Cat Face Paint Basics and Variations

Cat costumes are popular, no matter the age!

Cat looks are among the most popular face paint designs. From Halloween to costume parties and face painting events, a cat face is a universal favorite. Whether you want to be a black cat, a tabby or a slightly cartoon-like version, creating a cat face is simple with the right materials and instructions.

Black Cat Face Paint

Black cats are the quintessential Halloween image, making them a favorite dress-up choice. Create this look to complete any black cat costume.

Black cat face paint

Materials

  • White pancake makeup
  • Wedge makeup applicator
  • Black face paint
  • White face paint
  • Black liquid eyeliner

Instructions

  1. Spread a thin layer of white pancake makeup around both eyes and the mouth.
  2. Outline the area around the eyes and mouth with black face paint.
  3. Spread the face paint out to cover the rest of the face with the wedge applicator. Be sure to spread the makeup evenly from the inside of the face out to the edges with firm, even strokes.
  4. Run a thin line of white face paint along the top of the eye area, making slightly jagged strokes to give the appearance of fur over the outside corner of each eye.
  5. Go over the tip of the nose with the black eyeliner, drawing a triangle on the tip.
  6. Fill in the triangle with the eyeliner.
  7. Draw a thin line with the eyeliner from the tip of the nose to the top of the upper lip.
  8. Place the tip of the eyeliner against each corner of the mouth and draw a thin, curving line out from each side of the mouth to bracket the upper lip.
  9. Dot the eyeliner on each side of the upper lip.
  10. Draw whiskers extending out from the dots on each side.
  11. Place the tip of the eyeliner against the inside corner of each eye and draw a thin line up to the top of each eyebrow, across the eyebrow and up slightly on each side to delineate the eye area.

Tabby Cat Face Paint

Tabby cats are one of the most common house cats, coming in shades of gold, brown, red and gray. Use this technique to recreate your favorite feline friend.

Tabby cat face paint

Materials

  • Two wedge applicators
  • Dark orange face paint
  • White face paint
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • White liquid eyeliner
  • Black lipstick

Instructions

  1. Cover the eyelids and eyebrows with a layer of white face paint.
  2. Draw a thin line with white liquid eyeliner across the bridge of the nose, down the inside of each cheek to the bottom of the chin.
  3. Fill in the outlined area with white face paint using the wedge applicator to apply it.
  4. Pull the face paint from the center of this area out to the edges with the applicator, feathering the edges slightly.
  5. Fill in the rest of the face around the white areas with the orange face paint.
  6. Use the white wedge applicator to pull a little of the white face paint into the orange where the two colors meet to blend it together slightly.
  7. Draw a triangle on the tip of the nose with the black eyeliner.
  8. Fill in the triangle with black.
  9. Draw a line from the tip of the nose down to the upper lip.
  10. Paint the lips with black lipstick.
  11. Extend a thin black line out from each corner of the lips toward the cheekbones.
  12. Dot the black eyeliner inside the black line on either side of the upper lip and extend whiskers out from this area.
  13. Draw a few alternating black and white stripes with the eyeliners over the cheekbones.
  14. Use the black eyeliner to create a large tabby "M" on the forehead over the eyebrows, not connecting the bottom of the M in the center.

Cartoon Cat Face Paint

Not every cat created in face paint needs to mimic an actual feline. Some of the best looks are slightly cartoonish creations.

Cartoon cat face paint

Materials

  • Three wedge applicators
  • White face paint
  • Gray face paint
  • Pink face paint
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Gray liquid eyeliner
  • Pink lip liner
  • Pink lipstick

Instructions

  1. Apply a small amount of white face paint to the upper lip with the wedge applicator.
  2. Rub the face paint over the upper lip from corner to corner up to the nose and out to each side.
  3. Apply more white face paint directly to the nose, extending up between the eyes and across the eyebrows and the forehead.
  4. Pull the face paint upwards with the wedge applicator to form two triangles, one over each eyebrow with a thick section in the center.
  5. Rub a small amount of white face paint onto each eyelid extending up to the eyebrows.
  6. Cover the tip of the nose with pink face paint.
  7. Apply a thin coat of pink face paint with a wedge applicator from beneath each eye to the top of the upper lip, pulling the paint outward from the sides of the nose to the centers of the cheekbones.
  8. Apply a thin coat of gray face paint from the outside corner of each eye, extending down to touch the white paint on the upper lip.
  9. Pull the face paint with the wedge applicator out toward the edges of the face.
  10. Use the black eyeliner to draw a thin line from the nose to the top of the upper lip.
  11. Scribble a thin black line around the outline of each white area to delineate each space and create the illusion of fur.
  12. Scribble a thin black line down each side of the nose and around the outside edges of the gray face paint.
  13. Delineate each of the white triangles above the eyebrows with the black eyeliner to create the illusion of ears.
  14. Use the pink eyeliner to pull thin lines through the pink face paint from the outside of the nose toward the gray.
  15. Use the gray eyeliner to pull thin lines through the gray from the pink face paint out to the edges of the face.
  16. Use small amounts of both the pink and gray to add some detail to the fur between the ears on the forehead.
  17. Cover the mouth with pink lipstick.

Tips for Creating Cat Faces

No matter what type of cat face you're creating, follow these tips to help make it a success:

  • Start on the interior of the face and move out to the edges, blending different colors as you go.
  • Highlight the areas around the mouth and nose with white, even in darker cat faces to allow detail to show through
  • Always use a thin liquid liner or face paint to go back in for the whiskers so they stand out cleanly against the face paint.

Fabulous Feline Faces

Creating cat faces in face paint can be challenging the first few times you do so. Work slowly and take your time; with practice, you're sure to have a feline face that turns heads no matter where you go.

Cat Face Paint Basics and Variations