Halloween Makeup: Junji Ito's Curse Of The Spiral

This will totally freak everyone out.
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This will totally freak everyone out.

It's no secret how much I love Halloween. It's the perfect time to transform yourself into whatever your heart desires, which for me, usually means something gory. The bloodier, the better!

Today I'm combining my love of Halloween (and gore) with my love of horror manga artist Junji Ito. I already did a Tomie tutorial, which is definitely suitable for every day, but this look, inspired by Ito's Uzumaki (or “Spiral”) series, probably isn't one you'd want to wear to the grocery store.

manga series uzumaki spiral

Azami, one of the character's in Junji Ito's Uzumaki series. 

Uzumaki is about a town that gets cursed by evil, evil spirals. Though Azami, whose look I'm recreating (above), is a minor character, she's pretty unforgettable. She attracts boys everywhere because of her scar, but slowly turns into a giant spiral. 

She eventually disintegrates into the spiral herself, but not before enveloping and eating an unsuspecting suitor. Intense.

junji ito manga series

Azami--well, three-quarters of Azami. 

Let's get started!


I started out with a ping-pong-esque eyeball from the dollar store and attached it to an eye patch. You can also just draw an iris and pupil on a regular ping-pong ball.

bag of halloween fake eyeballs

You can use one of these...

fake eyeball for halloween costume

But this is even better.

These eyeballs needed adjusting to look more Uzumaki-esque. I used a Liquid Paper pen to draw in all the eye spirals.

white liquid paper pen
fake eyeball before and after

Draw on extra embellishments if necessary.

Then I sewed the eyeball a little closer to the socket (the eye patch), so it was still hanging down, but not ridiculously so.

sewing together fake eyeball


As much as I love playing around with sculpting flesh and liquid latex, sometimes having a nice prosthetic is a lot easier. It's better for cleanup, too. I like Sculpey clay because it's lightweight and very pliable. Go to town creating those evil spirals that are ready to kill.

sculpey oven-bake clay

Time for some Sculpey action.

I made the center of the spiral by twisting the Sculpey into a long worm shape and then coiling it.  

sculpey oven-bake clay


Work on tissue, as this will be the base for your new "eye patch."

fake eyeball on tissue

After making your rough shape, start adding the details. Ito uses loads of scratches in his drawings, so follow accordingly. I used a seam ripper, but you can use anything sharp.

sculpey oven-bake clay

Begin to glue the clay onto the tissue with liquid latex. I used Ben Nye's Clear Latex. Coat the top with liquid latex. too. (We're not oven-baking the clay because the eye will probably melt.)

ben nye clear liquid latex

Wait for it to dry, then cut around the edges of the tissue paper.

cutting tissue

Now you're going to paint the tissue. I used black and red oil paints. 

painting with black oil paint

Don't worry if there's still some white, that part is "bone."

You'll be left with something like this. Put it aside to dry.

fake eyeball patch

Your very own Uzumaki prosthetic.

Since I'm currently blonde, I used a bobbed wig to be truly legit.

short brown bob wig

La la, I'm just a regular girl, no scar to hide here.


The focus here is on the eye. We're gonna make it flirty and sweet, but also terrifying and unnerving: mine and Azami's modus operandi.

make up for ever artificial sculpting flesh

Makeup Forever's Artificial Sculpting Flesh, Ben Nye Creme Color in Fire, fake blood.

I started with white eye shadow.

white eye shadow

Next, I drew in a crease using a dark gray shadow and used liquid liner to create a cat-eye, smudging the gray along my lower lash line. 

grey eye shadow makeup

I used Inglot's Felt Tip Eyeliner Pen, which is so pigmented and easy to use.

Here's where it gets weird. Using Make Up For Ever's Artificial Sculpting Flesh, I added some skin to the bottom of my eye. Then I used gray eye shadow and Ben Nye Creme Color in Fire Red to create a black and blue, bloodied effect. 

dramatic cat eye halloween makeup


Finishing Touches

Next comes the fun part. Your SPIRAL EYE. Glue it on with liquid latex.

fake eyeball applied to face

Stop here if you're going for the straight-up manga look.

If you're into it, leave it. This is the most accurate to the manga version anyway. But if you really want to freak people out, apply Artificial Sculpting Flesh all around the prosthetic.

fake eyeball applied to face

Then squirt fake blood all over the eyeball. Done!

fake eyeball with blood applied to face

Your friendly neighborhood cursed spiral girl.

Here are a couple of gifs to give you nightmares.

head bob gif
manga spiral halloween look

I feel strange…my left eye…I can't seem to focus.

Whether or not you're a fan of the of the horror manga series, this costume will undoubtedly scare the heck out of trick-or-treaters.

  • When's the last time you were legit scared by a person in costume? 
  • Have I convinced you to check out the Uzumaki series?