Curiosity of a make-up artist

Wednesday July 15 2020

An actress with special effects marks on her face. Photo | Andrew I. Kazibwe


Darcy Rukundo, a 20-year-old artist, is a darling of social media users as she displays her special effects art prowess.

Born in Muhima, Nyarugenge district of Kigali province, Rukundo is a rising star whose venture into this rare field astonishes her fans as it not only appears as a new craft but a strange one.

Inspired by movies and her brother, Rukundo grew up with curiosity of what the wounds displayed in action film scenes were, and how they were made.

"We already knew that that the wounds weren't real, but wondered how they were believable," she recounts.

Experimenting on several items like toothpaste, mixed with other materials, Rukundo realised her passion for special e¬ffects art from 2018 as after her high school education.

She further enrolled in Yunnan Technology and Business University in China, where she is pursuing business administration course.


"Makeup is a passion, which I knew I could practice freely anytime, and besides I couldn't readily find a school specifi cally for makeup back then," she recalls.

With some of her work featuring the creation of quite scary content like wounds on some body parts, this draws people into wondering whether she deals with the reality of such images, and how she perceives it, which to her is just creation.

"People are curious of the fact that I do this and some assume I am not even scared of wounds," she said.

But she also does other works like face painting, though with a more creative and artistic look. Before venturing into Special effects, Rukundo was a makeup artist.

Using common cosmetics products like jelly, a palette which she blends with glue, honey and cotton, she can transform a section of a body part into an injured one, hence creating a wound.

With most sessions taking between 30 minutes and 4 hours, her works, as a painter, using brushes, glue, cotton wool, and scar wax, gradually develops various layers on to one's skin to formulate a new skin. With this, she can twist it, curl it into her imaginable form of would, or scar.

To emerge with believable scenes, an addition of her creation; with a mixture of honey and red food color, she emerges with what is swimmingly blood.

Rukundo is cautious about the use of any materials, as some can be harmful to one's skin. Before it all, she initiates one into a simple question and answer exercise to find out whether one might be allergic to any products to be used in their skin.

To her, pursuing business administration doesn't in any way affect her growing special effect makeup career, for she sees otherwise, "I believe that it doesn't ruin anything since it is all business," she states.

Rukundo cites a challenge of finding it harder setting a price for her services since people find it otherwise, "They think you aren't professional, since most aren't familiar with it, and understanding it as an Art," she explains.

Rukundo further cites a challenge of the absence of ready to use products on the market, which prompts her to go through an effort of innovating and deriving up with products what would suit her work.

As part of her prospects, she hopes to one day establish a company dealing in special effects make up products and related services.