Out of all the characters that have been featured in American Horror Story, Cordelia was one of the characters I’ve been able to relate to the most. She is the headmaster of an academy for witches, has to deal with everyone’s shit, doesn’t really have anyone to share her troubles with, and shows remarkable resilience. She’s played by the amazingly talented Sara Paulson
As if Cordelia didn’t already have enough on her plate, she ends up being the victim of an acid attack that leaves her blind. Her sight and scars come and go over the series due to her magic.
I opted to replicate her look from when she’s fairly late in the healing process. Again, this is meant to be Halloween makeup and not cosplay or a regular makeup look. October is a bit different like that. I tried to make my eyes look as pale as possible in the photo below to make them resemble eyes that are damaged and/or have lost their sight.
Due to her being recently blinded, Cordelia doesn’t seem to be wearing any makeup during this part of the show (read the television version of no makeup). So I stuck with foundation and a lip balm. Avoiding my regular red lips was a conscious move since that look tends to make my eyes appear more blue and vibrant, which wouldn’t work with the look. The first thing I did was to apply a rouge all over the eye area, including down towards the cheek bones and out towards the temples. Then it’s a matter of building up the damage. Acidic damage heals in stages and the healing process seems to be going from the outside in as the skin grows back. It’s often thickened and swollen. Since I only use regular makeup for these looks I added some thick concealer below the eye to give a slightly swollen impression. Using mainly reds with a purple undertone, deeper blood reds, and yellow it’s a matter of creating the damage. Acid is splashed and therefor it affects the skin unevenly, so some areas will look more damaged than others. I also added red shadow to the lower waterline to create the illusion that the eye itself was irritated from damage. Obviously I’m not going to do anything to my actual eyes that will damage them and neither should you. You want to create the feeling that this skin has been through a lot and that it has taken a while to even get to this stage of recovery.
Another reason why I wanted to highlight Cordelia and especially this crime that is done towards her is that I want to encourage any of my readers who see this to read up on what acid attacks do to people in real life. Sadly, it is a fairly common crime in some parts of the world but can happen anywhere. Most victims seem to be female and it is not seldom an honour related crime. These crimes tend to cause extreme harm and disfiguration, require years of medical treatment and reconstructive surgery, and can be very disabling as they affect not only the eyes but also the respiratory system and the mouth.
I wanted to share the links to two organisations that work with supporting victims of acid attacks and encourage you to consider donating to them or at least sharing the word.
ASTI is based in Britain but works with organisations in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and other nations to help affected individuals.
Make Love Not Scars which is an Indian based organisation that works closely with victims and campaigns actively (regulating the sale of acid is one of their aims) on the matter.
On a less serious note, don’t forget about the giveaway!