Monday, October 10, 2011

Samara: The Little Girl From The Well

The first time I watched The Ring was with a fairly large group of people at a family friend's house. I must have been at least 11 or 12 years old. At that age, I had barely watched any scary movies and those that I did terrified the shit out of me. What Lies Beneath and Thirteen Ghosts already made my legs shake and gave me trouble in the dark. After watching The Exorcist one Halloween when I was about 13 years old, I had the fever the next day LOL. Me when I was younger and scary movies ... it's really quite a contrast to what I'm like today hahaha.

So what I mean to say is ... The Ring and its imagery and its storyline really stuck with me. I don't know what about it made it so strongly imprinted on me but honestly, I was terrified of Samara for a very very long time. Anything with hair covering its face, forests, wells, TV static, girls in white dresses, girls in white rooms ... nope. Done. So if you really understood just how scared I was of Samara back in the day you'd laugh at the extents that I went to make this makeup tutorial! xD

Anyway ... a little more about the character ...

Samara Morgan, age 8. Like most creepy little girls she was an only child (as we know it) and an orphan that gets adopted by a man and woman who can't have children of their own. Her biological mother, Evelyn almost drowned her. So you can already hear that the poor girl is already deprived of any kind of loving bonds in childhood and keeps getting dunked into water. All that this adoptive mother (Anna) EVER wanted was a beautiful girl so she tried to love Samara. However, everytime Samara was around the mother would have extremely disturbing visions. Samara has strange but powerful abilities that mostly do not show entirely until she is in her ghostly form. She has the power to project or more accurately "burn" images by force onto objects like walls, paper or videotape film or ... people's minds. There is a term for this in Chinese called, "Nensha." In English it is referred to as projected thermography. After checking the mother and Samara into a mental institution then checking out (the visit did nothing) Samara's adoptive father forces her to stay in the barn and not the house, saying the child was evil. Samara uses her powers around her adoptive parents (I'm not sure if it was on purpose or not) and eventually uses them on her parent's horses to drive them into insanity and eventually makes the horses break out of the barn and commit suicide. She does this when she realizes that her adoptive parents loved the horses more than her. If you watch "Samara's tape" closely, you see a group of horses by the ocean, drowned. All the mother (Anna) wanted was Samara but due to her depression and conflicted desires she ends up bagging Samara's head then pushing her down a deep stone well and closing the top. If you'd like to see this sad part of the movie here it is ...

Here's the lyrics to the song she was singing:

Round we go ...
the world is spinning ...
when it stops  ...
it's just beginning ...
sun comes up we live ... and we cry ...
sun comes down ...
and then we all die ...

It takes Samara 7 long days to die alone in the well. The last thing she sees before she dies is the "ring" ... the light created from the circle of the well cover high above her. This is why those who she is about to kill see a ring before they die. In the films, it is usually a small ring created from a coffee cup etc. She somehow creates this deadly, disturbing and cursed videotape, projecting parts of her memory onto it. The idea is, once you see it you need to pass it on to someone else otherwise she will come in 7 days to kill you. Somewhere in there you also receive a phone call where her voice whispers, "Seven days." Her tape is meant to show others how much she suffered and she comes to kill you if you don't pass it on because if you don't, that means you didn't really empathize with her tragic life (and death). Oh speaking of, can you watch this video for me? Just pass it onto someone else when you're done thanks ...

In my tutorial the beginning was kind of supposed to be my own recreation of her cursed videotape but of course I don't have even half the disturbing imagery as her!

So ... back to Samara ... in the end, like most evil people or angry spirits, at one point they were wronged or not given the love everyone deserves and something went bad. In the end, it's arguable to say that all Samara wanted was a mother that would love her the way a mother should or perhaps she needed just some kind of pity or empathy and understanding from the rest of the world.

Lesson learned: DON'T ABUSE CHILDREN/PEOPLE/ANIMALS/ANYTHING! Love people. Be kind.

I personally find that most people that become evil or cold or crazy were all at one point, denied love.

In the film world, The Ring is usually high on the lists of some of the scariest (or successfully scary) movies and if not, Samara herself ranks in almost all "Top 5 Scariest Little Girls in Scary/Horror Movies" lists alongside the twins from The Shining, The Exorcist, Esther from The Orphan, Alessa from Silent Hill and more.

If you want to see Samara kill someone, please watch this video:

Now that you understand quite a lot more about the story and character, let's talk makeup :)

Oh wait ... I should mention at one point that the American version The Ring was an offshoot of the original japanese film called "Ringu." Truth be told I have never seen it but I've seen clips from it and I've heard that it's a lot scarier. But I wouldn't know, so you be the judge. And now ... onto makeup!


For your enjoyment here's a video of them applying makeup onto the actress who plays Samara in The Ring 2:

Creating the skin texture is a crucial part in pulling off this look. For the actual film they added many many layers of prosthetic skin onto the actress' face and neck to thicken it and change the facial structure of her face. They make her brow ridge much more prominent and create a permanent frown-looking mouth over her real one. It's really quite a transformation but honestly in the movies, once you add the extra skin and some contouring, she's good to go. But in terms of what you and I can access and pull off, we have to make do with our actual faces. Some of us may have the knowledge to somehow acquire those kinds of prosthetics but for now ... I tried to create something that's quite one-dimensional but LOOKS 3-dimensional. And of course, this is just pure contouring.

I recommend you paint all exposed skin white or off white or a grayish color right off the bat. I don't recommend using grease paints because it'll be really hard to add anything on top of it (like eyeshadows for contouring) So I really recommend some kind of face paint or aquacolor that actually dries up and doesn't stay all nasty and sticky on your face. If white grease paint is all you have access to it's okay but just know that you might end up looking ... well you might end up looking bad in a bad way.

So! Brands like kid's face paint will work like Snazzaroo but I really recommend Kryolan's Aquacolors if you can get a hold of them. I know there's more brands that will work just as well if not better so my list is not exclusive to just this.

a cosmetic wedge + white aquacolor

And set your face with white or translucent powder if you can. It's not necessary and it's actually not a big deal if you don't for this look though. Why? Because you kind of want splotchy, dead nasty looking skin to begin with. So if you set it, it's to help it last longer and only that :)

Many people that I've seen dress up as Samara make the mistake of just painting their faces white and then applying loads of black eyeliner. While in the dark, if you pop around the corner like that you will look extremely creepy regardless but -- you can do more. Create texture by splotching on grayish matte eyeshadow or cream (even better) if you have it. I recommend using a cosmetic wedge or even a stippling sponge (they look like this)

le stipple sponge (great for creating texture on face)
To create some kind of sickly texture on top of the white.

Keep in mind the way that she died ... she was stuck in a well of dirty water for 7 days then she decayed there. I don't believe she drowned -- she likely died of possibly lack of air and starvation but her body was preserved in dark water. Her skin is definitely going to be wrinkly and pale and crinkly and water soaked. Even when we're in the shower or bathtub for a little too long our skin already starts to look funky. Now multiply that by 30 years.


I feel that this is the most important part of this look. This takes Picture 1 to Picture 2. Big difference right? I have the same facial expression on my face in both but the makeup says otherwise.

Notice how much difference contouring does alone from Picture 1 to Picture 2
Contouring is a bit tricky ... I know it was for me when I was just learning how to do it. Everytime I tried to define my cheekbones it just looked like I had a 5 o clock shadow. Kind of like I do in picture 2 hmm ...

But really, it's just a matter of finding where your bones stick out. It sounds raw and eye-twitchy but it's true. Your cheekbones, your clavicles and your jawline are areas you always want to contour when you're trying to look like some form of dead creature. I tell you all to scrunch up your faces/look angry then apply matte gray/black shadow because when you scrunch up your face it brings out natural creases that actually show up when you're actually REALLY angry.

When I filmed this tutorial, I actually had the following picture on the bathroom counter in front of me so I also kept looking at her face really closely to try and find what areas of her face were darkened.

The picture I used for reference while filming this look
Definitely emphasize deepening the area around your eyes. Notice how she doesn't have eyebrows. Notice how she almost has a Neanderthal-like ridge instead of eyebrows. Notice the frown on her face, where her eyes are sunken and their detail. Notice details, makeup artists!

To try and create her 3 dimensional distorted face in 1 dimensional makeup, this was my attempt ...

Now compare this picture to the last picture I posted of myself. All I added was contouring to my eye area, red around my eyes and black eyeliner. See how these steps alone already make my eyes kind of sink into my face and already seem darker.


The lips are an act of subtlety. I already have some white aquacolor brushed onto them from my first step but, here's what I added:

* gray cream makeup
* lavender cream makeup
* dark navy blue cream makeup
* black cream makeup
* dark maroon red cream makeup

I used two wheels, both from Kryolan. The BRUISE Wheel and the BURN & INJURY Wheel. You don't need to have these specific wheels to do this. You just need the colors. They don't even have to be cream makeup but I find that these are easiest to work with and also show up a lot better in terms of pigmentation.

Kryolan Bruise Wheel
Kryolan Burn & Injury Wheel

And oh goodness please do not just load these colors on top of each other like a cake. Use moderation, put some colors in certain areas. Play with the shape of your lips.

As you know, after giving a dead, drowned look to my actual lips I also used the black color from the Burn wheel and a concealer brush (you can also use a thin brush) to create a frown line on my mouth. I'm sure there's better and more long-lasting ways to create this affect but ... this is the way to do it in one-dimension.

Also of equal importance = wrinkles around her mouth. This intesifies the effect of the frown line like no other.


By studying that closeup picture of Samara that I showed to your earlier I noticed she has kind of a dark reddish black gash on her face as well as this really receded black hole-like wrinkled thing going on on her neck. I would imagine the cinema MK artists added this for the pure effect of how creepy it looks but I think that perhaps the gash is from the impact of when she was first thrown into the well or maybe some kind of injury from the times she tried climbing back up the well. The black infested hole in her neck seems like something to do with maybe the lack of air, or water filling her lungs, perhaps.

My recreations were all, as you know, made with cream makeup using the same palette and tools.

Adding zeh neck hole with black cream makeup

Nasty gash-like effect on one cheekbone


I didn't show much of the process of me painting my arms and legs but I showed some. If you want to know the truth it's because when I painted the rest of my body I left the bathroom to sit in front of the TV and watch some Spongebob.

"You like Krabby Pattys don't you?"
So anyway, you can definitely go into A LOT more detail than I did on the texture for the arms and legs but honestly I was rushing quite a bit. You can even mix tissue with some liquid latex or other random objects PRIOR to painting your arm white to reaaallly get that nasty texture that Samara has in the movie. Let's get a shot of her lovely feet shall we?

Samara's feet from (The Ring)
You can see she has actual texture going on there so I recommend (if you have the energy/time/resources) to add actual texture to your arms and legs for the full on effect. Kind of like what I did to my arm in my Left 4 Dead Witch tutorial, minus the blood.

my arm from my L4D: The Witch makeup tutorial in 2010
For the sake of efficiency all I did was add dark red, black and gray splotches of cream makeup using a cosmetic wedge but if you have the time, you can make this A LOT better and more realistic. You should do it!
Oooh ... an exquisite scary arm.
And a very simple but crucial part ... wetting your hair. And if you don't want your hair to be dripping or even wet then at least try to make it look shiny or slicked or something because Samara with stringy flyaway wavy bed hair is NOT ideal! This is why I used a straightening gel in my hair in the video. For me, that didn't do enough so I kind of grabbed the shower head and tried to wet my hair without washing off my makeup. That would have sucked. 

"Just add water!"
Ah ... and now you should look really really dead and really really creepy. Or just creepy. That's more important if you want to pull this off and scare people like the sick minded people you and I are.

So, for your entertainment ... I shall now share some of my favorite pictures from The Ring and of Samara Morgan:

Samara in the mental institution being interviewed


This is the reason I decided to immerse myself in a bathtub for those wondering.

Now to make you all feel better, here's a picture of Daveign Chase, the girl who played Samara in The Ring (the first one). She's a lot older now and very beautiful too!

Daveign Chase

Annd it's worth mentioning Daveign was the voice of Lilo in Lilo & Stitch! So cute. And according to IMDB she is friends with Dakota Fanning. What. Wha. Doy. Why. Can I be in this awesome circle of friends too?! .__. *curls into fetal position*

And now, a list of the makeup I used for your knowledge ...

What I Used ...

* OLAY Complete Moisturizer
* Kryolan Aquacolor in "00" White
* BenNye Neutral Set Colorless Face Powder
* Kryolan Bruise Wheel
* Kryolan Burn & Injury Wheel
* Gluestick (non-toxic, dries clear)
* Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in ONYX
* Etude House (gray-black eyeshadow)
* Coastal Scents 42 Color Double Stack Palette (black matte)

* Cosmetic Wedge (CVS)
* Concealer Brush (CVS)
* Liquid Foundation Brush (CVS)
* Full Face Powder Brush (Sephora)
* Blush Brush (BeauTique #031)
* Angled Blush Brush (e.l.f.)
* Angled Small Liner Brush (e.l.f.)
* Tapered Shadow Brush (Smashbox)
* Definer Shadow Brush (Smashbox)

* Alberto "V05" Make It Straight! Gel
* Hair Straightener
* eventually .... water

White dress bought from local thrift store. Cut off hemmed areas then dunked base and section of sleeves in a bucket filled with water mixed with black acrylic paint. Dabbed direct black paint onto creases & rubbed in. Let dry overnight.  Ta-daaa.

And pictures from my makeup tutorial ...

I actually made the ring animation thingy myself :D

Eyes were blanked out for fun ...

These people take forever to pick up!

Um ... don't try this at home?

Now that you have a full understanding of Samara as a character (and the makeup of course as well) here is the movie trailer for The Ring. I feel that with what you know now, it's a bit more interesting to watch:

Right before I post my makeup tutorial, here's a few fun facts about the filming of this look ...


It took me about 3 takes to get the "emerging out of bathtub water" scene right. I kept breathing out my nose, blinking, looking bloated or looking in the wrong direction. My eyes hurt like CRAZY and I was so tempted to wipe my face with every take. But I didn't!

My mom was home when I filmed the coming out of TV sequence. I asked her to go upstairs because she was in the kitchen and would have seen everything hahaha.

I ate spaghetti before filming this tutorial. It was delicious. I also watched Spongebob in between filming.

My Samara dress was bought from a thrift store and was originally a Star Wars brand robe.

I dyed my hair black temporarily just for this look and have been trying to grow my hair out as long as possible just for this look for over a year.

I was really scared to go underwater for this video.

A Twitter account called "ItsSamaraMorgan" replied to my tweet about finishing editing this makeup tutorial and said ...

And now, my makeup tutorial:

 I think this tutorial might possibly be the one I worked the hardest on because I had a number of filming days, especially for the "cursed video" section and hands in the bathtub and me acting like her mom falling off a cliff ... so I really hope you learned a lot and enjoy it and if you're using it to scare other people GOOD LUCK! Hope I helped :)

Want to read more into Samara and her story? Go here.

Can I just say it's really funny how things work out? I swear Samara was my nightmare for years of my childhood and now I'm doing this xD

- Audie


Celina said...

You are seriously my hero, you really inspire me to push my own skills! You're amazing :D I can't wait to go home and watch this video *_*

Peonymint said...

a w e s o m e , i loved it :)))))))))

fav youtuber EVER <3

~RiP~ said...

Wow! Just WOW! U did a great (ubergreat) Job! The Tutorial is awesome und u scared the shit out of me xD!
Will I die after watching the Tutorial?

XXX Ripley

Euforilla said...

Oh my!!!
I've been Sadako (sorry, I've seen only the japanese version, and the name stuck with me :P) a lot of years ago for halloween... I didn't have half of your skills... though long hair, ripped up nails (with black and red nail polish) and an old nightgown were pretty good, your look is a-ma-zing!!!

Euforilla said...

Ooops I forgot!
Oil (olive, sweet almonds...) helps giving the wet/dirty effect perfectly, plus it's a treat for your hair :P

forever said...

i love the makeup you do it looks so real but i cant seem to find any kryolan products here in new york

shortylegsbeauty said...

I watched the video too and if I was impressed before it is nothing compared to how impressed I am now :)
You are truly amazing and such an inspiration :)
I remember seeing the ring for the first time... I had a walk in closet at home and I was scared as heck to open the door cause I was scared Id find a corpse there.. and not far away from where I lived there was this stone well and everytime I drove by it I was freaked out :D haha

مهارات قيادية said...

فن و إبداع

Unknown said...

u are the best!!! I just subbed your blog, love u on utube xxx

Unknown said...

u are the best!!! I just subbed your blog, love u on utube xxx

Prad Savania said...

Hey! Wow! I stumbled across your YouTube page and love the immense amount of effort u put into ur videos! So very inspiring!

Please check out my heel design blog? I hand draw all my own designs also and try to pack them with as much realistic detail as I can!

Loving ur work, keep it up! X x

MarilynMandie© said...

This is amazing! You're amazing! I looove yooou! [[= <3

Anonymous said...

hi its me frome omegle

Zoë said...

I'm am impressed! Great job :)

Lauren V. said...

Thanks so much for this terrific tutorial!