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Halloween Face Painting Ideas - Top 25 Halloween Makeup Ideas For Children and Adult Costumes

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face paint ideas halloween costume

Halloween is coming, and some of you may want to be prepared! Are you looking for fantastic, funny, scary, or beautiful Halloween Makeup Inspirations?! We put together a blog post where you can see a lot of Halloween face painting ideas on one page and learn about the products you can use to create them! This post is designed for parents who want to paint their kids, teens, and adults who want to paint themselves or a friend. Face painting has such an impact that you might find yourself winning a Halloween costume contest online or in real life! 

Fundamental Basic Face Painting Kit

Thank you to the incredible artists who allow us to post their images in our Jest Paint Blog posts! Your work is amazing! Wishing you all a safe Halloween season!


Elodie Ternois Pumpkin Face

Elodie Ternois of Lodie Up Face Painting and her Jack O Lantern Face 

What are some pretty Halloween Makeup Ideas for Children and Adults?


The fastest way to look special on Halloween is just to accentuate your regular makeup. You can become a magical mermaid by using green and blue sparkling face paints for eye shadows and lipsticks and then use a netting or mermaid scale stencil to add scales around the edges of your face. Superstar Shimmers and Fusion Pearls are some of my favorites! You can use eye shadows to press the color through the holes in the netting, or you can use face paints as well. This gives a fantastic mermaid makeup look. Anything shimmery will provide the best effect for scales! If you don’t have any netting or want a unique mermaid look, check out these cool mermaid scale stencils that you can use! Accent your beautiful Halloween Makeup with glitter and a sparkly dress. If you have the time, craft a mermaid tail, crown, or seashell scepter to complete the look.

Mermaid Face Paint Jest Paint Step by Step Tutorial face paint

Mermaid face painting ideas makeup halloween


Unicorns are so popular! Why not paint a beautiful unicorn face painting design using this easy tutorial? Use a rainbow cake for the hair and a TAP Unicorn Horn stencil to get a magical look! I used a part of a cake from Leanne's Vivid Rainbow Palette for this one. Check out the step-by-step design below, or click here to see the full unicorn paint tutorial video. The color combos are amazing!

unicorn face paint design

Here are some examples of easy and complex Unicorn makeup created by face painters from around the world. You can use butterfly-style wings over the eyes to create a butterfly unicorn mashup, and you can add flowers, swirls and teardrops, unicorn heads and manes, stars, gems, and rainbows to dress up your design!
unicorn ideas face painting makeup


Ice queens will remain the rage for years to come, and in general, princesses are one of the most popular Halloween costumes! Add some magical face paint to bring your little princess to life! Below is a step-by-step for an ice princess. You can change the colors to match the dress of Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Jasmine, the Frog Princesses, and more, and then just change the centerpiece from a snowflake to a heart, diamond, flower, and so on. You can also use this design to inspire a fairy look!

I used a cake from Leanne's Happy Pixie Palette to paint this design for a cute Elsa crown, but you can also use a small blue gradient like Fusion Frozen Queen. Check out The Ultimate Frozen Face Painting Guide for more Ice Queen Ideas!


Frozen queen princess Face Paint Jest Paint Step by Step Tutorial face paint

Glitter Cremes can be applied on top of the face paint to add a chunky, icy-looking shimmer! We have snowflake stencils to make your life a little easier too! 

Here are variations of different princesses created by some fantastic face painters who used creativity and color to personalize their princess looks! There are mermaid princesses, fairy princesses, peacock princesses, and more!

Princess face painting ideas for girls halloween makeup


Sugar skulls are a fun way to mix creepy with beauty during Halloween. These traditional skulls are referred to as Catrinas or Calaveras, and they are used during the day of the dead to help people laugh a little at death while people remember the loved ones who have passed away. Painting a sugar skull can be done by beginners if you have the right tools. You will need good white face paint to create a smooth base. You can use water-based white face paint and set it with a makeup sealer if you need to party all night long. Once you have applied a smooth base around your face, minus your eye sockets, you can start adding details.

Using rainbow cakes, create dramatic eyes with pearly paints and paint flowers, flames, hearts, diamonds, butterflies, or other elements. The tropical collection contains black light reactive colors that will glow, or Rainbow Burst palettes by Fusion Body Art has gorgeous regular colors that will quickly make your sugar skull come to life! A fine brush and black face paint can be used for swirls and twirls along the jawbone and forehead to tie everything together. Finish your design with painted or jewel teeth, glitter, and a fancy floral headpiece or scarf.

Here is a simple step-by-step of a Sugar Skull to inspire you.

Sugar skull Face Paint Jest Paint Step by Step Tutorial face paint

Here are some examples of gorgeous sugar skulls painted by professional face painters. You can always search for a local makeup artist to help make your Halloween costume come alive! They have all of the tools needed and the experience to paint something incredible in a short amount of time. 
sugar skull catrina makeup face paint halloween makeup

I painted the sugar skull below using Leanne's Butterfly Palette by Fusion Body Art. Making sure the line work flows around the eye and the jaw line will give a lot of beautiful movement to the sugar skull design and help shape the skull face. 

Annas Sugar Skulla Make up on Oceana Massano

Sugar Skull by Anna Wilinski on Oceana 

Milena Sugar Skulls
Sugar Skulls by Milena Potekhina
Milena Potekhina Sugar Skull face painting


Being a Beautiful Butterfly is a dream of many kids and adults! You could paint a realistic set of butterfly wings over your eyes or go wild and paint a super bold rainbow butterfly with stylized line work. Below is a fast and easy butterfly design using a rainbow cake and a sponge. I try to keep the wings on the cheeks small to keep the focus on the eyes and not the cheeks, but you can paint your butterfly in any way that you want!

face paint step by step tutorial face paint classes butterfly

Below are some beautiful butterflies painted by makeup artists from around the world. Notice how different butterfly face paint can look depending on the style of line work you choose, the colors, and the extra details you can add! The fun thing about butterfly wings is that you can tweak them to match any outfit and theme. You could do a butterfly tiger, ice queen, devil, or dragon mashup, by using different colors and patterns in the wings and adding centerpiece matches.

Leanne Courtney butterflybutterfly face paint make up designs halloween


Peacock Inspiration is a glamorous way to take on Halloween. Choose shimmery peacock-colored face paints for a peacock-style rainbow cake, and let your feathers fly! You can try to paint individual feathers around the face or just use the colors to cover your face like a mask and add fine wispy shag around the edges. Use fake eyelashes to take your look to the next level. If you have a real peacock feather, you can even glue it to the center of the face with body glue or eyelash glue. Add gems and glitter to make sure that you catch everyone’s eye. 


.Anna Peacock Face Painting Design

peacock body painting 

What are some Scary Halloween Makeup Up designs for boys and girls? 


Zombies are always a hit at any Halloween party! Who doesn’t love someone dragging their leg around and groaning, “Brains!”. With the Walking Dead creating even more demand for zombie Halloween makeup, Mehron teamed up with Resident Evil and designed this professional Zombie Special FX kit so that you create realistic zombie looks! This kit has all of the special fx materials you need to be a peeling oozing zombie! If you want to paint a zombie just using face paint, start with a white or other wild base and sink in the cheekbones, eye sockets, forehead, and jawline with a lightly loaded blender brush with face paint.

Elodie Ternois lodie up face painter zombie

face paint step by step tutorial face paint zombie

You can paint pop art zombies with bright neon colors or ones inspired by Plant's Versus Zombies! The step-by-step above will help get you started. There is no limit to the amount of blood, maggots, and torn flesh you can add if you really want to scare someone. See examples of easy and complex zombies submitted by face painters below! zombie face paint makeupVAMPIRE

Many kids, adults, and teens are inspired by both the pretty and creepy vampires on TV shows and cartoons! White-based faces with some shading to make the cheekbones pop and painted-on fangs are an easy start for traditional vampires. Many cartoons, like Monster High Dolls and Vampirina, have alternative skin tones like pink and purple. Add exaggerated eyebrows, black or colorful eye shadow, and accessorize with bat wings for pigtails or funky hair streaks. You can add fake blood dripping from your fangs if you want to add some scare factor to your Halloween Vampire look. 

face paint step by step tutorial face paint vampire


Witches have been a classic Halloween choice for decades. Fantasy-style witches from movies, like the Wicked Witch of the West, usually have green skin, but not all witches are green. Think of Glinda the Good Witch, the witches from TV shows like Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or even the witch from Game of Thrones. You can paint on a colorful base or just stick to pale white or flesh tone with some edgy eye shadow, shaded cheekbones, bold colored lips, and an outfit to match. Check out this easy face paint step-by-step for a fun green witch!

face paint step by step tutorial face paint witch

Elodie Ternois Face painter witch
Two Amazing Snow White Style Witches by Elodie Ternois

Elodie Ternois Witch face painting


Stranger Things is another super popular show. You can easily become Eleven by adding a little Mehron Coagulated fake blood to the base of a nostril or two and letting it drip. You can wear a Stranger Things T-Shirt and possibly shave your head if you want to drive the idea home!

Mehron blood gelblood splat


You can paint all kinds of skulls! Skulls with flames, skulls with cracks, skulls with spider webs, skulls with horns. Here is a basic easy skull design that you can work off of. You can change the proportions of the forehead, eye sockets, jaw bone, and more to make it work for you! 

skull face paint step by step jest paint

Anglie linares skull face painting
                     This amazing skull was painted by Angie Linares!
Shailee Sachania Skull Face painting Makeup
                           Shailee Sachania 's realistic skull makeup!


Let’s not forget the Dinosaurs!! Kids love them so much, and they make fantastic Halloween costumes. With a face paint design like this, your child could walk about in regular clothes or a favorite dino-themed t-shirt and still get a lot of attention. I searched for a raptor and found a nice image to try to replicate with face paint. Get creative with colors, and you can use scale stencils to add textures too!

 Face paint classes step by step tutorial demo dinosaur raptor t rex

Here are some dinosaur ideas from other makeup artists! Look at all of the ways you could make someone's dinosaur dream come true! These can also be easily tweaked into dragon designs. I love flaming dragons and ice dragons, or cartoon-inspired dragons from How To Train A Dragon. 

dinosuar face painting ideas halloween makeup dino

 How do I Face Paint Spider Man and other Super Heroes?

Superheroes are never in short supply on Halloween! Spider-Man has been of the most popular costumes after the witch, with more than 2 million kids dressing up as the web-slinger for Halloween. Get creative with your Spider-Man design. Show your child all the options by doing a google search of Spider-Man face paint, and show them the options here as well. You might be surprised that they might be happy with just a half face. Avoiding the mouth area will ensure a good-looking design while your child eats up all of the snacks at the Halloween party.

Spider-Man isn't just for the boys! Girls love to get transformed as well. There are many instances in the comic books where a female Spider-Man-inspired character comes out to save the day!


face paint step by step tutorial face paint spider man webHere are some more examples from other artists of how to add the spider man look without copying the designs exactly. Get creative and have fun!

Spidy face painting spider man face paint makeup halloweenHalloween is my favorite time of the year. Kids and adults join in on the fun and face paint helps pull everything together. Plastic or fabric masks can distort or block your vision and they can get really hot really fast. Face painting is a perfect alternative to a store bought mask, and you can use your face paints to paint endless designs for you, your family or your friends. - Anna Wilinski Jest Paint Co -Owner 

spider man face painting Here is another Spidey step by step that any kid would love! spiderman spider girl face paint step by step

 Onalee gave us permission to share some of her awesome designs. Santi from Jest Paint had the honor to be her model for the Iron Man look. Her creative versions of The Flash, Cyborg, Venom, Captain America, and Thanos are incredible!

Onalee River super heroes face paint hero power palette

Other super popular characters are Batman, Deadpool, Power Rangers, PJ Masks, Ninja Turtles, Avengers, and characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. Below is a simple step-by-step to give you an idea of how to create your favorite characters with face paint. power ranger style face paint design 


Paw Patrol is so popular with the younger kids, and face paint designs inspired by Paw Patrol are super cute! Choose the face paint colors that match your child’s favorite puppy, or pick up a palette with 12 colors, so that you can have a little of each color, plus other colors to use for your next face painting ventures! Below is a step by step of to show you how to start with the face and then add the accessories like the hat or helmet. You can also just paint the puppy face and have your child wear a real hat, like a plastic fireman’s hat or construction hat with a paw print taped to the front.

face paint step by step tutorial face paint  paw patrol puppy


Ninja or Incredibles eye masks are super easy, and they will ensure that your kid stays in character without anything annoying wrapped around his or her face! I have found that kids love simple black masks. (Check out Fusion Strong Black for a bold yet easy to was off color.) Kids feel cool, and they don’t have to sit still for long to get painted. You can dress them up by adding a gold or colored medallion in the center with a logo on it, or take it to another level and add some green, paint the mask a different color, and paint on big white teeth and you have a ninja turtle! ninja bandit mask face paint

face paint step by step tutorial face paint design ninja turtle

 Super Girl Milena Potekhina face painting design
Super Lady Bug Design by Milena Potekhina

What are some fun Halloween Designs that boys and girls will love?


If you are feeling funny, why not be a clown?! You can be the life of the party on Halloween with a red nose and fun face paint! This simple clown will be sure to get a lot of attention. Just follow the easy step-by-step clown makeup and add your own twist to create your own clown look. Scary clowns are also really popular right now, thanks to IT, but to stay on the safe side and avoid any scary clown drama, we recommend going the cuter route if you want to avoid any Halloween nightmares.Clown face paint face paint demo tutorial  jest paint

Do some research on the Tramp, White Face, and Auguste Clowns, and choose the one that fits your personality best. Clowns traditionally wear crème/oil-based face paint that they set with powder. If you want to try that route, check out this Clown Crème Makeup Palette by Ben Nye

clown face paint ideas scary clown makeup


If you or your child love sports, use face paint to become the ULTIMATE SPORTS FAN! These high-quality face paints are perfect for painting team colors on your face. You can also paint the number of your favorite player or try to paint the logo of your favorite team. Instead of just wearing a jersey go all out for Halloween! Sports face paint is easy to do when you are in a time crunch, which makes this an easy-to-create Halloween look. 

face paint step by step tutorial face paint classes sports paint


Linnéa Önnerby Novak really knows how to paint for gamers! Here are her versions of Megaman, Tails, and Sonic the Hedgehog, the plant from Mario Brothers, Pikachu from Pokemon, and an excellent design inspired by Fortnite! 

Linnéa Önnerby Novak Face painting sonic the hedgehog

Minecraft makeovers are simple and fun! Get a few shades of green face paint and some black, and paint all the cubed creepers you want! Use a flat brush to paint green squares side by side in a checkered pattern, alternating light, and dark greens. If you don’t want to create a green mine craft creeper choose colors that match your favorite character and use the same technique with the flat brush. The Amazon split cake by Fusion Body Art is my top choice for Mine Craft designs.


Pirates will go down in history as a fast and easy Halloween Costume! All you need is a bandanna and some face paint to paint on an eye patch, a cut or scar, and possibly some new facial hair. Girls and boys love being pirates for Halloween. Here is a simple pirate tutorial, and I even used face paint to add the bandanna across the forehead! I used this Fire Flame split cake to give it a 3D look. I used the TAP SKULL, and TAP FLORA HENNA SWIRLS to dress up the bandanna. 

face paint step by step tutorial face paint  pirate

Here are some great examples of pirates submitted by other artists. Notice how you can combine the bandanna and eye patch with a skull face to get a Pirates of the Caribbean look.  How about rock stars?!

pirate face painting skull makeup


David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, and the band KISS are well known for signature makeup looks while on the stage. Lady Gaga also has all sorts of inspiring looks! Raid your closet for your most incredible, edgiest clothes and go wild being inspired by these artists. Fusion Strong Black is perfect for black makeup, or you could use Proaiir Hybrid Black if you want it to be waterproof. 

face paint step by step tutorial face paint  rock star kiss makeup


We have face paints that are perfect for camouflage. Choose one of these cakes to get a gradient of greens or browns, and then paint organically shaped swatches of color all over the face. Camo is superb for all ages and is a perfect addition to a soldier or hunting/hunter-inspired look. Just make sure you don't blend in too well and get lost. 

face paint step by step tutorial face paint soldier


Another easy makeup idea for Halloween is to head down the wild side and explore your inner animal! Apply your face paint in the colors that best match the animal of your choice, and then use stencils to create patterns on your eyelids, hair, and around the face. Tiger, cheetah, zebra, or leopard print are some very cool options! Paint a little nose and whiskers with a wild cat design to get more into character. Pick out some clothes that match your animal color scheme, and you are good to go! If you want to go the extra mile, create a tail or headband with ears to give a roar to your look.

This Fusion Rainbow Cake is purrfect for Tigers, Cheetahs, Leopards, Lions, and more!

face paint step by step tutorial face paint tiger cat

animal face painting Milena Potekhina

Wild Cats by Milena Potekhina


Here are some other adorable animals painted by our professional face painter friends. Puppy face painting is easy and very popular with little ones. Notice how the ear shape, size of the eyes and mouth, and shape of the face can really change the look from one animal to the next. Foxes have pointed large ears, bunnies have long floppy bunny ears, and puppies and dogs can have any style of the ear that matches their breed. I make the puppy's mouth bigger and droopier than a cat muzzle, and I paint the nose larger too. I also love to paint a puppy tongue hanging out of the mouth for a super cute look. 

Furry animals face painting tiger cat bunny puppy makeup

Here is a video tutorial for a green tiger that I did on my son, just to give you an idea of the real process for painting a full face animal.

Queen of Hearts is a fast and easy makeup look for all ages. All you need is to base your face in white face paint, add a lot of blue eye shadow and paint a red heart on your lips if you want to look like the most recent version of the queen.

The Mad Hatter is also a top look, thanks to Johnny Depp and his makeup team. I would recommend these colors to make this look happen! Fusion Pearl Magenta Dreams for around the eyes and shading the cheekbones and jaw bone. Superstar Line White for the Base. Making the hat and bow and finding a wig or styling your hair to look like a wild poof of orange curls will complete this zany look. 


Feeling like shining the night away? Why not go as a gold or silver statue or robot? All you need is Mehron Metallic Powder and a sealer to keep it on all night long. Mix the sealer with the power and apply with a kabuki brush. This is an incredible costume that will stop people in their tracks. Have fun standing still and seeing who you can fool. Wear metallic-colored clothes and slick down your hair with the metallic mixture to finish the look. You can also use regular water-based face paint, though the coverage isn’t quite as intense.

Anna Wilinski body painting Robot

2023 Halloween Season Face Painting Ideas

So, Halloween is just around the corner, or at least feels that way, which means we have to start thinking about our next awesome look.

Coming up with a Halloween face painting idea or makeup for 2023 can be a fun project. Start by writing down some ideas, maybe creating a Pinterest board with your most wanted looks and then write that what you think you will need, not only for the costume part but also for the makeup and props. At Jest Paint we have all of the face painting, special effects and makeup products you will need to pull the look of your choice, but start browsing early to make sure we don't run out of stock and also so that you have time to practice your 2023 Halloween makeup look. 

Halloween Face Paint Ideas

Take a look at all of the ideas posted above or visit our Halloween Face Paint Ideas Pinterest board for even more inspiration. 

Halloween Face Painting Makeup Tips!

How long does it take to paint a face for Halloween?

As a face painter, Halloween is usually a super busy time, and we get a lot of fun requests. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to an hour to do a decent full face and neck makeover, but if you are new to fantasy makeup, you should give yourself at least two hours if the design is a bit complicated. You will be faster on the day you practice a few times before. You can practice on a person or on a Sparkling Faces Practice Board, which I used to paint the step-by-step for this Halloween Blog post.  

Where can I buy Halloween Makeup?

There are a lot of places online and in larger towns where you can buy face paints. Most importantly, you avoid using cheap face paint from Craft and Halloween stores. These face paints have been known to have staining pigments and poor base ingredients that can crack and peel off the skin or are too greasy or transparent to paint easily with. They also might not follow FDA compliance for cosmetics and have unsafe ingredients. Read online reviews before you buy any particular brand of face paint or costume makeup. If you find an established costume shop in your area, ask them what the best product is and how to apply it. We sell a wide variety of high-quality hypoallergenic face paints at Jest Paint that is easy to apply and easy to wash off. 

Contact us at with any makeup questions you might have! We are happy to help you pick the right product and give you all of the tips that we can to make your Halloween makeup look great!

 What face paints should I use for Halloween makeup?

Water Activated Face Paint: The most popular kind of face paint that we sell is water-based / water-activated face paint that you apply with a wet sponge or brush and wash off with soap and water. These paints can last all day if you do not get hot and sweaty or come into contact with water. They are comfortable on the skin, and most are perfume-free, paraben-free, and vegan. I recommend checking out Fusion Body Art for various paint styles (metallic, neon, and matte) and rainbow cakes. You can set these with a sealer spray or setting powder to make them more durable. Below is a link to the Fusion Carnival Kit. I recommend this one in particular because it is a perfect combo of all of the colors you would need to paint any design and rainbow cakes too!

Crème/Oil-Based Face Paint: If you need a more long-lasting paint for a dance party, or if your kids get really hot and sweaty, then you can look into getting crème paints like Ben Nye’s Crème Palette below, which you will need to set with setting powder afterward. This is more water and sweat-resistant. You can apply the base with a makeup sponge and do line work with a fine brush, but linework is not very easy with crème-based paints, so I would only recommend them for designs like witches, clowns, skulls, and animals.  

Hybrid Face Paint: Another long-lasting option is alcohol-based or activated Hybrid paints by Proaiir. They have them in liquid and solid forms. These paints are not as easy to apply as water-based paints, but they will stay on all day and will only come off once you have saturated the paint with a layer of hand soap and wait for the hand soap to break down the paint. We don’t recommend them for those with very sensitive skin since they are alcohol based and harder to remove.

Powder Face Paint: Powder face paints are very similar to eye shadows, but you can buy them in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Mehron Starblend Powders and Elisa Griffith Color Me Pro Powders are the two most popular face paint powders used by professionals. You apply them with a smoothie blender.

proaiir hybrids

Are there face paints that glow in the dark, or glow neon under black lights?

Glow in the Dark Paints

Yes! We carry a lot of black light reactive face paints at Jest Paint and a couple of glow-in-the-dark paints. Glow in the dark paints just have a yellowish white ghostly glow and really only show up well in complete darkness, like if you were out walking in the woods or in a dark room. Check out Mehron's Fantasy FX creme Glow in the Dark color that you can apply with a brush or a sponge. If you airbrush, you might like Edura's Clear Glow Glow in the Dark alcohol-based paint. This will stay on all day and has to be removed with oils or rubbing alcohol. It is clear unless you are under a black light or in complete darkness!

neon orange black light face paint

Neon UV Black Light Reactive Paints


We carry two types of black light reactive paints. One style is made from FDA-compliant pigments. They are a bit greasy feeling and hard to use for detailed brushwork. They also are a little transparent in general, though some colors are very opaque. We have Kryolan Cosmetic Grade UV/ Neon Face Paints, and we have Ruby Red UV/Neon Face Paints.

kryolan cosmetic  grade  face paint UV neon paint

The other type of UV/ black light reactive type of paint contains pigments that haven't been tested yet by the FDA for cosmetic use, though they have been tested by independent labs for skin safety. These neon paints come with a Special FX warning and may say Not for Cosmetic Use on the label. They come in rainbow cakes and solid cakes. They are more opaque than the FDA-compliant neons, and you can apply them with a sponge and brush easily. We also have airbrush paints in these neon colors and Proaiir Solids if you are looking for long-lasting paint to wear at a costume contest. Just type neon in the search bar, and you will find tons of options!

Fusion Neon Paints

Where can I Learn more about Face Painting?

If you need more help with the basics of getting started face painting, click here to read our blog, How to Face Paint – A Face Painting Guide for Beginners and Parents. This blog talks about products, techniques, setup, and design ideas, and so much more!

See 125 more face paint ideas for inspiration!


dancing skeletons

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