31 Days of Halloween Makeup – Day 9: 5 Tips To Help You Look Like The Living Dead

Freshly dead. Not as withered.

DAY 9: When the dead walk among the living…..
The “living dead” look can be used for a variety of Halloween makeups like zombie, vampire, mummy, ghoul (BTW….If anyone knows the difference between a zombie and a ghoul, let me know) and more. Besides the usual cuts, gashes, bruises and lacerations that I am sure you are planning, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the little details that will help sell the look. Here are 5 tips to help you spruce up your walking dead makeup.

5 Tips To Help You Look Like The Living Dead

1.) No curculation….Change your skin color accordingly
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that the undead have a complete lack of blood circulation. This will cause the biggest organ of the body, the skin, to change. When you color your face you want to have a washed out look.  Mottle the colors to make your skin look blotchy and unnatural. Use some purple, blues, even yellow bruise colors in washes. After doing a few layers of mottling, go over your face with a bit of grey. Depending on how long your character has been dead, your skin might even be green or black in some areas.

2.) Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?!?!
Black around the eye sockets will make the eyes look sunken into the skull.  Use a burgundy eye liner on the waterline of your eyes for that bloodshot, brrraaaaiiinnns hungry look!  I prefer to use cosmetic or professional character makeup in the eye area. Some of these cheap grease makeups aren’t made to use near the eyes, so read the labels! Also, there are great Halloween contact lenses available that will really take your look to another level.

3.) Yuck mouth!
Lips are a dead give away that you are alive! You will never fool other living dead with flushed lips. Color them blue, purple, black, green, grey or any other dead flesh color. Unless of course, you are a sexy vampire, then you can have ruby-red, sexy lips.
Don’t forget the inside of the mouth. If you have been dead for any amount of time you will lose the fresh, vibrant color and your teeth won’t look so good either.  There are special fx products to color your teeth nasty shades of black and brown. Or use some mouth blood to add a little pizzazz. Age your lips by making little vertical lines around the mouth from slightly below the nose to the edge of the lips.

4.) Dead beauty contouring
No respectable zombie is going to have plump, rosy cheeks, so be sure and do some contouring to make yourself look gaunt. Feel along the face and notice the areas that are naturally recessed (like cheeks, temple, eyes), then exaggerate them with dark makeup. Also draw dark lines anywhere the face would normally crease.   This will give you a more shriveled, aged dead look.  You can also highlight the brow and cheek bones with a lighter shade. This may sound weird, but it will make the difference between the high points and sunken areas of the face even more exaggerated, bringing out the skull structure. Be sure the blend well so there are no harsh lines.

I created both looks with Skin Illustrator and Ben Nye bruise wheel colors. 5.) You’re more than just a pretty face
So, you got your gory zombie look going on but your neck, arms and hands look like that have too much life in them still? Remember to mottle the other areas of the body the same as you did your face. Also, if you have clawed your way out of the grave and back to the land of the living, your nails would be gross as well. Don’t forget the ears.

Be sure to take pictures of all the cuts, wounds and makeup work you do before you splatter blood all over yourself. Happy Haunting!

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think.  Also comment if you have tips you want to share with the world and link back to your blog.

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