The new season of the Walking Dead began this week, and the Green Valley Ranch Branch is gearing up for our own zombie apocalypse. The Teen Advisory Board has been learning professional makeup techniques that will transform participating teens into zombies. We hope you join us, but if you can’t attend The Night of the Living Dead event at the Green Valley Ranch Branch, here are some tips and tricks you can use at home.
There’s lot of reasons to zombify yourself this month:
Saturday, October 19: Zombies will roam the streets at the annual Denver Zombie Crawl
Friday, October 25: Zombies take over the library at “The Night of the Living Dead,” an After-Hours zombie makeup and movie event at the Green Valley Ranch branch. Registration required.
Thursday, October 31: Halloween! Zombies get the best candy.
If you want to get serious about your zombie look, you need serious makeup. Ben Nye is the brand that professionals use for stage and film, and it’s really not that expensive. You can find Ben Nye makeup at local costume shops or online. We have been relying on liquid latex and the special effects color wheels: the Zombie Wheel or Death Wheel and Master Bruise will give you a great variety of colors. A Ben Nye color wheel runs about $15 and can last a few years. You’ll also want to pick up some makeup sponges (best for shadowing in your eyes and sunken cheeks) and small paintbrushes (to color in wounds and give you a decayed flesh look).
Our favorite special effects trick has been using liquid latex to create wounds like bites, gashes, and decaying flesh. Liquid latex dries to create a clear latex layer of “skin” that can be ripped and torn to make gruesome effects. If you’re using it at home, keep in mind that it is painful to remove from areas with hair (like your eyebrows) and a little goes a long way. Check that you are not allergic to latex by dabbing a bit on your arm before using it on your face! Also, if you're having a hard time finding it, eyelash glue is a form of liquid latex.
We learned a lot by watching YouTube tutorials plus lots of practice. The trickiest part has been getting the hollowed cheeks effect. Feel your face out before applying the makeup. You can tell which areas of your face will sink in as your fatty tissue decays. It takes talent or lots of practice to get just right. Our first attempts looked more like 5 o’clock shadows, but now we’ve mastered the art of blending to get sunken eyes and cheeks just right.
Zombie FX has some excellent tutorials and we are using the same makeup they recommend with great results!