5 Fearsome Facepaint Ideas That Anyone Can Do

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A skeleton, a slithering snake, a scary zombie – have you chosen your Halloween look yet? Nope, neither have we, but help is here and it comes in the form of totally terrifying facepaint. It’s purse-friendly (because who really wants to spend a small fortune hiring a full costume when your face can do the talking?) and we promise it’s a whole lot simpler to do than you would imagine! Get ready for your scariest Halloween look yet.
 
Face-painting is such a good idea because you really can create the most impressive of looks; and not just for yourself, but for the whole family. The children can look as gruesome as they dare… Invite your friends and neighbours round and get painting!
 
We asked professional makeup artist and face-painting expert Jessica Cheetham how to create the coolest looks everyone is asking for right now. Here are five of the creepiest and craziest ones…

1. Heath Ledger’s Joker



Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
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The late, great Heath Ledger’s evil look from Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight has become iconic – and now is a Halloween inspiration.
 
You will need: Sculpt gel, a spatula, face paints (white, black, brown and red) and a foundation brush.
 
Firstly, you want to create your ripped Chelsea smile. Do this with sculpt gel – a two-part silicon product that you mix together to activate. Once activated you have five minutes to work with it before it sets. Use a spatula to apply this at the corners of the mouth to elongate the smile and then wait for it to set.
 
Next add water to the paint and mix until you get the consistency of mayonnaise. With this, white out the face completely using a foundation brush or sponge and then paint around the eyes and eyebrows in black. Use jagged brush strokes around the edges. Next draw wrinkles into the forehead and cheeks with thin lines of brown paint. Colour the lips and Chelsea smile in with red paint, smudging as you go.

2. Gore Galore Zombie



Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
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Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
A zombie is a classic Halloween look but one that you can customise to make as scary as you like. For children you can tone down the gore factor.
 
You will need: Liquid latex, wound filler, face powder, grease paint (white, grey and beige) and lots of fake blood.
 
Firstly, choose where you want your wounds to be – for instance, at the hairline or around the mouth. Start painting on layers of latex, dry with a hair dryer, powder over and repeat. Do this until you have about five layers. When dry, start to slowly pull the latex away from the skin to create the effect of skin flaking off. You can go as big or subtle as you like with this!
 
The next step is to paint your zombie. Pale down the whole face with an off-white colour and then shade around the eyes and under the cheekbones with darker grey/beige shades to hollow out the face. Contouring for the dead! Grease paint is the best option for this as it is better for blending and then you can set it with powder. Your final step is to paint inside the wounds with congealed blood or wound filler and finish off with more fake blood.

3. Scary Skeleton



Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
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Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
The skeleton look is perfect for those who want to scare, but not look too gruesome.
 
You will need: Face paints (black and white) and two makeup brushes (a foundation brush and a very thin makeup brush).
 
The key with skeletons is symmetry. Start by drawing black circles around your eyes and eyebrows. White out the rest of your face and then use the thinnest of makeup brushes to refine the edges and draw on the anatomical details. Adding cracks in the skull can make your look more realistic. Copying a picture makes life easier with a skeleton because you can copy where the highlight and shade of the bones are. If you are feeling brave you can continue painting on the bones right down the neck and even onto the chest and shoulders.

4. Slithering Serpent



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The snake look is a quicker one to create – ideal for children who don’t like sitting still for long!
 
You will need: Face paints (yellow, green, grey, black and white), a makeup sponge and two makeup brushes (a foundation brush and a very thin makeup brush).
 
Start by sponging on your yellow base and then wait for that to dry. Follow with a green coat on top. You can then draw on the black lines with a thin brush in sweeping motions. Paint on the teeth and snake scales freehand and for a more dramatic effect, use a face stencil.

5. Kooky Harlequin



Face-painting by Jessica Cheetham and Sophia Cox. Photography by Mark Pengelly
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The harlequin look is a slightly more unusual one but predicted to be a big trend this Halloween. You can opt for this pretty version, or make it scary by creating a pale, ghostly base and adding fake blood.
 
You will need: Face paints (purple, pink, blue, black and gold ), two makeup brushes (a small brush and a very thin makeup brush), glitter gel or spirit gum and face jewels.
 
The fantastic thing about the harlequin look is that you can really go as colourful as you like! Start by blending a bright colour onto the eyelid and all the way up to the eyebrow with a small brush. Then once this has dried, use a thin brush to mark out triangle shapes on the eyes and then fill them in. Decorate with liquid bling such as liquid glitter and add some jewels. Glitter gel and spirit gum are excellent adhesives to use. Finally, use a thin brush to line the lips and colour them in. Add fake blood around the neck or mouth if desired.

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