As much as I love my glamour makeup, SFX will always have a special place in my heart. There’s something exciting about pulling out all your special effects materials and transforming yourself into something entirely new! Now as far as zombie makeup goes, this isn’t especially daring or out there, but it’s very wearable (after all, not everyone wants to waltz into a party covered in fake blood and gore.)
Minus all the gore and rotted flesh, this look is more ‘dead body’ than ‘flesh eating monster’ but if you’re like me and lacking in your SFXmakeup kit, this is super easy to do and can be done with the everyday makeup you already have!
First off, you need to start with a really pale base. Ideally you could use white costume makeup mixed with some concealer or foundation, but in winter I’m as pale as can be so I just used my Revlon Colorstay Foundation in 002 Buff. If you’re like me and have a rosy face you can go ahead and lay down some green corrector first, you’re meant to look dead so go all out!
Don’t worry too much about covering blemishes, in this case the worse your skin looks the better the ‘dead’ effect will be.
Next, take a dark red lipstick (or dark red stage makeup if you have it) and we’ll get to work on the contouring.
If you’re lucky and have nice delicate bones this will be really easy — just find where you’re naturally shaded and apply lipstick there. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people and have to strain and twist and turn to find my collarbones and ribs etc. — but with a little patience I got it all mapped out!
Smear the lipstick straight from the bullet around your ribs, collarbones, cheekbones, tendons, side of the nose and forehead, anywhere you want to look hollow! Pay special attention to under your eyes and around you eye socket. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you’ll be able to blend it all out afterwards. The aim is to look really skinny and bony. You can also extend this to your hands and arms if necessary. Blend with your fingers to achieve a bruised shadowy look.
Once you have your bruised red base down go over the lipstick with a dark brown eyeshadow. For extra depth you can use a little black where necessary. You can also dust over the protruding areas with a pale yellow powder or highlighter to make them stand out.
Now for the finishing touches! With a liner brush, draw some snakey-looking veins on your face and neck using the red lipstick. Add some ‘cracks’ to your lips to look red and sore, and then deepen any lines with some black gel liner… voila!
You should be looking something like this:
After that the rest is up to you — more contouring? More veins? Some fake blood or torn skin if you have the tools? Tweak and fiddle until you look just the way you want. I stopped here because I was in a rush but feel free to elaborate!
And there you have a wearable dead zombie look!
If you have any questions about the method or products I use, leave a comment below — let me know what you think!