Pirates are popular costume ideas for Halloween for people of all ages. Knowing the basics of the pirate look, including how to make the most of your costume makeup, will make putting your costume together a snap. Try some of these looks for great pirate makeup!
A male pirate's look can be as mean or as socialite as you like. Regardless of the outfit, the makeup for a male pirate has this basic look shown here.
- Facial hair is common with male pirates, be it real or makeup. Adding stubble, a beard, or a goatee, can improve your costume. Stubble can be made by dabbing dark makeup with a sponge-tipped applicator or a cosmetic sponge to the face and blended to create a shadow effect.
- For a dramatic effect, use a heavy amount of black eyeliner around the eyes.
- If you are going for a rugged-looking pirate, add a few smudges of dirt around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead using a brown colored makeup or eye shadow. Blend it with your finger or a sponge.
A female pirate looks sexy but rugged. When applying makeup, think glamourous over scary. To achieve this look:
- Use a foundation that matches your skin tone. You can also opt to use a bronzer to give a tanned look.
- Use an eyebrow pencil that is close to the color of your eyebrows. Defining your brows will give your eyes more of a sultry look.
- Use a white or pale color highlighting eye shadow along the brow line.
- For the eyelids, use smoky grays or dark brown eyeshadows and blend well.
- Line the upper and lower eyelids with black eyeliner.
- Add black mascara in two coats.
- Keep the blush tones a natural color that will blend in well.
- As with any makeup, a woman's look is not complete without lipstick. Go for a bright red if you have a fair complexion, and a deep red for dark complexions, using a matching lip liner.
Applying your Halloween makeup may require a little practice. Before going to your costume party or event, try out your makeup so you know what you can easily achieve. Be sure to keep sponge applicators, makeup brushes, cotton balls and cotton swabs handy. Different makeup elements require specific applicators. For example, a cotton ball or cosmetic sponge can blend out dark makeup to create a shadow of stubble. Experiment to find the techniques that will work best for you.
Even if you're adding an accessory like an eye-patch, do both eyes in case you want to remove the patch later.
Where to Find Pirate Makeup
In addition to the contents of your makeup bag, there are kits available made specifically for Halloween and certain costumes. The basic pirate makeup kits contain white, red, and black makeup. The colors can be mixed to achieve your own desired look. Use the dark makeup to create scars and stubble. Use the white makeup to highlight. Red can be used on the lips and cheeks or wherever you want to create a bruise or scar. Remember that most costume makeup is best removed using a cold cream instead of soap. Always be sure that the makeup doesn't irritate your skin and be careful around your eyes.
Many local Halloween shops sell the pirate kits or you can try one of the following online retailers:
- Halloween Express - Halloween Express sells a wide range of pirate costumes and accessories. Makeup, including Tooth FX which you can use to create the appearance of missing teeth, and accessories such as eye patches, can be bought here for under $15. This site has pirate makeup and costume accessories for all ages.
- Spirit Halloween - Spirit Halloween sells an array of costumes and accessories for all ages. The pirate makeup kit sold here contains colors more suitable for men and retails for under $10.
Famous Pirate Looks
If you are stuck on which pirate makeup look you want to create, check out pictures of your favorite pirates from the big screen including:
- Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean sports long dreadlocks with beads, a braided goatee, and a heavy amount of black eyeliner. Most important for this costume is a red headscarf and a brown pirate hat.
- Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End wears makeup in a natural tanned look with loose wavy hair.
- Angelica Teach from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brings a more feminine look to piracy. Her makeup is a natural tanned look with smoky eyes and black eyeliner. Finish the outfit with a wide brimmed black hat that has a buckle and feather.
- Captain Hook from Peter Pan sports the infamous attire of a classy pirate. Long black, curly hair with a perfectly groomed handlebar style moustache are essential for this look. Darken your eyebrows with a brow pencil for authenticity.
- Long John Silver from Treasure Island is a classic pirate costume. Makeup for this look consists of adding a gray color makeup to the upper eyelids, and a beard with a moustache that includes streaks of gray.
- Blackbeard, also known as Edward Teach, a real pirate brought to life in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a dark character wearing an all black costume. Use a heavy hand with a powder or cream bronzer and plenty of black eyeliner for this look.
- Anne Bonny is an 18th century pirate in the Bahamas featured in the series Black Sails. She wears natural makeup, long red hair, and a wide brimmed brown hat.
Pirate makeup need not be difficult. A steady hand with face painting can add scars or tattoos to your look if you want to have a 'weathered' appearance. Everyone knows the different pirate outfits, but your makeup can make your Halloween pirate costume stand out from the rest.