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Zombie Makeup Tips and Tricks & Fake Blood Recipes! Halloween Special FX Makeup


Well-known member
Halloween is just around the corner, and I've been asked a lot of questions about zombie makeup! Here's what I've learned from experience so far:

(Before we begin with the makeup, a short note on zombie costumes: When choosing what type of zombie you are going to be, choose a themed zombie rather than just being a zombie version of yourself. Celebrity or famous historical people zombies are always a hit: (zombie elvis, zombie lady gaga, zombie Amy Winehouse, zombie Michael Jackson, zombie Abe Lincoln, zombie Jesus, zombie Little Mermaid...) also, a zombie who was attacked during work or hobby is always cool: (zombie businessman, zombie ballet dancer, zombie construction worker, zombie cheerleader, zombie nurse, zombie bride, etc.) I've been a zombie waitress during zombie walks since 2007, but have decided to be a zombie 1950's hawaiian tourist this next one! Hideous muumuu, fanny pack, camera with neck strap and all!) Bringing a prop that you can use slowly really adds to the effect. For my waitress costume I used to have a pen and waitress book that i would pretend to write in and i groaned and stared blankly at passerbys, lol.) Also, when posing for pictures, either looking verrrrry sleepy, half retarded, hillbilly faced, or like you are going to bite someone's head off works rather well :D


Zombie Makeup Tips! (Ben Nye makeup paired with MAC works really well, btw.)

If this is your first time playing with stage makeup, or attempting to zombify yourself, I suggest going for the run-of-the-mill freshly dead-looking zombie. For this look, basically do yr makeup the exact opposite that you would do on a regular day. Instead of using concealer to hide those dark circles, make them bigger and blacker! If you use creams, blend alot and always set with powder. Don't add any color to your cheeks or lips to make you look healthy. That pesky vein on yr forehead? use a little blue eyeliner pencil to trace that shit and make it more obvious! Highlight with a white pencil instead of flesh-toned or pink. Contour around everything (your cheekbones, jawline, nose, collarbones, neck) with gray instead of brown a bunch to make your face look sunken in. Think realistic with colors, too...mold is dark green not electric green, etc. DO NOT wear red lipstick, haha!! It makes you look too alive! A light smearing of matte purple (MAC's Rebel mixed with a bit of black) works alot better. Also, lining your waterline (top and bottom) with red lipliner works nicely. Chrome Yellow and Rule on the face can give you an interesting infected, sickly, sallow look. I do find it fun to use mascara and false lashes on zombie looks :)

If you want to get creative, there are many other zombie looks you can try out, depending on how long your character has been dead, how they died, and how much havoc she/he has wreacked in the city since the zombie apocalypse. It's really fun creating a backstory for your character. My friend once wanted to be a 1950's pin-up bathing beauty pageant queen who was attacked by a shark...retro one piece swimsuit with a pageant sash and her arms and legs all bitten into. You can make flesh look soooo many different ways...black, rotten, and falling off, or moldy and cracks may start appearing in the skin if they have been buried for some time.

I have found the most realistic flesh tone for a zombie is paleeeeeee beige or eggshell with gray contouring and white highlighting. (Seafoam green and blue for skintone just do not work very well.) A note of caution: that white cream makeup that comes in those Horror Value Packs and stuff isn't worth crap on it's own. For good staying power, mix your chosen fleshtone with your own regular foundation and apply it with a brush. Whatever color zombie you choose to be, don't forget your neck and ears or any other part of yr body that's exposed. Remember if you wear yr hair back to add a bit of white or translucent powder to yr hairline.

Fake blood and liquid latex can be yr best friend or worst enemy. Don't go overboard. There are a few tutorials on youtube on how to use it. It's best to buy fake scars and bulletwounds and then use liquid latex around the edges to apply them. The white or black contacts make a HUGE difference if you can afford to get a pair. (Regular human eyes can just ruin even the most well-applied and realistic looking zombie makeup.) You can find these for about $30 at those indoor mexican markets.

Burns and wounds are really cool, but require a lot of practice. I would say if you don't have time to practice, skip this and just go for a deathly pale look. If you have time to practice, there are many youtube videos out there with step by step instructions on how to achieve realistic looking gore makeup. Google REAL LIFE burn and wound photos (3rd degree burns look very different from 2nd degree burns...stab wounds look very different than gunshot wounds, etc.) and attempt to recreate with makeup. Try using household objects rather than brushes for different effects...i.e. brillo pads work well for stippling, torn apart cotton balls work well for building up boiled looking "flesh" underneath liquid latex.)



Making Fake Blood!
Recipe for TASTY, realistic looking, cheap fake blood!


There's a ton of fake blood out there during Halloween, but if you are going to be using it in or around your mouth, you'll notice it tastes TERRIBLE. I concocted a recipe for realistic-looking, chocolate-covered-strawberry-flavored fake blood, haha. Here's how you make it at home:

Recipe #1: Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry-Flavored Fake BLOOOOOD!
What you'll need:

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup cocoa powder for taste and darkening
1/2 cup flour or corn starch powder for thickening
1 box strawberry jello for color and thickening
1 16 oz. bottle of corn syrup for overall texture
1 bottle red food coloring for color, duh!

Mix all the powders together and add in the corn syrup.
Add in the whole bottle of food coloring.
If the mix is too thick, add a little water. If it's too watery, add more starch!

Recipe #2: Chocolate-Covered-Raspberry-Flavored BLOOOOOOD!
A similar recipe that works just as well and smells really sweet, if you have these things around your house instead:

What you'll need:

1/2 c. Warm Water
4 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp Powdered Cocoa
1 tsp Red Food Coloring
1 tbsp chocolate pudding mix
1 container raspberry crystal light

See you all at the Long Beach Zombie Walk on October 29th! :)


This is awesome! Thanks! I'm def doing the choc straw blood for my kiddos. I have one question though- I am in an area where there is no liquid latex available and I should have ordered weeks ago. I've heard you can use elmers and stuff. What do you guys think? Any at home recipes that you can suggest that would be good for gore?

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