Arda Best Face Forward 2017 - Round 1: Skull Challenge


Hello contestants and spectators, and welcome to the start of our second annual makeup contest, Arda's Best Face Forward 2017! Since it is so close to Halloween, we are going to kick off our first challenge with something spooky: a realistic skull makeup. 

Our contestants were sent a package with the following items:

  • Kryolan HD Skinliner #10
  • Mehron Paradise Paint AQ - Black
  • Mehron Paradise Paint AQ - White
  • 5 Morphe Single Eyeshadows

Contestants: This is a challenge designed to test your skill and understanding of light, shadow, and anatomy. You are only allowed to use the makeup products that were sent to you; no additional makeup products will be allowed. This will include the use of any prosthetics except for the use of a bald cap. You are, however, free to use any props, contacts, and costuming to enhance your makeup. Even though this is a skull, you are welcome to build a character around your makeup i.e. Tate from American Horror Story: Murder House. 

NOTE: This is a realistic skull makeup challenge, meaning sugar skulls, half skull masks, rhinestones, and the like will not be accepted as a valid form of submission. For reference material, please see our mood board here.

Upon submission, we will require 1 photo of all the products used, as well as in-progress photos and/or video demonstrating where and how the products were used in addition to your final photo submission. For progress photos, we also accept written descriptions to accompany each photo. A mood board and/or reference material is welcomed, but not required and will not affect your final score. For photos of the finished look, do take photos with several angles and detailed shots of your makeup. Please be aware of your background (plain is best) and the time of day your photos are being shot. Taking photos at night can affect the clarity of your photo unless you have the proper lighting. Please do not add filters to your photo. We are looking for clean, clear shots of your makeup and anything obstructing that will affect your final score. 

This is not a full body makeup challenge. From shoulders - up is fine, but please submit photos that are tight shots of the makeup. Keep in mind that any skin that is showing in the photo (like a hand or arm) needs to be cohesive with the rest of your look. You may have assistance with the photography, hair, wardrobe, and modeling but not with the makeup application. It is also not required that the makeup be done on yourself. The use of a model is acceptable.

These are the categories we will be judging for a total of 50 points possible:

- Use of Product / Efficiency of Materials (10 points)

- Presentation (10 points)

- Creativity (10 points)

- Cleanliness (10 points)

- Technical / Accuracy (10 points)

Here is a breakdown of each category:

Use of Product / Efficiency of Materials 

In this category, we will be judging you based on how well you utilized the products given to you. How and where did you use them? Are the products overshadowed by the costume? Do you have in-progress photos and/or video detailing your process? Did you submit clear and concise descriptions of the steps you took to create your look?


This is where the quality of your pictures/video comes into play. These are some of the things we will be looking for when judging: How well can we see the makeup? Are there any good detailed shots of the final look? Is there any bare skin showing that isn't intentional or part of the look? Is the lighting poor? Do your pictures/video describe the overall process without complication?


For this category, we are going to see how your skull makeup came to life. How were you able to take this challenge of a realistic skull and translate it into a character? How well did you utilize the products that were sent to you? How was the overall look achieved? 


This category will be judged based on technique. Are the products blended where they need to be? How well did you incorporate the products to work seamlessly together? Are there smooth transitions between products? Is there any fallout visible? Are any lines jagged and uneven that is not intentional? Etc. 


This category is designed to test your understanding of anatomy or how well it is translated onto the human body. Is the makeup over simplified? How well did you pay attention to detail? Is it cohesive? 

The scoring will be done by 3 Arda judges. Scores will be added up and divided by 3 to give each contestant an average score for each category. Contestants can obtain a private critique if requested. 

The contestant with the lowest score will be eliminated from Best Face Forward, but they will go home with a $50 gift certificate!

The contestant with the highest score from our Arda judges will receive immunity for the next round.

There will be an audience favorite poll once the results are in; the top favorite will receive a $20 gift certificate to our website!

Entries should be submitted to: with the title "ArdaBFF 2017 Round 1 Entry."

Late entry policy: Entries submitted within 12 hours after the deadline can be accepted as a late entry. Late entries will not be qualified to enter the audience poll, and will receive a 15% deduction from their total score. This will likely result in being eliminated from the competition, but the contestant can still receive their $50 gift certificate. Entries submitted past the 12 hour late entry period will be disqualified, and will not qualify for the $50 gift certificate.

Your deadline will be: 12pm (CST) Monday, October 30th, 2017.

If you are unsure of what time zone this correlates to in your area, please feel free to ask us via email.

And most importantly, have fun and best of luck! We are excited to see what you all bring to the table! :D


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