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Get Zombiefied: A Halloween How-To From Miami's Hair and Makeup Experts

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The zombies are coming. Specifically, they're invading the 305 in the form of the South Miami Zombie Crawl, the Lincoln Road Zombie Walk, the South Beach Zombie Dinner and Walk, the Run for Your Lives 5K and so on. (We've got a real epidemic on our hands here.)

See also:
- Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide
- South Florida Zombie Crawl to Fill Midtown With the Bloody Undead
- Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K: An Undead Apocalypse in Hialeah

So whether you're joining the undead masses for one of the many above excursions or just getting your game face on ahead of the upcoming zombie apocalypse, you probably need some tips on how to rock your best brain-eater style.

So in the interest of helping wannabe zombies get their graveyard on, we spoke to makeup artist Alexis Renny (creator of mind-blowing zombiefied works of art for our Best of Miami 2011 issue) and Blo Midtown co-owner Kailey Magder for makeup and hair tips.

First, makeup. Renny says the first step is identifying your zombie genre of choice. Freshly dead, or old and decaying.

  • For fresh zombies, it's all about blood. Liquid blood, gelled blood -- you can even get blood filled capsules so you can bite down and have it gush out. Clothing should be ripped and slashed and covered in blood. It's all about the gore for fresh zombies. Think Shaun of the Dead.
  • For older zombies, you would use more cream colored makeup. There are several companies that make a zombie colored palette (both at drugstores and higher end makeup suppliers), that would make your face look sallow, like death. Think Thriller.
  • Make your face look thinner with contouring and add really deep set undereye circles.
  • Be sure to put makeup on your hands and neck, too.
  • An older zombie would be more decayed, so if you add blood, mix some black in with the blood to make it look dry.
  • Think about how your Halloween character died. if you got bitten, you would have a bite mark, for example. If you were beaten, or had some kind of object strike you, there would be a slash on your wrist, or a cut on your face. Truly macabre perfectionists will go online and look at trauma images.
  • For any good zombie makeup, it's always great to get into the character and go online and get a couple of images. That also makes it easier to see how to apply the makeup.
  • For special effects makeup, like zombie creams and blood, check out these sources: Gables Beauty Supply (GBS), Ricky's NYC, La Casa De Los Trucos and FXWarehouse.info.

Next, the zombie 'do. The key to any zombie look, says Magder, is to have your hair look as unkempt as possible.

  • Wash your hair the night before and go to bed with wet hair. Then, when you wake up, your hair is already a mess.
  • Back comb your hair at the roots; in other words, tease it with a small comb. Take it into small section and tease it as much as you can at the roots.
  • Add baby powder to your hair to make it look a little more gray and ashy.
  • If you have long hair, you can put it up in a messy updo. You can do a crooked ponytail, or a messy braid, and pull the braid apart.
  • Men who have a little more length in their hair can just make it look really messy -- they can even use a wax to do that. They can also apply baby powder or white hairspray to make it look dirty.

For those looking to perfect those tattered tresses, Blo Midtown is hosting a "How to Look Like a Zombie 101" shindig tonight at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, and offers complimentary drinks, apps and how-tos from expert stylists.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

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