Make Up For Zombies

We at For Zombies don’t let anything stop us, least of all common sense.  No experience – we’ll muddle our way through it.  And we’ve been muddling our way through make up as evidenced by the photo of ourselves in the banner above.  With some guidance from a friend of ours who had done make up for seasonal haunted houses, we applied cotton balls, latex and grease paint with no artistic still whatsoever.

And that was fine for our YouTube videos, but when we wanted to shoot Zombie Casserole, we knew we needed some help.  Fortunately, Derek and Alicia generously volunteered their time and skills and zombified a horde for our shoots.  That worked wonderfully for our weekend filming.

Sanj, before I zombified him.

Sanj during zombification.

Zombie Sanj!

Sanj and I do have occasional cause to shoot our Dear Zombies segments that feature just ourselves and we recognize that we need to improve our make-up skills.  So, we enrolled in a one-day class hosted at FX Warehouse in Fishtown.   The Poor Man’s Zombie Workshop was taught by Josh Counsel, a make-up artist with plenty of experience in the field.  He owns Toxic Image Make Up Studios out in Utah.

There are a number of nuggets we picked up that will improve our zombie making skills:

  • Use tissue paper in addition to or instead of cotton balls.  A single ply of tissue gives your skin a crackled look.
  • Use Rice Crispies, Corn Flakes or oat meal to give the skin a distressed look.
  • Stipple and dab with the brush.  Don’t make long brush strokes.  My girlfriend later pointed out that’s how women apply make-up.  Apparently, I have a gross lack of experience in this area.
  • Do not use water to thin fake blood.   That tends to stain clothing when the food coloring is introduced.  Use vodka or some other alcohol base instead.

John with a slight cereal skin condition.

John becoming a zombie.

Burn victim zombie!

Both Sanj and are better prepared to zombify ourselves and others at our next filming event.  A little learning goes a long way.  We haven’t given away all of the secrets.  A zombie has to keep a few for himself.

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