Makeup can transform you into a completely different person, or even something entirely unhuman. Most people use makeup to help themselves look more attractive or composed, but sometimes makeup is used for the exact opposite reason — to create terrifying effects perfect for Halloween, film and theater, or even if you just want to freak out your friends.
With the magic of makeup you can make yourself into anything imaginable, creating extremely realistic wounds, scars, injuries, and just plain frightening stuff. Here are 30 amazing resources to help you create the scariest makeup effects you’ve ever seen. And if you like these, be sure to take a look at our special effects makeup and latex appliances for even more freaky ideas. And don’t forget our Halloween costumes. Now go scare somebody!
Making and Transforming Body Parts
- Making False Teeth — Using false teeth is a quick and cost efficient way to alter your appearance. This article from Makeup-FX will show you how it is done for actors so speech is not altered. False teeth are the perfect finishing touch for your transformation.
- How to Apply a Bald Cap — Need to be bald to complete your transformation? Then this is the site for you. Here are easy to follow instructions on applying an acetone soluble bald cap.
- Gruesome Fake Skin — This short video shows you how to make amazingly real fake skin using items that you most likely already have in the house. Add some fake to skin to any of your gruesome costumes to complete your look.
- Do-it-yourself Body Parts, Wounds, and More — Terrify your friends and family with these easy ways to make body parts, wounds, and more. We love the video on how to make a fake wound using bubble gum!
- Wig Making — Hair can change a person’s look dramatically. Learn all about the dying art of wig making here. Making a wig with this method is time consuming but also incredibly realistic looking. Features all you need to know about making a wig from start to finish including diagrams and pictures.
- Make Your Own Fangs — Fangs are a must have finishing touch for your vampire makeup. This is a fantastic resource for making your own realistic looking fangs. Includes a list of materials needed and step by step instructions with pictures.
- Make Your Own Prosthetic Mask — Learn how to make your own original prosthetic mask using liquid latex and toilet paper. It is a lot easier and cheaper than you might think. Stand out from the crowd with your own one of a kind creation.
- Using Foam Latex — This resource show you step by step how using foam latex can complete transform you into someone or something else. Using pictures and instructions they take you through the process of altering an actor’s appearance using foam latex. This amazing transformation is a must see!
- How to Create Realistic Facial Prosthesis — This cool article from Instructables.com shows you how to create a reasonably priced facial prosthesis perfect for Halloween or other occasions. This fool-proof method has pictures and step by step instructions. A simple way to create a horrifying face!
Makeup Effects for Halloween and Beyond
- Gruesome Makeup Tips — This article gives helpful tips to help you get your makeup perfect for the big night. It features sections on preparations, techniques, and ideas.
- Make a Scary Skeleton Face — A skeleton is a very versatile and scary Halloween costume. Professional makeup designer Richard Burnes teaches you how to create a terrifying skeleton face with easy to follow instructions.
- Scary Makeup — This Martha Stewart article has makeup tips from special effects makeup artists Tim Considine and Hiromi Kobari. It features materials needed and easy to follow instructions for creating a classic vampire, skeleton, mummy, cat, and black widow.
- Makeup Secrets of Horror Movies — Written in 1933, this article discusses makeup secrets and tips from classic horror movies. Makeup artist Jack Pierce shares how he created such horrifying characters as a mummy and Frankenstein.
- Halloween Make Up Ideas — Make up tips to help you easily create a realistic look. Here are great tips on aging yourself or becoming a zombie bride and groom. We love the tip on how to create a hairy mole from a peppercorn!
- “How to” Vampire Guide — This website has pictures and simple instructions on using makeup to become a vampire. Creating a terrifying vampire look doesn’t get any easier than this.
- Scary Makeup Tricks — This article features makeup tricks for fool proof scary effects. These are easy instructions for creating gothic, witch, and vampire looks. We love the simple recipe for fake blood. Fake blood is a must have for any scary costume!
- A Recipe for Horror — Learn How To Create a Horrifying “Freddy Krueger” face using plain gelatin and strawberry jam. Transforming yourself into this creature is easier than it looks when you follow these instructions.
- Horrifying Zombie Make Up — Here are some quick tips on using liquid latex to become the scariest, ugliest, and most horrifying zombie your friends have ever seen. We love the tips for creating wrinkles using latex.
- Simple Halloween Makeup Tips — The title say it all! This article features simple make up tips from style expert Shahnaz Kahn. Also features a recipe for fake blood. We love the tip on using hairspray to really keep your makeup in place.
Gashes, Guts, and Gore
- Creating Lacerations — A series of tutorials that will teach you step by step how to make realistic lacerations. We love it’s easy to follow format and pictures. Learn how to make the bloodiest gashes here!
- Applying “Roadkill” Makeup — Step by step instructions including pictures that will help you create an incredibly scary and realistic looking facial injury. Want to look like roadkill? This is the place for you!
- Prosthetic Wounds and Special Effects — This video visits Hollywood special effects artists. Watch this to learn about creating these effects and steal their secrets! We love the inside peek at the real life of a special effects artist.
- Frugal Homemade Halloween Make Up Recipes — Learn how to create make up effects for virtually no cost using items found around the house. Includes instructions on making your own skin, blood, guts, scabs, scars, snot, bruises, and more!
- Applying Prosthetic Make Up — This in depth video shows you first hand how apply a prosthetic wound. Don’t apply a prosthetic wound until you watch this! Video is filled with tips and tricks to make your prosthetic look completely realistic.
- How to Make Fake Gunshot Wounds — Gunshot wounds can come in handy for costumes, film, and theater. This article tells you how to easily apply a realistic gunshot wound using clay, latex, and makeup.
- Recipes for Blood, Guts, and Gore [PDF] — This PDF file has a ton of information on creating many gruesome effects. Includes instructions on making your own blood, scars, scabs, burns, wounds, warts, puncturing nails, and more. We love the recipe for drinkable blood!
- Creating a Realistic Wound — This instructables.com article features a step by step tutorial that shows you how to create an incredibly realistic wound. We love the fact that there is a picture for every step to help you create this effect.
- How to Make Fake Scar Wounds — Tips on achieving a great looking scar or gash are found here. Features simple instructions on making a scar using ordinary makeup and also tips on creating a larger gaping wound.
- Making a Gash with Stitches — A step by step guide with pictures that shows you how to make a realistic gash with stitches. This stitched up gash has a dirty and infected look. Be ready for people to gasp in horror when they see this one.
- Creating Fresh Cuts — This easy to follow website shows you exactly how to create a large “fresh” and completely realistic looking laceration on your forehead. It features a list of materials needed, pictures, and step by step instructions.