The Star Trek franchise has always been known for its amazing make-up and prosthetic work. The franchise is also responsible for some of the most iconic alien races in science fiction.
Makeup artists from different series have been nominated for and won different awards for their work. In 2017, the Society of Makeup Artists awarded Nancie Langlois as their Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for her work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Vanity Fair’s Best Star Trek Makeup Artist Award goes to Joel Harlow. He has been nominated for his work on Star Trek: Beyond, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is the first time the makeup artist has won the award. His work was praised for being “so good that it’s hard to tell where the prosthetic ends and the actor begins.”
The best makeup artistry in the Star Trek series would have to go to Michael Westmore who has been working on the show since 1987. He has won five Emmy Awards for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as an Oscar for his work on James Cameron’s Avatar (2009).
The Andorian species in Star Trek: The Original Series is one example of a great makeup job. They have blue skin and antennae which were done in a way that was very believable and realistic for the time period it was made in. This is also true for their eyes which were done in such a way that they looked like they had eyelids.
Throw forward to the recent movies, and we find Joel Harlow and Don Lanning sculpting and designing the Reptilicus alien species—looking a little Cardassian—creating the scaled skin and ridges around the face to represent the curl of the ear. They look so life like, with their addition of amber-coloured reptilian eyes and sharpened teeth.
We can’t really say that there is a single character from any of the Star Trek series that features the best makeup artistry. It would be more accurate to say that all of them have some pretty impressive makeup artists.
So, this month we want to know… in your opinion, what species or specific character from any Star Trek series features the best makeup work?