How to Use Special Effects Make-Up to Create Cuts, Bruises and Blood

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 coloring
  • Sifted flour
  • Water
  • Container

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

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

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 makeup in a shade that matches the surrounding skin, thus completely blending the fake skin into the surrounding skin.

Add fake blood and bruising makeup for a finished look.

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

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

Take the purple makeup and pat it onto the area. Again, keep the application varied as real bruises are rarely solid colors.

Repeat the makeup application with the blue and green colors.

Blend the colors with a light layering of yellow makeup.

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 coloring and 8 drops of blue food coloring.

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 makeup 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 makeup application if you have extremely sensitive skin. Special effects makeups may irritate very sensitive skin.