Halloween comes once a year. Unlike most other fancy dress opportunities, it is an occasion where you can get away with looking hideous, frightening and socially unacceptable.
Joke shops and fancy dress stores stock make-up kits for wannabe spooks, but these are usually overpriced and poor in quality. You don’t need any liquid glucose, white face powder or stick-on plastic sores from these guys – we’ll show you how to make grizzly, realistic zombie wounds out of household items for a fraction of the price, resulting in a super-fun dress-up sesh with a horribly realistic result. You have been warned.
Gather these household items:
An old magazine or newspaper
Flour (plain, self-raising, whatever you can get your mitts on)
A cup of tap water
A pinch of porridge oats
An old towel
Cocktail sticks, skewers or something similarly pointy
Wet wipes (useful if you have them, but if not, it’s no biggie)
Raid an old make-up collection or bargain shop for:
A generic, no frills black eyeshadow
A cheap black liquid eyeliner
An old make up brush (an eyeshadow brush is ideal)
An old brush with a small tip (like a lipstick brush, or a fine paintbrush)
Fake blood (a very red lip stain/gloss/stick also works)
The remains of an old powder compact
Protect the workstation by covering it with loose magazine or newspaper pages. Make your artist’s palette by scooping up a handful of flour and putting it on one quarter of your plate, then add your oats to another quarter of the plate. Squeeze a blob of fake blood onto the third quarter, away from the flour and oats. Lastly, hold your black eyeshadow above the final empty quarter of the plate and scratch it so that little dust-like flecks of the eyeshadow fall onto the plate.
Add a small amount of water to the flour and work it into a dry dough in the palm of your hand. Congratulations – you have just made your zombie skin!
Let it sit for a minute while you prep your face. With the black eyeshadow, add shading to the darker bits of your face to make yourself look worn and hungry for human meat (your inner eye sockets, your jawline, the caverns of your neck and collar, plus your temples). If you have particularly oily skin or you want to make yourself look a bit paler, pat a thin layer of flour onto wider parts of your face using the old powder compact. Your face is now ready for a pain-free beating.
Grazes and flaky skin
To make simple grazes, add a tiny amount of water and a drop of foundation to a small amount of flour on your plate and mix – it should be crumbly. Dip your finger in the black eyeshadow dust and pat onto the area. Follow with a patting of fake blood. Lightly wet the area of skin that you want to graze (use water or, if you can take it, PVA glue) and apply the floury mix (fake flaky skin) to the patch of your face. Dab the flaky skin with some black eyeliner and fake blood to make it look grazed. You can make realistic scabs by adding some oats to the area – use the same foundation/ black/ blood method to get them looking gross.
Small scrapes like this are great for adding subtle and realistic detail
Flesh wounds and blisters
To make a big wound like a slash or a blister, take your previously made ball of zombie skin (flour and water dough) and rip off a section the size that you want your gory wound to be – we chose to rip off a size that would fit onto Matt’s cheek area. Holding the piece, massage in foundation and a small amount of black eyeshadow dust, aiming to recreate pallid, ashy zombie skin colour. Once it looks suitably fleshy, wet the area of skin you want to apply it to (again, use water or PVA glue) and stick the flesh piece onto your skin. Press it down around the edges, trying to make it look as seamless as possible by dragging the edges outwards slightly. It’s okay for it to look quite thick at the moment.
Carve some lines into the piece using a cocktail stick, the deeper the better. Mix together some fake blood and eyeliner, then paint the dark colour right into the deepest parts of the slashes you’ve made. Around the slashes, dab fake blood and black eyeshadow dust so that it layers up into a dirty-looking bloody mess. It is good to leave some bits flesh toned for contrast and realism. As with the grazes, you can experiment with oats (or ‘blood clots’) and different application techniques, such as dribbling diluted blood out from the wound. Once complete, spray with hairspray to achieve a glossiness to the blood and hold it in place.
Urgh… how’s that for gore? We did warn you!
To make a bullet wound, take a generous pinch of the zombie skin (flour and water dough), put it into the palm of your hand with a dot of foundation and black eyeshadow dust then roll into a fleshy ball. As before, wet the area of skin you want to apply it to and push the ball onto your skin, crafting it into a dome shape with your fingers.
Dig the end of your brush into the centre of the skin dome, creating a pit (or ‘bullet hole’). Mix some fake blood and a generous amount of eyeliner together and paint them into the pit to create the illusion of depth. Trickle and splatter some fake blood and black eyeshadow dust around the area so that it looks like it has been marked by the impact of a bullet. Feel free to get gross with it – for example, you could create some globules out of oats or small bits of the zombie skin to create blood clots, warts or flaps of skin. Once you’ve finished grossing yourself out, spray with hairspray to hold in place.
A bullet wound in the neck gives your undead character a gruesome back story
Take a look in the mirror at the overall monster you have created. Add black eyeshadow to anywhere that needs a bit more definition and pat some fake blood here and there, just for the hell of it. If you feel a bit sick looking at yourself, you’ve done a great job. Now go scare!
Have you given yourself a horror make-under? Share your photos with us on @Creative_Hacks so that we can be terrifying together! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!