Self-Taught Artist Takes Creepy Special Effects Makeup to a Whole New Level


26-year-old Sandra Holmbom is one heck of a talented makeup artist. Her work is so mind-blowing that it’s hard to believe she has had no professional training whatsoever. She admits that she really loves special effects makeup – a fact that’s pretty obvious from her pictures. It appears that she’s mostly her own model, creating the most horrifying looks like decaying, festering wounds, ripped-skin eye masks, ripped off eyebrows, skeleton masks, wrinkled faces and more.

I am completely in awe of what the self-taught Swedish artist has managed to achieve, especially because I cannot put on simple eyeliner without messing up. Sandra’s makeup is nothing short of perfection. She tries out various ideas for fun and posts tutorials on YouTube. Photographs of her finished ‘looks’ go up on her blog, ‘psychosandra’. “I get really nice feedback on my makeup,” she said. “It’s so fun to read all the comments from all the people out there. Sometimes it may be some who do not like or understand it. But if you’re looking to do weird things, you should take it as a compliment.”


Her latest creation is lip-makeup that looks eerily like an eye, complete with eyelashes and everything. It took her an hour to complete. It’s crazy to see her smile and the eye splits wide open. When asked about her inspiration, she said: “Often I just get a picture in my head of how I want to do it. But of course I also take inspiration from things around me sometimes. Nature, animals, and stuff.”

Sandra said that she does normal makeup as well, but face painting and special effects are her favorite. Of all the work that she’s done, her personal favourite is the forehead-bursting alien she did last Halloween. “Just because it was so fun to do,” she said. Her advice to aspiring makeup artists is: “Do not be afraid to try it yourself, get it wrong. You can always delete and start over.”

I’ve just spent the past hour watching Sandra’s YouTube tutorials – they’re fascinating. Especially the ‘festering eye wound’. It’s simply astounding what a few brushes and some pigment can achieve.