How to use special effects make-up to create cuts bruises and blood

Updated April 17, 2017

Special effects make-up can be used to create some pretty amazing results. You can use the make-up to create cuts, bruises and blood on anyone, making for realistic accident, fight or murder victims. Whether you are using the make-up for effects for a film, theatre production or other special event, here are some application tips.

Apply white special effects make-up to the area where you would like to put the cut. This prepares the skin for the subsequent make-up.

Cut a bit of special effects skin. Make sure to cut a piece large enough to fit the cut you want to create.

Slice the fake skin, thus creating a cut in the middle of it. Just like regular cuts are rarely completely clean, add some jagged edges to the cut for a more realistic look.

Use spirit gum to attach the fake cut to the real skin. Blend the edges so it looks realistic.

Apply make-up in a shade that matches the surrounding skin, thus completely blending the fake skin into the surrounding skin.

Add fake blood and bruising make-up for a finished look.

Apply white make-up to the area you want the bruise to be. This sets the base for the upcoming make-up layers.

Use the make-up brush or sponge to apply red make-up to the area. Generally, it's best to begin with lighter shades of make-up and work up to the darker shades. When applying the make-up, pat or press it onto the skin. Like regular bruises, you want lots of colour variation.

Take the purple make-up and pat it onto the area. Again, keep the application varied as real bruises are rarely solid colours.

Repeat the make-up application with the blue and green colours.

Blend the colours with a light layering of yellow make-up.

Set the fake bruise with translucent powder. This will prevent smearing.

Measure 1 and 3/4 cups of corn syrup.

Mix the corn syrup with 1/4 cup of water.

Add 100 drops of red food colouring and 8 drops of blue food colouring.

Shake the mixture.

Add 1/4 cup of sifted flour and mix thoroughly.

Apply the new fake blood mixture to any cuts, bruises or gashes. Use special effects make-up to make the blood application more real-looking.


Look at photos of actual cuts, bruises and blood. Aim to replicate what you see in the photos.


Avoid make-up application if you have extremely sensitive skin. Special effects make-up may irritate very sensitive skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Spirit gum
  • Special effects paints: white, green, blue, yellow, purple and red
  • Special effects skin
  • Makeup brush
  • Makeup foam wedge
  • Powder
  • Corn syrup
  • Red and blue food colouring
  • Sifted flour
  • Water
  • Container
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