Clown Makeup: Types, Materials & Procedure

Clown makeup has grown from being used as a halloween costume to creative makeup styles. It is not uncommon to see people rocking clown makeup to themed parties, during creative makeup contests or just wearing them to scare others. Initially, clown makeup was used by performers who tell jokes, juggle oranges or do things that makes children to laugh, now almost all halloween parties have people wearing clown makeup. 

During halloween in 2020, there were 2.4 million searches on Google and 106 thousand searches on YouTube on how to makeup like a clown. There are many type of clown look you may want to achieve, each look depends on your choice and the reason behind it.


1. The Traditional Whiteface Clown

This look is very popular and used by most performers. The colors used are white, red, black and blue with white being the base. The clown look can either be a white face, painted nose, painted eyebrows and normal mouth size or it can be white face, false nose and big mouths and eyebrows. This look is mostly used when preforming to children. 

2. Clown Light 

Clown light involves only light makeup. The makeup is done around the eyes and mouth, no wigs or false nose is needed. This is best for people who are in countries with hot climates.

3. Auguste Clown

Instead of white base, the colors used are red, orange or pink. A false red nose nose is used and the areas around the eyes are painted white while the color for the mouth is red or black.

4. Tramp Clown

Pink or red color is the base of the makeup and white is used for the eyes area and the mouth as well. A red false nose is used too. 


The type of clown makeup you are going for will determine the type of things you will need. But the most basic things are 

  1. Grease paint of any color
  2. Brush or sponge
  3. Setting powder

It is best to use a grease or oil face paint instead of water paint. Water-based face paints cannot give you the coverage you need, they can cause smudges or drop down the face. Grease face paint is best for clown makeup because they give the face an opaque coverage that can stay for a long time without settling in laugh lines or even dripping out.

clown makeup
Clown Makeup


All types of clown look have the same process for applying the makeup except for clown light that needs much creativity to work on the areas marked out. 

1. Wash your face with soap and water and pat dry with a clean towel. You can prep your face against sweat by using products for makeup skin prep.  Apply the grease face pain all over your face with a brush, sponge or your fingers.

2. Make sure the paint settles very well on your face and you have gotten a smooth and opaque consistency. The color for the paint depends on the type of clown look you are recreating. Use a brush to mark out the area around your eyebrows and mouth where you will use another color. Clean off the color base on these areas using a dampened q-tip, this is done to make the area clean for another color to be applied. 

3. Fill up the cleaned area with the desired color, you can use a brush that can work on these places without touching other places. You can draw lines as well if you want to imitate a character. Use the setting powder on your makeup to help prevent fading or sliding. Use a dry brush to dust off excess powder from the face.

4. If you are using a false nose, you can place it on the real nose with latex or non-latex adhesives. The adhesives will help keep them fitted while you are performing. To remove the nose, use an adhesive remover. 


This is mostly used during Halloween or to scare others. It gives out an evil look that scares people.

1. Apply makeup skin prep to help the makeup stay on your face for a long time. Rub the grease face paint on your face, this is optional. Some people use grease paint all over their face as the base while other just work on the eyes, mouth, nose and cheeks.

2. Using a thin brush, draw the pattern you want from the lower area of your eyes. You can use any color of paint. From your lower eyes, slowly draw your way up to your forehead. For scary clown makeup, most people use black or red paint for the eyes. Use another brush to fill out the patterns on the eyes, this is to make the color bold and very scary. 

3. Apply the grease face paint on the nose, you can choose to use the same color as the eyes. Work on the tip of the nose and make sure the color is clearly seen on the nose. Next is your mouth, fill the lips with your choice of paint. Draw a line with a thin brush and paint from the corners of the mouth to the cheeks, this should look like a smile.

4. Apply paint under and above the lips, a darker shade of the color on the lips should be used to draw lines on the first paint. Apply paint on the cheeks, this should be below the lines that runs from the mouth and slightly above the jaws. The pattern on the eyes can be recreated on the cheeks as well.  


If you are confused on whether you should look cute or scary, the cute clown look is in-between both.

1. The first step after prepping your face is to rub grease paint on your face. You can rub the paint in a circular shape around the face without getting to the edges. After making out the round shape, you can fill out the inner part of the face. A white paint is always used for this look.

2. Use setting powder to pad the face. The powder will prevent the paint from dripping. Use another color to contour the cheeks, under the chin, the eyes and a little bit down the nose as well. Rub a shimmery shade of paint on the eyelid to make it stand out more. Also, apply the shimmery shade on the corners of the eyes.

3. Use another color to highlight the nose, forehead, and the chin. Widen out your eyebrows with a color, you can use white. Use a bright color to draw bubbles on both cheeks and on the tips of the nose too. A dark shade color preferably black is used on the lips. Extend the dark colors from the corners of the mouth to the cheeks using a straight line.

4. Use the same dark color a little under the mouth making it look like the paint is dripping out of the mouth. Line your eyes with a black eyeliner. Smudge it out a little under the eyes to make it look like black tears are coming out of the eyes. You can fix dark contact lenses if you desire. 


Clown makeup is no longer used by performers but also be makeup artists and during Halloween. There is no exact look as you are free to add more creativity to your look. The result should be creepy, scary or funny. The steps on how to apply clown makeup is simple and can be done by anyone with just the right materials. The next Halloween should have you bringing out your creativity in doing your clown makeup