Zombie makeup how-to: A primer to looking undead at Zombie Pub Crawl

The Zombie Pub Crawl is fast approaching. For those of you who want to become undead for the occasion, the following includes quick and easy instructions for gruesome zombie attack wounds that will last all night.

If you're having trouble generating an idea for the kind of wound you want, just try thinking about how a zombie might have attacked you. Did it come at you flailing its arms and pierce your neck with its fingernails? Did one gnash its rotten teeth into your torso? Imagine the motivation of your zombie attacker, and you will come up with a great idea for a wound.

Once you have your demise in mind, you can begin planning your makeup. Below are instructions for a wound. Feel free to copy the one in the photo or you can customize your point of trauma using the basic steps below. For example, you could make a gash instead. Instructions can also be found in my video how-to.

What you need
• Cotton balls
• Q-tips
• Spirit Gum
• Liquid Latex
• Makeup sponge
• Cream makeup colors: White (for bone effect and face), red, dark red, black (optional)
• Blue makeup pencil, optional
• Fake blood (for lots of fake blood, it may be more cost effective to make your own.)
• Setting powder, or baby powder
• Clothes you don't mind getting stained with fake blood
Stipple sponge

Step 1: Build up the area that you would like chewed or decayed away. In short, this is a circle of twisted cotton glued to the face with spirit gum. (Note: the fake blood in this photo is the result of a previous makeup. Yours should not have fake blood yet.) To do this, unroll however many cotton balls you think you'll need. The wound in this photo took about two. Unroll the cotton balls so that they are long strips. Twist the strips of cotton. Once your cotton is prepared, start tracing out your wound shape on your face with spirit gum. I find it best to use a Q-tip for this step. Apply your cotton as you go. You may need to dab the cotton on your spirit gum outline until it becomes tacky enough for the cotton to stick properly. Once your outline of cotton is secure to your face, you can begin the next step.

Step 2: Cover the cotton with liquid latex. Be sure the spirit gum is thoroughly dry before covering the cotton with liquid latex. Apply the liquid latex with part of your makeup sponge or use another Q-tip, covering the cotton in a not-too-thick layer and onto your skin just a little bit past your cotton outline. To speed up the drying process you can use the cool setting on your hair dryer. Note: You can color the liquid latex any color that you want with acrylic paint before applying it to your skin. Depending on how gruesome you want your wound to be, your latex will probably be covered in red makeup/blood anyway. In these photos I did not add color to the latex.

Step 3: Apply makeup to rest of your face. When the latex is dry, apply your makeup to the rest of your face. For a sickly look, apply a lighter color to your face and a darker color around your eyes, in the hollows of your cheeks, temples, around your eyes. Remember to put makeup on your lips, too. One of my favorite tricks is to use a blue makeup pencil to lightly draw in veins.

Step 4: Color in your wound. If you want it to look like bone is exposed, color the inside of the wound bright white. Use your fingers to feel where the bone is located; this is a good gauge of how much white to leave showing for step 5. To give your wound more depth, apply darker cream makeup inside the wound, very close to the built up cotton. Use darker makeup closest to the cotton and lighter makeup farther out from the wound to make it look irritated. Use a light hand, you can always apply more makeup, but it's harder to wipe excess away.

Step 5: Stipple to disguise the seam of your makeup. Using the same red colors, dot your stipple sponge on and around your wound to help blend away the line between your real skin and the liquid latex. This will also help your wound look more gruesome. Again, use a light hand at first. In addition to using it immediately around your wound, it is a great effect to use very sparingly over your entire face. If you have other colors of cream makeup, such as green or yellow, that would look great, too. Once you are satisfied with how your makeup looks, set it by brushing powder over your face.

Step 6: Blood! Use your stipple sponge or Q-tip to apply blood around your wound. In the above photo, I literally tipped a bucket full of fake blood onto the wound and let it drip down. If you do this, remember to stand in the bathtub or on a garbage bag. Fake blood is extremely sticky and will stain your clothing.

Step 7: Practice moaning for brains!

The Zombie Pub Crawl is Saturday, October 9 from 4 p.m. until the bars close. For more information, check out our previous posts on Zombie Pub Crawl, including info on where to buy tickets and scheduled music performances.

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