Kristina McKeegan-Nierman is an incredible artist. Her canvas of choice is a face. She is a two-time Reno Makeup Artist of the Year with last year's Wizard of Oz inspired creation wowing crowds. “I decided to do the Emerald City as a person. From head to toe, my model was gold, green and shining."
Kristina studied art at the University of Nevada. She has been a working makeup artist for more than two decades and opened her own business, Kiss and Makeup five years ago. "I do a little bit of everything from weddings to senior portraits to prom. I love special effects and fantasy makeup though." Zombies are all the rage these days, so I had Kristina put her zombie-creating talents to the test. That's right, she "zombified" me! "You're gonna be unrecognizable. We're going to make the Walking Dead look like Child's Play."
After painting me gray, Kristina contoured and added dark circles, bruises, veins and bite marks. The real magic happened with liquid latex and tissue, which she used to gash up my face! "It's really a building and layering technique." Every good zombie comes back from the dead with fresh wounds, too, right? "Here comes the blood! Here's the dark blood on the inside of your wounds."
Kristina says the best part of her job is being able to use her imagination and nine times out of 10, she figures it out as she goes. "A lot of times, until you're sitting in front of me I have no idea what I'm going to do. It sort of just pops in my head." Like adding bloodshot eyes and rotting out my teeth with green paint. After about an hour in her chair, the big reveal was haunting! "What on earth? Good work! I've never looked so ugly in my life! Oh my goodness!"
Kristina will be going to the triple-crown in the Reno Hair and Makeup Artist of the Year competition again this year. It's happening on Sunday, November 9th at Harrah's Reno at noon. The talented artists will transform their models into their interpretation of 'Under the Bigtop'.