Whiteface Make-Up

Whiteface make-up MUST cover all of the skin area. An Auguste Clown or a Tramp/Hobo can have skin colored ears & neck but this clown type must be completely white - the only exception is the 'mime,' whose make-up has more of a 'mask' appearance.

When using greasepaint, it is helpful to warm & soften the white by rubbing a small amount of it in the palm of your hand. Rub it with your application finger until it appears shiny - it will go on easier & set better.

Apply White Base

  • To begin applying whiteface clown make-up, "paint" your entire face, neck, and ears with white using your fingertips or an applicator sponge. Be sure to cover completely and evenly - especially around the eyes, nose and mouth - without making it too thick. Using fingertips or the sponge, "pat" the makeup to smooth it on your face. Using quick, firm patting motions ensures even coverage. Whiteface clowns should have no white skin showing.

  • With a cotton swab, draw an outline through the white (called "cutting out") to form the desired shape of the mouth, then remove all white from this area. Be aware that this clown has a completely white upper lip; only the lower lip is colored. Removing the white ensures a true red color for the "lips."

  • Now "cut out" any other areas where you will be putting a different color, such as a painted nose or a cheek design. Once all white has been removed for the desired feature areas, pat the white again to smooth out any creases caused by the cotton swab. To ensure white stays, use setting powder to "set" your white make-up. See Setting Make-Up

Apply Features

  • Using a brush or paint pencil, fill in the cut out areas with desired color(s). Traditionally, this clown uses only red or black for facial features. Be sure to "set" the make-up with powder once more.

  • Eyebrows should be painted on higher than natural eyebrows to emphasize a happy or "surprised" expression. To make your eyes stand out more, outline them with a fine brush or black paint pencil.

  • For a "Comedy Whiteface", use a powder blush or cream rouge or even some type of glitter to accent features. Cream accents must be set with powder.

  • Finish eyes with black mascara or false eyelashes.

Some clowns have painted noses, others finish the look with a false nose. Use whatever suits your character.

For a great video tutorial on applying clown make-up, check out Ruffles - Being A Whiteface Clown.

For other clown make-up styles go here: Applying clown make-up for other clown types.

All About Clowns - Whiteface Make-Up Application