Glamorous Gore: A Spotlight on Mckinsey Charles

Elizabeth Moodispaugh

Some would argue being a teenager is time for self-discovery. Many teenagers try new hobbies, sports, and take unique classes to find their own interests. One student who did just that is senior Mckinsey Charles who started practicing gore make up from the age of 12. Now a senior, Charles practiced at least twice a week to gain more and more experience.

When not practicing, Charles was doing shoots with her friends and family at abandoned locations. One of her most recent shoots with her brother has grown to be her favorite.

“My favorite project is the bag I hand stitched for my brother and the photo shoot I did with him,” Charles said. “The project is really what kicked off the kind of make-up I do today.”

Inspiration for Charles came from many different places and always in the end created something unique.

“I get inspiration from the internet and social media,” Charles said. “Also, 80s and 90s thrasher movies because they were unable to use a lot of CGI, so they had to work with actual make up.”

Charles’s projects vary in size with some being a simple corpse make up look and others being a full-on burn design. Her longest project took her over a month.

“I used to do huge full-face gore on my mannequin,” Charles said. “I did a full brain once with maggots crawling out which took me a couple of weeks. I also did a full burn on the mannequin and that took me like a month.”

When creating looks, Charles favorite brands were Ben Nye and alcohol and water-based paints because of how pigmented they are. The most difficult thing she had to work with was scar wax.

“The hardest thing to work with is scar wax,” Charles said. “You have to model it like it is clay, but it is more like sticky putty and the only way to seal it is with latex which can be really tricky.”

Now, as a make-up artist with 6 years under her belt, she had advice to share with beginners.

“Be persistent,” Charles said. “It’s not going to look great at first, but the more you practice the easier it will be.”

Charles Instagram is @kinseys.gore where more of her looks can be seen.