POINT PLEASANT — Makeup is a must for many but for one local woman, makeup is an art form.
Some people sculpt, some sew, some write, some knit, but for all who are looking, it’s about finding that thing that connects them with what they enjoy. By day, Kristin Simpkins manages the Subway restaurant in Point Pleasant but in her spare time, one of her favorite hobbies is creating elaborate costume masks.
She says she began making her own masks three years ago, starting off by copying work her mom did on recreating a Halloween classic.
“I thought that was really cool and so I went and bought the kit and it was OK but I decided I could have more fun making my own and for less money,” she said.
Ideas then filtered in from friends and family and watching a few YouTube videos for her DIY creations.
“I want something no one else has, so I’ll look at several different things but in the end I never know what it will end up being,” she said.
The masks usually take four to six hours to create which includes molding, drying and then applying makeup. She uses liquid latex and cotton balls, toilet paper and of course, for Halloween, you need fake blood. She explained it’s a “pretty simple” mix that only requires imagination to make it unique.
“That (imagination), I have plenty of,” she added.
Simpkins has put her work on public display, entering costume contests and has starting taking home awards, which sometimes includes gift cards. Ironically when she won for “scariest” costume at this year’s Point Pleasant Halloween Block Party, she was awarded a Subway gift card.
Of course though prizes and recognition are nice, that’s not what drives her hobby and her desire to create something that didn’t exist the day before.
“This is so much fun for me just because I love being the only one with my mask…my original,” she said, explaining it was like showing up at a dance where everyone is wearing the same thing…well, almost everyone.
Although she’s just recently gotten involved in mask making, she plans to continue making more elaborate pieces and keeping her creative mind swirling.
She said her dad, Kem Roberts, has always encouraged her artistic endeavors and to “do something with my creative mind.” She also gives a shout out to her husband Jeff who she jokes buys her all the fake blood she needs to complete her spooky creations. The couple share a blended family with their children who get to share in Kristin’s creations each Halloween season and all the times in-between.
Kristin said she recently stepped into the manager’s role at Subway upon the retirement from the restaurant of her former boss, Ray Ross, who she also credited for his encouragement by allowing her to have some time off to get ready for her costume competitions.
“I am still going to try to fit my masks into my new busy schedule,” she said, adding she’s already thinking up ideas for new costume competitions.