How to Get Gruesome for Halloween: Zombie Movie Make Up Techniques
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Halloween 2010 promises zombie mania. With the 1968 cult classic "Night of the Living Dead" having received a 3D face-lift in 2006 and Michael Jackson's 1982 music video "Thriller" scoring post-humous attention, costume creators are thinking zombie. Thinking of going zombie? Here's a DIY zombified make-up guide. This is straight from theater make-up central, your one-stop guide to ghoul-ing like the pros. I'm going to teach you some of the old ways of creating effects with theater make-up.
Your movie make up kit should include these tools:
- Red (also called carmine) lipstick, greasepaint or cream blusher. And by red, I mean blood-red. If need be, assemble several shades of red make up to get that ultimate gore fest color. And think darker rather than lighter. Most cosmetics go on lighter when applied to skin than they actually look in the package.
- Black eyebrow pencil and liquid eye liner (you can get away with one or the other, but I like both for different uses).
- Blue eyebrow pencil
- Blue eye shadow
- Green or white base coat make-up: This shade is more difficult to find in cosmetics aisle; try the Halloween make up section) This idea variety is spray-on 'liquid' make-up.
- White stick make-up
- Luminous, glow-in-the-dark make up (also found in the actual Halloween make up section)
- Spirit gum
- Dry oatmeal
- Black Jack gum or black jelly beans
- Loose cotton baton or cotton balls
- Skin-Tite silicone adhesive and On-Skin appliance builder
- Elmer's School Glue
- Loose face powder and powder puff
- Hypo-allergenic baby wipes
- Q-tips cotton swabs
Sketch out what you want your finished zombie or monster face to look like. Map out your scars, prosthetics, etc. Do you want a hanging eyeball? Missing teeth? Hanging jaw? Get it down on paper first.
To make your scars, you can use the uber expensive Skin-Tite and On-Skin products or you can create scars the old way, with Elmer's School Glue. Elmer's sticks to skin, can be molded in weird shapes and is non-toxic. You can also use spirit gum, which is the old school stuff used to stick on fake hair and scars. To make your scars with glue, stretch the skin on your face tight and paint a layer of Elmer's glue on your skin. As the glue dries, allow you skin to return to its natural shape. You'll have some great wrinkles and scars already in place. Apply a layer of white make-up and highlight the scars and wrinkles with eye liner or eyebrow pencil. You can skip the glue and draw on the wrinkles also. Use the eyebrow pencil to outline the natural skin wrinkle between the eyebrows, along the forehead, in the corners of the nose and mouth and in the neck. Don't forget the crows feet in the outer corners of the eyes.
For scaly or 'damaged' skin, old theater make up artists used oatmeal and so can you. While the Elmer's glue is drying, press oatmeal into the glue. When the glue dries, cover the oatmeal with white face make up. The oatmeal will create bumpy monster skin. You can also mold scars and damaged flesh in the glue and 'embed' objects in the glue as it dries.
For dead dried out zombie skin, affix thin layers of cotton baton to the spirit gum or glue. Spray the cotton with green or white base coat make-up.