Dead Girl Makeup

Jodie Michalak
Woman acting dead
Create a realistic "dead" look.

Whether you plan on frightening your friends at a festive gala, or just want to ensure your prize at the next Halloween costume competition, dead girl makeup is a unique and expressive way to go. Not only can you shop your closet for your favorite outfit to wear, you can pair your look with special effects to create a chillingly realistic version of you.

Create a Scenario

Before you head out to pick up black and white face paint to create dead girl makeup looks, it helps to establish a plan and a finalized image. Consider the style of your costume along with small deadly details that may prove significant for your look.

Since you're dressing to appear dead, you'll want to know how or why your death occurred for best results. Was there a fatal accident with blood and gore, or was there a restful passing within the comfort of home? Small scenarios such as the time and place of death will help your costume idea flourish as you work to create your dead girl look.

If your character died at home in bed for example, you may want to pair your dead girl cosmetics with a sleeping cap or eye mask for believability. If you died in an accident after a night of partying, perhaps a fancy dress and lipstick is in order. Choose not only your time of death, but also the time of your "resurrection." Is your costume idea supposed to capture the moment of death and the actual replay of events, or would you rather be a walking zombie with well worn and tattered remains? These facts and important details will all work hand-in hand when you start applying dead girl makeup.

Dead Girl Makeup Tips

The following tips will help you create a variety of deathly looks depending on your own unique style and circumstance. Apply the looks that are relevant to your style and watch how easy it is to travel to the other side visually!

  • Go pale: No matter the time of death, paleness is unavoidable. Make sure your dead look includes an abundance of pale makeup. Start by choosing a foundation two shades lighter than your natural tone and apply liberally. Finish with a loose translucent powder to set the results and ward off unbelievable shine.
  • Stain lips: To appear dry and deathly, lips should be stained a light shade of blue. Try mixing Kool-Aid packets in red and blue flavors to create a purple base. Gently wet your lips and press the granules on your lips to create a stay-put stain.
  • Add shadows: Undereye circles and shadows will help create a deathly appearance. Try using black face paint and apply it lightly under the eyes in a tapping motion to blend and diffuse the coverage. Work grey face paint into the crevices of the eyes, sides of the mouth and cheekbones for added drama.
  • Skip the blush: Tempting as it may be, skip any color cosmetics for a more versatile dead look. Unless you are creating a character that "died" in route suddenly, a full face of makeup will hardly help you pull off a straight from the grave look.
  • Mess your hair: No matter how much makeup you apply, make sure your hair looks messy for convincing results. Bedhead styles can be created better with one day old hair, so skip a wash the day prior to your dress-up event.
  • Watch your fingers: It helps to pay attention to all the details of your makeup, straight down to your hands and toes. Make sure nails are unpolished, long and jagged. You can opt for a "dirty cement" nail polish shade to further enhance your ghastly manicure.

Have Fun

Despite the fact that you are playing a dead person, you can have lots of fun with this costume idea. Simply get creative and use cosmetics and accessories to create a special and memorable look. Part of the fun when playing dress up is exceeding boundaries of comfort. Be expressive and don't hold back, after all, you only live once!

Dead Girl Makeup