Halloween make-up for black skin?
October 30, 2011 12:00 PM   Subscribe

My African-American son has darkish brown skin, say, like Eddie Murphy or Will Smith. For Halloween, he wants to be a dead soccer player, not exactly a zombie, though. How do I do this?

Here are my make-up supplies:
Black cream make-up (of the Halloween variety)
Fake blood make-up (again, Halloween)
Black mascara
Light foundation in light beige
Light beige concealer
Brown eyeliner (and maybe black)
Baby powder
Old pressed powder in a very light shade of beige
Kids' washable paint in yellow, green, red, orange, blue, and purple

Last week his (white) friend was a dead soccer player for a costume party, and his dad had used watercolors to paint a throat wound and forehead wound and dark circles under his eyes. So my son might have that in mind.

I can do my own regular make-up, but how do I accomplish a dead/injured look for my son with the make-up I have? We have one party this afternoon, but really it's for trick-or-treating tomorrow night that we'll go all out.

General ideas or specific application tips are welcome.

Bonus question: he's wearing a shredded white soccer jersey as his main costume. How/where should we apply blood to the jersey? I was also thinking we'd take an old soccer ball and put some fake blood (perhaps with a red sharpie?) on that. Any other ideas for his costume besides regular soccer clothes?

posted by bluedaisy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
Fun! I would mix the light beige foundation with some black cream makeup on a plate until it looks a nice 'dead-gray' color. I'd apply this to his face and neck everywhere but around his eyes. Use the black cream for around his eyes and smudge it out so that the 'circles' are pretty wide (for a very sunken look). From one or both corners of his mouth apply the fake blood to look as though it has drooled out and dried (have fun with the fake blood--it can be coming out of his ears, eyes etc). use the baby powder to 'set' the gray part of his face and try not to use it around his eyes (it will effect how dark that makeup will look--if the old pressed powder is translucent, try that around his eyes). As for the rest of the makeup--use this to create bruise/s on one side of his face. Purple on the inside and green at the edges. Whatever looks good. Smudge the colors from the center of the bruise (darkest colors) outward (lightest colors). I'd do a trial run. Your son will have fun doing this more than once--and you will be able to figure out how to get the bruise/s and shading/smudging by getting to try it more than once. Good luck! Oh--and consider doing his hands with 'blood' on his nails or more bruising on his arms and legs, etc.
posted by marimeko at 12:16 PM on October 30, 2011

Do you have any soccer boots? Why not make it look like he's been trampled to death in the course of a match? Use the boots to make blood/mud stained prints all over the jersey (I have no idea if paint washes off boots, best do the 'test in an inconspicuous area' first!). You could use the same principle on his face - fake blood on the studs of the shoe, gently press on the face to get blood spots, and then fill in a shoe-shaped bruise around them.

A few bite marks, especially on the nose adds a bit of Vinne Jones realism!
posted by Coobeastie at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Vinnie, not Vinne. Not going to cross him by spelling his name wrong...
posted by Coobeastie at 12:29 PM on October 30, 2011

Marimeko covered most of what I thought of. Ashen up the skin generally (anywhere that's visible, including the backs of the hands), then darken the areas that would sink away: eye sockets, under the cheekbones, a bit on the temple. The hollow at the base of the throat is good, too.

You can use sponges or a tightly rolled bath scrunchie to dab on the fake blood to give it a sort of broken capillary/road rash effect.

Dark red lipstick can also help to mark up some scrapes and small cuts (like bite marks!) if you have any -- it stays where you put it fairly well, and then you can add a bit of the fake blood on top for a drip effect if you want.

Once you're done, a very light mist of hairspray can help keep everything from smudging away over the course of the night.
posted by rewil at 12:47 PM on October 30, 2011

My son's African-American friend with the skin tone you describe looked positively ghastly when he had chicken pox and was smeared with calomine lotion. I think it is harmless and could be a base for further makeup.
posted by mermayd at 1:32 PM on October 30, 2011

highlight the cheekbone, brow, and jawline areas with the beige and then shadow the cheeks, eyesockets, and neck darker to give that sunken, skeletal look.
posted by hermitosis at 2:12 PM on October 30, 2011

Does he have the skin tone of Will Smith or Eddie Murphy? Or a combination of both? Will is light skinned, therefore he has lots of yellow undertones. Eddie is much darker with red undertones. Major difference. If your son is dark like Eddie, lots of ash on the face to make it stand out.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 2:52 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

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