We’re sharing our favourite sexy circus makeup ideas to celebrate the many overlaps between burlesque dancing and the circus. Get all our makeup tips and tricks for a little whimsy or a full-on look.
How to Nail Sexy Circus Makeup Ideas
Burlesque dancing and circus acts see a lot of overlaps in performers and practices. You just have to see the fire shows of Aurora Galore, sword swallowing of Heather Holliday and burlesque clown Audacity Chutzpah.
Now we want to celebrate this blissful union with some sexy circus makeup ideas. Use one of these, mix-and-match or go full-on for fun.
It’s a good idea to begin by having a tone or character in mind, especially if you’re going for an all-out look. Do you want to be a comedic sex kitten? A mmischievous Dickensian rascal? A manic mannequin? A sad clown? Whether it’s for Halloween, the stage or just for fun, your decision will guide your choices.
If you’re unsure, why not try out the different styles, experiment and pick your favourites. Here’s the classics and how to update them.
1. The Foundation
(Image from Style Rookie)
The typical circus makeup look has a white base. An alternative to this is using a paler foundation than your natural skin tone and then using highlighting makeup to stand out in the spotlight.
If you have pronounced dark eyebrows this look can be a little more difficult. Otherwise, give it a whirl with this basic clown makeup tutorial.
2. Pronounced Eyebrows
(Image from Vintage and Geek)
There’s a lot of attention paid to clown eye makeup and lots of ways to articulate an individual look. Like with this entire style, when it comes to eyebrows it’s all about emphasis and expression.
After eyebrows are covered by the base, you can then draw them back on to convey the character and tone of your circus makeup.
High thin lines convey a sleepy, dream-like look. Whereas, an upturned line on the inner corners of the eyebrows shows sadness. Whilst, one raised eyebrow is sarcastic and inquisitive. Otherwise, arched eyebrows show surprise.
When in doubt, you can go over your natural eyebrows for a shape to suit your face. This may include trial and error but following the eyebrow rules can make it easier.
(Image from Musely)
3. Alluring Eyeshadow
(Image from Production Paradise)
Applying eyeshadow usually involves different tones, shading and blending. Yet, circus eye makeup can keep it simple with one block colour.
A pale blue is common but as you can see, the shade depends on you, your colouring and costume. Then apply from the lash-line to the eyebrow and voila or should we say ooh la la!
(Gif from Giphy)
4. Tear Drops
(Image from TrendHunter)
Whilst we love love love top eyeliner, circus eye makeup is all about the lower lash line. Yeah we said it.
Tear stains and tear drops are indicative of clown eye makeup. You begin by drawing along your lower lash line and make a T-shape. You can then carefully apply two curves on the inner corners of the ‘T’.
5. OTT Eyelashes
(Images from Nonsense Society)
Emphasising the eyes is always important on stage and you can easily achieve this by drawing on eyelashes 60s style. Again, see Dolly Lamour (above).
Another option is fake eyelashes in all their wonder, spelndour and variety. There’s so many out there that there’s bound to be one that will achieve the exact look you’re going for.
6. Cheeky Cheeks
(Image from Alex Box)
Blush, blush and more blush! Rouging those cheeks is one fun part of circus makeup. You can try out different shades of pink and red and even branch out to other colours like copper and gold.
You can also generously apply across the apple of the cheek or experiment with shapes. A circle is very popular and can be emphasised with a black outline. Be bold.
(Image from Playbuzz)
A beauty spot is all well and good but why have a circle when you can have something a little more lovable. Hearts can be used on your cheek or even under your eyes rather than tear drops.
Experimenting with other shapes can feel like you’re joining a Kiss cover band but it can also be fun. A star or diamond over one eye is a classic for a reason.
(Gif from Giphy)
8. Lush Lips
(Image from TrendHunter)
The quickest way to get circus inspired makeup is by wearing dark lipstick. This will give your pout that irresistable vintage look.
To make it more modern you can try different tones like this experimental blue. Then, again you can always go the other way.
The heart lips work really well if you can’t work shapes into any other part of your circus makeup. See this Queen of Hearts makeup tutorial to learn how to nail the look.
Check out The Latest Eye Makeup Trends and watch our quick-fire answer to: what is burlesque?
(Main image from The Blondie Diary)