Halloween and horror story lore says there's only one way to be transformed into a vampire: by being bitten by another such blood-sucking monster. Creating vampire bite makeup on your neck to resemble bleeding puncture wounds from a vampire's fangs is therefore a great way to complete any vampire costume. This special effects makeup tutorial is also handy to use for a couple's Halloween costume, with one person as a vampire and the other as their recently bitten victim.
A realistic vampire makeup look is achievable even for SFX makeup beginners. It requires regular makeup and a few special products that you might be able to find at the drugstore or costume store around Halloween time or that you can order online at any other time of year. Unless you're putting together a vampire costume at the very last minute, take some time to practice and perfect these DIY vampire bite marks beforehand.
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Things You'll Need
Palette knife or butter knife
Scar wax (aka moldable wax)
Eye shadow in red and purple shades
Tweezers or toothpick
Prepare the skin
Decide where you want to create the vampire bite marks on the skin. Typically, this will be on the neck, but you could also choose the arm, shoulder or chest area. Make sure the bite marks will be visible when you're wearing your full costume and hairstyle.
Wipe the chosen part of the skin with rubbing alcohol and wait for it to dry.
Apply spirit gum
With a cotton swab, apply a very thin layer of spirit gum to the skin in the place where you will apply the SFX makeup. Wait a few minutes and test with the cotton swab to make sure the spirit gum is tacky before proceeding.
Spirit gum helps the scar wax, makeup and fake blood adhere to the skin. If you don't have any, you can skip this step.
Prepare the scar wax
Apply a generous amount of hand lotion to your hands, as this makes it easier to work with scar wax. Scoop out two pea-size amounts of scar wax with a palette knife or butter knife and roll each around in your hands to soften the wax and create a ball.
Create the puncture wounds
Press the first ball of wax onto the skin where you want the first bite mark to be. With your fingers, flatten the wax against the skin and smooth it around the edges so that it blends as seamlessly as possible into the skin. Aim for a slightly raised circular mound. Repeat with the second ball of wax in a position where the other fang would sink into the skin.
Rub more hand lotion into your hands if the wax starts sticking to them as you work.
Apply foundation and powder
If the wax doesn't perfectly match your skin tone, apply a little dab of foundation that does match your skin tone over the wax with your fingers. Next, brush a fine layer of translucent powder over the "bite marks" and surrounding skin.
Blend eye shadow over the wounds
With an eye shadow brush, blend dark reddish and purplish tones of eye shadow in a circular shape over each wax wound. Aim for the appearance of a deep bruise. Try to keep the eye shadow away from the farthest edges of the wax, as it can cling around the edges and look a little fake.
Create the puncture marks
With tweezers or a toothpick, poke and disturb the wax in the shape of a small circle in the very center of the wax wound. These holes represent the vampire fang puncture wounds. It's OK if the wax looks choppy and a bit messy.
Add the blood
Dip a lip brush (or fine paintbrush) into fake blood and dab the blood in the center of each puncture wound. Start with a small amount in the center to create the look of a deep, bloody puncture wound. Finally, apply a heavier drop of blood in the middle of each bite mark and allow it to drip down the neck.
Fake blood comes in liquid and gel versions. For the best vampire bite makeup, apply some of the gel to the center of each bite mark to look like congealed blood and finish with liquid fake blood for the drips.
Ready for a Halloween party?
Any full vampire makeup look needs bloody bite marks, which you can create with these step-by-step instructions. Don't forget vampire face makeup ideas too, which could be Gothic, glam or gory to suit your own style. Save some of that fake blood to drip from your fangs!