Boy dressed in halloween costume

This Halloween, will your costume be fun and whimsical, or spooky and gory? While many Halloween revelers will be donning the former and avoiding anything overly frightening, the fact is that Halloween is, at its roots, a scary celebration.

If you’d like to spend your Halloween looking more ghastly than ghostly, we’ve got you covered with our guide on how to brew the best fake blood and ensure that your costume gives everybody the heebie-jeebies. The best part? You can easily do this at home with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

How to Make Frightening Fake Blood

The basic components of a super simple homemade fake blood recipe are usually corn syrup and red food coloring. However, if you want your blood to look as authentic (and frightening) as possible, this might not be the best route to take. To kick it up a notch, here’s a truly gruesome fake blood recipe.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring

Blend all your ingredients together. Refrigerate when not in use.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s nontoxic, so you can safely apply it to your skin. However, those who want to incorporate fake blood in their face makeup should be careful about what they put on their face. Not only is the face much more sensitive and prone to acne or inflammation when you put something on it, but a lot of fake blood recipes, especially those using food coloring, stain pretty heavily. Since Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, you don’t want to be rolling into work on Thursday with red streaks on your forehead.

Need something more specific? Here are some ways you can tweak this recipe to achieve the look you want.

For Gorier Injuries

Want to look like you got seriously shredded up? To start, you’ll want to create a base for your injury.

There are many ways to construct a fake wound, especially if you’re talented with special-effects makeup. However, if you’re just looking for something quick and easy, here’s one fairly simple method involving toilet paper and glue: Mix a little bit of red food coloring and cocoa powder with white glue and dab the mixture onto your skin where you want your wound to be. Then, take the toilet paper, pull it apart into single layers and tear it into small pieces. Arrange and mold the toilet paper to look like a wound, leaving space in the middle if you want the cut to look deep.

Once your wound is dry, you’ll want to make it look nice and bloody. For that, you want a fake blood that has gelatin in it, so you can get that coagulated look.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 packs unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • Red food coloring

Mix corn syrup, flour and a desired amount of food coloring in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. In a pot, boil water, add gelatin and stir. Add the gelatin mixture to the corn syrup mixture and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool off before you use it.

The gelatin will give you a thick gel to work with. Paint it onto your base and let it set.

Blood That Won’t Stain

If you’re looking for face friendly fake blood to go with the rest of your Halloween makeup, you’ll probably want to stick with materials you know will come off with makeup remover. Instead of using food dye, experiment by adding red makeup, like a red lip stain or red eyeshadow, to some corn syrup. Be sure to test your fake blood in a discreet area first if you have sensitive skin or are worried about staining.

Don’t put fake blood on any clothing items that you don’t want permanently stained. If you’re trying to achieve a bloody look with an item of clothing that you’d like to wear again, try children’s washable paint (but be careful with that as well – there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to return the item to its original state).

Other Tips and Tricks

If your fake blood isn’t thick enough, add some cornstarch until you get your desired consistency. If you need something a little runnier, dilute the mixture with water.

If the red from the food coloring looks too bright or unnatural, try stirring in some cocoa powder, which will make the color a little more realistic.

Remember that food coloring stains, so avoid using a food-coloring-based fake blood on your face. It might also be a good idea to wear gloves and an apron when you’re concocting your fake blood so you don’t ruin your clothes. If you’re adding blood to your costume, do so well ahead of time so it has time to dry completely before you put it on.

If you have trouble removing the vestiges of Halloween night from your face, a dab of olive oil on a cotton pad is a safe and gentle solution. Avoid any abrasive cleansers or cleaning techniques that could irritate your skin.

Do you have your own fake blood recipes? Share them in the comments below. Happy haunting!

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