How to Do Dead Makeup

By Celeigh O'Neil

Costume and themed parties offer up the perfect opportunity to get creative with makeup. Dressing up like the undead requires the opposite approach of the brightening routine you might subscribe to on a daily basis. Skin needs to look sallow, with the eyes exhausted and lips parched. Put that ill-matched foundation and bold lipstick to use for a dead makeup look fit for the apocalypse.

Zombie woman (halloween makeup)
credit: Ilya Glovatskiy/iStock/Getty Images
The dead makeup look would suit a zombie, ghost or vampire costume.

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Step 1

Pour a quarter-size amount of matte foundation onto the back of your hand. Use a cream foundation that is three shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Dip a makeup sponge into the product and pat it onto your skin that will be visible, excluding your eye sockets and under-eye area.

Step 2

Swirl a large powder brush in translucent pressed powder. Press it over top of the foundation to set it in place.

Step 3

Dip a pointed contouring brush into an eyeshadow that is two shades darker than your foundation. Suck in your cheeks to make the hollows visible, and sweep the powder within the line that extends between the outer corner of your mouth and the top of your ear. Apply three layers for a gaunt look. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4

Sweep the same contouring brush and shadow all over your eyelid from your lash line to your brow bone. Press the powder into your under-eye area, from the inner corner to the outer edge of your lower lash line. Repeat on the other eye.

Step 5

Dip a fluffy eyeshadow brush into a red-toned powder shadow. Use a windshield-wiper motion to sweep the brush through the crease of your eye, starting from your inner corner and ending in alignment with the edge of your eyebrow. Apply three layers to each eye.

Step 6

Pat the same shadow brush into a matte charcoal-toned eyeshadow that is four shades darker than your foundation. Pat it around the outer edges of your mouth and over the tip of your chin.

Step 7

Swipe a dark burgundy lipstick onto the back of your hand and drop a dime-sized amount of clear lip gloss on top of it. Dip a clean makeup sponge into the mixture and pat it just beneath the edges of your mouth and under your eyes to imitate blood vessels. Apply the remaining lipstick anywhere on your body that is visible to create the illusion of blood.