Walking Dead Style Zombie Make-up Tutorial How To




About: Simon Brodie is an Artist, a SFX gore wizard and a maker of wonderful things all rolled up in one easy to manage borderline homicidal maniac package. The back garden of his house has become known as 'Si's P...

Hi there!

I have recently had a number of requests on my 81zombie facebook page to upload my Walking Dead Style Zombie make-up tutorials on Instructables soooo here it is!

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Step 1: Step 1/ Eyes and Hair

My glamorous assistant Sallie is wearing the traditional white zombie contact lenses which can be bought from any reputable fancy dress shop. Be very careful when using coloured lenses, your eyes are very sensitive and not worth damaging just for a fancy dress party. Here is a very good YouTube video that will show you exactly how to put them in and keep them clean so you don't poke your eyes out or go blind!

To give Sallie that "I've been dead for a week so my hairs a bit greasy" look we just put loads of conditioner in her hair.

Step 2: Step 2/ Appliances

To get that Walking Dead style zombie sunken eyes look we applied some gelatin cheek bones and nose ridge and a couple of bite wounds with prosthetic adhesive, blended the edges out with witch hazel and then sealed everything with a sponged over layer of liquid latex (see how to do this in next steps).

All of the appliances and materials used in this guide can be purchased from my eBay shop. Here is the direct link to all of my SFX supplies https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/annbrodi9/SFX-Supplies/_i.html?_storecat=24818667010

Step 3: Step 2.1/ Preparing the Appliances

Carefully place the appliance on the area where you want it so you can see the rough size.

If you are applying them to yourself and you want a neck or face bite I've found it's a lot easier if you colour the bite first before you stick it on your skin (just skip ahead to Step 2.7/ Painting the appliance then come back when your done)...

Step 4: Step 2.2/ Prosthetic Adhesive

Whatever you are using as an adhesive if you haven't used it on your skin before you need to do a small patch test on the inside of your arm ideally 24hrs before applying the full kit to make sure you are not allergic.

To apply the prosthetics start by sponging Pro-Aide over the area you want the appliance to be and some on the back of the appliance and let it dry.

Step 5: Step 2.3/ Stick It On

Carefully stick the appliance into place making sure none of the edges fold over when you doing so.

Step 6: Step 2.4/ Smooth Down the Edges

Smooth down the edges and then leave it to dry for a few minutes until it goes clear.

You can use a hair dryer to speed this up just be careful not to melt the gelatin.

Step 7: Step 2.5/ Blender

Dip a baby bud in the blender and (working outwards) gently go around the edges of the gelatin appliance blending them into the surrounding skin. Heating up the blender slightly by placing the bottle in a cup of hot water (not boiling obviously) will make it work better.

You may find the edges go white at this point. Just leave it to dry for a few minutes until they go clear again.

Step 8: Step 2.6/ Seal

Seal over everything by sponging over another layer of Pros-Aide.

Step 9: Step 2.7/ Painting the Appliance

Use the best foundation make-up for your skin type to blend the appliance into your skin and paint the inside of the bite with red make-up and a little black to give it some depth.

After it's dry if you want to get rid of any shine just dust over it with a little baby powder or talc.

Step 10: Step 2.8/ Fake Blood

If you are doing the full Walking Dead style Zombie make-up hold off on the blood until the end, if not then it's time to get gory!

Add a generous amount of fake blood to the inside of the "wound" and smear it around and using a stipple sponge, scrunched up paper towel or just your fingers until it's good and gory.

FYI The fake blood I supply in my eBay shop is mouth and is almost too realistic! It runs and smears just like the real thing and will fool even the most hardened horror fans! It's made from the best quality food grade ingredients so it is safe to use in and around the mouth area (we advise against just drinking it though).
It comes in powder form and will need to be mixed up before using. Just add water and give the bottle a good shake for a minute or two. Leave it to thicken up for 10 to 15 mins and it's ready to use.

Step 11: Step 3/ Make-up

You can use any make up or face paints but for the best results we recommend using a good grease paint kit.
I started with a creamy white base colour, brown shading in the eye sockets and then gave her skin that purple mottled look using a thin brush with a small amount of make-up on it making squiggly lines all over the face.

Although it's not shown (cos we forgot to photograph it) we covered Sallies eyebrows with Pros-Aide and tissue paper before we applied the make-up (the tissue paper isn't really necessary though to be honest). If you're going to do this make sure you have some ProClean Adhesive Remover or it will be difficult to get off again.

Step 12: Step 4/ Stippling

With a cut down brush we flicked layers of watered down white, grey and brown make-up over the whole face to give the skin a bit more depth (I call this technique flick painting).

Step 13: Step 5/ Details

We then went in with more brown and purple around the hair line, eyes, nose and lips. Try not to over do it though, you're going for more of a bruised look.

Step 14: Sep 6/ Gore

After colouring the bites with red and black make-up we added a little fake blood and stippled that around the surrounding skin with a stipple sponge.

Step 15: Step 7/ Finishing Touches

Spray over with makeup fixing spray to fix the make-up in place, add little more blood here and there if you like and some Vaseline on the lips and raised parts of the face to highlight them and your ready to go get yourself a "bite to eat"!

If you want a more dead looking mouth mix up some dark brown food colouring and swill it round your mouth for a minute or two. Sallie opted out of that bit so her mouth is not as stained as I would have liked :-(

...when you've finished all your zombie fun you can remove the appliances with ProClean Make up and Adhesive Remover ideally but olive oil on baby buds works to.

The fake blood may stain your skin initially but it always washes off after a hot shower...or two.

I hope you found this guide useful, feel free to reach out to me on my facebook page if you have any questions.

If you'd like to order any of the bit and pieces I used in this guide here's the link to my shop (again)... https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/annbrodi9/SFX-Supplies/_i.html?_storecat=24818667010

Make sure you get your orders in before Halloween to avoid disappointment.

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34 Discussions


3 years ago

Wow what a fabulous scary face! Hope I sleep tonight!


3 years ago

Nice write up. I've used many similar techniques in doing zombie makeup and you definitely got the techniques down. I even learned something new... covering over the eyebrows with vaseline before applying the latex over them. It's make removing my next alter ego much easier!


3 years ago

Did you bite the shape? or you did something to do it

1 reply

3 years ago

I'm making a short film and a lot of the younger kids didn't like latex so I melt Vaseline add foundation and voila I have cheap amazing "latex" and it works just the same.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

Vaseline, cornstarch, and a bit of cocoa powder works well too.

Can someone recommend an economical make up kit? I am working on a short film and this is great, but I have no idea where to get a make up kit to go with it...


5 years ago on Step 13

Love this instructable. Is there something you can use instead of the latex to make the appliances and to glue them on?

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Hey Lizziefrog, you could use Pros-Aide. It's a skin adhesive (medical grade) that I tend to use when applying prosthetics. It's expensive, but a jar keeps for a good long while if you're careful to recap the jar nice and tight. Google it or go to www.pros-aide.com/‎

- BigBadVoodooMama (Wife of Gaz)


5 years ago on Introduction

attention all zombeeites out there on instructables, this is the best make up instruct i have seen on this site. if anyone wants to make one of these instruct follow his style. great job.


5 years ago

Ho Hey! I am dressing up as zombie surgeon and instead of buying all the stuff separately I was wondering if you have a pack?


6 years ago on Introduction



6 years ago on Introduction

Wow...! This make-up is amazing and I am definitely going to try it out! I have a quick question though. I am from the states but living in Germany and I have NO idea where to find contacts for Halloween this year. Do you have any suggestions of a good (and relatively cheap) place on the internet or otherwise?

Thanks a bunch! I look forward to creating some zombies.

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

If you need any cheek bone appliances I still have some available from my eBay shop -> http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/81zombie

As for cheap coloured contact lenses, Amazon seems to be the best place to go otherwise just google 'white contact lenses' and you'll find what you need ;-)


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Hello again,

I realize I am doing this incredibly last minute however, do you by chance still have any of the full kits (as shown above) with cheek bones appliances, bites, blood and stuff? I saw them on ebay and etsy last week but now I am unsure. If so, I will order immediately! :)

Thanks again,


6 years ago on Step 13

This is amazing, after taking a theatrical makeup class I now have a huge interest and respect for the time/effort put in to well done zombie makeup. Or any makeup for that matter! Love your work!

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago on Step 13

Thank you very much! You can see more of my stuff on my facebook page -> https://www.facebook.com/81zombieart


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Thanks dude! The best advise I can give you is practice a couple of times before the big day ;-)