Salla Yli-LuopaFrom: Helsinki, Finland

Salla completed the 7-week ‘Make-Up FX and Prosthetics Creation’ course in 2008. Her career has gone from strength to strength and in 2016 and 2017 she won Jussi Awards (Finnish Oscars) for Best Make-up Design on the 2015 release Lovemilla and 2016's The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. See Salla's complete career history here.

Salla what was your background before doing the course?

I was working as a hairstylist in London 2000 - 2006.

I did a make-up course in 2004 and worked on a few movies since.

I'd been make-up designer for one film, a Finnish horror film called Sauna, and I really wished I'd been able to do the prosthetic pieces for it myself. I'd always been interested in horror and sci-fi films.

What was the final project you chose to do?

A large silicone fish lady that was inspired by a deep-sea ‘Angler’ fish.

At first I really wanted to do a remake of one of the goblins from Labyrinth, but Neill asked me why I wanted to re-do something that was done 20 years ago? So I thought again and ended up creating a humanised ladyfish.

What did you get out of the course and how did it help your career?

The course was a real crash course into the world of prosthetic make-up and creature making. I loved the fact that we were creating things right from the beginning of first day. The course was absolutely full of information and practice. It was exactly what I needed to get to work with prosthetic make up like I had dreamed for years by then!

What have you worked on since leaving?

I got my first prosthetics job soon after the course making a fat wrap for an internet comedy show. Another make-up artist was asked if they knew anyone to do it and she knew I'd just finished my course so they called me. I was very excited about it! I did all the moulds and everything on my living room table. What a mess! It turned out pretty good. Another make- up artist spotted the comedian with a fat wrap at the studios where we were filming and recommended me for a film production that was coming up. Then I got hired to do 2 full-face silicone old age make-ups for a film. Was super thrilled again, but didn't realise 3 weeks was not very long time to do them in! Ended up working around the clock, but definitely learned a lot. Never take a job when there's not enough time to do it in peace!

Here's an abridged list of some productions I've worked on so far:


If You Love:
2 silicone old age make ups
Rare Exports:
Make up designer, lightweight replica axes in polyurethane and large wounds in silicone
Light weight replica knife in polyurethane with a silicone piece for a throat stabbing scene
Swollen eyelids, bed sores, bullet wounds, scars in silicone
Delirium Diary:
Make up designer, making swollen eyelids and scars and wounds in silicone
Silicone pixie ears
A fake chest in silicone
Big Game:
Make up Designer, overseeing make-up and prosthetics
Makeup Designer
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki:
Makeup Designer

What have your career highlights been so far?

Designing make-up for Rare Exports feature film and creating all the prosthetics and replicas myself.

What advice would you give anyone trying to break into the industry?

Your attitude is what counts the most! Work hard, keep learning and finding new information about stuff, and be nice to people!

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