How to Make Zombie Makeup Without Latex

Aspiring zombies do not need to put heavy amounts of paint over their entire face.
Aspiring zombies do not need to put heavy amounts of paint over their entire face. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The aesthetic transformation into another creature is one of the thrilling parts of Halloween. Revelers can apply elaborate makeup, including prosthetic pieces, to complete their transformation. However, they can achieve a similar effect through deft paint application and forgo the costly and tricky application of latex pieces altogether. Zombies are the undead. Therefore, the paint colors needed to recreate the look of a zombie are the colors of decomposing flesh — green, gray, black, white and red.

Things You'll Need

  • Face paint (green, gray, black, white and red)
  • Face paint applicators (brushes or sponges)
  • Water
  • Washcloth

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Wash your face or wipe it clean with a warm, damp washcloth. Makeup will adhere better if you apply it to clean, oil-free skin.

Lightly paint your face, including your lips, a shade of light gray or green as a base for the rest of the decoration. Apply the paint by dabbing, not wiping, the sponge or brush on your skin. This will make the paint look more realistic and uniform.

Paint bags under your eyes in dark gray or black. Apply the paint gradually at first. It is always easy to add more, but difficult to take any off and start again. Continue shading the area until you reach the desired intensity.

Add the same paint-shadowing anywhere else you want your face to appear hollow or saggy — around your mouth, on your forehead or under your cheekbones.

Select a spot to create a gash. Paint a dark red line in that spot. Shadow around the dark red with lighter red (add a little pink or white paint to your original red face paint to make a lighter red) or pink, then white face paint. Alternatively, you may apply fake blood and let it run naturally down the face, or you can layer the two effects.

Add more gashes or cuts elsewhere on your face, according to how gruesome you want the final look to be.


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