Here’s how to get a clown-inspired makeup look that you’ll actually want to wear out

Sometimes, I worry about the neutral, no makeup, minimalist “trends” overtaking the cool-girl beauty world. It’s boring, both in the ubiquity of seeing just a million of the same faces and in the application process. Where’s the joy in trying to pretend you’ve got nothing on? Also, I get concerned that the idea is for women to be more ignorable and easier to overlook. I’m not having that.

While there is a time and a place for minimal to no makeup, I think it stands to reason that there is also a time and a place for maximal and ridiculous makeup. In honor of this theory, I created a look with my brightest eyeshadow palette (the Viseart Editorial Brights, $80) inspired by the vague concept of “wearable clown makeup.”

Here’s the bold look


This the colorful palette I used


Let’s dive right in

In spite of my initial desire to use as many colors as possible, the “easiest” way to do a bright makeup look (not that wearing bright makeup should be seen as “hard”) is to try to stick to one general color-scheme. That said, the general placement and blending could be done with many color schemes within the palette. For example, using green and yellow hues.


To start, I drew in a “crease” slightly above my natural crease using the purple shade and the mega cheap ELF Eyeshadow Brush ($1). I chose purple for this because it’s the midpoint color between the red and blue I’m planning to use later. So this is a good rule of thumb if you want to recreate this look using different colors.


On the inside half underneath my crease, I applied the red shade on the bottom left using the same brush. This doesn’t need to be neat, we’ll sort that out later.


Then, on the outside half of the space I added the blue from the bottom right of the palette.


To blend, instead of rubbing over the mid area with a blending brush (which I find muddies the color too much) I have a special blending technique. Still using that cheap and cheerful ELF Eyeshadow brush, I tap one side in the red and one side in the blue. Then, alternating between the two sides of the brush, I tap over to blend. I think this merges the two very different colors without muddying it up too much.


Once happy with the red-blue transition, I did go over the whole thing with a light sweep of a blending brush, just to smudge out any edges. I used the Wet ‘n’ Wild Crease Brush, another $1 hero.


If you’re into a bright eye but want to avoid going full clown, you can stop here. However, I wanted to go balls to the walls, so I added an under eye detail, using the pinky-burgundy shade and the ELF Eyeliner Brush, $1.


I drew a small line under my lower lashes, then in the center under the pupil I drew a small vertical line. I blended over it a bit, just by tapping with a finger, which keeps the general shape but removes any harsh application lines.


Next, you want mascara. This look can tip a bit into the costume territory, so adding cute and girly lashes helps anchor it more firmly into the “pretty” zone. Use the mascara that is your favorite. I also lined my waterlines with the Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner ($21) in White, which is really useful when you’re wearing reddish eyeshadows to avoid looking infected.


Testing the versatility of this (let’s face it) very, very expensive eyeshadow palette, I decided to try it for blush, too. I dipped my ELF Blush Brush ($3) back and forth between the white and the hot pink, then brushed it on in circular motions towards the front of my cheeks (optimal clown-like placement).


I also used this palette on my lips. I first lined round the edges with the hot pink shade and the same ELF Eyeliner Brush.


I then filled in the lips using the same brush and the pinky-burgundy shade. I love using matte eyeshadows on the lips, as it lasts for ages but doesn’t feel cakey and dry.


Here’s the completed look!


There you have it, a very anti-minimal makeup tutorial. And if you invite comparisons to a clown, at least you can say it’s intentional.

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