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Day#15: Masquerade Mask


No, this is not a real mask, but is real badass if I do say so myself. Day 15 of the 31 days of Halloween challenge is this beautiful Masquerade look. This is hands down my favorite look so far! It is so simple yet intricate at the same time. And after this, we are officially half way through the 31 days of Halloween challenge! You only need a handful of products to complete this, making it a perfect idea for a last minute costume/character.

The only “prep” you need to do for this look is to find some black ribbon and cut a couple strips. We’re going to use this to complete the illusion that we are wearing a real mask. We’ll pin it to our wig/hair oncewe have the placement of the paint job complete. Just cut some strips of ribbon (they can be any color that matches your costume or the color of the mask you want to create) at least 12 inches long each. My little black strings are from an old black silk robe. When I said this could be a great last minute look, I wasn’t kidding. Work with what you’ve got! All you have to do be fore you set them aside is grab two bobby pins and thread your ribbon pieces through halfway. You can tie the loose ends together so that they are less likely to slip out of the bobby pin. Keep reading to find out how to pin them on in a way that makes it look like a real part of your mask.

Aa far as products go, all you need is eyeliner (black and white) and eyeshadow (one brown shade and one shimmer shade). I used the L.A. Colors Black Liquid Eyeliner for the entirety of the black linework on the mask, using Lime Crime white eyeliner in the shade Lunar Sea for highlighting. Read down to the shading section for product details on what shadows I used.

Prime your eyes first so that you don’t forget and have to work around your mask to do it later. I used the MAC Paint Pot in the shade Soft Ochre all over my lids and all the way up to my eyebrows. I even used this slightly under my eyes as well. You can set this with an eyeshadow that matches your skin tone, your face powder, or a translucent setting powder.


First, You’ll want to create the mask part itself, starting with the black eyeliner, and let that dry completely before you try to go in with eyeshadow for the mask’s shading or on your eyes. The best advice I can give to you is to Google a couple photos of Masquerade masks and find one that looks like 1) it will fit well with your face shape and size, 2) is achievable with the short list of products I mention here, 3) is not overly detailed. I referenced a simple black lace-looking mask. I didn’t copy it, I just looked for the general style and sizing so that I could see how the curves and shapes of a real mask look. Feel free to reference my photos if you need some help with the shapes.

Start with your black eyeliner (and make sure it is a liquid one that dried with a shiny finish), and create the general outline. You just want to get an idea of how large it is going to be and what parts of your face it will cover. To make things easy, I incorporated my brows into the mask to…mask them…lol! Okay, I’m sorry, that was too easy. This was part of my solution for covering my black brows so that I could get away with such a light blonde wig. But on a serious note, I knew that I wanted my mask to be covering my eyebrows, so I made sure the top of my outline was placed accordingly. You also want to keep in mind that we’ll need to pin on the black ribbons right about where the top of the ears are, just at the hairline. That means you’ll need to make sure the sides of your mask extend far enough and on the correct angle to make that look authentic. You can even pin the ribbon on first to make sure you get this step right and even on both sides.

Whether you put your ribbons on now or at the very end, these are the instructions: Get your wig on or finish styling your natural hair completely before you start putting the ribbons in place. Go just above your ears on both sides of your face and pin them onto the edge of your wig or hairline. After you’ve pinned them on, you can tie the two pieces together in the back. Make sure you do pull some of your hair/wig hair back on each side when you pin the ribbon down, as a mask would naturally flatten those sides and slightly change the overall shape of your hairstyle. If you look closely in my photos, you may spot a bobby pin at the side of my head. Hopefully that will help you see what I mean for this step.

Okay, back to the mask! For the inside of the mask outline, I just started in one small area at a time and kept going. I created the little swirls at the top of the mask, then I worked on the little hash marks that make up the majority, then I filled in the all-black sections (like the nose and between the eyes), and finally I completed the little “holes” at the bottom. Keep some makeup wipes handy so that you can easily wipe away any mistakes and clean up lines that may be too thick or not to your liking. If you go for symmetry as best you can, that approach will help make it more realistic. I’ve seen some awesome asymmetrical masks where one side is much taller or has different detail than the other, and choosing to go that route is totally fine too. Just make sure you take the same shading tips for any design you decide to do.

Shade and Highlight

The Jaclyn Hill Morphe eyeshadow palette is what I used to get the perfect shadow for shading the little details in the “holes” of the mask. Pick any shade that compliments your skin tone. As far as shading goes, real shadows are cool-toned. However, I know that cool-toned shadows on my skin tone make me look dead and muddy. For this particular Halloween look, I don’t want to look dead and muddy. I want to have a warm glow, as if I’m being seen under candlelight or the old oil lamps they had back in the day. Go with what suits you. I felt that I needed to justify this choice for all my fellow makeup artists who are reading this, or for anyone who understands color theory. But generally speaking, when you recreate this look, I can almost 100% promise  you that nobody is going to be the shadow color police. Anyway, I digress.

Take the brow colored shadow on a small brush with a flat, dense end (even an angled brow or liner brush can work for this), and get in all the nooks and crannies of the “holes” of the mask nice and close. I’m talking about the large holes at the bottom of my mask design. Yours could be different, but follow along here. Now stop. Hold on. I’m NOT saying to fill in all the holes of blank skin with this eyeshadow. You only want to fill in the bottom portion of the holes, with the most pigment right against the eyeliner, blending upward about halfway over the hole. What we’ve done now is created the illusion that our light source is coming from straight on/slightly above us, light normal lighting would. So we’re creating the illusion that the bottom of the mask is not only sitting on top of but slightly jutting out from our face, such that it casts a shadow on our skin. Do this on the very bottom edge of the mask as well. But this time, shade the darkest part directly under the line that designated the bottom of the mask, and blend a tiny bit downward so that line isn’t harsh. Using a bigger brush to do this area will help it blend better. Shade the teeny tiniest bit at the center of the top of your mask, IF it dips down into a little V shape like mine. For those little swirls, shade on the inside portion with the most pigment against the top inside area of the swirl, blending down. Look at my photos to see what I mean, but keep thinking about where your light source would be and keep it consistent.

After that’s all done, its a great time to add the highlight. I took that white liquid eyeliner and went into the larger holes on the mask, making sure to highlight only the top portions. In other words, on each hole, I underlined the top black line of the hole with the white eyeliner. For the tiny little hashmarks, I just tried my best to stick to highlighting on only one side of each hole, but those are so small that it’s not going to be a big deal if its exact or not. You just want to make sure you have some pops of that white liner throughout the “lace” portion so that we make the bare spaces stand out and come across as tiny holes. If you wanted to try to shade these little things in on one side, power to you. But I decided I would only do that within the holes that were large enough to even see that kind of detail.

Now it’s time to shade in the eye hole areas. Basically, you want to keep the most pigment around each of the black eyeliner “borders” that designated where the eyeholes begin, and blend inward from every side. You should have at least a half inch circle of skin with none of that shading on it around your eye. Time to put eyeshadow on our actual eyes. I kept this super simple because I didn’t want to distract from the detail of the mask, but you can take it in any direction you like. I just coated on some of the Mercury eyeshadow color from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette. I then put on some mascara on the top and bottom lashes before popping on my falsies. I used the beautiful Blinking Beaute lashes in the style Mademoiselle. Oddly enough, the simplicity in this step really make it come together. 


After all this painting and work on the eyes, I moved on to the rest of my face. I applied the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in the shade Linen as my foundation. However, I only applied this to the top and bottom portions of my face, avoiding the middle section where my eyes, brows, and nose are. I then set that all in place with the RCMA No Color Powder. I didn’t bother with blush til later on, but I eventually applied a natural shade from  the Morphe 9B blush palette.I worked around my mask, making sure not to disturb the line work or mess up the shading. I basically worked it into the back portion of my cheek bones, just to bring some color to my face.

Don’t forget your lips!  I went with a bold, true brown liquid lipstick to stay with the neutral color palette we have going on, but you can use any color you’d like. That’s one of the best parts about this look- almost any lip color will look great with it. I used Colourpop’s liquid lipstick in the shade Limbo.


My blonde wig from Amazon, but you can wear your natural hair or any wig you’d like. I bet a Victorian style wig would look awesome for this! The nice part about this is that it can go with pretty much any dresses or costumes you already have that you want to repurpose into this masquerade theme. Throw on that dress in the back of your closet that you can’t find an occasion for. The time is now! You can even tailor the colors of the products in this makeup look to match your costume. You don’t have to wear contacts, but in case you’re wondering, mine are by Desio in the color Innocent White.

That’s all it takes. This look is so stunning when you really take your time on the details. I’m so glad I threw this idea into the mix for the #31daysofhalloween makeup challenge. I’ll see you tomorrow for more!

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