How to Apply Children's Pirate Makeup

Updated February 21, 2017

Pirates have always been popular Halloween costumes for children, especially since the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies debuted. Many costume shops have pirate costumes in kid sizes, but the costume on its own is not enough to complete the character. Costume shops also sell supplies that can be used to create a pirate make-up that will be the envy of other trick-or-treaters. As you do this make-up, feel free to modify the steps if inspiration strikes.

Apply a shadow colour that is a shade or two darker than your child's skin tone to the temples, eye sockets and area under the cheekbones to create a sunken-in effect. You can use a make-up brush or sponge to accomplish this.

Tear the end off a latex make-up sponge, creating a jagged, irregular surface.

Lightly apply a sunburn-coloured cream make-up to the child's face with the torn sponge. Keep the application slightly irregular like an actual sunburn. Apply the colour slightly more heavily on the nose, cheekbones and forehead.

Use a coarse, black stipple sponge to apply black cream make-up in the beard area. Lightly tap the sponge against the child's face to create a stubble effect.

If you cannot obtain a stipple sponge, a square of fish tank filter works as well.

Use a red make-up pencil to draw a jagged scar across the child's face. For an unhealed scar, lightly apply a shadow colour beneath the scar and a highlight above it to create a dimensional effect. For stitches, draw black lines across the scar every quarter-inch.

Darken the child's eyebrows with a black make-up pencil, drawing small lines to simulate individual hairs. For a more humorous appearance, connect them into a unibrow.

Powder the make-up with translucent powder using a powder puff. This will set the make-up and help to keep it from smearing.

Dry the child's teeth with a tissue.

Paint nicotine-coloured tooth enamel onto the child's teeth irregularly to make them look dirty and rotten. If desired, paint black tooth enamel over some of them to make them look like they are missing.

Apply heavy black eyeshadow for a Jack Sparrow look.


Tooth enamel can be removed with a toothbrush and toothpaste, or it will disappear on its own in a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Cream make-up
  • Make-up sponges
  • Make-up brush (optional)
  • Black stipple sponge or fish tank filter
  • Make-up pencils
  • Translucent powder
  • Powder puff
  • Tissue
  • Tooth stain
  • Eyeliner (optional)
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About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.