Photo: Michael Gibson / FX

Ask A Vampire Makeup Artist Who's Been Doing This For A While

The Master's majordomo knows how to keep up appearances.

Q Dear Vampire Makeup Artist Who's Been Doing This For A While,

After a recent international flight, I came down with an illness that has confined me to my home. As I've been recovering, I noticed that my wife seems often displeased with me, particularly about my appearance and my eating habits. I've tried my best to assure her that I feel fine and that nothing is out of the ordinary, but my bloodshot eyes, sudden thirst for refrigerator meat-blood, and gaunt appearance (I'm naturally very pale) have her demanding that I see a doctor. How can I assure her that everything is fine and that my love for her remains strong? And what can I do about continually bleeding teeth?

- Ansel

A Dear Ansel,

Your wife is right to be concerned. For those who are not undergoing the same kind of traumatic physical transformation, all of these things can seem a little, well, weird. It's unlikely that she yet suspects you will eventually suck the lifeblood from her pulsing veins, but why take the chance? In a situation such as this, lying is the best course. Tell your wife that you are anemic and invest in a quality set of cosmetics and whole-eye contact lenses. Laura Mercier has an excellent line of natural-looking foundations and concealers that should provide you a much healthier appearance. While you're online-shopping, you may want to start looking at prosthetic noses and ears, which you'll need down the road. Don't be afraid to spend a little extra money for a custom prosthetic. You will end up saving money in the long run avoiding cheap plastics! A bit of carpenter's putty inserted along the gum line can stanch the dental bleeding while your fangs come along. In the meantime, have you thought about sending your wife flowers or an Edible Arrangement with a heartfelt note of thanks for her love and support? You will find that a little bit of assurance goes a long way when it comes to placating non-immortals.

Q Dear Vampire Makeup Artist Who's Been Doing This For A While,

I'm a career musician with what I consider to be an above-average libido for a man my age (early 30s). My lifestyle affords me ample opportunity to engage in lots of sexual escapades (hey, not that I'm complaining!). But recently, I noticed that while I was urinating, my penis seems to have fallen off, leaving me with a smooth, pale crotch. Is there a way to lessen the shock value of this new look with makeup? I imagine I'm in for some awkward explanations otherwise.

- Gabriel

A Dear Gabriel,

At first, losing a penis may seem like a huge tragedy, but in a few weeks, you'll be thrilled that it's gone. You will find you get so much more work done and that trousers have a better fit. As for appearances, the most jarring thing for those discovering your bare pubis for the first time will be the lack of hair. If you want to go all-out, you can purchase a curly wig and create a removable crown of pubic hair by cutting it into strips and applying two-sided tape. But let's be honest: with the lights dim, most bedmates will barely be glancing that way. A Magic Marker may be enough to create the desired effect. A light coat of skin-toned powder will also cut down on shine to avoid that "bald-eagle glare," especially in bright lighting. For stage work, you'll probably want to re-create a bulge in the pants similar to what you had. For this, a modest adult toy or dried carpenter's putty secured with a rubber sling should do the trick. Best of luck!

Q Dear Vampire Makeup Artist Who's Been Doing This For A While,

I recently retired involuntarily after a long career as an airline pilot for a major airline. Though I try to be friendly and helpful to new people I meet, I can't seem to make new friends and I wonder if all my time confined to a cockpit may have stunted my social graces. I also find acquaintances to be put off by my new retractable proboscis. Is it too late to become a social butterfly?

- Doyle

A Dear Doyle,

Think less butterfly and more bee or wasp, flying from place to place, pollinating or stinging as necessary. If you are friendly and still do not attract people into your circle of trust, it may be time to decide what you want out of these relationships rather than trying to cater to the wants of others. For instance, at a dinner party, you may be making small talk with weak, pathetic humans because you feel that's what society wants from you when you'd rather just lure them into a dank hospital basement to penetrate their necks and drink from their punctured arteries. Why not just cut to the chase? Life is too short for dithering with your own own needs. As to the matter of the proboscis, I have three words for you: "blend," "blend," and "blend." Find a thick foundation, powder and, if necessary, a latex sleeve to layer it on to give your hungry flesh hose a tonal makeover. Try to match the color to the skin of your neck and face so that its sudden appearance is less jarring to others. Making friends is not easy, but it's often worth the effort and may provide an emergency source of nourishment in the future.

Q Dear Vampire Makeup Artist Who's Been Doing This For A While,

My life feels like it's falling apart. I'm a workaholic in my job as a Centers for Disease Control investigator and frequently take my work home with me. This has caused me to lose custody of my son and to have a strained relationship with my ex-wife. On top of all this, I'm being faced with a baffling case at work that I can't seem to get my head around. It involves a virus, some really weird blood-eating worms, and a giant box of dirt from Eastern Europe. The other day, a guy slapped me just for doing my job, and another guy -- an old man! -- made it sound like we should be looking for vampires or some damn thing. Like, hello? Paging Doctor Van Helsing? My question is, should I put less emphasis on work, however important it may be, and try to rebuild my relationship with my estranged son? How would I even start?

- Ephraim

A Dear Ephraim,

There is no such thing as vampires.

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