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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Macy Goldentez, 4, of New Haven smiles at her zombie makeup.

‘Zombify’ your Halloween makeup

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Participants in last weekend’s Zombie Walk line up for the start of the parade on Wayne Street.
Scripps Howard News Service
Professional makeup artist Melissa Green puts fake blood on an open wound she just created on 11-year-old Robert Williams’ face.

There’s no need to buy expensive makeup kits to transform yourself or your offspring into zombies that look convincing enough to be cast on “The Walking Dead.”

Inexpensive cream makeup, toilet paper, cotton balls, cocoa and corn syrup will do the trick, according to theater professionals Melissa Green and Ashley Lowrance.

“Get a variety of colors and be as creative as you want to be,” said Green, who takes skin tone into account when “zombifying” someone.

A darker-complexioned person is easier to turn ghastly pale. She said sometimes the final look depends on her mood. A bit of green makeup gives a “mossy” look, while black, gray and white makes more of a moldy effect. Dark reddish-orange or purple-plum eye shadow is great for creating bruises.

One of the best tools in Green’s makeup kit is plain old white glue.

To make wrinkles, she said puff out your cheeks, paint them with white glue, then let it dry. (Hasten the process with the cool setting on a blow dryer.) Once the glue is dry, unpuff those cheeks and interesting cracks and wrinkles will appear. Enhance them with a brown eyeliner to get the aged look.

To create a “broken” nose, Green wads up a cotton ball and uses putty to attach it atop a nose. Apply makeup to conceal the putty. When you’ve got the desired shade, slice above the cotton ball and you see the “bone” in the “broken” nose.

Green is fond of the dollar cosmetic aisle, where she said she recently found a broken container of eye shadows at half price.

Lowrance has a tip for creating a textured face quickly. She discovered this when she “zombified” many members of the World Famous Cowboy Band.

“Close your eyes and make a ‘mad, angry face,’ ” she said, scrunching up her own face and pursing her lips.

Then, spray white-colored hair spray all over the face. Again, enhance the resulting wrinkles with brown eyeliner pencil. To create rheumy eyes, use red liner under the eyes, tempered with brown liner.

Both makeup artists recommend doing a practice run before the actual event. Give yourself 90 minutes to do it right.

Another good tip from Lowrance: “Burns don’t bleed.” Use petroleum jelly to make things look “fleshy” or give shininess to a “burn.”

Green said to try to add a twist to your zombie costume. For example, zombie Ken and Barbie would definitely get a couple a lot of attention on Halloween.