Teen Zombie Walk Makeup with Frugal Recipes

Teen Zombie Walk Makeup from The More With Less Mom

Recently my tweens participated in a zombie walk for the Buffalo Library (event on Facebook). I did a basic makeup job myself. I am by no means a makeup artist, but I did spend some time perusing the web and thought I could share some tips. This is a tutorial for the zombie makeup lightweight, there are some very good sites for more extensive makeup all over the web.

I bought a $2 makeup kit from the party store that had black and white. The dollar store has foam makeup wedges, but of course that’s the one thing I forgot when I went shopping, so I just used my fingers. You can also try qtips, cotton balls, and paint brushes.

I *tried* to apply a base coat of white. The purchased makeup was seriously c-r-a-p, there is no way they used that makeup to make the effects shown on the package. I got a streaky, variegated white that looked terrible.

I then took the face paint recipe below, which is white/clear before you mix coloring in. I dabbed a paper towel in the face paint and then dabbed and rubbed on the kids’ faces. This actually helped to redistribute the white so I got a lighter shade with a gross looking texture. It ended up looking like they had a pallor rather than a white face, which I liked better. The kids did not like the way the face paint felt at all, but since they were older I just told them to suck it up.

Next I used the purchased black and my finger and darkened the holes where your eyes and cheeks would be on your skull. I think this is your best opportunity to make it look good, but I confess we were out of time and I just went with it.

Now would be the time to mix the gelatin for the wounds. This firms up pretty quick so you need to put it on still warm. For my girl I put a line on her cheek. I wanted to make a “bite” mark, but I waited too long to try to put it on and had to work with gooey pieces instead of doing whatever I wanted.

Next apply fake blood on the lips and around the mouth like your zombie has been noming on a friend. Put fresh blood wherever there might be splatter, like clothes, arms, under nails… Use chocolate syrup to darken the blood and make it look old, then dab it on your wounds and also on clothes and arms if you prefer.

For clothes you could grab something from the thrift store to rough up. Hardcore zombies bury their clothes for a real undead look. Lightweight zombies rub a little dirt in and tear their clothes where it might have gotten split in a tussle with the friends they were noming on. For an authentic look don’t cut clothes, except maybe to start a tear. However, if the world ends people aren’t going to have time to change into their most goth clothes, or bury themselves, so you can wear whatever you usually wear. None of these recipes did anything to the clothes the kids were wearing.

Note the 2 year old did not participate, she saw the pictures after the fact and still got upset.

I looked all over the web so these recipes are similar to many already online elsewhere.

Tween Zombie Walk MakeupFace Paint

This is more of a liquid for painting details, this will not work for a base.

  • 3+ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Food coloring, liquid or gel (gel is less likely to stain)
  1. Mix cornstarch and flour together.
  2. Gradually stir in corn syrup and water until smooth.
  3. The color you see will look lighter on skin.
  4. You can’t make black unless you have black gel food coloring (get it at the party store), but you can make a dark brown if you mix a lot of liquid food coloring. Green is blue and yellow. Brown is red and green, or blue and yellow (tsk tsk if you forgot your elementary school art!).

Fake Blood

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 20 drops of red food coloring (add chocolate syrup to darken)
  • Drop of dish soap (to make it easier to wash off)
  • Teaspoon of milk (for opacity)
  • Use more corn starch to play with texture
  1. You can apply bright red blood around the mouth from victims. Then darken the blood with chocolate syrup and make it look old for bites/wounds. Don’t forget to drip some blood on their clothes, under nails


  • 1 ounce gelatin (2 packets plain stuff, or you can use the red flavored kind)
  • 2 Tablespoons boiling water
  • Mix-ins as needed: couscous, paprika, colored sugar, cocoa
  • 4 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • Red food coloring
  1. Combine gelatin and water.
  2. Mix and let set 3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. You want to use this fairly soon as it solidifies, you can’t make it ahead.


About.com How-To Zombie Makeup
Instructables How to Make Zombie Makeup
The Walking Dead Makeup Tips

A zombie walk (also known as a zombie mob, zombie march, zombie horde, zombie lurch, zombie shamble, zombie shuffle, zombie monsta-mash, zombie irrigation, zombie hurricane or zombie crawl) is an organized public gathering of people who dress up in zombie costumes. Usually taking place in an urban center, the participants make their way around the city streets and through shopping malls to a public space (or a series of taverns in the case of a zombie pub crawl) in a somewhat orderly fashion.
(From Wikipedia)

Photo credits: Photo by me, The More With Less Mom

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