Looking for a way to take your Halloween costume to the next level?
Then consider adding a frightening and intricate element through makeup. Even if you're new to this type of makeup, or even makeup at all, Sarah Tannehill has provided us with a simple walkthrough to create a terrifying steampunk, zombie look that you can add to whatever costume you're thinking of.
For this particular look, Tannehill, a local nurse and makeup artist who often works with Capital City Productions, worked on local resident Ryn McGowan, who wanted to complete her own Snow White costume with the zombie upgrade. Because of McGowan's specific request, Tannehill spent a great deal of time completing the beauty makeup portion (as in the not-bloody parts).
Below, we're going to walk you through how to create those open wounds that show the bloody gears inside, but if you are interested in creating an overall look similar to this scary Snow White, just keep reading, and we'll provide a breakdown of the beauty components as well.
While Tannehill obviously has a plethora of makeup supplies available, you can use your own makeup to complete the beauty portion, and primer, foundation and concealer are all needed to make the look complete.
For the wounds, you'll need to get liquid latex, which can be found at Halloween stores, and Spirit Gum, a liquid adhesive that is also easily found at Halloween stores. (Make sure to pick up Spirit Gum remover, as well.) Cotton balls also will be needed.
It is incredibly important that you make sure you are not allergic to latex before moving forward.
You'll also need to pick up some blood gel and scab blood, both of which should be available at Halloween stores. (Tannehill said the main difference is that the scab blood is thicker and easier to stay in place. For blood gel, she said you could also use a simple mixture of corn syrup and red dye.) The gears Tannehill used were wooden and light, and picked up at a local craft store.
First, Tannehill used some witchhazel with rosewater in it to clean up McGowan's face and keep her skin hydrated. Tannehill said this helps prep the skin for the adhesives that will be added.
She then began outlining where the liquid latex will be applied, using a light pencil to mark four areas, including one on the upper chest.
Now, it's time to use the latex. (Tannehill noted add Vaseline to your brow first if you plan on doing anything where the latex will be going over your eyebrows.)
Using a makeup sponge, she applied the latex over the outline. Then, she took some cottonballs, tearing off pieces and stretching them out over the latex. The cotton, combined with the latex, is going to help create the look of skin tissue, essentially creating the outer edges of our "wounds."
Don't worry if you've had any trouble. As Tannehill said, makeup is easy to mess up with because "you can always wash it off and try it again."
Make sure you have a fan nearby or at least a hair dryer that can blow cold to help dry that first layer of latex. The latex dries clear, so you'll know when it's ready. Tannehill said just before the latex dries, you'll notice it start to "sweat" as it pushes out the last bits of moisture.
The next step is to add another layer of liquid latex over the cotton, blending the two together to get that skin tissue look. It's really important to let the latex dry as much as possible before starting the next layer or moving on to the next step, Tannehill said. That's why latex is the first part of the process — so it can get as much drying time as possible.
After the latex dried, Tannehill began applying a "really sticky primer" to McGowan's skin, at least the skin outside of the latex outlined areas. Essentially all the makeup you'll be applying moving forward will be to those outer areas. The areas inside the latex will be for our gears and fake blood.
Next is a thick base of foundation, and make sure to get those cottoned latex areas — it's going to look a little weird and maybe even ghastly, but go with it. After the foundation is applied, Tannehill used concealer to highlight areas where light might hit the face, in what she called "reverse contouring." These areas include the nose and cheekbones.
Then, add powder to set the look.
It's at this point Tannehill turned toward the Snow White beauty makeup, which honestly took the bulk of time. We're going to skip ahead to complete our "wounds," but read on if you want to learn more about those beauty steps as we'll get back to that.
Start peeling back some of the set latex (careful, as you don't want to remove it). This will help create the outer edges of the wounds and allow some gears to look like they are under the "skin." Then Tannehill began adding foundation to blend over the edges and really achieve that skin look.
Now, the Spirit Gum comes out.
First, Tannehill applied some to the latex areas that peeled up too much, then she applied it to the skin inside the latex area and began adding the steampunk gears.
Then, using reddish colors from her makeup palettes, Tannehill began blending into the "skin" around the gears to create the look of irritated skin around the "wounds." She then began adding purple for a bruising effect in the same areas.
And now it's time to, as Tannehill said, "Bloody it up." Use the blood gel to paint the areas where the gears are, avoiding the outer edges as that's where the scab blood is applied. Use as much as needed to achieve the look you're going for.
For a final piece, like a terrifying cherry on top, Tannehill took out a safety pin with a key dangling from it and placed it through the latex "skin" flap on McGowan's cheek. She then applied blood gel to the pin itself.
That should complete the steampunk, zombie adaption for your Halloween costume.
Now, we will go back to the beauty makeup portion, for those who are interested in recreating the full look.
Starting with the inner corners of McGowan's eyes, Tannehill applied a yellow eyeshadow, stopping at the mid point of the lid, where she faded it into a Halloween orange and then a blue-purple that was applied at the outer corners as well as on the upper crease of the lid. Then Tannehill applied a white to the brow and in the inner corner before blending it all a bit.
Tannehill then mixed a setting spray with a yellow eyeshadow to apply on the inner corners of the lids.
Before moving onto the next step, Tannehill took a small amount of concealer and brushed it under McGowan's eyes, which both cleans up anything from the upper lid and provides a base for additional makeup. It's at this point you would apply concealer to any remaining red spots on your face, such as the bridge of your nose.
Tannehill used a purple-tinted electric blue color to line under McGowan's eyes, then applied a liquid liner and some large, colorful false eyelashes. (TIP: Tannehill said Halloween is a great time to stock up on fun, false eyelashes you can use all year long. The pink tipped lashes she used on McGowan were picked up last Halloween, she said.) Tannehill advised that before applying false lashes, make sure you've applied a band of eyeliner where the lashes will go. Before applying the glue, test the lashes to make sure the length is right and trim as needed. (Another tip from Tannehill: Until you're more comfortable applying false eyelashes, do not use clear glue.)
Clean up as needed after applying the lashes and apply mascara.
Tannehill then trimmed off small portions of additional false lashes to apply under McGowan's eyes and under her real lashes. In this circumstance, Tannehill said to make sure the lashes are facing down.
Now, all you need is some ruby red lipstick, and your makeup is sure to both astound and frighten!
If you decide to recreate this look, or portions of what Tannehill walked us through, we'd love to see how it turned out! Send photos to [email protected], along with your name and any comments about the process and final product.
To book Tannehill for your special occasion or theater makeup needs, contact her at 573-353-5579.