Just for Fun

The Eyes Have It: Ghoulish Sockets

A perfect look for nom-ing all those brains you/your ghoul-ing collected.

I just got back from the local zombie walk, Venango Zombiefest, benefiting some no-kill animal organizations. Because my mom’s cousin organizes it, we were volunteering. I baked a cake and ran registration. It was a great time for a good cause, as well as a great opportunity to have fun with makeup. There were some excellent ones this year — I really liked the bride zombie. I love any chance to play dress up, so I had a little bit of fun.

Heavy pale redhead in zombie makeup, including black and red eye makeup

These ghoulish eyes were intended to look a little bit like dried out gouged sockets, but instead just came out creepy. Thankfully, “creepy” was the more general goal here.

You will need:

  • Whatever you are using for the rest of your face. I did my usual basic process and then contoured and blended out with a dark green eyeshadow.
  • A black or dark grey creme shadow pencil. (You can use either a costume crayon or a regular shadow primer, but you may need to use extra shadow with the primer.)
  • A red shadow. The brighter/closer to a true red, the better. (I used Initial Bloodbath from Aromaleigh’s Ever in Your Favor collection)
  • A black shadow, the blacker the better. (The blacks I used were not quite dark enough — During the Dark Days and Act of Defiance, both from the Ever in Your Favor collection.)
  • A black eyeliner — pencil is more versatile here but use what you are comfortable with. (I used my trusty  Lancôme eyeliner pencil in Black Ebony.)
  • Optional: Red lip liner. (I didn’t use this.)
  • Black mascara. (I used Lancôme Hypnôse Drama)
  • The brush(es) of your choice — I used a Lancôme All Over Shadow Brush as well as a cheap liner brush.

Below are the steps, numbered, and they correspond to images in the gallery.

  1. Do whatever you are doing to the rest of your face. It could be zombie, ghoul, ghost, or even just your normal look. I recommend doing this first not only because it’s my normal process, but also because of both fall out ruining the black of the eye look and the blending in your edges for this look.
  2. Once your face is prepped, figure out the size and shape you want your “sockets” to be and outline that with the creme shadow pencil. I went on the large side, going substantially bigger than my actual socket line. Depending on your look, you might want to follow your actual sockets, or only slightly bigger. Much bigger than I went and you end up a bit more cartoon-y than really works well. Fill in the shape.
  3. (Optional) IF you want more of a crisp edge than you see here, outline the edges of the black base with a red lip liner. make the line a little thicker on the inner and outer corners, tapering out. Otherwise, skip this step.
  4. With the brush of your choice — I used the liner brush — apply the red to the edges of the shape, but keeping to the shape itself. If you used liner, start at the liner and bring it in towards the black area. You want a thicker, tapering edge in the corners — if you have pointy corners, this might look like a little triangle with tapering points. Also, go a little thicker on the top outside edge. You can also add a little red towards the center of the shape, to give it more depth.
  5. Next, apply the black shadow in the center of the shape where you have only the creme shadow pencil showing. Aim for a more matte look if possible. My blacks were too shimmery, even after I added another one to try to cut the shimmer. It worked, but it could have been better. Allow it to blend with the red a little.
  6. Touch up the red, particularly in the places where your lines were thicker earlier. If the black looks too flat, add a little bit of red where the inside of the socket might glisten if your eyeballs weren’t there to create depth. You’ll also want to blend in. If you are going for the more bruised look I did, you can blend both ways with a brush. If you want a sharper, more raw, look, blend inwards only, avoiding bringing the black out as much as possible.
  7. With your black liner pencil, go over you lash line, lower lash line, wet line, and anyplace that looks a little lighter. The reason I recommended a pencil here is because you can touch up any places that are supposed to be black but are a little weaker than the surrounding area.
  8. Apply your mascara. It should be black so that it blends in with the black shadow. The goal here is to get closer to the illusion that when your eyes are closed you lack eyeballs, so if you have lighter lashes this is doubly important.
  9. Finish other non-eye related parts of your look. Depending on what you are going for, this could involve some very cool lip makeup or an outrageous hair-do. I think if I were doing a different look, I’d go with a bright red lip, but here I covered mine with a concealer stick and then brushed on some dark green and black eye shadow until I was satisfied.
  10. Feast upon the brains of your enemies, as you are done!

Next week, we will have a cute little pumpkin/ jack’o’lantern look to finish off the month.

By Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone.

Advocate, Writer, Geek.
Multiply Disabled, Queer, and proudly Autistic.
Primary Obsession: Institutions, History of Care of people with MH/DDs
Also obsessed with: Social Justice, Cats, Victorian Romanticism, and Doctor Who.

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