Special effects makeup artists have mastered the art of creating realistic-looking wounds that would fool even the most seasoned of EMTs. Used to create zombies, crash victims and creatures from your worst nightmares, their makeup techniques can easily be recreated using materials you can find at the local beauty supply store.

Things You'll Need

Creating Bruises

Apply the deep red cream makeup and begin to sponge it onto the skin in a rough half-moon shape. Sponge the makeup onto the skin until you have created a good base.

Create a deep, bruise purple color by mixing red, purple and a small amount of blue. Apply to the sponge and begin to create the true shape of the bruise. This color will applied in several blended layers. Dabbing carefully with the sponge, create layers that have uneven color and blend to make sure that the makeup is not simply sitting on the skin.

Add a bit of blue-black cream makeup to a sponge tip and create just a bit of contrast. This is a bold color, and a little bit goes a long way. Use this color to create shadows and depth within the bruise. Blend thoroughly.

Apply yellow-brown cream makeup to the outside of the bruise and blend the edges completely so they fade into the skin. This creates the appearance of the bruise beginning to heal and gives it a more natural look, as the bruise does not just sit in the middle of the skin in stark contrast to the natural skin around it.

Set with a dusting of translucent powder using a large powder brush and a light hand. This will keep the bruise from smearing, fading or creasing during wear.

Creating Scarred Skin

Clean around the area where you will be applying the scar. This will ensure that your materials will stay on the skin without encountering any dirt or debris that may make them peel away earlier than you’d like.

Apply liquid latex to the skin in the shape of the scar. If a thicker scar is desired, add a second layer.

Lay out a strip of liquid latex on a clean surface. Texturize the skin to look uneven, like a real scar, by lightly dabbing your sponge into the latex. Cut a small slit down the middle where the wound will be and allow the latex to dry.

Apply a thin layer of spirit gum around the scar area and attach the latex strip. Blend the edges out very carefully with a sponge so that the area where the scar is attached to the skin is not visible.

Paint the entire area with foundation or flesh-toned cream makeup. Put a bit of red cream makeup into the center of the latex strip where the slit has been cut to create the “wound.”


  • When creating bruises or scars, take your time and blend thoroughly. Blending is always important in makeup application, and doubly so when using special effects makeup. Blending is important to make the finished result look not like makeup, but as if the wound is emanating from the skin.