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Halloween is approaching and The Walking Dead returns on October 13th. Want to celebrate? Paint yourself to look like a zombie!

Don’t freak out. It is actually a more simple process than you may think. First, you’ll want to create the base. Prepare your skin by cleaning and moisturizing. (You’ve heard that before, right?)

Use a foundation that is either three shades lighter than your natural skin or you can use a white make-up. This will help give you that cold, dead look. Do not apply the foundation evenly. If you put your foundation on too thick or even, you’ll look like a vampire or–worse–a clown. Use either a natural sea sponge or a cheap make-up sponge that you’ve picked pieces out of to create a destroyed surface by dabbing the make-up around your face. The look you’re going for is mottled or blotchy.

Don’t forget to apply the same foundation to your lips! Pink or red lips are signs of blood flow to soft tissues and any good zombie certainly shouldn’t have any signs of life. Don’t stop at your face! If your ears, neck, or hands will be showing, give them the same make-up treatment that you’re giving your face. You should pretty much cover everywhere the sun does shine.  ;)

Using a purple or light blue eyeliner pencil, draw on some veins around your eyes and have a few stretch to your cheeks and up onto your forehead. If the veins are a little too apparent (or dark), reapply a layer of foundation on top of the veins to wash them out a bit. The more you add, the older you look as a zombie. Fresh zombies don’t get a ton of veins because their tissues are still transforming from “living” to “dead”.

Next, you’ll want to give yourself a gaunt look, by shading the hollows of your cheeks, your eye sockets, your temples, and under your chin. Use a black matte powder and a large dome blending brush to create this look. If your collarbones will be showing, make them pop by shading the edges of the bone, a little above and heavily below. This is the same technique that Kim Kardashian uses to look thinner. <–I’m not kidding.

Did you make it this far? Great. You’re ready for that classic green hue that is the hallmark to most zombies! Using a variety of green shades, from kelly green to a vibrant lime, will add to the depth of your look. Don’t fret, you don’t NEED to use more than one. One will still work to turn your pretty face into a shambling corpse. Using another soft dome brush, apply the matte green powder. Concentrate the color to the outside of your face and around your mouth, including on your lips. Just like your foundation, the application should not be even. Have areas that are more green than others. Think the opposite of the Wicked Witch.

Now you’re ready to add details! Namely: Blood. Zombies shamble from meal to meal leaving every trace of their latest feeding on their faces and hands. Use a splatter effect to apply fake blood around your mouth. Want it to look even more real? Dip a large sponge in fake blood and take a “bite” into the sponge. Where it was heavy, let it drip. Have the blood drip down onto your chest. Do not smear the blood, zombies don’t care about wiping. Filthy beasts. *sigh*

You can go above and beyond the call of zombie duty by toping off your look with white contacts, stringy dirty hair, dirty looking nails, and torn bloody clothes. Try to keep talking to a minimum. At this point, you should only be grunting and dragging your dead limbs around the room.

…If all of this sounds too complicated, come to the Zombie Zombie Zombie booth at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle this August 30-September 2 where we will have professional make-up artists on site to zombify people. (Did we mention that we are doing that for FREE!?) Mmm… brains!


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