Midwest Makeup Supply offers transformative makeovers

Midwest Makeup Supply owner Corrie Dubay. Photo by Dennis Driscoll

Gremlin for webMidwest Makeup Supply’s jaw-dropping makeup jobs range from the Mad Hatter and film characters to skulls, skeletons and stomach-churning zombies.

“A gal who works for me used to be a paramedic,” said owner Corrie Dubay.

Dubay enjoys makeup that’s so transformative her clients are nearly unrecognizable.

Bunny for web“To have people question is that really you or is that somebody else?” she said.

For daily makeup wear, however, she reminds customers that photos and YouTube videos can be misleading.  While Kim Kardashian’s makeup might look ideal, for example, it’s hard to see from a photo that her makeup can be very heavy. And makeup that looks good onscreen might not wear well over the course of a day.

“Sometimes less is more,” she said. “You don’t have to do this insane amount of contouring.”

Since the shop opened in 2012, Dubay has earned a following among cross-dressers. Some come for a transformation without their wives’ knowledge, or try a transformation without stepping out in public, she said. Others have become well-known drag queens around town. Dubay said she can help people discover a new look without being judgmental.

Jessica Rabbit for web“I really love it. It’s that transformational type of makeup. It goes beyond makeup so much more,” she said.

Dubay has about 100 glitters to choose from — a popular choice on New Year’s Eve. The shop’s merchandise includes moisturizer, primer, setting powder, stencils for body paint, metallic paints, sponges, brushes and lots of eyelashes.

“I have a little bit of everything,” she said.

She also provides makeup and airbrush services for burlesque performers and bridal parties.

Dubay spent a dozen years working in an office and has a degree in marketing, but she became a bit bored with the corporate life.

“I didn’t have the ability to get really creative,” she said.

Elvira for webWhile pursuing a license in hair, a single afternoon devoted to fantasy makeup had Dubay hooked. She earned a license in cosmetology and completed additional training in makeup, but she said much of her skill comes from practice.

“Can I do that? Can I make it believable?” she said. “If you mess up, you can take it off and do it again. It’s not like taking off someone’s hair.”

Dubay is currently moonlighting at the Minnesota Opera, doing makeup for the steampunk-themed show Das Rheingold opening Nov. 12. And she recently taught a high school class on special-effects makeup.

“It’s really fun to be able to share my knowledge,” she said.

In addition to makeup and lash lessons, Dubay offers workshops where customers can stop in and mix colors themselves. She said it’s great for people who are searching for a discontinued color, or can’t find the right red lipstick.

“Everybody can wear red lipstick, it’s just a matter of finding the right tone,” she said.