Make: Projects

Halloween: Wounds

Reenact the zombie apocalypse with Halloween macabre makeup.

Halloween: Wounds

By Courtney Mault and Max Sparber

Liquid latex rubber is great for wound makeup, large and small. Courtney likes to use it to create small flaps of skin for a skinned knuckle, which are convincing enough that when she occasionally wears her makeup to work as a prank, employers have insisted that she seek first aid and write a medical report, even after she has explained that her injury is just makeup.



Step #1:

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  • To make a wound with liquid latex, first make sure the application area is clean and dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of latex a little larger than the size you'd like your cut to be, taking into consideration how much "skin" you want flapping around.
  • Wait until the latex is completely dry, which generally won't take more than 10 minutes.
  • CAUTION: Before you use latex on anyone, be sure they're not allergic. Put just a drop of liquid latex on your subject's arm —- if they react with redness or itchiness, you should not use latex on them.

Step #2:

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  • Once the latex is dry, disguise the line between latex and skin. This is done by applying makeup color with a stipple sponge.
  • Use a light hand; you can always go back add more. If you'd like a clean cut without bruising or too much discoloration, use various hues of natural skin tones.
  • For a bruised area, use mustard yellow, dark red, dark purple-the colors in your "injury stack" of makeup.

Step #3:

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  • When you're satisfied with the color of your wound, you can create the cut. I recommend using a toothpick for small cuts (and even larger ones) because you'll have more control in how your cut will look.
  • Gently pick through the latex with the tip of the toothpick, a little at a time, forming the cut.

Step #4:

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  • You'll see clean skin underneath the cut. Color that skin with a dark-color creme makeup, preferably black — this will give your cut more depth.
  • Gently apply a red color to the edges of the cut and apply fake blood.
  • Again, use a light hand here. You can always add more if you'd like.
  • For an even more dramatic cut, use your stipple sponge and drag it in the direction of the cut with a dark red color. This will create smaller scratches.


This project first appeared in Make: Halloween Special Edition, page 36.