Guest Blog: Quick, Cheap Zombie Makeup Tutorial

To help you get ready for the Halloweast events this weekend, check out the group effort by guest bloggers Chris Woodall, Tina Amburgey, and Lauren Gonzalez for all of your zombie needs! :)

By: Chris Woodall
Model:Tina Amburgey
Photographs courtesy of Lauren Gonzalez

Materials Needed: Cheap tubes of cream makeup – black, red, brown and flesh (or any foundation instead of flesh), cosmetic wedge sponges, a small paintbrush or q-tips, fake blood (not pictured)

Since this is a tutorial for a quick, cheap zombie make-up, our model will only be fairly recently deceased. This is so we can use their skin color as the base of the whole thing, and their hands, neck, etc. will still match the face. If we tried to make them look as if they’ve been dead (or undead, depending on your politics haha) for longer (by using more grey for example), you’d have to put the grey on every part of exposed skin so that your zombie would look authentic. To make your zombie look affordable and believable, start with a flesh color. This way, you can just throw a little blood on their hands and they’re ready to go!

Before shot of my lovely girlfriend before I made her look hideous:

Step 1:
Start off with a base foundation. You can use either a foundation that you have or a cheap flesh colored makeup. Apply the foundation over all the area you intend to use. (This isn’t a completely necessary step, but it really helps with the blending of the other colors you will put on top.) Include the lips.

Step 2:
Next, you will darken the “deepest” areas with black: the eye sockets, of course (don’t over do it here! You don’t want your model to look like a raccoon or an old-fashioned burglar!), maybe exaggerate the nostrils, under the cheekbones, and add some sore spots by just dabbing the sponge here and there or by using the brush or q-tip to make round-ish shapes and/or cuts and scrapes.

Step 3:
Once you have all your darkest areas figured out, take a brown color, and blend it away from your biggest black areas, like the eyes and cheekbones. Exaggerate any wrinkles or smile lines as well. You can even use the brush or q-tip to lightly make spots, or dirt, here and there. If you added sores, cuts or scrapes, you can use the brown to lightly give the illusion of raised areas around them, by adding ‘shadows’ outside the edges of these black areas. Leave a gap in between the black and your shadow – this gap is what gives it a raised look. Also, lightly apply some to the lips by drawing a few cracks here and there with the brush or q-tip.

Step 4:
At this point, tell your model you just screwed up really badly and you have start over. After they give you the look and say ‘really?’ tell them yes, you’re serious. Only after whatever comes next, can you tell them you were kidding. 😉

Step 5:
It’s blood time!! Well, almost. It’s dried, old, dirty blood time! Take your red make-up (and you can blend it with a little black on whatever you’re using for a palette; in this case I was in a real hurry so I used my hand! I don’t recommend this though if you are applying makeup to someone you don’t know very well, as it’s not the most sanitary way of doing it. I was applying this to my lovely girlfriend, so it was ok just this once) and apply some to the insides of the sore spots, cuts, etc. I also put some red over the eyelids and around the eyes for a sore effect. You can also use the red to very lightly make veins if you want.
Last but certainly not least, add some fake blood. Dab some on your wounds, make a nosebleed, whatever you want! If you have fake blood that’s safe to put in your mouth, do it! This will also help make your teeth look more zombie-ish. Add some in the hair, if you dare! (Or you can use colored hairspray, or regular hairspray to tease and make your hair look crazy. Baby powder can useful if you have darker hair and want a dusty, older appearance.)

Now you should have a pretty dead looking individual in front of you!



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1 Comment

  1. moonakondo100 - February 6, 2014

    I saw your Makeup-Quick, Cheap Zombie Makeup Tutorial in your element.Oh my goodness! I can’t believe you created this look with household supplies! Scary!!!
    Step 5: this is AWESOME!!!! I’ve never tried to make my own zombie make up before but now that you’ve shared your secrets, I’ll have to give it a try!
    I also like your content as The Zombie Hand Makeup

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