Tips from the Walking Dead Makeup Artists

If you plan on coming to the event on Friday, we put together a list of tips from The Walking Dead make up artists about zombie makeup. Using these tips, you can make yourself and your friends look like the zombies on The Walking Dead. Well, you can at least attempt to, the zombies on The Walking Dead are done by professionals and they spend hours doing that makeup.

These tips below come from AMC’s The Walking Dead’s special effects artist Greg Nicotero. Nicotero began his career working in actually working in Pittsburgh learning the trade of special effects from the legendary Tom Savini. Nicotero was working on the 1985 Romero film Day of the Dead, where he met Howard Berger who would later become one of his partners at KNB EFX Group.

The Walking Dead Shopping List:

Liquid Latex, Uncooked Oatmeal, Gelatin, Liquid Food Coloring, Black Cosmetic Sponge, Facial Tissue, Hair Dryer, Face Powder, Pale Base Make up/ Foundation, Mineral Oil, Dark Powder / Eye Shadow (Green, Dark Grey, or Black), Corn Syrup, Tongue Depressor or Popsicle Stick, Make Up Sponge, and an Inexpensive Paint Brush.

Tip 1: Hair Prep

Gather your supplies and make sure the area is protected from splatter. “Zombify” hair with lots of conditioner

Tip 2: Texture Skin

Apply liquid latex to stretch and stipple the skin, dry with a handheld hair dryer and apply powder.

Tip 3: Create Rough And Rotting Skin

Create the look of rotted skin by applying uncooked oatmeal (instant or regular) over a layer of liquid latex. Smooth edges with a tongue depressor. Apply face powder and dry with a handheld hair dryer.

Tip 4: Create Flesh Wounds

Mix one pack of gelatin with 1/3 cup of water (or a bit less), let it firm then cut into cubes. You need to liquify the cubes by placing it in the microwave for intervals of :10 only. It’s critical that the cubes do not boil! If they do, start with a new pack of gelatin. Add liquid food coloring or light liquid make-up and apply the mixture to the boney areas of the face. The gelatin will turn into the consistency of rubber which allows you to work the material in as it sets with the tongue depressor. Pull at the gelatin to create the rough edges of wounds. Use a black sponge around the edges for more texture.

Tip 5: Create Torn Flesh

Paint a layer of liquid latex on the area you wish to infect and press a small ragged edged piece of facial tissue on top. Add more liquid latex over the tissue and wrinkle the edges up to create the look of eaten flesh. Blow it dry with a hand dryer but be very careful not to melt the gelatin.

Tip 6: Create the Look of Pale, Dead Skin

As there are lots of layers of different materials used, you need to tie everything together by applying liquid latex over the entire face avoiding the areas with open wounds. Once the latex dries, apply face powder. Then to add color, mix a pale base foundation with a little mineral oil and apply over face with a sponge.

Tip 7: Create Depth with Color

Bring out the boney structure by applying dark powder or eye shadow in hollowed out areas of the face. Use green eye shadow/ powder around wounds to give the skin a sickly cast.

Tip 8: Blood

Mix corn syrup and red food coloring to create blood (which can also be purchased at a Halloween specialty shop). Use an inexpensive paint brush to splatter blood for a realistic look. Blow dry.

Any questions about the event? Hit me up!