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Halloween Trek Cosplay Advice from a Pro

Halloween Trek Cosplay Advice from a Pro

Are you tired of wearing a uniform or Vulcan ears for Halloween, but still want to get your Trek on? If you can apply a little makeup and shop at a thrift store you can create your own unique Trek look without being a Cosplay expert.

Zombify Your Redshirt

You may have seen them staggering through the convention halls at many Star Trek or other conventions. The Walking Red are a group of Trek enthusiasts who regularly mashup Trek and The Walking Dead to create their own spin of both franchises. While some of the outfits may look complicated, with just a few steps you can turn a plain red t-shirt, a pair of black pants and a little makeup into a stunning look that’ll make you proud to wear the red.


  • 1 Red Shirt
  • 1 Pair of Black Pants
  • Zombie Halloween makeup pallet from any store


  • Pre-made scars
  • Spirit Gum Adhesive
  • Small Bottle of Liquid Latex

Building the Costume:

Depending on how “fresh” your Walking Red is, you may not need to distress your costume. There are, however, many tutorials about how to “Zombify” your clothing. The typical look for Redshirt Zombies is some sort of phaser burn, which can range from a dark centered smudge radiating out to an actual burned hole in a shirt. In many cases, the pants are left untouched. How much you want to modify your outfit is up to you, as is whether you want to use the clothing for normal wear after it’s washed.


If you wish to add pre-made scars or prosthetic pieces make sure you thoroughly clean the area on your body you wish to apply your pieces with witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Be careful around the nose, eyes and mouth to ensure you don’t inhale, ingest, or contact the eyes with these astringents. This process will help your prosthetic pieces adhere more effectively by removing oils and dirt that hinder adhesion.

Follow the instructions of the adhesive and make sure you take the time to ensure proper adhesion.

Pro Tip: If you’re using spirit gum, you can mix a small amount 1:1 with rubbing alcohol and use it to seal the edges of your prosthetic on top to create a top layer of adhesion that’ll help the piece stay on longer.


Key points to a convincing Zombie makeup include hollowing out the eyes using darker black and browns near the center with lighter shades around the outside of the eye sockets. Highlighting the cheekbone ridge and blending into darker shades to hollow out the jawline will also help. Depending on how drawn you want your look to be, adding pinch lines around the lips and additional shading around the nose will enhance your character’s emaciated look.

Finish your Walking Red with weathering by utilizing watered-down acrylic paint as a spatter overlay and using a chip brush spatter browns, dark greens and blacks to simulate the dirt and grit that naturally occurs in rough living conditions. This will help tie your makeup together and create that final gritty look important to these characters.

Bajoran Refugee - Maquis Resistance Fighter

You don’t need to be from Bajor to look like a seasoned resistance member. Comprised of a mix of races, the Maquis provides an opportunity to design simple, off-the-shelf costumes or more-intense resistance fighters armed to the teeth. Ultimately, with some simple makeup and clothing you can usually pick up secondhand, you can build a look that’d make any Maquis member proud.


  • Shirt or Tunic
  • Vest (turn it inside out)
  • Belt (wide if possible)
  • Baggy Pants (Twill weave looks great)
  • Boots or Scruffy Sandals
  • Bajoran Earring


  • Nose bridge Prosthetic
  • Jewelry or assorted rustic pieces to add

Building the Costume:

The Bajoran look consists of primarily homespun items, creating a simple ensemble similar to peasant wear of the middle ages -- with a slightly modern upstyle in coloration and patterns. My outfit consists of a work shirt with the collar tucked under and a suit vest turned inside out to show a fabric pattern more akin to the Bajoran style. The shirt is left untucked with a wide belt, either solid or braided, fastened on top. Trousers should be loose-fitting and, if possible, have some texture to the weave. Boots or sandals finish the look. This look is fitting for men or women. If desired, a solid color dress with a shawl can also be used.


The Nose Knows…

Start with a lighter strip of color from about an inch above the eyebrows and continue down to the middle of your nose. Base out your ridge shadow lines in a dark brown or color that suits your complexion. Follow that with a lighter tone above the ridge shadow line and lightly blend upward into the ridge shadow line above, keeping the ridge lines sharp. If your ridges appear muddy, go over the top of the shadow with your shadow color to redefine them. It may take a few attempts and adjustments to get your ridges the way you want them.

Bajoran Refugee and Maquis Resistance Fighters lead a hard life, often being abused, or tortured upon capture during interrogation. Adding a bruise or scar helps pump up the realism of your character and makes it stand out. The bruising was created using four layers colors and blending to simulate a fresh-on-bone bruise with a blunt object.

Start with yellow in all the areas you want to highlight, adding green, followed by purple, and either black or deep purple. Blend with a stipple sponge and add additional color as desired.

Create additional action-based elements by utilizing watered-down acrylic paint as a spatter overlay and using a chip brush spatter browns, dark greens, and blacks to simulate the dirt and grit that naturally occurs in rough living conditions.

Nothing Runs Like a Nibiru

Fancy yourself clad in yellow and running through the crimson forest to reclaim your sacred text for honor and glory? If so, you may find that joining the tribe is the way to go to create a Trek-inspired look that catches the eye and draws the attention you desire.


  • 4 - 6 yards Yellow Muslin (Depending on height)
  • White Face and body Paint
  • Black Face and body Paint


  • Nibiru Facial Prosthetic
  • Bald Cap
  • Full Sclera Blackout Contact Lenses
  • Staff
  • Sandals

Building the Costume:


Building the robes is easy even if you don’t have a sewing machine.

This diagram will help you create the robes. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can cut ties into the fabric to bind both sides of the robe together. When done sewing or tying, flip the robe inside out.


Take the excess fabric left from the robe cut and taking the top right tip, pull it down toward the left until the edge lines up with the left side (like you’re making a paper airplane). Cut the bottom off, leaving a square. Tie the long ends together to form a hood and wear over your robe.


Take the excess material from the hood and, depending on your waist size, use it as a sash. If you need more sash, cut the material in half and tie together to give more sash length. Tie off in the front and leave the free ends hanging.

The Eyes Have It

Tribal in nature, the Nibiru makeup focal point is the eyes. Their soul-swallowing black gaze was obtained with full-sclera black contact lenses used by the primary or “Hero” actors during the shooting of Star Trek Into Darkness. However, many of the actors playing Nibiru did not utilize contacts and still felt a part of their environment. I choose the more-attainable, eye-friendly way to create this look using simple makeup.

First, apply your white face and body paint to base out your face, neck, hands, and feet in white. Depending on the makeup, you may have to apply 1-3 coats to ensure even coverage.

After the white has been applied, use a flat paintbrush to paint your facial lines, arm and finger, and leg and feet lines. If possible, have the facial lines flow into the eyes to draw the observer’s view to them. Lines on the arms and legs should follow the bone structure in a geometric pattern.

Add black shading around the eyes, blending with the white to provide a smooth transition. Add hollowing around the throat, jaws and chin and blend into the white to give the makeup more dimension.

As previously mentioned, applying a watered-down acrylic paint as a spatter overlay and using a chip brush, spatter browns, red, grey and black to simulate the dirt and grit that would naturally occur in the Nibiru homeworld.

Feel free to add subtract or modify these basic costumes and makeups to fit your need. Creativity is the key to building your best character. Let your imagination run wild and go with what moves you to Trek perfection this Halloween!

Michael Rough