Circus makeup tutorial – how to do circus makeup

circus makeup tutorial

Circus makeup tutorial: How to do circus makeup with the aid of eyeliner, glitter and other assortments. Create a makeup look perfect for the streets, the wild circus or the hushed, hallowed grounds of the theatre.

This is intended as a fun, playful, quirky look that can be worn to a performance like a circus or a wild theatre show – somewhere where it’s dark, but the spotlights are bright, and drama is all around – but this elegant ’emo’ makeup style is also demure enough to be worn out in the streets. I wear this look all the time. It’s one of my favourite make-up looks.

Getting a pale foundation

Begin by applying a very pale foundation all over your face (I used Manic Panic’s Goth White), including around the eye. Make sure you blend well into your skin. If you’re not really pale then you can skip this step. Add some talcum or baby powder to your cheeks, nose and forehead. It’s important to really blend in the cream or liquid foundation, otherwise the foundation will be in streaks and the powder will come off. And you can’t wear just powder, because it needs something to stick to, i.e. the foundation.

Preparing the eyes

Add some shimmery or glittery white eyeshadow all under your eyebrows and eye lids. Create interesting winged shapes around the eye and along the cheek bone. Blend in the eyeshadow with a make-up brush or your fingers so there is no really obvious line.

Killer lips

Smear on some deep red lipstick with a glitter or shimmer (Maybelline lipstick in Rare Ruby is what I used). At this stage, it can be a bit messy. Leave it on for about a minute, then fold a tissue in half and very gently pull off most of the lipstick. Clean up around the edges so there is a perfect line. Your lips should be lightly stained a deep red. If you want a more intense colour you can dab more colour onto your lips but avoid the outline so it is darker in the middle part of your lips.

Finishing the eyes

The eye shadow should have set by now. Take a really bright eyeliner (I used Modelista dual ended eyeliner in hot pink and black) or a fine wet eyeliner brush and some bright powdered eye shadow and line your top eyelid. Make this line as thick as you wish, but don’t go overboard. Using a clean cotton tip, gently pull the edges of the line outwards a tiny bit. This pre-smudges the eyeliner and makes it seem as if it’s been worn in a bit. I lined the bottom of my eyes with jet black, but you can use whatever colour you want. Using the same cotton tip, pull downwards a tiny bit to softer the edges. It’s almost impossible to smudge liquid eyeliner, so use pencil up until now. And DON’T go overboard. It’s important to retain some definition in the line, or else it will look messy, and lazy.

Now use jet black liquid eyeliner ( I used Rimmel London Professional Liquid Eyeliner). Build up the black colour in the outer corner of your eyes so it is darker and stronger. Then make a short flick outwards. Be careful and steady, as this is the easiest part to mess up. Keep the flick short and clean or it will look tacky. Allow this to dry completely. Try not to blink if you can avoid it, because it will transfer all over your eyelids.

Once the liquid eyeliner is dry, apply black mascara all over your eyelashes. Coat both sides of the lashes, rather than just the inside surfaces. Here, you can afford to be a tiny bit messy and the lashes don’t need to be individually separated. It adds to the quirky elegance of the overall look. Try to open out your eyelashes so your beautiful eyes stand out.


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