How to Do Your Makeup for Halloween Like a Pirate (Easy Tips)

Updated October 1, 2021
Kids pirates on a beach

Pirates are popular costume ideas for Halloween for people of all ages. Knowing the basics of the pirate look, including how to make the most of your costume makeup, will make putting your costume together a snap. Try some of these looks for great pirate makeup!

Male Pirates

male pirate costume

A male pirate's look can be as mean or as socialite as you like. Regardless of the outfit, the makeup for a boy pirate has this basic look shown here.

  1. Facial hair is common with male pirates, be it real or makeup. Adding stubble, a beard, or a goatee can improve your costume. Make stubble by dabbing dark makeup to the face with a sponge-tipped applicator or a cosmetic sponge. Blend to create a shadow effect.
  2. For a dramatic effect, use a heavy amount of black eyeliner around the eyes.
  3. If you are going for a rugged-looking pirate, add a few smudges of dirt around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead with brown face makeup or eye shadow. Blend with your finger or a sponge.

Female Pirates

Female Pirates makeup

A female pirate looks sexy but rugged. When applying makeup, think glamourous rather than scary. To achieve a great girl pirate look:

  1. Apply a foundation that matches your skin tone. Or, opt to use a bronzer if you want a tanned look.
  2. Use an eyebrow pencil that is close to the color of your eyebrows to define them. This will give your eyes more of a sultry look.
  3. Highlight your brow line with a white or very pale eyeshadow.
  4. Apply smokey gray or dark brown eyeshadow to the eyelids and blend well. Even if you're adding an accessory like an eye patch, do both eyes in case you want to remove the patch later.
  5. Line the upper and lower eyelids with black eyeliner.
  6. Add black mascara in two coats.
  7. Color your cheeks with a natural blush that will blend in well.
  8. Apply bright red lipstick if you have a fair complexion, or use a deep red if you have a dark complexion.
  9. Enhance your lips with a matching lip liner. After all, a woman's look is not complete without well-defined lips.

Application Tips

Applying your Halloween makeup may require a little practice. Before going to your costume party or event, try out your makeup so you know what look you can easily achieve.

  • Always be sure that the makeup you are using doesn't irritate your skin before applying. Be especially careful around your eyes.
  • Use dark makeup to create scars and stubble. Use light makeup to highlight. Red can be used on the lips and cheeks. Apply yellow or blue wherever you want to create a bruise or scar.
  • Keep sponge applicators, makeup brushes, cotton balls, and cotton swabs handy. Different makeup elements require specific applicators. For example, a cotton ball or cosmetic sponge can blend out dark makeup to create a shadow of stubble. Experiment to find the techniques that will work best for you.
  • Most costume makeup is best removed using a cold cream instead of soap.

Where to Find Pirate Makeup

In addition to using the contents of your makeup bag, you may want to purchase a kit made specifically for Halloween or cosplay. The basic pirate makeup kits contain a few colors commonly used in pirate looks, such as white, red, black, or yellow. The colors can be mixed to achieve your own desired look. Local Halloween shops and department stores sell pirate kits. You can also try one of the following online retailers:

  • Halloween Express - Halloween Express sells a wide range of pirate costumes and accessories. They have a super-simple pirate makeup-only kit that can be purchased for less than $5. It's a great choice for a one-time costume.
  • - This kit includes the makeup and applicators you'll need, along with pirate teeth and beaded hair attachments.

Famous Pirate Looks

If you are stuck on which pirate makeup look you want to create, check out pictures of your favorite pirates from the big screen including:

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean sports long dreadlocks with beads, a braided goatee, and a heavy amount of black eyeliner. A red headscarf and a brown pirate hat are critical for this costume.

Elizabeth Swann

Elizabeth Swann

Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (and the rest of the Pirates franchise) wears makeup in a natural tanned look. Her signature feature is loose wavy hair.

Angelica Teach

Angelica Teach

Angelica Teach from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brings a more feminine look to piracy. Her makeup is a natural tanned look with smokey eyes and black eyeliner. Finish the outfit with a wide-brimmed black hat that has a buckle and feather.

Captain Hook

Captain Hook

Captain Hook from Peter Pan sports the infamous attire of a classy pirate. Long black, curly hair and a perfectly groomed handlebar style mustache are essential for this look. Darken your eyebrows with a brow pencil for authenticity.

Long John Silver

Long John Silver

Long John Silver from Treasure Island is a classic pirate costume. Makeup for this look consists of adding a gray color makeup to the upper eyelids, along with a beard and mustache that includes streaks of gray.



Blackbeard, also known as Edward Teach, a real pirate brought to life in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a dark character wearing an all-black costume. Use a heavy hand with a powder or cream bronzer and plenty of black eyeliner for this look.

Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny is an 18th century pirate in the Bahamas featured in the series, Black Sails. She wears natural makeup, long red hair, and a wide brimmed brown hat.

Added Touches

Pirate makeup doesn't need to be difficult. A steady hand with face painting can add scars or tattoos to your look if you want to have a 'weathered' appearance. Everyone knows the different pirate outfits, but your makeup can make your Halloween pirate costume stand out from the rest.

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How to Do Your Makeup for Halloween Like a Pirate (Easy Tips)