Now, I’m no SFX expert, but I had a lot of good reactions to my burn makeup from one of my Halloween outfit of the days. I had intended to replicate that super simple process in this tutorial, but when following my reference material (a picture of Freddy Krueger) I think I ended up creating something much cooler!

So, here’s a simple SFX look to get a Freddy Krueger style facial burn. All you need is a bottle of liquid latex, sponges, an old makeup/paint brush for details and basic body paints (all my tips are in reference to water based body paint). Optional must haves are fake coagulated blood and petroleum jelly or natural alternative.


Part One: Latex Base

Step One: Latex Basecoat
Step One: Lightly cover one half of your face with liquid latex using a sponge. Blend this out into the other side by patting and pulling towards the clean side. It helps if you flip the sponge over and use the clean side of it too.

This will help create an entire base for the look, which will help significantly with cleanup!

Step Two: Create Thick Strings of Skin
Step Two: Using the corner of the sponges, dab them into the liquid latex and then use them to draw lines across the face. Keep doing this until satisfied.

Step Three: Add Latex Details
Step three: Add more detail to these lines using a small brush. I used an old nail art brush. Stiff brushes are easier to clean liquid latex off because it just peels right off. Don’t forget to draw detail lines on top of the thicker lines you already created to add depth.

Step four: Mess up Your Base!
Using scissors and my fingers I tore holes into the latex base, pulled and stretched the latex to deform it and rolled the edges of the clean side up to produce bubbles. It helps make the skin appear dried and blistered.

Step Five: More Latex Details within Ripped Layers
Step five: Then go in again and add layers of deformed skin in the ripped holes of the latex. This looks super cool when it’s painted!

Part Two: Painting

Colouring the Latex
I use a coloured liquid latex
which ended up far too dark for my skin which helps depth to the
painting process, especially since doing that early light base coat. If
you don’t have a coloured latex, you can colour your own simply by
adding paint or foundation. (obviously don’t do this in the latex

Painting the Eye!
When painting the socket I use a mixture of dark red. Then I used a wet sponge in a patting motion to water this colour down so that it wasn’t so obvious. But I made sure that the socket part remained dark.

Painting Basecoat
First, lay down a base of salmon all over the side to help it look irritated and “hot”. I padded this on with a damp sponge the wash out the colour a little. That great thing about painting with water based body paints is that you can use water to shallow out the colour, blend colours and to remove parts entirely without ruining the entire look.

Adding Details of Depth
Then I went in with the classic true red and coloured in all of the deeper sections, between the strings of flesh.

Add in black to the deepest parts of the look (the edges of the holes) and define some of the closer strings of skin by drawing it along the outside. To blend take the true red and go over this again.

Part Three: Optional Blood + Petroleum

Freddy Krueger’s burns don’t have an bloody parts generally, but I like to add in fake blood the the holes, use it to deepen the painted skin, drag it across parts of the clean skin to make the burn side fit better with the other and define the socket.

Lastly, I applied a light layer of paw paw cream (a natural alternative to petroleum jelly) to make the burn look wet and gross.

What do you think of this look? I’m still learning, so I’d love to hear everyone’s tips! I had a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon leading up to Halloween and now I’m hooked! Are you a Freddy Krueger fan?



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