The Walking Dead is one of the hottest shows on television right now. From Daryl to Andrea to Rick and Michonne to the Governor- not to mention any random zombie horde- the possibilities are plentiful to gather up a Walking Dead-themed crew to go out with on Halloween.
Zombies have been highly popular in the past few years in general, and one of the reasons why is that there is very little barrier to entry to dress up like a zombie. And let’s face it, zombies are awesome. You can source your own clothing from a thrift store or your closet. And if you want to get creative, the sky is the limit. Are you a marching band member zombie? A sea captain zombie? A renaissance princess zombie? A white trash zombie? There is so much fun to be had when you come up with the details of your costume, especially with friends so your group can have a theme.
As you create your character, ask yourself, “How long ago did I become a zombie? Am I pretty old and rotten, or was I freshly turned?” That plays into how much dark blood vs. bright blood you may want to use for makeup, as well as the degree to which you would try creating ripped, dead flesh (not to mention how dirty you are from haphazardly stumbling through the post-apocalyptic world). And remember our typical zombie lore: zombies cannot have any fatal head wounds, otherwise they would be an all-the-way-dead zombie and couldn’t come out to play. Being a zombie is the ultimate blood and guts option for Halloween.
Photography: Ryan Coit Photography
Models: WerQ Events – Left to right: DJ Multidimensional Fortitude (DJ MF) as the Governor; Bart Ruff as Andrea; Paul Whittemore as Daryl; Bill Rolon as Rick; Dyani Lee as Michonne; Travis Winship, Eli McKinney, and Omar Pineda as zombies.
Costumes: Models’ own, thrift stores
Makeup/Hair: Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios
What to Get:
Costumes: Dig through your closet or go to your nearest thrift store to become any one of the characters from The Walking Dead, or anywhere you choose to find your undead inspiration.
Available from Halloween Express in Maplewood: Pirate Eyepatch, $1.49; Ninja Swords, $5.99 each; FX Transfers Cut Throat, $14.99; M16 Gun, $7.99; Secret Agent Gun, $6.99; Rasta Wig on Michonne, $12.99.
How-To Make Your Own Zombie
You can use any one of these techniques, or pair them together to create your zombie look.
What to Get:
Ben Nye Thick Blood: Norcostco, $4.00-$35.00
Bright Liquid Blood: Norcostco, Mehron Squirt Blood “Arterial,” $2.50-$11.95
Dark Liquid Blood: Norcostco, Mehron Squirt Blood “Dark,” $2.50-$11.95
FX Transfers Cut Throat: Halloween Express in Maplewood, $14.99
Liquid Latex: 4.5oz. Mehron Liquid Latex at Norcostco, $10.95
3rd Degree Silicone Sculpting Product: Midwest Makeup Supply, $24.00
Cosmetic Dirt: Norcostco, Mehron Dirt or Ash Powder, $8.95
Setting Powder: Norcostco, Ben Nye Face Powder, $5.00-$13.00
Option 1 (Advanced) Sculpting Your Own Wounds:
1. 3rd Degree is a two-part silicone sculpting product. Use a metal mixing palette and metal palette knife (clean with 99% alcohol). If you’re on a budget, mix with a popsicle stick on wax paper and throw away when done. Mix equal parts of the product from the two jars for about 20 seconds and then start putting it directly onto the skin where you want to create texture. It will start to set hard within two minutes, so work fast.
2. Once it’s dry, put some foundation over it to color it flesh-toned.
3-4. Fill in the crevasses with Thick Blood for total gore. At the end of the night, just peel it off.
Option 2 (Intermediate) Adhering Premade Wounds and Creating Your Own Ripped Flesh):
1. Get a pre-made wound like FX Transfers Cut Throat from Halloween Express in Maplewood that can be adhered with light adhesive (sold with it) or water (some go on like a press-on tattoo). Viola! Super cut.
2. Use a sponge to dab on a layer of latex in the area you want to have ripped flesh. Pull a tissue apart so it’s 1-ply instead of 2-ply and lay ripped pieces of it on top of the latex layer. Let it dry clear. Do another layer of latex and tissue. Repeat for 3-5 layers.
3. Once it’s dry, paint it with foundation to look flesh-colored and powder.
4. Use a tweezers to pick up the top layer of painted tissue/latex. With your fingers and the tweezers, pinch that spot and start ripping a hole. Painted latex + tissue = ripped and/or rotting flesh. Once it’s ripped open, add Thick Blood, Liquid Blood, and dirt to your preference.
Option 3 (Basic- light cuts only):
1. Use Thick Blood to create light wounds.
2. Simply drag Thick Blood across the skin with a palette knife to create light cuts. The product dries enough to stay on for the night. Remember- no surface on the body is flat, it’s a 3-D form. So that means no cut is straight, it should have a bit of a curve to it to look realistic.
Finishing Touches: Liquid Blood and Dirt
Use any or all techniques, depending on how much you want to go all out or not.
Option 1 (Soft Splatters): Use an old toothbrush or stiff bristle brush to create soft blood splatters around wounds. Just dip into liquid blood, point it toward the area, then pull your thumb in toward you to make the blood flick out of the brush.
Option 2 (Dripped Blood): Take a lip brush (or on a budget/at home, use a popsicle stick or straw) and dip it into the liquid blood without scraping excess off. Then hold it against the area that you want to have blood drip out of. Do it repeatedly until you have the amount of desired dripping blood.
Option 3 (Bloody Clothes and dirt): You can stomp your costume into the dirt outside ahead of time, and then change into it. If you’re going to go all out with liquid blood for your clothing, we suggest doing those finishing touches outdoors just before you leave, or once you arrive at your destination. Plan to use towels or a sheet to sit on in your car if you’re traveling to your Halloween party AFTER you do blood and dirt. Be cognizant of bloody footprints if you plan to be indoors.
Halloween How-To Credits:
Inspired by The Walking Dead
Photography: Ryan Coit Photography. Ryan Coit is a Minneapolis-based photographer who tends “to mostly work with black and white portrait photography, always working to put a personal and emotional twist on each photograph.”
Models: WerQ Events – Bill Rolon as Rick; DJ Multidimensional Fortitude (DJ MF) as Governor; Bart Ruff as Andrea; Paul Whittemore as Daryl; Dyani Lee as Michonne; Travis Winship, Eli McKinney, and Omar Pineda as zombies. WerQ Events, led by promoter Bill Rolon, creates unique nightlife experiences combining non-stop energy, state-of-the-art lighting, and visuals set to the high intensity music by resident DJ Multidimensional Fortitude.
Makeup/Hair/Special Effects by Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios – Brett Dorrian, Sarah Fisher, Sabrina Rogers, and Meghan Wick. Promotion: Artists available by appointment at our St. Paul studio for Halloween makeup and SFX on Halloween as well as the weekend prior for your Halloween parties.