Award-Winning Special Effects Makeup Artist Karlee Morse Gives Halloween Tips Ahead of the Spooky Holiday (Exclusive)

Doing special effects makeup for sets like Star Trek and What We Do in the Shadows, to children's shows like Odd Squad and Dino Dana, Karlee Morse has become quite the name in Hollywood as a makeup artist. Although she earned an Emmy for Dino Dana, working on film sets wasn't what she had in mind early on in her career, having a fine arts and painting background, but she blossomed her talents into something she never expected. With Halloween looking a little different this year due to the pandemic, Morse is putting her skills to use and handing out tips and tricks for everyone to create some creepy yet straightforward looks this year.

During an exclusive interview with, Morris discusses a few ways people can create a COVID-friendly Halloween look and, assuming people are keeping safe this holiday, even shares how a few household items can give you a realistic but Zombie-like look. "So one of the things I recommend to people a lot of the times is homemade blood," she started. While blood seems easy, Morse details it's essential the difference on how to make it look realistic versus animated. "So it's a mix of corn syrup, cocoa powder, food coloring and coffee whitener. So the trick is with the food coloring that you don't use just red. You use red with a tiny bit of blue and a tiny bit of yellow and that's what makes it look like a realistic blood tone."

(Photo: General Mills)

She noted that the coffee whitener makes it "washable" and easy to remove from skin or clothes. If someone was going for a Zombie look, in addition to sunken eyes, frail cheekbones, she says a quick trick that someone can do is stain their teeth and mouth by using mouthwash and food coloring. "Assuming that you're in a safe space where you can take off your mask and you can show your teeth, a really easy way to do, like, a gross zombie teeth is to mix food coloring with mouthwash of any kind. You can stain your teeth and your tongue."

Morse added that using black food coloring gives it "a full effect." She also suggested people decorate their masks this year. She said you could add a little blood to it or decorate it by turning it in into a "skeleton mouth." Morse recently teamed up with General Mills and Monster Cereals to bring the ultimate monster look to create one-of-a-kind Monsters collectible busts, which each feature one of three Monsters: Count Chocula; Franken Berry and Boo Berry.

"Oh my God. Well, I think the nostalgia factor, for sure," Morse said of why she decided to team up with the popular brand. "When they approached me, it was very low key. They're like, 'Oh, I want to just have a little meeting. We'll talk.' And I'm like, 'What is this about?' And as soon as they said Monster Cereal, my heart started racing," adding that she felt like a kid again. "I was really, really excited." Consumers can enter the sweepstakes by following General Mills on Instagram, liking the monster cereal sweepstakes official post and commenting with your favorite monster. Be sure to include the hashtag "Monster Cereal Sweepstakes" now through Oct. 22.

Below are the recipes for Morse's Halloween looks.

Fake Blood Ingredients:

  • Corn Syrup
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Food Colouring (red, yellow, blue)
  • Coffee Whitener
  • Hot Water


  • Add 1L corn syrup to mixing bowl
  • Mix hot water with 1/2 cup of cocoa and stir until consistent
  • Add cocoa mix to corn syrup
  • Add boiling water to 2 TBSP of coffee whitener
  • Add to syrup and cocoa mix
  • Color the blood to your preference (Add in a separate container before adding to mix)
  • Add everything together then put in fridge to cool before applying

Teeth Stain Ingredients:

  • Food Colouring
  • Mouth Wash


  • Mix desired food colouring to 1/4 cup of mouthwash
  • Swish around your mouth for one minute
  • To remove, just brush your teeth!