Photographer's Halloween makeup challenge will blow your mind

Photographer's Halloween makeup challenge will blow your mind
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By EMILY CEGIELSKI

Two years ago, Amanda Chapman needed an outlet. It was August 2012, and her husband had just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. The bad news was taking a toll on her family, and Amanda knew she needed to find a way to take their minds off the situation.

In an effort to "focus all the negative energy into something positive," the Alabama-based photographer and self-taught makeup artist began a self-portrait series that she dubbed "31 Days of Halloween."

"Literally on a whim I started each day in October doing a different makeup and then posting it on Facebook," Amanda explained to AOL.com. "The original inspiration was to turn a bad situation into something beautiful. It gave my husband and kids something to be excited about again."

The project, which also sprung from Amanda's love of Halloween (it has always been her favorite day of the year), quickly grew into a phenomenon. Although she "didn't get into the makeup aspect of [Halloween] until October 2012," her immense talent and uncanny ability to transform into any character left everyone who saw her work in awe. It wasn't long before she had amassed a large online following.

"31 Days of Halloween - 2012"

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Going on her third year and creating her 93rd character this Halloween, Amanda continues the project for her family and fans.

"First and foremost, it now stands as a celebration that my husband continues to do remarkably well with his condition," she said. "Secondly, I receive tons of character requests even throughout the year. It makes me happy to read comments that say 'You are the reason I love Halloween!'"

As for her makeup, Tim Burton is one of her biggest inspirations, and she's known to occasionally throw an original character into the mix of zombies, cartoons and iconic faces. Each transformation generally takes two to three hours, but the more elaborate the character, the more time she spends getting each detail just right.

While Amanda's first year was definitely a spontaneous adventure ("I had no idea from day to day what character I was going to do"), nowadays there is a bit more planning involved.

"The past two years, I have compiled an ongoing list that consists of requests from Facebook, as well as my most loved characters," she said.

So which character is her favorite? So far, she says it has to be Edward Scissorhands (see the 2013 slideshow) because she loves the movie and is a huge Johnny Depp fan.

But to Amanda's discerning eye, the true test of her makeup is how it translates on her camera. And while she might "always see something" she should have done differently, everyone else is too busy ogling her Halloween perfection to notice that anything could possibly be astray.

Click through this year's slideshow at the top and last year's below to see Amanda's stunning work. Also, don't forget to check out her Facebook page to see her big 2014 Halloween character reveal!

"31 Days of Halloween - 2013"

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