Simple yet Spooky SFX Make-up for Halloween

Simple yet Spooky SFX Make-up for Halloween

October the 31st is slowly but surely drawing nearer and nearer. We tell ourselves, “It’s at the end of the month, I have weeks to sort out something to wear!” until all of a sudden, it’s the day before Halloween, you have 3 different parties to trek around and literally NOTHING spooky to wear. With the punishment of showing up without a costume looming over your head, you apologise to your liver for its own Halloween nightmare it will surely face at each venue. But fear not! Here is how to do some super simple injuries that are cheap to do and most importantly incredibly vague (Just wear normal going out clothes and be “dead cute”! Or just wear jeans and be a zombie! The options are endless!). And hey, I’m no make-up artist, but while these cuts are definitely not the most realistic thing you’ll ever see, if I can get them to look some-what presentable (on the second attempt) then anyone can!

So, here’s what you’ll need to make it look like parts of your face/body have been torn off:

-Liquid Latex; in every party shop ever, or a cheaper option is the £3 one in the Revolution SFX range which can be found in Superdrug.

-Fake Blood; same as with the liquid latex, with the Revolution option being only £2!

-Tissues and cotton pads

-Your foundation and setting powder

-A sponge/beauty blender and brushes that you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause of Halloween Makeup. (There are also some options that work really well with the liquid latex in party shops that I have personally found to be worth buying)

-Something to burst through the latex to create the cut – I’ve been using a nail file with a pointed end, but anything similar should do the trick

-Red, black, green, purple, and brown matte eyeshadows (and yellow if you happen to have one – not necessary but I really like it)

Optional items:

I treated myself to quite a few things from the Revolution SFX range (I mean it was 3 for 2 I couldn’t help myself!) I personally think they are great quality, especially for being so affordable. For the required eyeshadows mentioned above, I recommend the “Beautiful Darkness” palette for £6 as it contains the perfect dark shades for creepy make-up.

Also, the “SFX Paint Palette” is the same price and fulfils the role of the eyeshadow in a bolder and more controlled way. If you are willing to grab one for yourself, I’ve found it to be worth it, even if it isn’t as useful in everyday life like the eyeshadow.

The “White Base” really helps to give you a strong starting point to help you look dead/undead. It comes in liquid, or powder form for £3. I used the powder last year and found it very useful for blending and correcting mistakes, however the liquid gives a very ghostly foundation to work on and I was pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness.

Our final optional item is a younger sibling to experiment on, especially if you are writing an article on how to create these horrifying effects so that you can take photos of each step much more easily! (Plus, as much as I hate to admit it she is much prettier than I am, so you’re welcome in advance for having a much nicer face to look at!)

The first step is to complete the base to work on top of. This might be your normal make up, or it might be what you normally wear to go out. For this article, however, I did my sister’s face with heavy contouring to make it appear gaunter, on top of both her normal foundation and then the liquid white base to make her complexion as pale as possible. Following from this, I drew on some veins with green eyeshadow, putting setting powder on top to make them look as if they were showing up from under her skin. Then I went in with purple and brown to give her some heavy bags under her eyes. I added a bruise on her cheek using darker colours like brown and purple and blending them out into green and then yellow.

After this the real fun can begin. Apply liquid latex on the area you want to create a cut. Then taking a tissue, pull it apart so you have the thinnest ply possible. Rip off a piece in the size of your desired cut, and place it on top of the latex. Paint another layer of latex on top of that and repeat this process a couple of times so that you have enough tissue and latex to rip through.

For these first two, I used the Revolution latex which was quite runny but still got the job done.

Once dry, apply your foundation and powder on top and tear away any scraggy outer edges of tissue. Then taking your pointy object (PLEASE DO NOT USE ANYTHING SHARP, ESPECIALLY NOT SCISSORS SO THAT YOU DO NOT RISK ACTUALLY CUTTING YOUR OWN SKIN), rip a line along the latex to create the cut, making sure to leave latex as your fake skin around the entire thing. I then used the black SFX paint - but eyeshadow would also work - to paint around the inner edge of the cut to create some depth, before covering the whole area with the red paint – once again something that could also be done with eyeshadow.

Then, taking more red followed by purple, I created bruising and swelling around the outside of the cut, helping to disguise the edges of the tissue. Depending on how subtle you have managed to make your edges this is something you can easily skip if you find it to be too over the top for you.

After this is the messiest part - adding fake blood. I used more expensive fake blood from the brand Snazaroo on my sister as it doesn’t carry the risk of staining the skin. The Revolution one does stain quite badly, however it is much darker and does look more realistic. I personally am going to save it until Halloween when I won’t be the only person to have accidentally dyed my skin from the night before!

Be careful not to paint the blood on as it will go streaky, just dab it gently. You can also use the brush to help lift some of it so that it begins to drip over the edge of the “skin”.

For the next two, I used liquid latex I found in a fancy dress shop which was much easier to use and allowed me to have a more realistic edge. I did one more cut using the same method as above and another using cotton wool which I find simpler to do as it leaves a less harsh line to try and work with to make it blend with your actual skin. This method creates more of a hole-shaped wound than a cut. It begins the same by applying latex, but instead of splitting a tissue, you split a cotton pad. Taking some of the fluff, tear it into small strips to place around the edges of what will be the wound.

Apply more latex over the top of the cotton and wait for it to dry to put foundation and powder on top. Then follow the same steps as before, applying black around the inside edge for depth and then fully covering it with red. Add purple, brown, and red to create a bruised and infected look before going in with the fake blood.

A couple of extra things to be aware of:

- When using the tissue paper make sure not to use a part with the imprinted pattern on the border as this will show up and make it harder to disguise the paper as skin.

- If you have used white base on your face, when applying foundation onto the latex also use some white base so that you can blend it to look like part of the skin around it.

- Most things can be covered by the bruising/swelling effect and especially the fake blood so don’t stress too much if it looks a little weird or you aren’t happy with it initially! Also if you are going out the lighting in bars or the darkness in clubs will help to soften the look and make any edges less obvious so don’t fret too much and just have fun!

So, here’s the final look on my wee sister! It was great fun to do and only took about an hour or so to actually complete.

A big thank you to Erin for letting me experiment on her and good luck if you are going to give this a go! I hope it works well for you and that you have a perfectly amazing spooky Halloween free from party-pooper punishments!

P.S here’s freshers me last year as Dead Snow White. It looks nowhere near as gory as the stuff I did on my sister but still, it provides a little bit of evidence that it’ll look sort of ok once you get to the club 😉

All photos are Emily’s own