— From the pages of FLL#35 • Written by Alyssa Clark
I was surprised to see her appear so natural: no full face of makeup, just a woman with perfectly shaped eyebrows and a natural glow to her cheeks.
Ashley Stone walked into the café with her flowered kimono flowing behind her and her dark hair framing her face. She had recently moved back to the area after studying just an hour south of Pittsburgh. Her school, Douglas Education Center, was where she concentrated in Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects Program.
We sat in the overstuffed café and while I scanned through her portfolio, I could tell Ashley was modest. Her work went into incredible detail with not only the makeup, but the entire aesthetic. Each person had been carefully chosen to be her model, and each prop and costume had been handmade by her. Her overall love of the eccentric was exhibited in her work.
Ashley grew up in the Lancaster County area, where her love of the peculiar blossomed. She grew up with a strong attraction to the oddities within people and her family had always created an atmosphere around holidays, like Halloween. Special effects makeup has allowed her to enter that childlike transformation again, where things become something completely different than they are. The school not only honed her skills in creating specific looks with makeup, but also covered areas like sculpting, sketching, and the overall study of the human figure.
With some of her work, Ashley pushes boundaries. In one of her projects a model wore body paint, underwear, and boots. The edgy look received some negative backlash. “How much is too much?” she asked herself after some of the comments were said. She acknowledged that there was a part of herself that wanted to explore her limits, but she still didn’t want to offend the greater audience.
Ashley’s goal now is to get involved with the community. “If I could do anything it would be a multitude of things. I think that’s what I like about creating a look for a shoot. It’s like seeing a butterfly [transform]. It’s like magic.” Back in 2013 she showed her talents at the Lititz Zombie Run, making some of the zombies come to life. In the future, Ashley says she’s craving something a little different, “I want to do something with artists in the area. I want to learn more. I’m open to possibilities.”