One of the newest offerings at Universal Studios Orlando has finally opened. At home in the Five and Dime on Hollywood, the Universal Monster Makeover experience is a unique opportunity that guests can book to experience a Hollywood transformation.
For $65 for the half-face or $125 for the full-face experience, guests can choose from a variety of looks inspired by classic monsters, past Halloween Horror Nights looks, and new lines of blended looks inspired by some of Universal’s most famous events, like Mardi Gras. The experience can range anywhere from twenty-five minutes to a full hour depending on the complexity of the design chosen – and with nearly forty different designs to choose from, there’s certainly something for everyone!
The main selling point of this experience is little talked about; while many parkgoers have expressed shock that the Monster Makeover experience seems to be a $125 face painting session, the little-advertised fact is that the artists transforming guests are Universal Artists using the same makeup techniques that they use during marquee events like Halloween Horror Nights and Mardi Gras. If you’ve ever wanted to experience being the canvas for the professional make-up team behind some of Universal’s most terrifying looks, this experience is for you!
This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in any art trade: when artists ask the going rate for their services, they have their work devalued and are told that their prices are unreasonable. In speaking to the artists at the Monster Makeover Experience that day – Ashley-Michelle and Brandan – they both expressed to me that the price of the experience accurately reflects the going rate for freelance work among professional makeup artists.
With Universal seemingly doing little to advertise the true value behind this experience – and the talent of those designing and executing these high-quality designs – very few guests actually realize that this experience isn’t really comparable to the face-painting stalls found around Universal’s property. With the use of movie-grade materials like water-based makeup and liquid setting spray, artists give each guest a personalized and unique look through their interpretation of the monster makeup and are able to be customized to the guest’s level of comfort, as some of the looks can feature intense effects like blood or stitches.
All the makeup used in this experience is safe, non-toxic, and cruelty-free, but Universal still limits this experience to monsters aged six years and older. Adult monsters are informed that their transformation may interfere with their ability to buy alcohol, as well as any technology that uses facial recognition.
Guests are able to book this experience on the Universal App or in person at the Five and Dime on Hollywood – same-day bookings, as well as future bookings, are available for those interested, and for anyone looking to immortalize their Universal experience, one guest is allowed in the salon with you – photography and videotaping are not only allowed but welcome!
While the makeup may be temporary, the experience of being transformed by the same artists who work on the Halloween Horror Nights makeup is a priceless opportunity and one that many die-hard Universal fans – including myself – are greatly looking forward to.