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Horror Makeup Tutorials and Tips

Updated on November 1, 2014

Horror Makeup

There's probably nothing more fun at a Halloween or costume party to come dressed and made up like vampire, zombie, werewolf, bloodstained victim, or some other horror figure.

No matter how many times you see a cool horror costume and makeup, it's always a lot of fun to take in the unique look of the one wearing it.

And if there is a little acting ability, they can display a zombie shuffle, or some other characteristic attributed to the specific horror theme that is being portrayed.

Rather than attempt to recreate a known horror character, this article will look at a more generic horror look that anyone can implement without concern about having to have it look realistic concerning a specific pop culture horror individual.

That way the focus can be on a cool look. It also offers more creativity where there can be more experimentation with the desired horror design elements.

Horror Makeup Designs

Part of the horror focus we'll explore here is in regard to the face, especially some of the textures and colors, which produces that scary and ominous look that delights everyone.

That is expressed via pasty white foundation, blotches, red for blood, and pale or off-color skin.

The key with successful horror makeup is to get an idea of what you want before you start applying it. That will determine your choice of materials and how and where to begin.

Let's look at some examples of how some people chose to make themselves up as a monster.

Scary Horror Makeup

My favorite part of this horror look is the wrinkle lines of the skin and the way the eyebrows appear to be almost pulled up, creating a three-dimensional effect.

The mouth was also done great, creating the appearance that part of it is missing. That is also an effect that is scattered about the face.

Flesh that appears to be peeling off the face is a terrific way to design a scary appearance, adding a nice "gross" factor to the scary look.


Olive-Skinned Stranger

This character was originally created to be part of an indie horror film that never was completed.

What was compelling about the look to me is the olive skin of what was to be known as the "stranger."

The darker olive shadow around the eyes, the protruding veins, and the strange gray veins under the missing flesh makes a pretty cool horror figure.


Gory Woman's Face

This was a good job of creating the illusion of hanging flesh off the side of the face. The protrusion off of the face is one of skin falling down the side because of it being dead, with nothing to hold it in place.

There is also a similar, but smaller effect on the forehead, where it looks like the skin is peeling away.

When looking at it it sure gives a gruesome picture, one that is sure to catch someone off guard when they may turn suddenly to see this image staring them in the face.


Horror Makeup Video Tutorial

Below there are four horror video makeup tutorials, each one displaying a completely different look to try if you like one of them.

These include one that shows how to create the appearance of a burned face; another with facial lacerations from a knife; a mutated zombie; and a werewolf.

All of them look great, but my favorite, or the one that grosses me out the worst, is the facial laceration one. If you've ever seen laceration makeup before, you know how realistic it can look, and can startle you when you first see it because of that.

But whatever your preference, there's something for everyone to generate some ideas on how to use makeup to create an awesome Halloween mask.

Face Burns Horror Makeup Tutorial

Halloween Facial Laceration Knife Attack Victim Makeup Tutorial

Werewolf SFX Makeup Tutorial

Horror Makeup with Blotches

This is a wonderful, blotchy horror face, giving the appearance of dying skin. Using the olive green and white combination really works well in creating the terrifying face, even adding a touch of craziness to the eyes.

Combining that and that awesome, horrific mouth makes this a fantastic horror mask to be made up for a scary or Halloween party theme.


Horror Makeup Mask with Slice in Forehead

Even though this horror makeup mask looks extremely simple at first glance, it actually is much more detailed than if appears if you look closely.

The blending of colors makes for a good skin color foundation to work from, and those lines around the mouth add a nice touch that adds an ominous feel to the face.

Blacking the eyes and working it down the front of the face also increases the horror factor.

But that deep cut across the forehead is what attracted me to this makeup job, as it really looks like someone slashed him deep in the head with no visible effect on him. Now that's a scary thought.

Oh yes, did you notice the ear lobe and how it seems to have been torn up by something or someone?

While not overly complicated, this is a fantastic horror mask that could be put together fairly easily and quickly.


Horror Makeup

Creating a horror mask using makeup is a really fun and rewarding endeavor for Halloween and other costume parties. It is virtually limitless in the variety of options available, and for creative types, there are tons of additional tools that can be used to create the facial mask being looked for.

To me this can be even more enjoyable than making recognizable villains, because concentration can be on the creativity and the end result, without having to be concerned with changing it over and over again so people know who it is you're portraying, as mentioned earlier.

But either way, horror makeup masks can be extraordinary, and almost anyone can make one that is rewarding and compelling to themselves, and those attending the party.


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