Tips For Applying Clown Makeup

By Judy Sullivan

A large part of creating a unique and entertaining character is finding just the right look. Wardrobe has a lot to do with a memorable appearance, but the face is what truly makes the identity. While all of the many online tutorial videos and websites that explain how to apply clown makeup vary in details and technique, they all share a few basic steps that are key to building a solid persona.

Before beginning the process, one should always pull their hair back away from the face using a headband and perhaps a bit of styling gel. This makes sure that loose strands will not interfere with the color application and also keeps the hair more secure beneath the skullcap or wig. It is also important that one's face and neck be clean and dry so that the cosmetics can adhere properly.

The first thing applied to the entire face and neck area is a product called Clown White, which should completely cover all exposed skin. It takes practice to get the thickness just right because if it is too heavy the cosmetics tend to flake, but if too thin the bare flesh will shine through. It needs to create a uniform base without being an inflexible mask.

When this base layer has been applied, the shading colors may be added on, going from light to dark. This is for those who wish to have shadows and highlights to create contours and texture such as under the cheeks or in the eye area. The cosmetics can be blended using eyeshadow brushes, cotton swabs, sponges and fingertips in order to get the right look.

Using a sock or puff, gently dust the entire face and neck with talc or finishing powder, but do not use anything that contains cornstarch because it can cause the cosmetics to yellow. Brush all of the excess off, then spray lightly with a fine mist of water and carefully dab the whole surface dry. This step helps set the base make up and keeps colors from running and smearing.

Now it is time to create the character's unique features, working from the top of the face to the bottom in order to avoid smearing what has already been applied. Add the details directly on top of the white or flesh tone base using cosmetic pencils, brushes and other such utensils. Try to avoid putting color on the top lip so that there is some definition between the nose and mouth.

Once again a light covering of powder and mist should be applied to set the painted face. Outlines, accents and fine details can be added using lip and eye pencils or fine brushes. The last step in the process is gluing on accessories like the nose, eyelashes and sequins, using a specially formulated liquid latex adhesive.

Getting the perfect look requires a lot of practice and generally a great deal of trial and error. Applying clown makeup is personalized technique that is unique to each individual character. Through the use of painted facial expressions and a stylized wardrobe, a recognizable persona emerges that can entertain and enthrall their target audience.

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