How to Do Zombie Makeup

Zombie makeup


Paul Farace / EyeEm / Getty Images

Zombies. One reason they are so frightening is that they are us -- everyone has a different inner-zombie. Here are the basics of zombie makeup so that you can create your own signature zombie costume. Let's get started.

  • 01 of 11

    How-To Zombie Makeup

    How-To Zombie Makeup
    Create your version of the perfect gore zombie Tara Ann Tyler

    For most zombie makeup, you’re going to need the following supplies:

    • Face Paint Palette: The Snazzaroo Face Paint Palette has a set of 8 classic colors that can be used for all types of face painting.
    • Liquid Latex: If you want to create realistic-looking wounds you’re going to want to use liquid latex. Monster Liquid Latex is a great brand because it dries quickly and you’re able to apply makeup directly on the latex once it’s dry..
    • Color wheel of bruise colors:  To complete your zombie look, you’re also going to need to create some sunken eyes and bruised body parts. The Mehron Colo-Rings Palette as it has the perfect set of colors for creating realistic-looking bruises.
    • Fake blood.
  • 02 of 11

    Use Liquid Latex to Create Realistic Wounds

    Realistic Zombie Wounds
    Realistic Zombie Wounds Rain Blanken

    For real gore, liquid latex is a must-have in your zombie makeup box. It's easy to apply and can get you disgustingly realistic results.

  • 03 of 11

    Pale the Skin

    Zombie pale skin

    Use your cream white to pale the skin. To keep things looking real and creepy, add a light swipe of green and red under the cheekbones to create a sunken-cheeked look.

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    Add Veins to Face

    Zombie makeup veins

    Use a brush loaded with black and red to create these veins that are often characteristic of zombies that were created by an outbreak or disease.

    Be sure to make these lines emerge from the edges of the face.

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  • 05 of 11

    Sink and Bruise the Eyes

    Zombie Makeup
    Make a bruised eye, as shown, or create a sunken eye. Rain Blanken

    For a sunken, diseased or bruised zombie eye, first use your finger to blot red along the bottom of the eye socket and around the top of the lid.

    For a bruise, Apply a light layer of blue over the red, and add yellow around the edges of the bruise.

    For a sunken eye socket, use your paintbrush to outline the bottom of the eye socket in black. Blend the black in toward the eye. Blot the red area with a light layer of black and blue.

  • 06 of 11

    Create the Bite

    zombie makeup
    Use liquid latex to create the base of the zombie bite. Rain Blanken

    Every zombie remembers their first zombifying bite. To create yours, use liquid latex or a fake skin recipe.

    For a round bite like this one, blot on the latex with a q-tip, as shown. Use a press-and-lift blotting motion rather than simply drawing on the circle.

    Use a hair dryer to solidify the latex. This will take a minute or two for small areas of latex.

    Cover the latex with black makeup, then brush a generous amount of red into the middle of the wound. Lightly brush over the black area with red. We aren't done with the bite just yet.

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    Add Bruising to the Bite

    Zombie Makeup
    Blend the bruise into the skin so that it looks real. Rain Blanken

    Now we need to blend the bite into the rest of your skin. This method also works to make wounds anywhere on the body.

    Use your fingers to pat on dark blue around the rim of the black latex. Start out thick around the edge of the latex and gradually apply less as you move away from the wound. Apply red over the blue areas, blending into your skin color at the outside of the bruise.

    Now add blots of yellow at choice spots, using your finger again to lightly apply the makeup. The yellow blotches will give the bruise a more realistic look. 

  • 08 of 11

    Add a Prosthetic Latex Piece

    Prosthetic latex wound
    Make a store-bought latex wound look like the real thing. Rain Blanken

    Ready-made prosthetic latex pieces can add some extra oomph to a zombie costume. I'll show you how to take those store-bought latex pieces and turn them into serious wounds.

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  • 09 of 11

    Add Fake Blood to the Wound

    Zombie Makeup
    Add blood to wounds to make them nice and juicy. Rain Blanken

    Use a stipple sponge to apply droplets of blood to the wound. If you don't have a stipple sponge, use a scouring pad or bath puff instead.

    Coat the front of your sponge with fake blood and gently blot it over the wound. The idea is to create round droplets.

    For dripping blood, just give the sponge a squeeze to make the fake blood run out over the skin. You can add a little bit of blood to the bite wound, or go crazy and cover the side of your face in a tell-tale blood spatter.

  • 10 of 11

    Blacken the Teeth and Drool that Blood

    Zombie Makeup
    Add black teeth and a bloody mouth to complete the look. Rain Blanken

    If there is a scariest part of a zombie, it is their hungry, hungry mouths. People really are bothered by a toothless or rotten mouth.

    Black out the teeth of your zombie for a truly disturbing touch. Mehron Tooth F-X will last all day and tastes a little like mint. Alternately, use black lipstick or even some of that prank candy that will turn your entire mouth black.

    Most zombies have a generous amount of blood around the mouth. Use your fingers to apply fake blood around the mouth, then blot and drip with the sponge for a natural blood-flow.

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    Tips for Zombie Makeup

    Zombie Makeup
    Create an original zombie character, like Vanessa did. Rain Blanken
    • Easy on the blood. When it comes to using fake blood, less is often more. If you smear your entire body in fake blood, then the effect will not be as striking. Focus on choice areas to smear and blot your blood for realism.
    • Don't be afraid of liquid latex and spirit gum. They are easy to use and can make some very convincing effects.​​​
    • Blending makes the difference. For bruises, sunken skin or wounds, don't forget that blending into your own skin tone is what will make the effects look real.