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GO GORY OR GO HOME: Zombie Makeup Tutorial

BY CAMERON DEVILLE | PHOTOS BY BRIAN KAISER

You aren’t messing around if you choose to tackle this look. You’re a full-on zombie. Hardcore Halloween fans will thrive with this level of spook. This look requires a lot of SFX makeup, which is harder to find than regular makeup, especially if you’re getting the good stuff. If you get a little messy, you’re probably fine. Add some more fake blood and call it a day.

Some Pro-Tips

  1. Use a pale foundation and mix a greyish eyeshadow into it for a death-like pallor for your skin.
  2. Under eye circles bring out the “I haven’t slept in years” look. Use purple, pink, and grey eyeshadow for this.
  3. Liquid latex, fake blood, eyeshadow, and a bit of tissue (or toilet paper) are the ingredients for the carved-out eyebrow. Make a circle around your eye with liquid latex. Cover any hair or sensitive areas with Vaseline beforehand, so that the latex doesn’t rip out your eyebrows. Place the tissue-wad over the eye, pressing to make sure that it is stuck to the latex. Once it is secure, peel it a bit so that the “skin” looks like it’s flaking.
  4. Add some black and red eyeshadow to any areas that need coloring. Charcoal powder and fake blood can be used at this step as well. Just make sure that you’re using materials that are safe around your eyes and mouth.
  5. For the skin patch, use the same technique of laying the patch onto the latex. Tear some small holes in the patch and color the holes in with blood and eyeshadow to imitate a skin infection.

BEHIND THE SCREAMS: Being a student scarer

Hannah Portmann is a fourth-year student at Ohio State majoring
in speech and hearing sciences. Sometimes though, Hannah is also a zombie. She worked at Trapped Columbus her sophomore and junior year, scaring lots of happy customers. I talked with Hannah about her experience on the other side of the scare to understand a bit more about SFX makeup and haunting the general public.

What is the best part of being a scarer?

I’ve always loved the moment where you finally break character and see the shock in the audience’s eyes. It’s like, “Wait. You’re a person?”

What is the hardest step in your SFX makeup routine?
It’s just like regular makeup in that if something goes wrong, it can be hard to fix, especially if you’re on a deadline. That’s where fake blood becomes your best friend.

What has been your favorite scarer experience?
I was in the room, getting ready to be chained to the wall as a zombie, and my manager comes in. She tells me, “This guy about to come into your room thinks that you won’t be able to scare him because you’re a girl zombie. He’s the guy in the blue hat. Get him.” I had him screaming the whole time.

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Cam Deville

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