Spotlight on the hauntingly talented

Bone-chilling wounds, eerie bloody stitches and features made of nightmares, these are among the many horror make-up sfx Dubai resident Hanan Saleh has mastered and continues to try out different projects as a hobby, when not busy with her day-time real estate ambitions. She shares her journey with Farhana Chowdhury.

By Farhana Chowdhury

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Hanan Saleh, Horror make-up enthusiast
Hanan Saleh, Horror make-up enthusiast

Published: Fri 30 Oct 2020, 3:21 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 11:00 AM

I wasn't always a fan of horror. In fact, it's my sister who introduced me to the genre. Before I knew it, watching horror movies and related TV shows became a part of my life. The make-up bit started one day when I was scrolling through social media, where I'd come across a video of a girl who made simple wounds and cuts with homemade ingredients. I was fascinated and decided to give it a shot to see if it would really work. I'm so glad I did! Thinking back, my work looked absolutely terrible, but I was so impressed with myself at the time. I enjoy glam make-up too, but I always have so much more fun with gore make-up!

I would pick out movies with gore in it, not just for the plot, but also to study special make-up effects. My favourite ones are the SAW and Final Destination series. My inspiration is Mykie (Glam&Gore on Youtube) and Ellinor (Ellimacssfx on Youtube).


When I first began making latex prosthetics, I used a mould of my face to build them on. The most stressful part is always attempting to remove them from the mould without destroying the edges, otherwise it>ll look completely off when applied on the body. When I didn't have proper sfx supplies back in the days, I would follow tutorials and DIY recipes, which were a hassle and time-consuming.

Fav ghoulish look

My half-zombie face or an exploded jaw.

Average time spent on a project?

It can range from one hour to days depending on if I have to create a whole prosthetic or if it's just needs the simple tools like blood, scar wax and cream paints. Unfortunately, make-up sfx is an expensive hobby. Prices range depending on where you buy them from, but I personally spend a good couple of hundreds of dirhams.

Favourite source

Kryolan has made my life so much easier since they stock sfx make-up. Before that I used to shop online on Camera Ready Cosmetics and Ben Nye products. I got my tools, such as sculpting knives, sponges and brushes, from Amazon or Carrefour.

Thoughts on the season of spooks

I love Halloween! As a kid, I'd dress up and my dad would take me out to his friend's place. His daughter used to host Halloween parties and we'd go trick or treating! I love seeing the cute Halloween decorations and special set-ups in shopping malls here. It's also the perfect time for people like me to dabble in horror make-up.

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