Simple Special Effects Makeup To Try For Beginner Makeup Artists

As with all kinds of art, practice makes perfect, so if you are looking to train as a professional makeup artist and are looking to expand your repertoire relating to special effects makeup, you may be wondering where the best place to start is.

After all, it would be a bit ambitious to go from zero to attempting to emulate a look such as Freddy Krueger in the first attempt at applying makeup to somebody! There are many techniques and tools that you can use to perfect your skill as a special effects makeup artist, and, of course, it is best to start with simpler options so you can build your confidence in your abilities and in the tools that you use.

So, with that in mind, what are some of the most effective and simple special effects that you can try when training as a makeup artist?


Since The Walking Dead, zombie costumes and makeup effects have somewhat exploded, and, as you may have guessed, the more special FX products from MWS that you have in your makeup kit, the more likely you are to be able to pull this look off.

Zombies are surprisingly straightforward at a basic level; you simply need to make the skin of the individual you are practicing on look either gray or brown and then add cuts, gashes, or even bite marks, as well as a fair amount of fake blood. As your skills progress, you can aim to use balding caps with hair pulled through to give the image of hair falling out and even deepen the wounds that you are creating with this look to give a hollower and corpse-like appearance. This sounds gross, but it requires a lot of skill and can be very effective.

zombie movies


Another effect you can do on yourself by looking into a mirror is aging. A fair amount of silicone prosthetics can be applied to the face to simulate the aging look, such as wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. Of course, you can do this with ease with the right set of brushes, paints, and powders. Paired with a white or gray wig or even highlights, as well as discoloration around the eyes and thinning skin, this can be an effective and startling look that is relatively simple.


Next on the list is fantasy makeup. This can involve creating a hybrid look for a person, such as making them look half spider, half-human, creating demons with paint and horns, as well as mermaids and unicorns. This also has a very fun element and will allow you to experiment with brighter hues with the makeup and wigs that you use. It can also be a great way to practice your makeup looks on younger people, like children, which will add to your skill set.

Holiday Looks to Add to Your Makeup Portfolio

Makeup Artist for Animal

Another look that you can try on children or yourself is to create an animal.

This is a typical face painting look that you will see at many circuses but with a bit of skill, you can develop it. Why not start with something that appears simple, like a tiger and deepen the contrasts between the stripes on the fur, or even add a more realistic appearance of fur with paints? This sounds easy but can be complicated, and, like most things, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.

Superhero or Villain

There are many superheroes and supervillain looks that you can try when practicing your special effects skills, such as Poison Ivy from Batman, Mystique from X-Men, or even trying to replicate the chiseled appearance of Superman using just makeup. This can be a very fun project and can even double up as a Halloween costume, earning you some brownie points with your friends.

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