Halloween Series: Black Dahlia 

So if you don’t already know, I am doing a Halloween Series for the entire month of October. Every Monday and Friday until Halloween, I will posting new makeup/ costume ideas and tutorials for you all. Playing with makeup is always fun, and special effects makeup is certainly no exception. 

Kicking off our series is this creepy Black Dahlia/ Chelsea Smile look that is gory and glamorous at the same time. I don’t have any experience with prosthetics, but this was super easy to figure out. Pretty much everything I used, I had at home, so it’s a very inexpensive look to recreate. To start off with the smile, I used only eyelash adhesive and tissues. Using my own face shape as a guide, I cut the tissue into two triangle-shaped pieces and then slit them down the middle. I glued them on using the adhesive, making sure to leave the outside edges smooth and flat, and the inside edges/ slits pulled up and roughed up a bit. Once the adhesive was dried, I applied my normal face makeup. Keep in mind, this is period makeup, so use references if you’d like. I didn’t take it too seriously, I just opted for straighter brows and NO highlighter (they were not strobing back in the day). For eye makeup, I just did a neutral crease, sharp winged liner, and big fluffy lashes. Pile on the blush, and finish it with a smeared red lip. 

Now on to the good stuff. For bruising on my temple, nose, and cheek, I used purple, pink, and yellow eyeshadow. I used a paint brush to apply these dry, because the stiffer brush creates texture, and then blending them out slightly with a big fluffy brush. For the smile, I started with a mauve colored eyeshadow on the outside to make the skin appear irritated. 
Keep layering the shadow, and blend in some of the bruise colors as well. You want to create as much texture as possible. On the inside of the smile, I used red lip liner to get a red base, and then used black cream paint (you can get it cheap at any Halloween store) just under the top “lip” to create depth in the cut. I used two different kinds of blood. The first is a gel, which has a clotted/ scabbed look to it, and the second is a more syrupy texture. You can get these at any Halloween store, or even on Amazon. I coated the inside of the smile with the clotted blood, and the used the more liquid one to really finish the look off. Drip the blood out of the cut, down your chin, and out of your mouth. I also dabbed this around the cut in a few places, and placed some on the bruise and around my nose. Take your time doing this. You can go back and add more shadow in places to build up the colors. This is all about creating layers and texture to get the most realistic look.

Hair is important to this look too. To get the curls just right, curl your hair towards your face, and then brush it out. The victory rolls are a pain, but fairly simple once you get the hang of it. It’s mostly just twirling, tucking, and pinning until it looks just right. For the flower (it’s a black dahlia btw!), I bought a cheap headband from Ulta, cut a flower off, and painted it with regular acrylic paint, black on the inside fading out to red. 

And that’s it! I encourage you to try this look out, because it’s a very simple and easy introduction to special effects makeup, without the cost and investment of specialty products. Check back on Friday for our next look! 👻

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