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8 Easy Halloween Face Paint Ideas to Try with Your Kids This Year

Whether you buy safe, washable face paint or use what's in your makeup bag, in minutes you can add to your kid's homemade Halloween costume—or the one you picked up at the store—with these fun Halloween face paint ideas.

Clown Face Paint

Every one of these Halloween face paint ideas has its own unique characteristics, regardless of what kind of look your child is going for. For a very quick but lively clown, skip the base paint. Make the eyes larger with white sponge-applied face paint, outlined with a black paintbrush or makeup stick, and green highlighter lines also applied with a paintbrush or makeup stick. Draw a big red mouth with a pad applicator and outline in white and black, with black-rimmed white dimples at either end. Top off with a polka-dot hat, a big bow tie, and curly green hair. This clown is anything but scary, but this is the real reason some people are so afraid of clowns.

Superhero Face Paint

This green mask that won’t blow away in flight was speedily applied with a sponge and outlined with a paintbrush. Make eyebrows stand out with a small pad applicator. To take off quickly in pursuit of justice, remember the swishing cape! (Here’s some awesome life advice from your favorite superheroes.)

Fairy Face Paint

For the enchanting design around her eyes, use a skinny paintbrush or makeup stick. Start with a pink line to define her eyes along the lids, and then spread out toward her temples. Paint cheeks and temples lavender with a pad applicator, and apply blue squiggles, white lines, and white dots with a paintbrush or makeup stick. Don’t forget to add gossamer wings, a net skirt, and a jewel-studded wand to complete her costume for one of our Halloween face paint ideas. (Speaking of fairies, here’s the true story behind the tooth fairy.)

Witch Face Paint

Starting with a green base, applied with a sponge, draw gruesome black lines with a paintbrush or makeup stick and highlight them in white by another. Ring your witch’s eyes with black lines, and emphasize her eyebrows with black. Follow her cheeks and chin with green and white makeup, and dab a little black makeup to cover a tooth.

Lion Face Paint

Apply yellow face-paint base with a sponge, then draw lion eyes by using white face paint on a pad applicator and outlining them with a paintbrush with black. Similarly, paint a white muzzle and hair under her mouth; both are outlined in black with a paintbrush or makeup stick and the muzzle is dotted with black. Next, paint the nose black, and use red makeup or lipstick to furrows your lion’s brow and make whiskers. Her muzzle is dotted with black. Add gold ears with a headband, or twist your child’s hair into ponytail “ears.”

Pirate Face Paint

Make an outlaw sailor in just a few strokes of black face paint: bushy brows can be made with a paintbrush or makeup stick; a goatee and overnight stubble can also be drawn with a paintbrush or makeup stick. Use your finger to create the shadows under the eyes, and finish up with a mustache drawn with a small padded eye makeup-type applicator. If you really want to get into the pirate spirit, here are 21 corny pirate jokes.

Mummy Face Paint

Try wide pad applicators to make white strips across the face, and outline them in black with a paintbrush. Since he is very old, his wrapping is a little dirty: Paintbrushes accomplish this. Draw extra teeth with a makeup stick and fill in with a small padded applicator. Finish off this costume with a dirty head wrap (gauze from the medicine cabinet). While you’re trying out these Halloween face paint ideas, here are some hilarious Halloween jokes for kids.

Scarecrow Face Paint

For this one of our Halloween face paint ideas, start with a yellow sponge-applied base. Then “sew” a mouth with black paintbrush or makeup stick lines, highlighted with white paintbrush lines. Use the same strokes to draw forehead and cheek patches and extend the eyelashes. Finish up with a straw-filled hat and a straw-stuffed flannel shirt. Next, don’t miss these 15 easy Halloween crafts that anyone in the family can make.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest