Pirates of the Caribbean

Swashbuckling Pirate Face Painting

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Swashbuckling Pirate Face Painting

Ever since Johnny Depp became the de facto face of pirates, the look has changed. The 21st-century swashbuckler is still a scoundrel, but his black patch has been replaced with a smokey eye look. Still, no pirate costume is complete without a bandana and a tricorn hat. And if you're heading out to trick-or-treat this Halloween, don't forget your captain's compass to avoid getting lost in unchartered territory!

What you'll need

  • Large makeup brush
  • Stipple brush
  • Eyebrow smudge or small paintbrush
  • Black eye shadow
  • Red face paint (optional)
  • Black face paint

How to make it

  1. Pirate Face Painting Step 1

    With black eye shadow, darken the pirate's eyebrows. Then, outline the whole eye area following the lash line. To get close to the lash line, use an eyebrow brush or small paintbrush. The look should be a little sloppy so smudge the makeup a bit with the brush or your finger.

    Trick: Rub a dab of petroleum jelly and a dab of red makeup paint (or eyeshadow) over the eyeshadow on the top lid. This gives an added effect of grime and bloodshot eyes.

  2. Pirate Face Painting Step 2

    Using a large makeup brush, randomly brush dark eyeshadow all over the pirate's face, including his forehead, neck, cheeks and chin. For a deeper look of dirt, use the makeup paint instead of shadow.

    For the beard, dip a stipple brush in black makeup and tap on the pirate's face where a beard would grow.

  3. Pirate Face Painting Step 3

    Draw the chin beard and mustache using makeup paint and a paintbrush, or eyeliner stick. Practice drawing the mustache on paper before painting it on the pirate's face. When you are ready to paint the mustache, draw it with a quick, single stroke for each side. (See Makeup Tips & Tricks). The chin beard can be drawn in as an upside-down triangle.

  4. Donis's final pirate costume came from a variety of sources. The pants are women's small-sized gauchos. Around each knee, put a large rubber band to give the effect of floppy pirate pants. Look for vests at second-hand stores. Don't discount those with colorful buttons — you can replace them with vintage-looking ones. A puffy white shirt and red blanket ribbon fabric rounded out the costume. For accessories, look for a faux leather bag, and big gaudy jewelry. The pirate hat, hook hand, and wig can all be found at Halloween stores.

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