oz, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Alice in Wonderland.
But its still Halloween Jones looks forward to the most.
Halloweens my favorite because I dont get to do it as much, she said. Being so saturated in the wedding community and being here behind the chair doing normal hair and makeup, when Halloween comes up its awesome.
Interestingly, shes not a big fan of Halloweens more grotesque side, though.
I dont know if its because I have two small kids, and since having them its made me squeamish, she said. Ill do it if someone asks, but its unusual. People dont ask for it very often.
Im waiting for that day someones like, I want my eye socket hanging out. Then Ill be like, Oh, man. OK. Lets do this, she continued. (But) my demographic tends to be a lot of women, and women dont tend to ask for gore. And even the men whove come to me have mostly asked for creepy clowns.
Jones said gore feels easier than the makeup tricks for which shes better known because you slap some fake blood on something and its going to look gory, she said.
Its more challenging, she said, to produce a look that makes people question what theyre seeing.
Having the theater background is super handy because there are things that I know that other artists if youd never had that education just wouldnt know, she said. Certain lighting techniques, or facial contouring I could make you look 80 if I wanted to. Its pretty amazing.
Jones will be painting faces at the XOXO Salon Saturday, Oct. 29, between 2 and 6 p.m. To set up an appointment, call 503-341-6791.