How to make Halloween face painting look like fake cuts & bruises

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Special effects make-up can really add to the overall appearance of your Halloween fancy dress but applying it may seem daunting if you're not familiar with the basic techniques. Creating fake bruises and cuts on your face with make-up requires only a few supplies and tools. While you don't need much artistic skill for this type of face painting, you do need a little practice. Test out your make-up skills a few days in advance so you can perfect your look on Halloween.

Dip a make-up sponge into dark purple cream make-up and apply a thin coat of it to your clean skin where you want to create a bruise. Try to avoid creating a perfect shape such as a circle or triangle with the make-up as bruises generally have an irregular shape.

Blend the edges of the purple make-up with your fingers so that the make-up gradually fades into your skin. The bruise should be dark purple in the centre and fade to a light purple at the edges.

Apply red cream make-up to the centre of the bruise with a make-up sponge and gently blend the edges. Don't cover up all of the purple make-up as you work.

Repeat step three with dark blue or black cream make-up. Try to just add a little of the make-up so you can still see the purple and red make-up. This gives the bruise depth and makes it look more realistic.

Apply yellow cream make-up to the bruise where the red, purple and dark blue colours start to get lighter and blend into the skin. This will make the bruise look like it is starting to heal.

Shape a piece of mortician's wax or putty into a 1.5 cm (1/2-inch) diameter ball. You can find this material anywhere special effects make-up is sold. Look for a wax that matches your own skin tone for the most realistic effect.

Press the wax ball onto your clean skin where you want to create the fake cut. Flatten the ball and spread it out until it is approximately 0.7 cm (1/4-inch) thick in the centre and the edges blend into your skin. You may need to add more wax as you work.

Carve a cut into the wax with a plastic knife, being careful to only cut the wax and not your skin.

Apply red cream make-up to a sponge and pat it over the entire piece of wax and the surrounding skin. Repeat this process with yellow cream make-up to give the surrounding area a raw and irritated appearance.

Dip a large make-up brush into baby powder and dust the powder over the cream make-up. This will soften the colours and dry the make-up slightly.

Pour fake blood directly onto the cut you created in step three. Don't worry if the blood overflows or spills onto the surrounding skin as this is what naturally happens with a real cut.

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