How Can I Make Fake Scars for Halloween?

Written by jen oda
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How Can I Make Fake Scars for Halloween?
Make your fake scar as large or as small as you like. (flesh wound image by Allyson Ricketts from

Gruesome scars on your face and body add a horrifying detail to your Halloween costume. They are shocking, realistic and simple to execute. Fake scars use the scarring liquid collodion. Collodion is widely used by professional make-up artists. It was the liquid that created the scars on Heath Ledger's face when he played the Joker in the film "The Dark Knight." When collodion dries, it tightly puckers the flesh, creating a dent on the surface of the skin. When painted and designed, the collodion marks look like real scars.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Translucent powder
  • Powder brush
  • Red, purple, brownish and black make-up
  • Collodion
  • Collodion brush

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  1. 1

    Brush the area to be scarred with translucent powder.

  2. 2

    Draw the scar exactly how you want it to look. Use purple, red, black or brownish make-up to create your design.

  3. 3

    Paint a thin layer of collodion over the painted scar. Allow the collodion to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Paint a second layer of collodion over the scar and allow it to dry. Continue adding layers of collodion to the scar to deepen it. You can also add colour in between layers of collodion to darken the scar as desired. The more layers of collodion you add, the deeper the scar will become.

  5. 5

    Lightly brush the finished scar with translucent powder to remove excess shininess. Some shine makes the scar look natural. Allow a light shine to remain on the gash for a more realistic look.

  6. 6

    Shade the scar with the make-up to fit your desired look. Bruising and reddish colours make the scar look fresher, while skin-toned colours make the scar look older.

  7. 7

    Remove a collodion scar by carefully peeling it off the day that it was applied. Collodion scars are safe to peel off because they only remove the top layer of skin, which consists of dead cells anyway. Do not repeatedly use collodion on the same area. This could cause real scarring to occur on the skin.

Tips and warnings

  • Collodion is extremely flammable. Do not use near heat or open flame.
  • Avoid inhalation and contact with the eyes. Only use collodion in well-ventilated areas.
  • Keep collodion out of reach of children.
  • Collodion is potentially irritating to the skin. Do a small test on your arm before creating your fake scar to assure that you are not allergic to it.

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