Sam Schavlev: The King of Makeup Effects


Based in Moscow, Sam Schavlev is a radical freelance makeup artist with a boundless arsenal of cool makeup effects. With a talent for reinventing the face, Sam offers a highly creative and vivid interpretation of the female features. As he redefines the face and challenges our expectations with astonishing textures, colors and techniques, this gifted imaginateur constantly mystifies us with his stunning expressions of beauty.


Through Sam’s unconventional use of color, we are able to appreciate the curvatures and nuances of the face in an entirely new light. He breaks the stereotypes and preconceived notions of how a face should be designed and instead introduces us to a whole new type of artistry. He demonstrates this vision exquisitely in one of his fashion shots where the model showcases harshly tinted cheeks that appear almost wine-stained and a purplish-blue chin that seems frost-bitten.


Sam’s highly dramatic and colorful style suggests an interest in classical painting. With many of his models, we see beautiful rich colors seamlessly blended onto the skin as if emanating naturally from within the model. He uses color fusions that are radically unexpected like silvers, plums and fuchsias and integrates them creatively along the bones and contours of the face and body. It’s truly breathtaking how Sam interprets the skin as a raw canvas for art and treats makeup as the paint. This trademark is revealed elegantly in many of his beauty shots; you can see how the collarbones radiate with yellow and transition into lavender and maroon along the neck and curve of the shoulders.


The allure of Sam’s unconventional techniques makes for some compelling Halloween-inspired looks. In many of his works, he explores a monster motif, using his knowledge of facial contours and makeup effects to transform the face into a shocking illusion. In one of his demonic creations, a red-eyed woman wearing a hood appears a monstrous look that is incredibly realistic. Using black, plum and white, the artisan dramatically emphasizes the facial forms such as the brow bone, cheekbone and lips, while adding obscure abstract gradients to the forehead and inner corners of the eyes. The result is a ghoulish creature that is frighteningly convincing.


You can appreciate how Sam challenges the mold of clichéd beauty looks by browsing through his work on Facebook or Instagram . If you are interested in booking Sam, you may contact him at