Artist Of The Week: Dasha Svitenko, Special Effects Makeup Artist And Writer

Madeline Girardin and Mercedes Lombardo

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Each year on Halloween, the students at Mendham High School can dress up and then compete for who won the best costume. Two years in a row a senior won best group costume and this school year she won the scariest costume, and she won it for a reason. You have probably seen her around with an amazing makeup on her face that makes you look twice to make sure that what you are seeing is real. The person behind all that special effect makeup is the senior Dasha Svitenko.

Dasha started doing special effects makeup in her freshman year of high school. Her interest sparked after her mom and she started watching horror movies when she was in middle school and that is what made her start to think about what she could do with special effects makeup. During Halloween is when she shows her creativity the most, although Halloween for her is not what it means for the rest. “It is always kind of been an opportunity to show my creativity and do something different” explains Dasha. She has a wonderful take on this since she believes that it can motivate people to try and do the same thing that she does as an outlet for creativity. Not many people do this at a high school age so she hopes that when people come up to her and ask her about how she does it, she can motivate them to try this new thing.

Although Dasha does not look up to a specific person when it comes to doing special FX makeup, she does follow people on Instagram that are doing this style of makeup. She explains how following people on her Instagram not only gave her inspirations before but also kept her trying and working on it. “Seeing other people start doing it is what inspired me to keep going with it” explains Dasha. At first, she would look for inspiration on the internet. She started small to try and see how it was, but later on, she kept on practicing and practicing and now she can come up with her own original ideas. This Halloween is when she started to come up with ideas out of her imagination the most. Although it may take a long time for her to design what she has in mind and put it all together, she explains how it is rewarding when her creation is all done.

Dasha does not only do amazing creations on her face, but she also wrote a book. That is right, she is only a senior and she already published a book. She used to dislike poetry but she had to write a poem in English and she started to find interests in it. With Consideration, is the book’s title, and it is a collection of poetry that she wrote to let her feelings out and inspire the readers. Her collection of poems does not have a central theme, each of her poems is unique and there is nothing like it. “When I first started writing poetry, it was all over the place. I didn’t really have my own voice yet,” explains Dasha, but as she began writing more poems she found her voice. She would write about challenges, burdens, struggles, but she would end her poems with a hopeful undertone to wrap the theme of the poem. She does this not only to help herself believe that but also to help the reader know that things will be okay. This book helps her not only to get out there to pursue a career in writing, but this was also an outlet for her. In this book, she can have no filters and put on a paper what she feels. “I wanted people to be able to read it and think ‘I can do this’” describes Dasha. This shows how much of a caring person she is.

When Dasha goes to college, she plans on keeping doing special effect makeup, although she does not intend to pursue a career on special effects makeup since what she wants is to become an English teacher and writer. Knowing that she already wrote a book in High School, she knows that she is capable of writing a new one in the future. Be ready to see her new books coming out in the next few years

Photo credits to Dasha Svitenko