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A Pain-Free Black Eye (And Bruise)

Dana Nye • Answer Box • June 1, 2009

The final bruise.

Makeup can supply an easy special effect within anyone’s grasp. We asked Dana Nye of the Ben Nye Makeup to walk us through the steps to making a quick black eye, and he went right to work on his model Peter Wilks.

Ben Nye Master Bruise Wheel
(or individual colors: Dark Burgundy, Midnite Violet, Blood Red, Chrome Yellow or Goldenrod Creme Color, Coal Creme Color)
Neutral Set Powder
Flat Brushes (5, 7 or 10)
Foam Sponge Sections
Stipple Sponge Sections
Velour Puff or Powder Brush

1.) Apply foundation shade to match actor’s skintone. Set with translucent powder.

Step 2

2.) From inner corner, apply Dark Burgundy shade with brush (No. 5) just above eyelid crease, extending outward toward temple. Apply Burgundy contour beneath eye following lower socket. Keep overall shape of injury irregular for realism.

Step 3

3.) Deepen Burgundy contour with Midnite Violet and Coal.

Step 4

4.) Apply Blood Red to lower lash line. Blend downward onto lower lid.

Step 5

5.) Blend contour colors lightly with a clean, dry brush (No. 10) to soften edges. Blend with a light motion to avoid overmixing colors (overmixing will create a “muddy” effect).

Step 6

6.) Apply Yellow or Goldenrod between lower lid and socket contour to simulate swelling.

Step 7

7.) Gently apply colorless powder with puff or brush to set, including upper and lower lids.

Step 8

8.) Remove excess powder with sponge dampened with water. This will “revive” color brightness. Intensify with more color if desired.

Online Bonus! Here's how to extend the bruise, and add gore to your black eye.

Step 9

9.) Apply Dark Burgundy with sponge or fingertips in irregular shape. For this makeup, the bruise is an extension of the black eye injury, ending just below the cheekbone. “Distress” temple area with light brush strokes of color.

Step 10

10.) Lightly layer Midnite Violet over Burgundy with sponge or finger to create depth. Apply Yellow or Goldenrod on cheekbone above contour to simulate swelling. Set with powder.

Step 11

11.) Optional Gore: With Charcoal Powder or Coal on stipple sponge section, lightly “scrape” above brow, at temple and on cheek.

Step 12

12.) Apply Thick Blood (gel) on stipple sponge. Thick Blood can be “scraped” on or applied in a random stipple pattern across injury.

Step 13

13.) Apply Stage Blood (fluid) with cotton swab. Carefully apply a layer of lip gloss, glycerin or petroleum jelly over bruised areas to highlight.

The finished product

And here's the finished product:

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