Halloween Essentials for Creating Gory Make Up

Special Effects Make Up Cut Hand

I studied make-up artistry so as you can probably imagine I love Halloween! This is the time of year people can try new things and be really creative with their make-up, I've tried out some different SFX materials so I thought it might be interesting to give you a little rundown/review of these products.

3rd Degree Silicone Modelling Compound

3rd Degree
3rd Degree is a 2 part silicone modelling compound that you mix up and use to create cuts, scars and other lumps and bumps. The most important thing you need to know about 3rd Degree is that you must never cross-contaminate part A and part B, this product come in two jars that are clearly labelled and if any of part A gets mixed into part B (or vice-versa) it will ruin your product. To use, take a clean spatula and scoop a small amount of part A onto a palette, next either take a new spatula or thoroughly clean the original with alcohol before taking the same amount of part B and mixing well on your palette. Once the 3rd Degree is mixed you only have a few minutes before it cures so work fast and blend as you go. If you want to create something quite large then it's best to mix up small batches and work in stages. I like 3rd Degree as it looks more realistic on the skin and lasts longer than wax products. When this product cures it does look quite shiny so you should take a ripped sponge and lightly pat over the 3rd Degree once it's almost set to create some texture and reduce the shine. This can be purchased in clear, light, medium and dark, if you're not sure which to go for or plan on using this on all different skin tones then I would suggest purchasing the clear option. You can add in a very small amount of foundation or powder to create a match to your skin tone but be careful not to add too much or the product may not set, I have tried applying foundations and creams on top of the 3rd Degree but I find it doesn't always stick or it clings and you can't get a seamless blend where the skin and 3rd Degree meet so be careful and build colour slowly. It takes some time and practise to find the best way to use this product and get the most realistic effects but this is great for anyone who has some creativity, intermediate make-up skills or some experience with special effects products.

Ben Nye Fresh Scab and Stage Blood

Ben Nye Stage Blood
Ben Nye have a range of different kinds of artificial blood (you would be surprised by how many different types are available) as well as other SFX products. Stage Blood is in a liquid form and is flavoured so it can be used safely around the mouth. This is the best fake blood I have ever tried, the cheap ones you get at this time of year are always watery, too bright and stain horrendously. Stage Blood has enough depth of colour to look very realistic and a great consistency, it will drip and run without going everywhere and after a few minutes it will stay in place without going dry.

Ben Nye Fresh Scab

Ben Nye Fresh Scab
This artificial blood is much more gruesome in name and appearance, just the name 'fresh scab' conjures up some repulsive images. This is more of a congealed blood that's very deep in colour and great for filling in wounds, you can also place this anywhere you want blood without it moving around.

Having both kinds of blood will be enough for any make-up artist starter kit or make-up enthusiast to create a number of gruesome looks.

Rigid Collodion and Spirit Gum

Other Products
There are so many different special effects products on the market and I've only tried a small number of them but I thought I would mention a few others that are useful for a starter kit or Halloween lover. The first being spirit gum, this is essentially a glue that is safe for use on the skin. This could be used to apply prosthetics, gems and other items and is becoming much more widely available, easy to get hold of and inexpensive. Next, is rigid collodion which is used to create scars and indentations on the skin. It's a clear liquid that you paint on which constricts as it dries. This is another great product but do your research online about how to use this safely, you don't want to apply this regularly and not to the same areas of the skin or it can cause permanent damage.

Always remember that you don't need fancy products to create something amazing (although they do help) be creative and try new things. Try something spooky and have an amazing Halloween!

(The image at the top of this post was created last year by myself using 3rd Degree, Stage Blood and Fresh Scab as well as few other items such as grease paint)

Blood Splatter


  1. This is SUCH a good post idea because I always wonder how to create looks like this! X

    Kate// itskaterose.com

  2. This is an amazing post! You're so talented x

  3. Hi Emma, you have great talent. Good post. My blog is almost done when it’s all completed would love to have you follow my blog and YouTube channel.
    ~Dana the Beauty Diva~

  4. Wow, this is so cool and looks easy to do, I will definitely try :)

  5. omg I hate blooddy stuff but you did an outstanding job on this!