Halloween Makeup for Scary Cheap

October 29, 2014

Last year I gave you some quick tips on cheap Halloween wounds – this year I want to give you a step-by-step guide complete with pictures so you can really make them come to life. Below are three wounds: one with a prosthetic, one that looked like skin was pinned together, and (for myself) a kind of all-over rotting flesh kind of thing.

YOU WILL NEED: Toilet paper, glue, (possibly) Spirit Gum, makeup sponges, makeup (I use flesh colored, purple, green, black, yellow, and red which you can buy in a color palate), and blood.


spirit gumMost prosthetics from the store come with some gunky stuff that you’re supposed to apply it with.

Step 1 (or really, before step one) get Spirit Gum. It’s less than $5 and is absolutely the best for adhering prosthetics, in my opinion. I use Ben Nye Spirit Gum, which is sold at pretty much every costume and Halloween shop ever.

STEP 1 (for real this time): Liberally apply Spirit Gum to skin and prosthetic.spirit gum to skin

INSIDER TIP: Use your index finger, and press/lift your skin and the prosthetic to make it tacky.  The skin you’re applying the prosthetic to should actually stick to your finger. The prosthetic will get nice and sticky too.

STEP 2: Add another bit of Spirit Gum then apply the prosthetic.

STEP 3: At this point you should have a sweet prosthetic with nasty or obvious edged. Break out the toilet paper. Separate the ply so you have really thin layers.

INSIDER TIP: Use cheap toilet paper. We used a higher quality this time around (guess I’m a girl with high standards) and I noticed the quilting showed through more than when I used the dollar store version last year.

STEP 4: Glue the toilet paper to the edges of the prosthetic and to the skin. It’s okay (or even better) if it folds and crinkles. step 4

Let it dry completely.

STEP 5: Once it’s dry, peel off the edges and glue anything still loose down. Apply makeup. (Not sure how to roll with makeup? Scroll down!)


STEP 1: To make skin look like it’s puckered (this is also great for a bite mark) take one square of toilet paper, tear in in half (diagonally is my preference), and roll both pieces with glue like worms.

STEP 2: Apply glue to the area and glue the pieces on in a squished circle/bite/tear shape. You can make this as narrow or wide as you’d like.

INSIDER TIP: Use more glue than the picture below shows.

STEP 3: Just like with the prosthetic, separate the ply and glue one piece over the whole shebang. Let it dry thoroughly. Make sure all edges of the toilet paper worms are covered.

STEP 4: Once it is completely dry, tear the edges off. Place a layer of glue over everything (otherwise the toilet paper will absorb most of your blood), let it dry, and apply the makeup.

INSIDER TIP: Use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry faster

STEP 5: After makeup is applied, CAREFULLY stick safety pins through the toilet paper worm-rolls

pinned skin 1pinned skin 2pinned skin 3pinned skin 4pinned skin 5











STEP 1: Peel toilet paper.

STEP 2: Glue light, thin layers of toilet paper on to desired areas (I went with face and chest).

STEP 2: Once you have the desired amount of crinkle (I do 3-4 layers), get one good coat of glue over everything. Remember that it’s okay if it folds, crinkles and puckers!

STEP 3: Let it dry completely and apply makeup.

cheap tp

burned rotten flesh 1burned rotten flesh2













I prefer fresh looking wounds, so I start with a flesh colored base. I used the same technique with all three wounds.

STEP 1: Using a makeup sponge, apply flesh colored base over at least 80% of the area.

burned rotten flesh 3

STEP 2: Apply purple.makeup 2

INSIDER TIP: This is the base of any bruising, so remember to apply purple in places off of the wound too (like I did onto the temples).

STEP 3: Apply Green

CARRYOVER INSIDER TIP: If using a prosthetic, paint over it too! Otherwise it totally looks stuck on and ridiculous.


INSIDER TIP: Green is great for the rotting affect, but too much over the purple and it turns a muddy gross color (like at the temples in the pic below). Add some red to fix this. Too purple still? Add some yellow.

makeup 4

Step 4: Apply black.

INSIDER TIP: Black is great for highlighting deep sections of a wound, so use it for the inside of bit marks or tears, places you want deep bruises or burns, and under the eyes. I don’t however, put it on a prosthetic because it smears.

makeup 5

STEP 5: Apply red.

INSIDER TIP: (See pic) I generally apply red lightly over everything. It makes everything look a little dirty, a little less like an art project, and it’s perfect for a blood base.

STEP 6: Apply blood and enjoy!

INSIDER TIP: Q-Tips are great for getting blood in small places. We also use tree branches to flick blood at each other for great splatter effects. And it’s fun.makeup 6







End Result:

complete package