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6 Tips for Creating the Perfect Zombie

Thanks to shows like The Walking Dead and World War Z, zombies are hugely popular these days, particularly Halloween comes around. If you want to be a truly convincing walker, here are our top tips to perfect your look.

1. Clothing

Tearing and dirtying clothes is a great way to complete your zombie, but make sure the wear and tear is authentic. Don’t cut your clothes with scissors – rip them. Cuts will look too obvious and unrealistic. Also consider which areas would wear out first, such as around the neckline, cuffs and hems. Use sandpaper to make holes in clothes to suggest your zombie clothes have worn away over time, and use paints and polishes to stain clothing rather than using real dirt and mud which will dry out and fall off. Watch the video below to see how we distressed a medical gown to go with our hospital zombie prosthetic.

2. Blood

It’s tempting to cover your zombie in buckets of blood for extra gore factor, but don’t go too crazy. Think about where your zombie would have blood and why; has he been biting other people? If so put a little blood around the mouth. If your zombie has wounds, add blood but not too much – let your makeup show through. Try using different tones such as standard Special FX blood, Zombie Blood and blood coloured paint, and use spattering, dripping and hand prints for extra realism.

Ripped Face prosthetic
Use fake blood sparingly

3. Prosthetics

If you want to go full zombie, prosthetics are a must. We stock several zombie brows including a standard gelatine prosthetic, a One Eyed Zombie Brow with a withered eye socket and a reusable Silicone Zombie Brow. If you have smaller features and are worried that a full brow may be too large for you, try our Silicone Zombie Mini Kit which includes cheek bone and nose ridge appliances that can be placed to fit your face exactly. Zombie Mouth Prosthetics are a great addition for a comprehensive zombie makeup, just be sure to bring some drinking straws with you to the Halloween party to avoid loosening your appliances on your big night out! Watch the video below to see a complete application and painting guide.

4. Hair

If you’ve gone to all the trouble of wearing down clothes and applying prosthetics, don’t forget to dress your hair, and do not just back comb it with hairspray – you are trying to look like the undead, not an extra from a 1980s music video! Your hair should look lank and dirty, so use lots of hair gel (or hair conditioner) and add Fullers Earth (clay powder) to make it look like you’ve just clawed your way out of the ground. Coloured hair sprays are also available but choose carefully and don’t overdo it.

Silicone Zombie Prosthetic
Make sure your hair matches your look

5. Eyes

The only safe way to use contact lenses is to get high quality lenses from a supplier like 9mm who will ask you for dimensions to ensure that your lenses fit your eyes correctly. There have been a lot of horror stories in recent years from people who used cheap lenses for fancy dress parties and severely damaged their eyes.

Zombie Contact Lenses
9mm stock a range of superb zombie contact lenses

7. Teeth

It’s no use making your face look decayed if your teeth look perfect when you open your mouth. You can add black food dye to mouth wash to darken them down which looks great as it pools between your teeth and makes them look like they are rotting from the edges, but this effect will wear off over time. For a longer lasting solution, use tooth enamels and choose yellows and browns to make your teeth look putrid.

Watch our zombie makeup application video below for extra tips and techniques, and don’t forget to show us photos of your finished walker!

Got a makeup FX question or comment?

We love hearing from Nimba Creations customers, Cosplayers, Actors, Movie Makers and Makeup FX artists at every stage of their career. If you’ve got a question or comment about our products, Makeup FX or want to show off your latest creation you can contact us via our Facebook Page.

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