Makeup for Looking Dead

Monica Patrick
Corpse makeup
Makeup can make a realistic-looking corpse.

Look truly dead this Halloween with easy-to-apply corpse makeup ideas.

Deathly Makeup Looks

Raggedy grave clothes will get you started, but to look like a realistic corpse you need the right base shade and some terrifying add-ons. Your dead makeup coverage should include your face, neck and any of your exposed body parts. Try these creepy extras to put your own unique spin on what a deceased person would look like.

Shade Selection

Picking the right makeup shade is the key to looking "dead." For your corpse makeup, select a foundation shade that is no more than five shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Not everyone should look bone white as a corpse. You want to have bloodless-looking skin tones. If you are naturally pale, then go as white as you can and finish your makeup look with a translucent face powder. This will set your makeup and keep it in place during your night out.

Makeup Tools

Cream-to-powder, pancake-style foundation gives the best coverage for this type of application. Use a damp, clean cosmetic sponge to apply your foundation. When adding accent makeup details using a medium-sized makeup brush. The brush should be free of residual makeup so using a clean or new brush is best. Dab foundation to your lips, too.

Insects

Flies, roaches and worms are good insects to use in your corpse makeup. Bugs will make you look as if you are decomposing. Some plastic insects can be glued on your skin before the makeup application. Use the appropriate non-toxic glue to apply the bugs to your face. Place a fly or roach on your cheek or neck. Paper insects with an adhesive backing are easy to apply anywhere you would like a bug. Do not apply insects to your eyes or around your mouth.

Red Rimmed Eyes

A corpse with bloody eyes is an especially frightening look. Use red eyeliner or the tip of a sponge applicator to apply red color to the top and lower lash line. Go light on the red color. Less will be more because of your pale skin.

Matte Eyeshadows

Skip frosted or shiny eyeshadows. Use a matte eyeshadow in gray, blue or brown to make your face look shrunken. Dust the eyeshadow in the hollows of your cheeks and in your eye sockets. Feel your cheekbones and eye sockets with your fingers before applying the makeup if you are unsure of where they are located. Sweep the eyeshadow to the underside of the cheekbones and swirl it into the eye sockets.

Where to Buy Corpse Makeup

Search costume supply stores to find the perfect makeup details. Grease-based makeup is especially long lasting and is good to use when you need to cover large areas of skin. You can find special corpse makeup ideas at some of these online suppliers.

Spirit Halloween

Spirit will put you in the Halloween mood. Spirit Halloween offers grease paint, open wounds and rotten teeth; extras that will put your costume over the edge. Spirit Halloween offers a reduced shipping charge when you order $75 or more of supplies.

FX Warehouse

If you want more than an amateur makeup look, get cutting edge corpse makeup supplies from FX Warehouse. Face powders, setting sprays and prosthetics from FX Warehouse will transform your appearance into a ghoulish figure.


Corpse makeup ideas should look disturbing and hair-raising. Get the best dead look possible with good makeup tips to keep your makeup in place throughout the entire event.

Makeup for Looking Dead