Meet Zoe, El Paso's youngest special effects (SFX) makeup artist, a breakthrough talent at just five years old.

Leticia Peña

Since the age of three, Zoe has been fascinated by all things gore, thanks to her mother, who works in the film-making industry as an SFX makeup artist and props set designer.

Zoe's mom, Leticia Peña, who is also the owner of the Red Door Vintage Shop in El Paso, began to notice that from a very young age, her daughter would gravitate to her makeup kit to bring her imagination to life.

Leticia Peña

The youngest of three, Zoe is just like any other kid, who loves kittens and cartoons, but also happens to have a natural affinity for the horror genre and likes to watch makeup tutorials on Instagram (supervised) and tries out what she wants.

Peña recalls dressing up her daughter for Halloween as Chucky at 8-months and every year since has dressed Zoe up as the Bride of Frankenstein, The Exorcist, La Llorona, Wednesday Addams, a Zombie Girl Scout, and other freakish figures.

Leticia Peña

By the time she was three, Zoe had loved getting her makeup done and would sit still until her transformation was complete.

During my interview, I asked Zoe if she was ever scared of looking at herself as these frightening characters, and her answer was, "scared of what?."

Leticia Peña

Her answer proves this child's maturity level, knowing the definitive difference between real and fake. While Zoe has never been allowed to watch the actual horror movies she portrays, stripped of fear, she has been able to tap into her imagination and be allowed to thrive by practicing her craft daily.


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And it's not just her artistic skills that are most impressive. It's also her way of posing for photos. Her mother says she likes to do a lot of acting and role-playing and gets into a character all by herself, and has never taken direction on how to pose.

Leticia Peña

Apart from being a horror fan, Zoe is just like any other kid whose favorite foods are pizza and McDonald's, is a top student in her class and is currently taking drum lessons.

While Zoe's hobbies may be a bit weird for most, she is a charming kid whose talent is quite remarkable.

Leticia Peña

When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she responded, "a doctor and a makeup artist."

There's no doubt that at just five, Zoe is an old soul whose future is full of potential no matter which career path she chooses.

Leticia Peña

And while Halloween may be over and most folks will be storing their costumes away, Zoe will still be creating and scaring up a horrifically good time perfecting her craft in front of the mirror all year long.

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