Spooktober / Freshly Dead Zombie Tutorial

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Day 16 of the October Tag is a not-so-everyday Halloween outfit or makeup look, so today I'm sharing a zombie look!  This one is more on the freshly dead side, and the basics of this makeup look can be used to create a variety of other Halloween looks.  You can do this just with your usual makeup tools (just make sure you clean them before you go trying to do your normal routine again!) and a little bit of theatrical makeup and fake blood.  I recommend cream-based makeup for this as it's longer wearing, easier to blend and work with, and if you use this be sure to have some setting powder or some talcum powder you can use to set it into place.

Start with a cleansed and primed face.  I used the Ben Nye Monster Wheel for this, but you can use any makeup that has similar bruise purple, blood red, zombie green, pastel blue, grey and white shades.  We'll be using them all!  I started by using my finger to wipe lots of grey and white all over my face, and used my regular liquid foundation brush  to blend it in.  You can also use a sponge or beauty blender, but you want it to be a dense brush or sponge rather than a stippling brush.  Because I've opted for a freshly dead look here, I wanted it to be opaque-ish but to still look like human skin that's just a bit... off.  I kept adding grey in particular until I was happy, and used white to lighten my skin as well as blended in a bit of the pastel blue to give it a colder, deader vibe.

Don't worry if the foundation/base starts to collect in your pores, highlight spots or blackheads or clump around your dry skin as it has done on mine; we're not trying to look flawless or pretty, so the more imperfections there are to your skin the better for this look if you want it to be 'realistic'.

Next, the eyes!  Using my finger, I patted the purple shade onto the lid and all around the eye, and blended it out with the same foundation brush.  Keep going back over the lid with your finger and brush, adding and blending until you've achieved your desired look.  You want your eyes to basically look like you've not slept in years or you've been punched in the face.  The more hollowed out your eyes look, the better.  Don't be shy blending this all the way down towards your cheeks or up near your eyebrows.  I then blended the red colour into the purple one, concentrating the bulk of the colour closer to the eyes.  The purple can go further down to simulate extreme dark circles, but we want the red to make you look sick and the eyes irritated.  Keep going back and adding colour, blending, adding colour etc. until you're happy.

At this point, you could take this look in several different directions.  You can keep it as it is and be an infected survivor or add white contact lenses and be a newly turned zombie.  This also makes a great base for vampire makeup if you add a little bit more pastel blue and some more red to the eyes - you could just do your normal makeup on top of this, add some fangs and be a pretty decent, creepy vampire.

Today, I turned myself into a relatively freshly dead zombie.  I started by adding a bit of the green shade of my monster wheel to various patches of my face and neck.  You don't want to completely green out your skin if you're going for a 'fresh' zombie look; the green is just to hint at the decay that's taking hold of the flesh and make you look a bit, uh, on the turn.  (For a long dead look, we'd use way more green in combination with other bits and pieces like tissue and liquid latex to mimic flaking, peeling skin.)  After the green, I went back in with the red I used on my eyes and added this to a couple of patches of my skin.  I also added this into and around my nostrils to make my nose look irritated or like I'd had a nosebleed a while back, and I even stuck a bit of lip balm up my nose to give it a nice, sick glossy look.  Because snot is fun.

I decided that my zombie had been nice and made up before turning; I thought it'd be fun to do bits and pieces of my normal makeup and then just mess it the hell up as though it had been smeared everywhere and unwashed for days.  So, I started by doing my eyebrows just enough to make them look naturally more filled in, then tightlined my eyes and applied smudgy, black eyeliner to my top and bottom lid.  I then used my liquid liner to create big cat eyes, but before it had a chance to properly dry, I wiped my fingers over it and blended and blurred it wherever the hell I felt like.  I also deliberately rubbed my dirty fingers on other parts of my face to further mess up the look.  I used my usual black mascara straight onto my uncurled lashes - don't worry if you smudge it anywhere because the whole point is to look crap!

I used a black eyeshadow and just my fingers to contour my cheeks and to further hollow out my eyes (apply it to the inner bits where your nose and eyebrows meet to make your eyes look even deeper set).  I found my fingers worked a lot better than a brush with the cream base, because the brush just kind of deposited the powder eyeshadow and then couldn't blend out.  Once you've finished with your face makeup, apply a hell of a lot of translucent setting powder onto onto it with a big, fluffy brush.  I started out using this and then decided that talcum powder worked a lot better; you basically want to soak up the moisture in the cream makeup and this'll keep it in place for as long as possible.

If you don't want to put any lipstick on, make sure that you've blended your base over your lips, adding a bit more white and blue to make you look especially dead.  If you are using lipstick, then apply it but don't worry about being precise.  I used a dark colour and then immediately just smudged it out with tissue, so that it deposited some colour on the lips but also went all over my mouth and face as well.

Finally, I poured a little bit of fake blood out onto a tissue and then patted this on and around my mouth until I was happy with where all of the blood clots and smudges were sitting.  For more realistic fake blood, definitely opt for the proper, theatrical stuff.  It looks so much better than the cheap crap from party shops and £1 stores and it's not as expensive as you'd think!  The bonus of using a dark burgundy or berry lip earlier is that when you come to this step, it adds to the bloodied mouth effect underneath the wet fake blood.

If you're actually going out and not just fooling around at home like I am, I recommend also covering your hair in coconut oil for an authentic, greasy look!

And there you have it!  Unfortunately my camera and the awful, cloudy autumn lighting doesn't do justice to how genuinely dead this looks in real life, but hopefully you get the gist.  Happy scaring, don't eat too many brains.

All products used:
Neve Cosmetics Brightening BioPrimer
Ben Nye 6 Colour FX Wheel - Monster
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Medium Brown
GOSH Defining Brow Gel in Clear
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette (Crave only)**
Lily Lolo Eyeshadow Blending Brush
Inika Organic Eyeliner in Black Caviar
theBalm Schwing Liquid Liner
PHB Ethical Beauty Natural Mascara in Black
Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk
Superdrug Talcum Powder
Powder Brush (unbranded, possibly from Next?)
OCC RTW Lip Tar in Black Dahlia
Fake Blood (not sure what brand mine is but it's apparently arterial blood!)
*This brand is not cruelty free.
** This brand's parent company is not cruelty free.

Have you ever tried zombie makeup before?

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