Best Halloween Makeup Tips and Tricks

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Halloween Makeup Tips and Tricks

Girl (4-5) with painted face
victorjori / Getty Images

After face painting for nearly ten years at music festivals, I have created more Darth Mauls and Spidermans than I care to count. Working with organized zombie walks and convention panels, I have also made a fair few realistic injuries. From butterflies to 'braaaaains', the quality and type of makeup you use can make or break a costume.

Here are my picks for specific makeup jobs:

  • Best Face Paint for Kids and Adults
  • Sexy Halloween Makeup for Women
  • Apply Realistic Wounds and Scars
  • Fake Skin and Wound Pieces
  • Rain's Fake Blood Recipes
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Liquid Latex for Wounds and Scars

Fake Puncture Wound using liquid latex by Rain Blanken
Fake Puncture Wound using liquid latex by Rain Blanken. Rain Blanken

I use Mehron liquid latex for all of my wound work. This liquid latex dries fairly quickly with the aid of a hair dryer (alternate hot/cold air), and builds up nicely between applications. I can create raised areas, like bullet holes, as well as the illusion of chunks of missing skin.

Select a wound below to see it and learn how to make it:

Additional easy effects:

Tip: My number one tip when is to make sure that the latex has dried before you try to apply any more latex or makeup on top of it. Patience with a hair dryer is key, or you may just end up with a gooey, messy blob. Try ripping apart a dried dot of latex for a really gross open wound.

Liquid latex is a must-have in your zombie makeup box. It's easy to apply and can get you is disgustingly realistic results.

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How to Apply Sexy Costume Makeup

Makeup for the Ladies
Makeup for the Ladies. Rain Blanken

"Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I'm just a girl who wishes for the world."

Oh Marilyn, aren't we all? Whether you are dressing up as a 50's goddess like Marilyn Monroe, or just a fairy with some flash, you'll need a bit of lipstick to seal the deal. Here are some great ways to dress up your face to perfect the illusion:

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Best Face Paint for Kids and Adults

Tiger Face Painting
Tiger Face Painting. Rain Blanken

I like to use Snazaroo face paints for just about all of my makeup work. It is great for everything from tiger faces on kids to yellow-blue bruising on zombie arms.

This is a cake paint, meaning it sits in a pot and it slightly hard until a moist sponge is applied. The dry nature of the paint means that you can make it last a long time, and apply as thin or thick as you like.

This paint is more of a makeup, wearing just like a soft foundation. It is light, lets your skin breathe, and wipes off with a bit of water. The downside is that Snazaroo paints will sweat off after a long day.

To keep the makeup from wearing away, you can get a setting powder, which will help to ward off sweat and accidental touches to the face. One money-saving trick is to use cornstarch instead of setting powder.

Face Painting Tutorials for Kids:

  • Skull Face Paint Tutorial
  • Tiger Face Paint Tutorial
  • Kitty Cat Face Paint Tutorial
  • Spider Man Face Paint Tutorial
  • Witch Face Paint Tutorial
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Fake Skin and Wound Pieces

Fake eye applied with Spirit Gum and liquid latex.
Fake eye applied with Spirit Gum and liquid latex. Rain Blanken

There is more than one way to skin a cat... and there are more than a few ways to make fake skin. First off, here are a few home solutions to save you a few bucks:

  • Scabs - Create crispy scabs to top off the gross-out look.
  • Prop Guts - This fake flesh can go a long way to decorate a gross-out room.
  • Fake Flesh - Flesh chunks for decoration or gross effects.
  • 9 Wounds that Look Absolutely Real

If you are looking for a good brand of wound pieces, I highly suggest the selection at Spirit Halloween online. There are a lot of small, inexpensive pieces, and an assortments of professional high-end effects.

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Rain's Fake Blood Recipes

Dripping fake blood recipe
Dripping fake blood recipe. Rain Blanken

There is a lot of nice fake blood out on the market, but the ingredients are so inexpensive and easy to mimic at home. Let's look at more than a few ways to create a blood that is a romantic or disgusting as you like:

  • Spray-Bottle Blood - Use this thin blood recipe to flick with a paintbrush or spray from a bottle.
  • Dark, Thin Blood - This is a lightweight blood that is suitable for smearing on your clothes or hand printing walls.
  • Thick, Realistic Blood - This is a brownish blood, great for creating the look of old blood on clothing.
  • Gross Blood - The flakes of skin make it extra delicious.
  • Dripping Blood - A great consistency for dripping down walls, tables and, okay, maybe even your face.
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Make Your Own Disguises

Make a Disguise
Make a Disguise. Rain Blanken

Need a more than makeup to pull off your trickery? Make a fake mustache, beard or wig. I'll even show you how to put on a bald cap and stitch a cloak with my tutorials. No one will ever recognize you on party night... or at the grocery store, whatever. Hey, I don't judge.