Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to talk about outrageous facial makeup. You know how some characters in film and television use greasepaint, mascara, lipstick, etc. to make a statement? At the very least, they get your attention and sometimes, even horrify you. In any event, they always made you remember them. So, I’d like to list my top 12 favorite uses of outrageous facial makeup by characters in film and television. Why 12? Because it’s more FABULOUS, DARLING! Also, this list isn’t ranked.


Mimi(Kathy Kinney-The Drew Carey Show)


As the secretary who plagues Drew Carey, Mimi is outrageous even before the makeup goes on, and it’s always on. Severe blue eye shadow and eyebrow highlights give her a cartoon style that’s a signature look.


Dr. Frankenfurter(Tim Curry-The Rocky Horror Picture Show)


Sure, there are numerous films/tv series about men masquerading as women or genuine transvestites(expect another on this list), but this is the character that took the concept to the kinkiest extreme. It’s all about the pouty lips and the glamorous eyes.


KISS(Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss)


The self-titled “Hottest Band in the World” used facial makeup as one of the cleverest gimmicks ever used to sell a rock group in music history. Not only did it surround the group with an air of mystery, but ensured that they could continue performing no matter how old they got. Simple Kabuki-style greasepaint in white, black, silver, red and green transformed them into the “Star,””Spaceman,””Cat” and the “Demon.”


The Joker(Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight)


Now here’s a great example of a fairly simple makeup application used to maximum effect-in this case, the effect of terrifying everyone. Did a clown motif ever look so disturbing(Pennywise, notwithstanding….)? Whiteface, red and black accents.


Groucho Marx


The look is instantly recognized. Simple black greasepaint to his eyebrows and mustache highlighted his facial expressions and added to his wit and scoundrel impression.


Characters in “To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything-Julie Newmar”


Remember I’d say there’d be more transvestites on this list? This film had ‘em. Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamos dragged up and put Maybeline to the ultimate test-AND SUCCEEDED! WOW, did those guys look good as girls.


Diamanda Hagan


I’m making an exception and including this dominatrix supervillain even though she’s an internet character for the tremendous effect her makeup has conveying both humor and horror. Whiteface and lipstick highlights done warpaint style so real, only the Joker can tell for sure.  It’s a very good look for a great character.


Alice Cooper(As self in “Wayne’s World”)


One of the original “Shock Rockers,” Alice uses black makeup to literally put spikes through his eyes and a perpetual frown on his lips-and it’s a great disturbing look that adds to his macabre.


Baron Samedi(Geoffrey Holder-Live and Let Die)


The look that inspired the design of Dr. Facilier in “The Princess and the Frog,” This James Bond villain used simple whiteface makeup to turn his head into a skull. A very simple design that’s very effective.


Pris(Daryl Hannah-Blade Runner)


This replicant hiding out in a workshop of a toy-maker puts on whiteface and uses an airbrush to paint a black line from one side of her eyes to the other. It adds to her artificial-ness and really accents her expressions.


William Wallace(Mel Gibson-Braveheart)


The Highlander making a great cinema speech and riding into battle never looked more serious than this guy did. Blueface done to leave room for the red of blood that would come from the fighting must’ve struck fear in his enemies.


Alex(Malcolm McDowell-A Clockwork Orange)


Eyeliner and a single fake eyelash made a very lasting impression of this sociopath out for a good time(fighting, destroying property, raping women and tarnishing the song “Singing in the Rain”…..).


Captain Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp-Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest)


While the good Captain always has on awesome eyeliner effects, the one I’m thinking of was when he ended up as the chief of the Pelegostos tribe and had the 8 eyes painted on his face(the last pair done on his eyelids so it looked like his eyes were always opened). This, coupled with Jack’s eccentric behaviors made for a very weird look.


And that’s my top 12 outrageous facial makeup on characters list. Did I miss any of your favorites? I’d love to hear the makeup looks you loved, my friends. Peace.

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