So in an attempt to redeem and revamp my Joker costume from last year I decided to show you an easy way to do your own Joker(The Dark Knight) makeup and this approach is fairly low cost and effective way to display your creative abilities when dressing up as the Joker. Or really for any other costume that requires the addition of bodily scars or wounds of various sorts.
Step 1: Stuff You Need
Makeup Materials: -Duct tape of course( what's an ible w/out it)
*if you want a less sticky tape you can use that but i really do suggest duct tape(this is in regards to step 4-5)
-Standard Makeup kit (from any party store or costume store)
-black and red makeup crayons(black is optional)
-black liquid eye liner
-White Hairspray (Yes hairspray this is key)
-Bald cap (optional but definitely helpful*recommended*)
Clothing materials: (these obviously can vary with whatever you choose but these were my choices)
-Joker Gloves (Party store or costume store)
-Joker wig kit (Halloween super store/ Costume store)
-Purple sports coat or tail coat
-Blue collared shirt
-Your choice of funky tie
- Belt (optional)
An OTF(out the front knife) or any knife will do
Step 2: How to Dress Yourself
You would be suprised what you can find at your local GoodWill, Salvation Army, Thrift store etc. I managed to scrounge up all the clothing minus the belt/buckle, gloves and blue shirt from good will. I already had a buckle accepting belt and i had a batman buckle too, but any belt will suffice and a cardboard cut out/markers&duct tape is a quick solution instead of droppin dough for a buckle. Rest assured if you don't have a lightblue collared shirt any of the above mentioned stores surely will.
P.S. That tailcoat is made from a matching skirt and jacket so don't stress if your looking for a purple tailcoat, just be creative and sew one up if you want or just wear the sports coat
This step is pretty much self explanatory and I hope everyone will find this the easiest of steps ; ) But don't forget dress AFTER you have all makeup completely finished so as to not ruin your costume before anyone gets to see it :P I added the batman belt buckle for a little flair and i thought it added a nice touch of irony but feel free to not wear it if you don't wish too. The shoes are up to you i just thought that my tattered 4 year old Converse All Stars, which by the way were originally black, would match best. and the wig should be placed last so the hair doesn't get in your eyes when dressing. I used 4 bobby pins to tack the hair back and get it out of my eyes but make sure you don't leave the bobby pins exposed or it looks a little funny and your Joker will look more feminine than intended.
Step 3: Prep Your Face
* Rid your face of as much oil as possible*
Wash your face so that the makeup will adhere the best to your face
**Make sure to DRY your face thoroughly**
Step 4: Prep for Base Coat (white)
For this preparatory stage before the application of the base coat I duct taped a line from the bottom back of my jaw to the bottom middle of my chin and repeated on the other side.
I did this because i wanted a nice clean line from where my makeup started and ended on my face.
-a little side note: the Joker does not in fact have a straight line of his face make up i just prefer clean edges and it doesn't take away from the believability of the overall makeup
*Don't forget to shave your neck so that the duct tape comes off with relative ease
Then proceed to plug any openings( I used wadded up toilet paper) you'd rather not get filled with paint
-I chose to plug my nose and ears (your call)
Step 5: Protect Your Eyes
I didn't want the base coat to interfere with the eye makeup so i went ahead and got out an old pair of aviators and covered the lenses with duct tape so i can re use them if i choose.
Aviators or any other large lens glasses will work just fine.
The whole point of this step is to leave an untouched area of skin around your eye socket so application of the black eye makeup is easily accomplished
Step 6: Coloring the Skin(Base Coat)
(FULLY READ STEP 7 *BEFORE* doing this step/ TOGGLE BETWEEN THIS STEP AND STEP 7 CUZ I DID THE SCARRING IN A WEIRD WAY BY ACCIDENT)
Now onto the most obvious part of the makeup which is the white base.
I recommend you do this out doors to make cleanup minimal.
Cover your upper body with a towel and put bald cap on to protect getting the majority of your hair white, and make sure all facial cavities are covered if you wish them to be.
***note if you want the wrinkled forehead look like Ledger in the movie wrinkle your forehead before the coating begins or you won't be able to repeat the step unless you start all over again***
Get a friend to help with spraying the base coat on while you sit in a chair, towel around your upper body, bald cap on, duct tape in place and cavities covered/plugged, and aviators on.
Have your friend spray quick coats of the hair spray on your face roughly 4-5 inches away from your face(3 full coats is good)
Step 7: Scarring
So right here i have to apologize because i went out of order (when i did the makeup) so do this step before the previous without the spray (if you did the steps exactly in order don't fret you'll still be fine)
Take a good amount of scar tissue wax and roll into a worm about and a 1/4 inch wide.
If you whited your face before the wax part just wipe of area to be applied with damp paper towel and dry thoroughly, if not you can ignore this step.
*note: leave about a cm. distance between the scar and the edge of your lips
brush a line of spirit gum on the spot where the slug of wax will be put
immediately following applying the spirit gum put the wax slug on and press to cheek making sure to leave highest point lengthwise of the slug on center line of itself (like an elongated pyramidish) see pics it'll make more sense
blend into skin as shown still mostly keeping the pyramidish shape(i have several different techniques that i used)
*the scar tissue wax is a little sticky that's why i have the comb to help
once blended how you like it DO STEP 6 the base coating so you don't have to go back like i did and unnecessarily retrace your steps and reapply the hairspray to cover the scars and make them blend with my skin completely
you can now remove the duct tape and reveal the seamless finish it left(it's not seamless in the movie but i thought it looks better like this) oh and don't forget you can remove unwanted areas of the hairspray with a damp paper towel or cloth
*tip: remember the scars on ledger are not symmetrical and you can shape them as to how you want them and what you think will look best
Step 8: Black Out
Here is where you really get looking like the Joker and this step requires some precision so be careful with it but have fun and get creative with it.
Start with filling in the eye socket [always start inward and work your way out] with the black lipstick(creep a little bit into the nose bridge but not enough to hider/distort your look from a front view) and don't be afraid to get some on your eyebrow it comes off fairly easy
Gently pull your upper eyelid out and away from your eye so you can cover that too(very common to forget)
The general shape of the black area should be a cross between an oval, square and a triangle so basically a rounded trapezoid if you feel the need to be technical.
*better too little shaded than too much
for a more pronounced look lightly add flairs with the lipstick (they will be refined by the mascara shortly)
Now the tedious detail... take the mascara brush and any place you made a flair with the lipstick refine the shape of the flair with the mascara. Take your time with this because random black mascara streaks will ruin the image of the joker.
Now after that refining of flairs you can add creases and shadows with the mascara (i chose to do it around my mouth and a few near my eyebrow). For the mouth faux shadow it helps if you smile and lightly but not completely trace the line made by your folding skin, but as for the others you can crease your face and put em wherever you want but don't go too overboard or you'll just look old.
Step 9: Coloring the Cheek Scars
When you apply the red makeup from the standard Halloween makeup kit make sure to get a dime sized portion on the tip of your forefinger and apply directly to the top of the scars.
Apply more red makeup to the surrounding scar area but it is not necessary to cover the whole area.
I recommend doing it with your fingers b/c you can feel the makeup as you put it on the scar tissue and judge how much pressure need be applied so you don't ruin the scar itself.
It's better if you don't try to fill all the the crevices of the scar b/c it makes for a more realistic appearance.
After you finish putting red on the scars you can use the red precision crayon looking makeup on your lips to connect the scars to your mouth.
*VERY IMPORTANT* put a layer of spirit gum on the finished scars to seal them best to minimize any accidental rubbing off of the red makeup. (You may need to wipe the brush of the spirit gum clean a couple of times through this step)
Step 10: Fit Your Wig and You Are DONE : )
This is a really open step but i took a couple minutes to make sure my wig was not constantly going to fall in my face throughout the night so just use a couple bobby pins here and there to pin back the wig and customize it to which way you feel it will work with you best.
Happy Halloween and I hope you had as much fun as I did with this makeup and costume :D
Scare some of your friends for me and post pics of your joker attire and makeup for others to see how it worked for you and comment if any questions arise :)
R.I.P. Heath Ledger