The Undertaker’s Art: Makeup Tips For The Recently Deceased

makeup
If you have been looking for a way to use your cosmetology and mortician’s licenses lately, why not try your hand at being a mortuary makeup artist? Here are a few tips from some of the best funeral home cosmetology blogs we could find.

From the Daily Undertaker:

Many women have told me that when they die, they would like us to use their favorite makeup brands and colors. This sounds like a good idea, but we are not starting with the same skin tones in death that they start with in life, so adjustments need to be made.

She recommends a foundation that’s pinker than usual for both men and women in order to recreate a lifelike flush.

From Shit Girl Morticians Say:

Check for nose hairs. This is important, since when a person is layed [sic] out, it is sooo easy to see right up there.

Ask questions first, then shave.

Shave the face. Men and women. It sounds weird, but getting rid of the fuzzy face helps give a very smooth apparence. Be very careful when shaving men, in case they have a mustache, beard or any facial hair. Ask the family if they are to be clean shaven, or leave anything on. You can tell if a person has had a beard or mustache vs. they just haven’t been able to shave, but ALWAYS ask before you do anything. It’s super hard to make a mustache again.

For the embalmed, she recommends using a stiff makeup brush with a cream foundation. For the non-embalmed, a makeup sponge will do.

From Make Face Beauty:

You can’t use the same products because those made for the living are designed to work with the heat from the body. For cold skin the makeup needs to be non-thermogenic.

The Jakarta Globe ran an interview last year with a funeral home makeup artist named Alia (“Honestly, I get scared easily”) that is absolutely fascinating. The mortuary she works at employs five other makeup artists, all of whom “take turns bathing the corpses” before beginning the transformation. She used to work in an office and now considers herself “a very brave girl.”

Chronicle‘s Small Business section also has a handy guide on ways to become a funeral makeup artist, if you watched My Girl a lot as a kid and wanted Jamie Lee Curtis’ job. There is also an eHow page on applying makeup to the recently dead, for those of you who prefer the DIY route.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

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