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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


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The Whiteface is the classic harlequin clown face. There are two types of Whiteface. The "Neat Whiteface" has simple features with black and red used as accent colors. The mouth is no larger than your own mouth and there is no false nose. The "Comedy Whiteface" has bolder features and allows the use of accent colors other than red and black, a false nose may also be used.

Apply The White

To begin, apply Clown White to entire face with fingertips or makeup applicator sponge. Be certain to cover evenly around eyes, nose and mouth and not to get it too thick (just enough to look white). Using the palm of your hand, or the sponge, "pat" the makeup smooth on your

face. Use quick firm patting motions. This technique ensures even coverage. (A true whiteface will have all areas of the face, neck and ears covered) Using a cotton swab, "cut out" the shape of the mouth, removing any clown white from this area. This ensures a terrific red color! You may also cut out any other areas wher you will be putting red, such as a painted on nose or a cheek design . Again, pat down the Clown White to smooth out any creases caused by the cotton swab.

Apply The Features

Using Colorset Ultrafine Setting Powder, "set" your whiteface makeup. Fill in the cut out areas with color using a Pro-Pencil or makeup and a brush. (the Whiteface has a completely white upper lip) Apply another light layer of setting powder. To make your eyes stand out more, outline them with a black Pro-Pencil.

Finish them with a black mascara. For a "Comedy White Face", accent your face with Powder Blusher or Cream Rouge or GlitterWear or GlitterDust. These accents are applied last and do not need to be set with powder.


The most comic clown, Auguste Clowns are typically crazy characters! Oversized comical clothes are their trademark. They have the reputation of getting into a great deal of mischief and fun! Auguste is the most slapstick of all clowns, his/her actions are wilder and broader

than the other styles.

Apply The White

Using a Jumbo or Slim White Pro-Pencil, draw the desired shape around the eyes and mouth. Resist the urge to draw large circles around your eyes as this gives a raccoon or goggle-like appearance. The shape around your mouth is called the muzzle. Fill in these areas with Clown White. Pat smooth with a makeup applicator sponge or your fingertips.

Use a cotton swab to "cut out" the area for your mouth within the muzzle. Leave the white on the upper lip. Place the circles on the upper corners of your smile so you always have a pleasant look even when you're not smiling.

If you will not be blending any colors into your white, then it is best to powder and "set " the white now. If you will be blending the fleshtone into the white, then wait until the end to set all colors together. Both methods are widely used by professional Auguste Clowns.

Apply The Auguste Base. Select your Auguste fleshtone color. Popular colors used and shown in this catalog are Auguste and Lt. Auguste, Clown Pink, Warm Tan and Ruddy Bronze. Other Mehron fleshtones are available at your local Mehron Clown Supply Dealer. Apply your fleshtone in the same manner as the Clown White, covering all of the remaining areas of your face. Try to get very close to the edges of the white. If you want to blend the fleshtone and Clown White you can use your finger, Stipple Sponge, or a Makeup Sponge.

Apply Features

Fill in your mouth with either Red or Black, Red being the most popular. Black is more popular for circus clowns who perform at a distance. (An Auguste clown will not have Red or Black on the upper lip). Using a Black Pro-Pencil, draw in your eyebrow. Drawing on your natural eyebrow would give a sinister look. Instead, place your eyebrow towards the top or the middle of the white area above the eye. Outline your eyes with the black. Add any other hi-lights or color and powder the makeup. Add a powder blush if you choose. Also, a little mascara will cover up any white that got on your eyelashes. This also helps to open up the look of your eyes.


While the Whiteface and Auguste Clowns have their origins in the European Circus, the Tramp or Hobo clown is an American original. Tom Heath and Jim McIntyre are credited with creating the original Tramp clown back in 1874, during the depression that followed the Civil War. The character is an outgrowth of the minstrel character that was popular at the time. The Tramp usually wears distressed or tattered clothes and a forlorn expression. The Happy Hobo has slightly neater clothes and always wears a smile.

History's most prominent Tramp clown's are Emmett Kelly as "Weary Willy", Otto Griebling as "Otto", Mark Anthony as "Tony" and , of course, Red Skelton as "Freddy the Freeloader".

Apply the White

As in the Auguste style, draw the shapes around your eyes and mouth. However, the muzzle is traditionally smaller than the Auguste clown. The white on the eye is often a subtle blending on the upper eye lid. Fill in these areas with white and pat smooth (fig. 1). Apply the Beard Use black, or for a lighter beard, use the color "Monster Grey". Apply with a stipple sponge for a stubble effect or a makeup sponge for a more solid appearance. Start in the middle of your cheek. Fade into the beard, getting darker in the middle, and fading out again as you approach the neckline - just like a real beard.

Apply the Fleshtone

Mehron colors "Warm Tan" and "Ruddy Bronze" are very popular with professional clowns as a fleshtone. Apply with fingers or makeup sponge to forehead, around eyes, and nose to the beard line. You can leave a "hard edge" against the white around the eyes or use your fingers to blend the two colors together.

You may enhance your existing eyebrow with a black eyeliner or Pro-Pencil. Or, for a more Happy Hobo, cover your eyebrows in white and draw them in above their normal position. Most Tramps use a flesh colored nose that has a red tip. Gently powder the makeup.

Ask your Mehron Dealer for "Texas Dirt" or "Trail Dust". These loose powders are great for weathering the makeup or the outfit and give that "slept under a newspaper or in a boxcar" appearance.


Proper "Powdering Down" of cream makeup is one of the key elements of finishing your makeup artistry. Whether for fashion, beauty, film, theater, TV, or clowning, the purpose and process of "Powdering Down" is the same. That is, to "set" the makeup by absorbing excess

moisture without leaving a clumpy residue.

Place about a tablespoon of setting powder on your powder puff. Gently rub the powder into the puff for a uniform distribution. Firmly press the puff into the makeup with each pat. Use just enough powder so that makeup does not come off onto the puff.

Continue until all makeup is covered. Remove excess powder by gently dusting away with a powder/complexion brush.

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