Zombie makeup tutorial
October 17, 2012

I have appropriately done this tutorial right after this season’s premier of “The Walking Dead” for all of you zombie lovers looking to transform yourself this Halloween!! While the transformation is no where near as epic as the amazing transformations done on the show..it will allow you to easily transform yourself to zombie perfection using just a few items you can find at home and at your local Halloween store!  I had many plans for this tutorial….some of them happened and some of them didn’t-such is life.  First, this look would be awesome with an “exposed teeth” latex piece…It is actually what I had planned to go in this look (I am still upset about it) but my local Halloween store didn’t have anything even close and yesterday is the only free day I had to do this tutorial so I had to move forward.  However, if you have time to order one…it would fit in perfectly with this look!!!!  Additionally, some zombie-esque contact lenses would really top it off….but I don’t have those either.

Step 1:

Apply your latex and/or prosthetics.  There are a couple of different things going on in my zombie look…I wanted  my zombie to have been through some stuff if ya know what I mean….being the living dead is no walk in the park.    First, I applied 2-3 layers of latex to a large area of my forehead and part of my nose.  Second, I applied a pre-made latex bullet hole to my cheek and shoulder (everyone knows only a shot to the brain will kill a zombie).  Third, I applied a few layers of latex to the other side of my cheek and to an area of my neck.  Now, grab a cup and mix up some oatmeal and latex…apply that in a  jagged circular pattern to the areas where you applied the latex to your neck and cheek.  Just so you can visualize-these will be our rotted flesh areas where we have been bitten.  I also applied a couple of layers of latex over the oatmeal concoction.  It should look something like this (mine was still drying):

Step 2:

Open up your wounds on your cheek, forehead, nose and neck.  Using a pair of tweezers, make a hole in the center parts of your latex.  Peel and pick away pieces of latex to get your desired shape. You can really peel and pick it away so that you are left with different kinds of shapes-you just have to play with it.  It should look something like this:

Step 3:

Get that “un-dead” coloring.  I mixed some foundation with some black and white greasepaint…the result was a a kind of greyish foundation.  I applied this all over so that I would get that nice “sick” and “lifeless” look.  Don’t be afraid to play around with the color..we are going to layer and layer so as long as it is a little bit of an unnatural and sickly color you should be good.  It should look something like this:

Step 4:

Color in your wounds.  I used a lip brush and red grease paint to color each of my wounds in…Don’t forget your bullet holes!  It should look something like this:

Step 5:

Add in your shading to look more gaunt.  My zombie look isn’t one that has been dead for a while..I like to think of it as a “newer” zombie..so I still wanted first signs of infection.  In going for that look, I decided to give the skin around my eyes a more irritated look–I rimmed them in a burgundy eyeshadow all the way around.  Then I went in with a grey to give that more sunken/sleep deprived appearance..I kept the grey in the front half of the underneath of the eye.  I also shaded grey around my nostrils and cupids bow.  You can also shade underneath your cheekbones (unless your latex or prosthetic is in your way), around your forehead and around the jaw line.  I also did another layer of foundation with more grey in it and only applied it to certain areas…I then did the same with some brown–layering is what keeps this looking real.  It should look something like this:

Step 6:

Ok this is actually a few steps. First, you want to concentrate on making your wounds look real.  I grabbed some black greasepaint (purple or black eyeshadow will work too) and darken up the center of your wounds…we want them to look damaged.  Now, fill them in with some gel blood (available at your Halloween store or numerous recipes online).  Mix some gel blood with foundation in a little container.  Using a lip brush, apply your gel blood/foundation mixture to the area around your wound (your torn away flesh)..you are basically trying to cover all of the areas of excess latex surrounding your wound so that it looks more realistic.  We are using blood with foundation so that it is a different color from the actual wound.  Next, go a little crazy with the blood.  Smear it all around your mouth,,,,drip it from all of your wounds…dab some excess in random places……drip even more from your wounds.   Just go crazy-you are a zombie.  You may take a couple of passes with it..I did.  Now that you are perfectly bloody,it is time to get dirty…and maybe just a BIT more bloody :)  Shave of some bronzer or brown eyeshadow into a dish and mix some water in.  –You want to have some strongly pigmented brown water.  Dip a toothbrush (that you clearly never want to use again) into the mixture.  Using your thumb, flick the bristles (while aiming at your face) so that you get a splattering of “dirt”.  Do this allllllllll over.  You may have to take a couple of passes.  Do the same thing with your gel blood..you may also have to take a couple of passes.  Layer, Layer, Layer…it makes such a difference to create texture in your skin..err dying flesh!  I also added some Aquaphor under my eyes to enhance the “sick” look.  Your final product should look something like this:

and this:

Whew!  As I said, there are soooo many options with your zombie makeup!!  You can do whatever you want with tons of different types of wounds and you can go even further with prosthetics or contacts!  I hope this helped some for all of you zombie lovers out there…it makes a super easy Halloween costume!! PS: If you are wearing your hair down, add a TON of conditioner to dirty it up so it gets that lifeless look!