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Carnival Makeup Designs and Ideas

Updated on June 25, 2014


Carnival is an odd but interesting phenomenon connected to societies with a heavy Catholic influence.

The origins of the "festive" season are from the Catholic Lenten season, where adherents didn't eat specific foods like meat, sugar or dairy products, among others.

It is thought that right before that 40-day period began people would get rid of all those foods they couldn't eat in a huge party.

This consumption and what has become a giant community party is where the origins of Carnival are believed to have come from. It's odd when you think of the Catholic religion and what Carnival has become.

It don't think too many people think of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness when the partying begins.

What Carnival has done in regard to makeup is generate a unique look that is a lot of fun to put on and wear.

Carnival Makeup

When most people think of Carnival, it's the most popular festival in Rio de Janeiro that comes to mind. Because of that, much of the makeup looks associated with Carnival have a Brazilian flavor to them. That means a lot of loud colors like blues, greens, yellows and reds.

Many time the makeup will take on the form of a mask because of the masquerade element of the celebrations. Another element or accessory found in most overall carnival looks is the inclusion of feathers of some sort. That can be on the lashes or as a head piece, as so many of us have seen.

There also seems to be no specific rhyme nor reason as to why the makeup is made to look a certain way. For example, scrolling along the eyes and temple is a popular addition to Carnival makeup. Others love to incorporate glitter and rhinestones into the look.

It seems it's based upon how a person interprets the festive event and how they want to interact with it through makeup.

In other parts of the world that celebrate Carnival the makeup takes on a much different look. For the most part we'll focus on what has become known as the Carnival look as influenced by Brazil.

The one exception with be what is considered the Venetian look. That's more popular in Europe.

Carnival Makeup for Halloween

A secondary way to use Carnival makeup is for Halloween, cosplay or other costume events.

Not only does the makeup stand out and look fantastic, but if you add some frills like feathers and other accessories associated with Carnival, you'll present a gorgeous costume and makeup look that is stunning and delightful.

Not too many people will dress up in all those vibrant colors, so you'll definitely garner a lot of attention if that is your purpose.

Fluorescent Green Avatar Makeup from Carnival Rio

In this first photo it's an image of what I consider a festive look under the influence of Rio Carnival.

The fluorescent green color is vibrant, standing out nicely even in an extremely colorful makeup and costume environment. That's not easy to do at Carnival, and think what it would be like in more benign social situations.


More Subtle Carnival Look

Even though much of the Carnival makeup can be loud and gaudy, that's not always the case, as you can see in this gorgeous look below.

It has a light touch of yellow around the eyes, deep red lips and light coloring on the cheeks. It's a makeup look that would be gorgeous under any circumstance ... minus the head piece of course.

All of this was brought together for the facial makeup, nails, and head piece to complement one another. It really works well.


Colorful Scrolling Carnival Makeup

Being a big fan of scrolling, this beautiful facial makeup design is really appealing to me. The color choices were great, and the blue blends in good with the hat and outfit colors that can be seen.

Not only is the makeup around the eyes done exquisitely, but the way the eyebrow is extended is really awesome in how it works with the scrolls.

The white underneath also helps the lower colors pop out even more. Great look. You could wear almost anything with the makeup color scheme.


Carnival Video Makeup Tutorials

Next we'll look at several Carnival video makeup tutorials focusing more on the Rio or South American Carnival look. That means vibrant colors and great eyes to complement the rest of the costume and accessories.

There will be playful glitter and rhinestones along with the wonderful colors chosen for each look.

Carnival Series - Carnival Tuesday Makeup

Carnival Makeup

Make-Up Atelier Paris: Make Up Tutorial - Carnival

Carnival Makeup with Pink, Red and Yellow Eyes

This is a terrific set of eyes to prepare for a great Carnival look. The blend of colors offers a wide array of costume or clothing options to choose from. And as you can see, they will definitely include a very colorful look.

If you like this particular facial look, you can go below the photo and see the video tutorial on how it was exactly done.


RIO Tropical Carnival Makeup

Venice Carnival Makeup and Masks

This is the only photo we'll look at in this article of a typical makeup and/or mask look used in the Venetian Carnival. It is a very different look than that used in Brazil's and other South American Carnivals.

It has more of a European masquerade look than anything else, bypassing the more tropical look of the Southern hemisphere.

Some people acquire masks ready to go, others may apply the makeup to the mask itself to create the desired effect, some may combine a mask and makeup, and others will use makeup to create the mask look.


Venetian Mask Video Tutorials

For those who prefer more of the Venetian mask Carnival look, here are a couple of video tutorials showing how to create some dazzling masks that will be greatly appreciated by those seeing them.

Carnival Makeup: Venetian Mask/Gladiator

Great Masks from Carnival of Venice

In the next video there are shown a plethora of masks worn at the Carnival of Venice in 2012. It will surely give you a large number of ideas on how you many want to look when adapting this particular Carnival style.

To me it's amazing how different they are from the Rio Carnival look, even though they draw from similar backgrounds and influences.

Carnival Of Venice: Best Masks 2012

Carnival Makeup, Mask and Fashion Inspiration

Carnival is really an amazing inspiration when comes to masks for the events themselves, or for other events like Halloween and other costume parties.

The looks are widely different, and could be used in themed costume parties or cosplay events.

Whatever the purpose and reason, Carnival based makeup is an outstanding choice that will no doubt garner an enormous amount of attention for you, especially at events outside of Carnival itself, which has a plethora of vibrant, beautiful costumes, makeup and masks.


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    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 

      6 years ago from West Yorkshire

      there is no doubt it is extraordinary, i think it allows for us for to use how bodies in a creative manner, which we otherwise wouldn't

    • MakinBacon profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Louisville Area

      @ A K Turner

      My major interest in this area is the cool makeup that can be creatively applied to create awesome looks. Carnival makeup is fantastic, and of course can be outrageous. It's the overall part of the art, celebration and festive nature of the practice that is appealing to me.

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 

      6 years ago from West Yorkshire

      Today, I learned that carnvial has Catholic origins, very cool hub, I would love to see it sometime, the outfits are out of this world, and I am sure the atmosphere is epic. Is this one of your interests?


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