Monday, October 15, 2012

Costume Creations: The Walking Dead

Last night was the third season premier of one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead. I'll be honest; I'm not a fan of gore. I know, that's probably a shocker to most of you, since the movies I'm involved with tend to be in the horror genre, and I have a kickin' recipe for fake blood, but frankly, gore doesn't do it for me. It's not scary. It's just icky. The idea of the zombie, though, is terrifying. Just think about it: you're bee-bopping along, enjoying life with all of your loved ones and BAM! Zombie outbreak! Suddenly, there's the very real possibility that--at any moment--you could be bitten and killed, only to come back to terrorize your own family. Worse, yet, you could lose one of your loved ones, and not only have to deal with the pain of their death, but then have to put them down when they come back. No, thank you. That's horrifying! If you've never seen the show, that's really what The Walking Dead deals with. The real story lies with the survivors. Their fear, resolve, and guilt make for some of the best writing on television today, and the actors are more than up to the task.

That said, the zombies do look pretty darn cool.

I was supposed to go to a pre-show Zombie Walk yesterday, but the after-vacation crud got me, and I had to stay home (we just got back from Orlando, and the land of no-internet-access, in case you were wondering where I was last week). I'm a little puffy from being sick, but figured, what the hey, I'll do my zombie makeup, anyway, and share it with you guys. The walk wasn't necessarily Walking Dead themed, but I decided to go with that look and color scheme, anyway. To keep it simple, I went for a fresh "Walker" look, so I could skip out on prosthetics or latex scarring. I wanted this to be cool, but super-easy and able to be copied with stuff from the local party or Halloween store. In fact, some of this came from E.L.F., and may already be in your stash. Here you go!

(Yay for having Thomas take the pictures with a real camera!!!)

So, these are the before shots...

Okay, kidding. Slightly. I started off by using a stippling brush to cover all areas that would not be covered by clothing (which I then forgot to put on over my tank top...oops. I said I was sick...) with the lightest cream foundation I could find. Don't forget your ears! Then, I used a flat concealer brush to pat a light grayish-blue cream makeup (mine came from the Ben Nye death wheel, which is actually really cheap and accessible online, but there are great options from party stores and Halloween pop-up shops) in the hollows of my eyes. Then, I cleaned off that brush and used it to pat a brownish-burgundy cream in the same areas, blending the two colors together to simulate bruising. Don't worry about definition, yet. Next, I went back into the blue with a foundation brush, and used that to contour my face, like I normally would with a bronzer: around the hairline, temples, cheekbones, and jawline. I also brought it down onto the neck to accentuate the natural hollows. Then, I cleaned off that brush and did the same thing with the burgundy cream and blended. To add a little color to the look and get that signature Walking Dead greenish-yellow cast, I used the foundation brush to blend a little Spring green cream makeup just onto the cheeks, almost like a blush, and also patted a little onto the eyelids. I used an Easter yellow to highlight the tops of cheekbones, forehead, nose, and chin. Basically, I made sure that every inch of skin had at least two colors blended together--the original foundation, and another color. I followed that up by grabbing a stippling sponge and dotting blue and burgundy onto random areas to simulate mottled skin. To add definition, I used a small lining brush (E.L.F.'s precision brush is fantastic for this!) to line the hollows of my eyes (and patted a little yellow on the "bags" to highlight), the eye socket, the marionette lines around my mouth, and a few expression lines on my forehead. Then, I brushed just a little more blue onto my eyebrows, the hollow over my chin, and around the marionette lines. I covered my lips with a light concealer, popped a little blue on my lower lip and pressed my lips together, then added a little burgundy to make accentuate the lines in my lips and make them appear dry and cracked. The look is set with a yellow HD powder (E.L.F., again) to keep that Walking Dead tone. For fun, I grabbed some dark, medium, and bright reds and created a wound on my neck by starting with the darkest in the center and going lighter and as I spread the colors out.

This is all about layering colors and accentuating your own lines and facial structure. If you look old, pale, and unnaturally colored, you're probably on the right track. You can add to this by using fake blood, tooth color, or prosthetic "hollows" around the eyes. Thing thing about a Walking Dead zombie that's different from, say, Night of the Living Dead, is that these "Walkers" look like real dead people. The colors aren't crazy, and the costumes are believable for the person they were. Add your own personality, but keep the look grounded in reality and you'll be fine. Happy Halloween!!

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