MOBILESTYLES APP ad banner and logo
FREE — On the App Store
15% off
Download Now
Scary Makeup

The Ultimate Guide to Scary Makeup Mastery

Master Scary Makeup

In beauty and transformation, scary makeup stands out as a thrilling exploration of creativity and fear.

It's not just about changing your appearance; it's about storytelling, evoking emotion, and, perhaps most importantly, having fun with the darker side of the imagination. Whether you want to be the life of the Halloween party, an actor in a horror movie, or simply explore the art for personal enjoyment, mastering scary makeup can be an exhilarating journey. This guide is your compass through the shadowy path of scary makeup, from beginner's basics to professional effects, ensuring that every brushstroke contributes to an unforgettable transformation.

Scary Makeup

What is scary makeup?

A cornerstone of horror films and Halloween celebrations, scary makeup transcends mere cosmetic application to embody an art form that transforms the mundane into macabre. This genre of makeup styling plays with the elements of fear, intrigue, and the supernatural, allowing enthusiasts and artists to create visages that range from subtly eerie to downright terrifying.

Expert tips for mastering scary makeup

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of scary makeup, let's gather some wisdom from the pros. These tips will hone your skills and ensure your scary makeup is effective and long-lasting.

  1. Start with a clean canvas: Make sure your face is moisturised before applying makeup. This will help your makeup adhere better and last longer.
  2. Invest in quality products: Quality makeup looks better and is gentler on your skin. This is especially important for makeup that will be on for a long time.
  3. Layering is key: Build your makeup in layers to achieve depth and realism. This technique is especially effective for treating wounds, scars, and other textured effects.
  4. Focus on the eyes: The eyes are often the focal point of scary makeup. Use contacts, exaggerated eyeliner, or shadows to make them more sinister.
  5. Practice blending: Seamless blending is crucial to avoid harsh lines that can detract from the realism of your scary makeup. Take the time to blend edges and transitions smoothly.

Scary Makeup

Essential Scary Makeup Products and Tools

The proper arsenal of products and tools is crucial to creating effective scary makeup. Here's what you need to get started:

  • The palette of fat colours: This palette offers a wide range of colours for creating different effects, from bruises to ghostly pallor.
  • Liquid Latex: Perfect for creating textured skin, wounds, and ageing effects.
  • Fake Blood is a must for adding a gory touch to your makeup. You can choose different viscosities depending on the effect you're going for.
  • Special Effects Gelatin: Great for creating burns, blisters and flesh-like textures.
  • Rigid Collodion: Ideal for creating scarring effects. It folds the skin to mimic the look of scars.
  • Black and White Makeup: Essential for creating depth shadows and enhancing bone structure in your scary makeup.
  • Detail Brushes and Sponges: Essential for applying and blending makeup precisely.

Scary Makeup

Key Scary Makeup Techniques

Using specific techniques can take your scary makeup from good to truly terrifying. Here are a few to master:

  • Colour theory: Understanding which colours mimic bruises, veins, and decomposition can enhance the realism of your makeup.
  • Texture creation: Techniques such as stippling can create texture on the skin, making effects such as rotting flesh more believable.
  • Highlight and shadow: This can add depth to your makeup, making prosthetics and painted features more three-dimensional.

The Psychology Behind Scary Makeup

Scary makeup does more than change appearances; it taps into our primal fears and fascination with the unknown. By mimicking signs of disease, death, and decay, scary makeup evokes a visceral reaction rooted in our instinctive aversion to these universal signs of danger.

Scary Makeup

Scary Makeup Tutorial: Creating a Frightening Visage

Prepare your face

Begin with a clean, moisturised face. Apply a foundation to create a smooth base so your creepy makeup will adhere well and last longer.

Apply foundation

Apply a base coat of light or coloured foundation, depending on the desired effect. This sets the stage for more detailed work.

  1. Use a sponge to ensure even coverage.
  2. Consider using a shade lighter than your skin tone to create a ghostly effect.

Scary Makeup

Create depth and contour

Use dark shades to hollow out areas such as the eyes, cheeks, and temples to give the face a gaunt look.

  1. Use blending brushes for smooth transitions.
  2. Layer different shades for a more realistic effect.

Add special effects

Add liquid latex, gelatin, or rigid collodion for wounds, scars, and texture. Apply fake blood as needed for gory details.

  1. Practice layering these materials to achieve the desired effect.
  2. Use detail brushes for precision.

Finishing touches

Set your makeup with a setting powder or spray to ensure it stays in place throughout the event.

  1. Pay attention to areas that may wrinkle or smudge.
  2. Add finishing touches like false eyelashes or contact lenses to enhance the scary factor.

Scary Makeup

Celebrity Inspiration for Scary Makeup

Looking for ideas? These celebrities have nailed their scary makeup looks, providing plenty of inspiration for your next creation:

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise

Bill Skarsgård's portrayal of Pennywise in It is a masterclass in scary makeup, combining exaggerated features with a chilling expression to bring the nightmarish clown to life.

  • Focus on the iconic red makeup and creepy smile.
  • Remember the eerily pale complexion and exaggerated forehead.

Doug Jones in Pan's Labyrinth

Doug Jones' roles in Pan's Labyrinth, particularly as the Pale Man, showcase the transformative power of scary makeup, using prosthetics and body paint to create a truly terrifying character.

  • Emulate the skin texture and creepy eye placement.
  • Capture the emaciated look with clever contouring.

Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen

Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen

While not traditionally "scary," Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen in "Alice in Wonderland" features exaggerated makeup that can inspire whimsical, terrifying looks.

  • The oversized, heart-shaped lips and heavily lined eyes are key features.
  • Use white makeup to mimic her exaggeratedly pale skin.

Javier Botet's various roles

Known for his roles in horror films like Mama and The Conjuring 2, Javier Botet uses his unique physique and makeup to create deeply disturbing characters.

  • Study his use of elongated limbs and distorted body shapes.
  • Incorporate similar unsettling elements into your makeup.

Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd

Johnny Depp's Sweeney Todd offers a more subdued but still haunting makeup look, with pale skin, darkened eyes, and strategically placed blood spatter.

  • The hollowed-out eyes and pale skin are essential.
  • Add subtle blood effects for a freshly "barbered" look.

Scary Makeup

Your partner in beauty and creativity

Ready to take your scary makeup to the next level? MOBILESTYLES connects you with professional makeup artists who can bring your scariest visions to life. Whether you're preparing for Halloween, a themed party, or a film production, our experts offer personalised beauty solutions at your doorstep. Embrace the art of transformation with MOBILESTYLES and let your imagination run wild!


Download the style that comes to you!

The #1 on-demand health and beauty app connecting you with local, vetted PROs.

  • Available Nationwide
  • 100s of services to choose from
  • Your time, your place

With MOBILESTYLES a good time is any time.

Home page with most recent and trending PRO services provided