Zombie Halloween Makeup Special Effects

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Expressing your inner zombie is easy.

Everyone can create a creepy and ghoulish zombie costume. However, a truly terrifying zombie costume requires special effects. Sketch out your zombie's appearance and special effects prior to applying makeup. Additionally, to ensure a smooth application of base makeup that allows prosthetics to stay in place, exfoliate with exfoliating soap or baking soda, and shave any area that has facial hair. To prevent staining from fake blood and other effects, apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Adding special effects to your zombie makeup allows you to personalize your look and create a memorable Halloween costume.

Base Makeup

For base makeup you can use white cream makeup like clowns wear, a very light powder foundation or talcum powder. Apply the base evenly over your face. Be careful not to apply the base makeup too thickly, as prosthetics will be more difficult to attach. For a greenish tint, lightly blend green powder, available at a costume store, with the base until you achieve the desired color. For sunken eyes, apply eye shadow, eyeliner or charcoal, beginning at the inner eye next to the nose and following the bone under your eye, working toward the outer eye. Be careful not to get makeup in your eye.


Using liquid latex or, if you have an allergy to latex, glue, apply a thin coating with a child's paintbrush to the area where the wound will be placed. Repeat three to four times. To create the gash, you must prevent the center of the latex or glue from sticking to your skin. To do this, before applying the latex or glue, apply a small amount of talcum powder underneath the area where you want the gash to appear. With a small sponge, dab red, green and black onto the area until you reach the desired effect. Take your time doing this to avoid mistakes.


Cut or tear one-ply tissue paper into the wound's desired shape. Apply a thin coating of liquid latex or glue with a child's paintbrush where the wound will be placed, then stick the tissue to your skin. Let dry. Starting from the center and brushing outward, apply another layer of latex or glue, and add another piece of tissue. Repeat this process as necessary, ripping gently with your fingers to achieve a torn flesh effect. Thickly cover with greasepaint. Blend with base makeup.


Stretch the area of skin you wish to appear wrinkled. Apply a thin coating of latex or glue using a child's paintbrush. Repeat application three to five times. With the area of skin still stretched out, blow dry the area. When you relax the stretched area of skin, it will have the appearance of wrinkles.


Apply liquid latex or glue to the entire area you wish to appear burned. Repeat the application several times, and let it dry. Once the layers are dry, gently rub your fingers across the latex or glue to cause some areas to appear wrinkled and other areas to appear rotten and torn. Gently apply red makeup with a sponge.

Rotten Flesh

Place talcum powder on the area of skin you wish to appear rotten. Place a strip of tissue paper over the area, and apply five to seven layers of latex or glue with a child's paintbrush. Dry with a hair dryer. Gently take a toothpick and work holes into the fake skin. Blend makeup using yellow, green and red greasepaint.