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Be a wanna-z! Advice for pulling off the zombie look without pulling out your hair (literally!)

2 Feb

Once the province of glossy magazines and fashion models, haute decay has finally stepped off the runway and into the supermarket, PTA meeting, executive conference room, and even the five-star restaurant on the Upper East Side.

And yet, as popular as the zombie look is, many women are still intimidated by the amount of time and money it takes to adopt a properly putrefied pose. Sure, some women spend hours at the beauty salon having their hair strandardized, but you don’t have to. You can get the same coveted straggly chic style without leaving your own bathroom, and you don’t have to lose a single strand to do it!

Here, tips for becoming your own homegrown beautiful corpse.

The eyes have it. Central to the zombie trend is the red webbing in a wanna-z’s eyes. BloodTacts—bloodshot contact lenses—can cost up to $100 per pair, depending on the intracacy of the lines. You can attain the same effect at a fraction of the cost with a helpful little product that’s probably already in your purse: pepper spray. A tiny shot of pepper spray will turn your eyes bright pink for hours. Apply carefully. Excessive application can result in burning, stinging and temporary blindness.

Neither hair nor there The stringy gray strands of straggly chic might be all the rage but don’t be so quick to surrender your tresses to strand-thinning mavens at the local salon. Rates of regrowth vary, and many women report dissatisfaction with the appearance of their scalp. Instead of heading to the salon, head to your pantry. Douse your head with olive oil; on days when you  need a little extra conditioning, go  extra virgin. Once hair is seriously soaked, sprinkle with all-purpose flour. (Use 3 tablespoons whole wheat for a super-grime look.) Clump hair together in bunches about a quarter inch thick, taking care to keep them separate, and you are ready to go. Not sure what to do with the excess oil sliding down your forehead? Take along a brightly colored statement handkerchief and keep the drips at bay in style!

Clothing in on it. The best haute-decay designs are those that leave the tailoring to Mother Nature. All too frequently, torn and ripped clothes can look calculatingly damaged. Replicate the replication of the natural world by staking your favorite outfits to a tree for several weeks. Then run them through the dishwasher with boric acid. In no time at all, your beloved 7s will look like they’ve been dragged around by a rotted corpse for ten years. Beautiful!

Making scents. Fifty percent of wanna-z success is aural. If you smell like a zombie, then you look like a zombie. To be on trend without making your gag reflex kick in, buy Eau de Death at any drugstore or pharmacy and sweeten it at home with this easy concoction: 2 tablespoons cream soda, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, 1 cherry Jolly Rancher dissolved in 2 ounces hot water. Mix with your perfume of choice and voilà—sweets for the sweet!