Dick Smith’s Blood Recipe

92 year-old Dick Smith passed away on July 30th, 2014 and there was not a person more loved in the makeup world than him. Known as “The Godfather of Makeup” his work has been the inspiration of every makeup artist since he first released his book, “Monster Makeup Handbook.” As a kid I used to check this book out of the library and dream of doing makeup professionally on films that I directed.

He was an inspiration for all that wanted to be makeup artists, he was a mentor to numerous friends of mine that work in the makeup industry. He always responded back to young students in the trade that mailed him questions and asked for guidance. Rick Baker said, “there’s never going to be another Dick Smith. Dick is, without a doubt, the greatest makeup artist who’s ever going to live.” We should all agree to that.

One thing to learn from Mr. Smith is to always take the time to teach others, give others guidance and don’t hide your knowledge out of fear that someone will be better than you. Strive for perfection and that comes with being challenged by others. Greg Nicotero, from “The Walking Dead” fame said this about his current fake blood recipe, “I’ve always based my blood on Dick Smith’s formula. His blood has always been the staple of the industry. It’s one of those things where if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Here is Dick Smith’s Blood Recipe that was used on such films as “Taxi Driver,” “The Godfather,” “The Exorcist,” and so many other films.


  • 1 Tsp Zinc Oxide (purchase from a laboratory supply)
  • 1 Tsp Ehler Yellow Food Color
  • 1 Oz. Ehler Red Food Color
  • 1 Oz. Of Water
  • 1 Oz. Kodak Photo-Flo *Poisonous* (purchase from a photo supply store)
  • 1 Quart White Corn Syrup


  • Place the zinc oxide in a mixing bowl, add water and the Kodak Photo-Flo (remember this is poisonous).
  • Add the red and yellow food coloring and mix (If you are using a brand other than Ehler’s yellow, use half the amount indicated).
  • Mix in a 1/4 of your corn syrup and place in a container (make sure your container is larger than your ingredients because the blood will separate).
  • Mix in the final amount of corn syrup and mix well.
  • Keep your blood refrigerated because the corn syrup may make it grow mold.
  • When you need to use your recipe always mix vigorously before application.

DO NOT EAT OR PLACE IN YOUR MOUTH – This recipe is poisonous and should eye contact also. Be careful and if you do need emergency help call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222).


“The Godfather of Makeup” Dick Smith

4 Comments on “Dick Smith’s Blood Recipe”

  1. May Dick’s spirit of passion and community live on in our industry and into the world at large!

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