Image by Marcus Charter Photography
Is your complexion wonderful? Do people keep saying how healthy you look? Does your skin glow with nutrients and life? WORRY NO MORE! We’ll soon have you terrifying small children and startling strangers in the night once again, so you can shamble through London with pride. The key to this look is layering – with latex! For a small price you can get liquid latex from Angels Fancy Dress shop, with a 10% discount when you use the code ZOMBIEWALK. They’ll also donate 10% of your purchase to St Mungo’s, the charity we support. You will also need:
- Liquid latex
- Toilet paper
- Basic makeup kit
- White face cream (for base coat)
- 1 hour (most of this time will be spent waiting for latex to dry)
Your shambling husk might be allergic to latex. Before starting, apply a small patch under your forearm. Wait 15 minutes to see if it grows red or swollen. If there’s no reaction then you’re ready to get messy.
1: The base layer
Apply a thin, even layer of liquid latex to your face. Remember, removing latex later is going to be painful. Latex will cling to your hair like a ghoul will cling to brains. It will try to pull your eyebrows out. If you have stubble or a beard, it will be painful. For the love of all the most horrifying gods, try not to get latex in your hair. Wait 15 minutes for it to dry. Don’t get too excited by how gross it looks at this stage. It’s going to look much worse later on – this first layer will be mostly clear.
2: Toilet paper for texture
Toilet paper is great for texturing. You can get creative with sculpting, or just plaster the paper on with liquid latex to get a wrinkled effect. Now you can achieve the desiccated, weathered aesthetic of the most monstrous ghoul. Experiment with veins, sores, or maybe even pustules! Don’t be afraid: if you make a mistake you can just wait for it to dry, gently remove that patch of latex, and then replace the base layer before trying again. Slowly build up layers of latex-flesh so that when you tear it for wounds later, there’s a decent weight to the ragged edges. Now is also the time to incorporate other objects or accessories. If you’re ambitiously attempting the classic zip-face look, squish it in amongst the latex and paint it in.
3: Makeup base
As with everything else, this is a matter of taste. The latex flaking from your flesh will look authentic without being painted, and zombies in a hurry might not want to bother with makeup. The latex will be an odd colour compared to your skin, and shinier, but now that you’re dead everything is going to be an odd colour anyway. Why hide your craft beneath illusion? However if you want to embrace the art, paint a flat layer of white across your skin and the latex. It will make the latex less shiny and more natural.
Image by Marcus Charter Photography
Using a sharp tool (toothpick, small scissors, scalpel) start a tear in the latex. Be VERY careful – your flesh no longer heals from even tiny scratches, and the latex might come off if you’re too rough. Get the gash nice and rough, folding back the layers as you go to reveal the skin beneath. Fill the inside of the wound with really dark makeup or paint. Red and black are obvious choices, but green and yellow can make you look even more diseased.
5: Makeup finish
Darken your eyes so that they appear sunken, or maybe redden them to look less healthy. Using contouring to bring out your gaunt cheekbones and ever-mulching jaw. Pale lips will make you look more dead but don’t be afraid to clumsily smear lipstick or delicately paint blood dribbles. You can stain your remaining teeth (temporarily) with a variety of methods. You can buy expensive tooth enamel, or use a little food colouring (brown or red) mixed with water to swill around your mouth, or buy fake teeth from a costume shop. For a truly creepy appearance, try a freaky contact lens. Wearing only one means that you can still see out of your other eye.
6: Taking it all off
When you’ve finally eaten all the brains you can handle, it’s time to take everything off and let your skin… well, not “breathe”, but… whatever. Cover the latex with warm soapy water and massage it gently. Don’t yank the latex off – your hair will not thank you. Alternate between warm, soapy massage and gently pulling the larger pieces of latex from your skin. Finally rinse your body in warm water to get rid of any smaller pieces you may have missed. To remove stains from your teeth, brush them gently with bicarbonate of soda.