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A Halloween Zombie Look Even the Brainless Can Do

In preparation for Halloween, we headed to Kryolan Professional Make-Up to learn how to transform ourselves into three popular Halloween characters: vampire, cat, and zombie. If you thought elaborate makeup required dozens of pricey products and aesthetician schooling, think again. Special effects specialist Jordan Plath showed us how to create this zombie look by demonstrating on Staff Writer Allison Ford. Click on to learn how to get this look yourself!

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Start with clean, moisturized, and primed skin. “Mix foundation with a little bit of yellow face paint for a jaundiced look,” Jordan says. “It creates a nice sickly color.” (You could also use a foundation with a yellow base.) Spread a thin layer of foundation on the face, neck, ears, and into the hairline.

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Set the foundation with a translucent setting powder, like Kryolan’s Dermacolor Waterproof Setting Powder, which is water- and sweat-resistant.

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Next, use the same foundation—without any yellow mixed in—to highlight your natural bone structure. Apply to the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, forehead, and the jaw. “You’re making the face look much more skeletal,” Jordan says. “Go right down the center of the neck to make it look stringy and highlight the two tendons there.”

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A great trick is to rip a few chunks out of a cosmetic sponge and use that to blend in the highlighter. “It doesn’t have to be smooth and even,” Jordan says. Set the highlighter with more translucent powder.

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Apply powder eye shadow to the recessed areas of the face like the temples, cheeks, and forehead ridges. “You want a nice purple-brown color,” Jordan says. “Start light, and you can build up the intensity of the color from there.”

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Emphasize the eye socket by applying shadow to the lids, corners, and underneath the eyes.

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Use a slightly darker powder to intensify the shadows and the sunken-in look. “The more layers you put on, the better,” Jordan says. “Having two colors on gives the skin a little more translucence.”

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To make lips look dried and cracked, make a sour face and use the sponge to press on foundation.

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The effect is lips that seem chapped and parched.

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Add dabs of reddish shadow to the corners of the mouth and around the nose.

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Apply the reddish shadow to the corners of the eyes and underneath to make them look a little bit bloodshot.

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To add texture, the best thing to use is a cream color (we used a green from Kryolan’s Creature Feature Wheel) and use a ripped sponge to dab on little stamps of green and yellow. Scatter them all over your face and neck, Jordan says. “You’re trying to make the skin look a little rotted.”

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The look is great as-is, but if you really want to turn up the volume, add theatrical effects like yellowed tooth enamel, eye blood, or blood capsules. You can use common drugstore cosmetics to complete this look, bur for more info on the professional products we used, visit Kryolan.com.

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