The Ultimate Zombie Makeup Tutorial [Video]

Beth Forester


Halloween is just around the corner, and if the growing popularity of the show “The Walking Dead” is any indicator, we’re willing to bet that the zombie look is going to be très in…for the umpteenth year in a row.

So we enlisted the help of makeup artist extraordinaire Melissa Mcneely to help put together this step-by-step tutorial on transforming your face into a chillingly realistic, totally deadly, zombie.

Here’s how she did it:

Step 1: Cleanse and prep skin.

A good makeup application always starts with freshly cleansed and moisturized skin.

Step 2: Apply foundation.

This might be the one situation where your foundation doesn’t have to match your skin perfectly. In fact, going a shade or two lighter might actually help with the whole “living dead” look. Here, Melissa used DINAIR Airbrush Makeup, but you can use any kind of liquid foundation. Be sure to cover all the way down your neck and chest — or however much skin you’re exposing.

Step 3: Apply liquid latex to create the look of “torn” flesh.

Liquid latex can easily be found in any costume store. This stuff is pure genius when it comes to creating texture for the skin, like scars, blisters, or open wounds. Just follow the directions on the product.

Step 4: Tear latex and apply another coat of foundation.

You want your torn flesh to match the rest of your face, so apply a coat of foundation to the latex. Here’s where the airbrush makeup comes in really handy, but you can always grab a fine point makeup or paint brush and apply your liquid foundation to the affected areas.

Step 5: Begin shading to create your desired look.

Using different shades of black, grey, purple, green, and red (or any combination of those colors), start shading in your face to create a ghastly look. You’ll see how Melissa creates incredible depth by shading in the eyelids and surround areas with various dark shades.

Step 6: Add liquid gel for a “bloody” effect.

Gel blood is a liquid gel that’s scarily realistic, and nothing beats it for creating the ultimate blood-oozing factor.

Step 7: Style the hair (the messier, the better).

Tease it up, scrunch it up, and hairspray it up — this is no time for sleek hair.

So there you have it — seven steps to achieving zombie makeup greatness. Got plans for a deadly look this Halloween? Share your tips in the comments below!

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