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How To Paint Yourself Green

I've wanted to paint myself green again for so long now!  I did it once before, last minute, for a bar crawl in the last few months of my single life, back in '10.  I had a great time, got a TON of compliments, had most of my drinks bought for me, got hhhhammered, turned a dance partner slightly green, swigged rum over a toilet with a stranger in a Girl Scout costume, and just had an all-around awesome time...but it didn't photograph well and I've always thought I could do better.  I'm way happier with how it turned out this time around.

It's pretty easy too, and really cheap!  Yay!  Cheap!  I think I spent a total of less than $7, since I mostly used stuff I already had.  This tutorial's inspired partly by a smeared smurf who came CHARGING toward me at the first bar that night and yelled "HOW did you get yourself so GREEN???"  Random smeary smurf man, this is for you, wherever you are!

Of course, it doesn't have to be green...or a witch.  You can turn yourself pretty much any color you can mix with cream makeup and similarly-colored eyeshadow.  Someday I want to try being silver.  Been a goal of mine for years.  I'm not normal, I know.


  • Remove hair from any areas you'll be turning green
  • Paint your nails
  • Plan your outfit 

The makeup will show every little hair it covers, so get them gone!  I used a microtrimmer.  Be sure to do the backs of your hands and any other place you'll be covering.

Bare nails will show your natural skin color and that won't work!  Even if you don't normally paint...haha...nevermind...but really, paint your nails.  You know you don't need an excuse!  I'm wearing Revlon Seductive in these photos.  Review coming soon!

Keep in mind that you'll have to cover all bare skin with color.  Long sleeves are a good idea here.  Stockings are practically mandatory, unless you'll be wearing a floor-length dress and boots or something.  Gloves are also an option to keep in mind.  Really consider what skin will show and how much of yourself you're willing to paint.

You'll need:

  • green cream makeup
  • black eyeliner
  • black mascara
  • face and body lotions (shimmer lotions are a plus)
  • green eyeshadow
  • body shimmer powder
  • additional makeup of your choice
  • brushes, sponges, etc for application
  • a way to keep your hair out of the way while you apply
  • hairspray, firm or extra firm hold

You can get the cream makeup at a costume shop or at some drugstores.  Green's annoyingly tough to find this year, for me at least.  I got this at Spirit Of Halloween, but I found it at Target later too for $1 and I kicked myself.  Each green will be a bit different, and you can always mix your own from blue and yellow if you can't find green, and add white if the one you find is too dark for your liking.

The green eyeshadow is essential, since the cream makeup won't stay on your lids and shouldn't go too close to your mouth.  Loose shadow works best, but I used a pressed one.  I couldn't find loose.  Bleh.

I used a basic face lotion for the facial part and a shimmer body lotion for the body part, brand and type don't seem to matter much.  For the powder step, I used an ancient shimmer wand thing from The Body Shop.  The powder and lotion don't have to shimmer, but the shimmer will help hide any patchiness of the color.  It works like those 'age minimizing' highlighters.

Eyeliner and mascara are a must.  The rest of your look once you're green is completely up to you and what you have at hand.

Hairspray is a must for me.  Big, crazy hair adds to the witchiness.


Set up somewhere that's easy to clean.  This may make a horrible mess.  Once your prep is done, your hair is off your face, and your supplies and tools are all out, the fun can begin.  The first step is eyeliner.  Tightline and waterline now.  It's just easier to do when your fingers aren't green.  Waterlining is important!  You want to hide that little strip of your skin color!

normal(-ish) Amanda

...I look like crap, but oh well.  This is the good photo.  Middle of the night on a night off when my skin is all hormonal and I haven't slept much all week was kinda the only time I could do this.  Meh.

You should be smarter than I was and patch-test the cream makeup somewhere.  Rub a dot of it in somewhere hidden and give your skin time to freak out if it wants to, then make sure you can wash it off.  I didn't do this and spent a lot of time fretting about whether it'd come off in the shower.  (It did, mostly. We'll get to that.)

A weird note here.  You'll put your costume on when you're done, so you don't get makeup all over it.  While you're applying, wear something easy to take off.  Wear nothing if possible.  When I did this for the bar crawl, I lived alone, so I went with that option.  Just easier.  For this, I wore a tee.  I wound up worrying that the gray one would stain, so I switched to black. I should have started in black.  A tee isn't the best option, really.  Too tough to pull off without getting makeup everywhere.  Seriously, be topless (or bra-only) if you can.

Put a blob each of the cream makeup and your lotion on the back of your hand and blend together.

The mix doesn't need to be exact.  I wound up using a lot more green than shown here.  Not quite 40/60 seemed to be about right for me, but it's your call.  You're trying to thin it a bit and make it less disgusting to put on, that's all.  Coat your face with a priming coat of this mix.  I started with a sponge for this coat.

For now the main focus is basic coverage.  The packaging said to avoid the mouth area, so I kept it away as much as I could.  That and the eye area will be handled in a bit.  Don't bother trying to cover your eye area, since it won't stick anyway.  I did my ears too, because my hair is up in these photos.  If you're sure your ears won't be seen, don't bother with them.

Once you've got the face's first coat down, do the rest of your visible skin.  How you apply is up to you.  I used sponges, brushes, and my fingers for various parts of the application.  This first coat is just the start.  It will look crappy.

Blotchy, isn't it?  Applying a second coat evens out a lot.  For that coat, focus on areas you missed the first time.  I did the second coat with my fingers.  The second coat doesn't need to be perfect either, but get all of the weird spots.  Behind your ears (if you're doing them), the folds around your nose, every bit of both hands, all of it needs to be green!  ...just not the eye and mouth areas.  They're next.

This step is where it starts to come together.  Green eyeshadow (I used a Milani from Dollar Tree) will cover the spots that the cream couldn't.  Apply it to your eye area and around your mouth (I put a little over my lips too, because photo), then blend out to the rest of the face.  Apply your shimmer powder to blend everything together, making sure to cover and blend everything that's green.  The shimmer really makes all of the difference...

shirt shows why you wanna put the costume on after

From here, it's all up to you.  At minimum, smoky eyeliner and a "weird" color lipgloss should be applied...even if you're a dude.  Your lips and eyes are the toughest to cover, but they're also the things people will look at most.  If you wanted to go dramatic, flashy, etc...go for it!  You can contour, do drag queen eyes, whatever...just keep in mind that colors will skew weirdly now that you're green.  I wound up doing a smoky shadow and smudgy liner, plus a purple gloss.

Costume's next.  Hair's last.  I didn't tease it, I tormented it!  Once that's done, be sure to cackle a lot...and have fun!

Removal will vary with the brand of cream makeup used, but a shower is required...and very strongly desired by the time the night's over.  I took these photos last night and scrubbed vigorously in the shower, but I'm still very faintly green in a few little areas.  The spaces between my fingers are very slightly tinted, but it's really not noticeable.  The cream makeup stands a good chance of breaking you out, but awesomeness has its price.

I terrified poor Zeus unintentionally...but I really want to do this again to intentionally terrify the trick-or-treaters next week!  AHAHAHAHA!! you have your costume/makeup planned yet?  What will you be?


  1. Very creepy kewl!

    You're not abby normal! You have learned to not live down to other's expectations all the time. I wanted multi colored hair when I was a teen, but had a grandmother who could let blood with her tongue if she didn't like something & there was little she liked & all of it was boring. It took me 30 years to find my gumption, but I now have the My Little Pony hair I always wanted. So paint yourself green, silver or go for the rainbow if that's what makes you happy! <3

  2. Haha this is brilliant, great job!!

  3. That's pretty awesome! And poor Zeus! ): Hope you're all doing well!


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