Zombie makeup tutorial

In this tutorial, we will recreate my mouth-exploded zombie look.

What you need:

  • White makeup cream and makeup sponge

  • Face paint and brushes

  • Stipple sponge or an old toothbrush

  • Liquid latex and toilet paper

  • Fake blood

  • Vaseline for hair protection

Time estimation: 2 hours

Step 1. Prepping

Clean your face with water and soap to get rid of oil. Cover your eyebrows and hairline with a bit of vaseline oil to protect them from liquid latex. For the guys: either shave your beard and mustache or apply vaseline on to protect them.

Tear the toilet papper to small pieces, such that the edges are no longer straight. Think about where you want to have your wounds.

Step 2. Mouth cover

Use a big piece of paper to cover your mouth, then build up smaller pieces around it all the way down to your throat. Build 3 layers of paper, add liquid latex in between layers. Using the disposable sponge, add a very thin layer of liquid latex on your skin. Once this layer is dry, rub your finger back and forth to tear it up and create holes on your skin. Your skin is supposed to deteriorate.

Pro tip: liquid latex can be dried almost instantly with help of a hairdryer.

Step 3. Cut open mouth cover !under adult's supervision!

VERY CAREFULLY use the pointy end of the scissors to poke a hole and tear open the wound. For the wound on my forehead, I cut the edges for a clean wound. For the exploded mouth, I actually tore the latex “skin” with my hand to make it look organic. Once the big wound is open, repeat step 1 for the chin area to add even more extra inside the wound.

Pro tip 1: I did only 2 layers and the skin turned out flimsy.

Pro tip 2: Paint the out side of the wound before cutting it. All the hanging flaps became very hard to paint in step 4.

Step 4. Paint

4.1. Paint the base

Using white cream makeup, cover your face with a thin layer of white cream. Go easy on the white, you can alwasy add more after. The goal here is to look pale, not ghost-white. Remember to also extend white makeup to both your ears and down your neck. Paint your eyes completely black. Go big, as we want to “hide” the eyebrows into the black eyes, creating a no-eyebrow look. Paint the inside of your mouth wound black as well. This is not easy, you need some patience here.

 

4.2. Paint the wounds

Accentuate all the holes on your face with red first, then some black to add depth. For the wound on your forehead, start with black inside the wound. Add some red around the edge of the wound to indicate irritation, then a darker shade of red going close to the wound. For the mouth wound, paint the outside red and blend into the nose and upper half of your face.

 

4.3. Paint the teeth

Using white water color, carefully paint some white teeth on your lips. Protip: pick the more protruding lip to have the teeth as light will reflect on it otherwise and break the illusion. Once done, add some yellow tint to the teeth. Remember zombies do not brush their teeth, they can’t be ceramic white.

Protip: do not be obsessed over the details. It will look great in the end.

Step 5. Get bloody

So far we have only used black, white and red. Time to use other colors of the rainbow: yellow, green, blue and purple to your face. What each color means is as follows:

  • Yellow signifies a bruise that is already healing, while purple is the color of new bruises.
  • Blue is cold and signifies a lack of oxygen in the blood. Sick people are usually said to have a blue tint on their skin. Zombies are dead so they should look very cold. I should have had even more blue on my face.
  • Green usually combines with yellow to paint healing bruises, but here we overexaggerate the green to give the illusion of molds on the skin. Zombie skin has the perfect condition for all the molds to grow!

Finally time to put on blood with fake blood, stipple sponge or an old toothbrush. The goal with blood here is to hide mistakes and smooth out transitions. You worked very hard for all the details, don’t go overboard and cover everything up with blood.

 

Optional: add gooey vaseline to the wound and make them look extra realistic! Remember to color vaseline first and adjust the paste to have a purple-ish color before applying. You can see paste on my forehead quite clearly. It looks absolutely disgusting!

Step 6. Get shredded

Go to Myrorna and find some cheap shirts and a pair of pants. Then shred them, distress them, spray them with brown and green to add dust and mold, then paint them with red color and fake blood. Once dried, they are good to go! Below is a youtube video explaining the process with more details, watch it.

Step 7. Go out and have fun!

Practice zombie movements. Your joints are so dry they move in a mechanical way with a lot of resistance. Your head is so loosely connected to your head it can hardly stand up straight. Your neck can hardly rotate, your whole body moves when you look to the side. You might have broken your arm or leg so you move in a funny way. Be creative with the back story and act accordingly.

 

Prepare zombie sound and have it on a speaker. This will be the cherry on top for your makeup, costume and acting. Such sounds are plenty on the internet. I personally recommend this sample on Youtube, which is what I used last Halloween: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN5Ut9KX33I

 

Remember to not go too far and have fun! Pick a victim and scare them just enough then change your attention to another victim. People might want to take a piture with you, be approachable by speaking up to break the illusion.

Protip: Go the extra mile and put on contact lenses to complete your look!

It’s fun to play main character in your horror movie, even more so when doing as a group!

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