Introduction: Zombie Makeup

About: I like to make stuff. I teach stagecraft to high school kids, and have won some awards for it. In my dream world, I will get to make wacky stuff all day and teach other people how to make wacky stuff. Teach…
Transform a victim into the walking dead.  Loads of fun for parties, photo shoots, or just hitting the drive thru.

Superawesomeamazing photos: Raphael Leib.

Kind and patient model: Gustavo Bimbela

Step 1: Materials and Supplies

Temptu Dura Palettes- Corpse, Trauma
Temptu Dura Liquid Kits- All Skin, Burn, Corpse
99% Alcohol
Setting powder appropriate for your model
Creme color in fire red and maroon

Airbrush (I used an Iwata Temptu SP-35)
Various brushes; I like taklon brushes for the alcohol and creme based makeups.
Q tips
Steel palette
Metal spatula

Prosaide (or equivalent; Johnson&Johnson Duo, etc.)
Fresh Liquid Latex
Old, congealed liquid latex (I save latex past it's prime just for stuff like this.)
1 ply toilet paper (NO TEXTURE!  MUST BE FLAT!)
SFX Gelatin (Gel FX or equivalent) in "skin" and "blood."
Ben Nye "Fresh Scab" 
Ben Nye "Clean Grease"
Ben Nye Tooth Color (I mixed "nicotine" and "black" to make a horrible brown.)

Step 2: Add Tear-away Flesh Spots

Apply rings of prosaide to model where you want "tear away flesh."  The open space in the center of the ring will be painted red later.

When prosaide is tacky (50% clear,) push toilet paper onto ring.

When prosaide is dry, tear excess paper towel from outside of ring.

tap on liquid latex to cover paper towel and blend edges.  Be careful so it doesn't ball up or get chunky.  My latex had started to "turn" due to expiration of shelf life; while not optimal, it can be worked around.

Step 3: Build "bite"

After warming gelatin, test on your wrist to make sure you don't accidentally burn your model.  HINT- If you can't hold the bottle in your hand comfortably, it will burn your your wrist!

When gelatin is safe to use, apply in a ring.  Keep the interior edge "hard," but blend the outer edge into the skin using a spatula.  This will create the appearance of the center having been removed.

Apply prosaide to the center of the ring.

Make "gore" from latex.  I like to use old liquid latex that has already "turned" for this.  You can make fresh latex chunky by stirring with a spatula, or by adding a very small amount of non-distilled water to accelerate the process.  The latex should separate into chunks and fluid, like rotten milk.  Blot off some of the liquid, or the chunks won't stick to the prosaide.

When prosaide is tacky, apply chunky latex as "gore" to simulate mangled muscle from a zombie bite.

Step 4: Powder the Appliances

Once the latex is dry and the gelatin is set, powder the latex tear-away flesh, the gelatin bite, and the latex gore with setting powder appropriate for your model.  Use lots of powder and a tapping motion so your brush doesn't stick to the appliance.  Brush off the excess.  

Use the spatula to slightly lift the interior edges of the bite, and apply powder to the underside with a flat brush.  This will cause the artificial flesh to lift away from the skin.  Pull of small bits to create a rough, chewed-up looking edge.  Powder well, brush off excess with a large fluff brush.

Step 5: Blend Edges

Use prosaide and bondo (thickened prosaide) to blend the edges of the tear away flesh.  Apply, wait until dry, and powder.  Repeat until edges are blended.

Step 6: Apply Undercoat to Tear-away Flesh

Use the Dura Palettes to apply an undercoat that matches the model's natural skin tone.  If your setting powder for the gelatin did not blend well enough with the model's skin tone, undercoat that too.  Activate the palette using 99% alcohol, and apply with a flat brush.  The color should be a thin stain, not an opaque paint.  The less color you use, the better it will look.

Step 7: Add Zombie Wash

Using an airbrush and dura liquid thinned with 99% alcohol, apply a thin, thin, thin wash of green.  This will neutralize the red tones of the skin, and create a dead-looking tone.  I used "vein," a green-blue, because my model has a golden skin tone.  For models with little yellow in their skin tone (such as pale caucasians,) use a more yellow-green tone.  

Keep your wash very thin.  Keep your airbrush far away, and keep it moving in a circular motion.  Be sure to do the neck and ears, and hands if visible.

Step 8: Add Shadows

Using Dura Liquid in Rigor Mortis thinned to a wash for 99% alcohol, apply shadows under jaw, in hallows under cheekbones, at temples, and in eye sockets.  Apply to lips for "dead" look.  Also apply to the neck to make the model look gaunt.

Step 9: Add Highlights

Highlight the area around the orbits of the skull, browbones, and neck  using an airbrush with Dura Liquid.  I used 001 Porcelain.

Step 10:

Using a small flat brush and bright red creme color, line the upper and lower lids and blended well.  I then added maroon very close to the last line to create depth.

Please note that most red products are not recommended for use around the eyes; check your brand. to be sure.

Step 11: Clean Eyebrows

Spray 99% alcohol on a rag and wipe excess makeup off the eyebrows.  Don't soak the rag, and don't wipe the skin.

Step 12: Open Tear-away Flesh

Pull on the tear-away flesh to create some ugly, festering, sores.  Make sure the edges are uneven, and that the sores hang open.

Step 13: Add Red Base Coat to Sores, Bite Wound

Paint the inside of the sores and the underside of the open skin with red from the dura palette.  Paint the entire interior of the neck wound and the underside of the lifted skin.

Step 14: Shadow Wounds

Use a dark red or purple to add depth to the wounds.  Focus on the interior edges where the fake skin meets the real skin, and the deep parts of the gore of the neck bite.

Step 15: Add Bruising

Stipple red and rigor mortis from the dura palettes to create bruising around the wounds.  Leave a "halo" of uncolored flesh to create a more 3-D effect.  Don't overdo it!  The less you add, the better it will look.

Step 16: Add a Torn, Blood Stained Shirt

I like to use the same colors from the dura palette to get a good match.  Make sure it doesn't look like kool-aid!  A little brown goes a long way.   

I also like to add some handprints.  Paint your hands red with dura, then spray with alcohol and grab.

Step 17: Add Zombie Rot to Teeth

I mixed Ben Nye tooth color on a palette and applied with a brush.  Work fast; it dries quick!  Also, be sure to dry the teeth thoroughly first.  Have the model bare their teeth while it dries.

Step 18: Pack Wounds With "fresh Scab."

Dispense "Fresh Scab" onto palette.  Pack into wounds, but leave high parts of neck gore exposed.  It will dry and be kind of crusty.

I also added some to the torn edges of the shirt.

Step 19: Add Drips of Gelatin Blood

Like the skin gelatin, the blood gelatin will cool to a hard, flexible surface.  Add drips and smear.  Make sure to test first so you don't burn your model!

The gelatin blood may be too "red;" I typically add a few drops of green food dye before I use it.

Step 20: Go Party!

Enjoy your wicked creation!

Step 21: