IT’s Pennywise Makeup Tutorial with Tracy Lai
Our favourite time of the year is here and we’re ready to treat you to some spooky inspiration to get you ready for Halloween! JCI’s Director of Special Effects Makeup, Tracy Lai, has taken the time to guide us through recreating IT’s Pennywise, without using any prosthetics. Tracy has been working as a makeup artist, specializing in creature effects, airbrushing, sculpting, prosthetics, and mold-making, for over 15 years! She’s an accomplished makeup artist for film and television, commercials, and music videos, and has been an instructor with John Casablancas for almost 14 years!
This Halloween look is easy to replicate and all the materials you need can be sourced from Halloween specialty stores, craft stores, and Amazon. Tracy uses a model, but this makeup tutorial can be adapted to create the look on yourself. The model’s costume was created by Tracy using materials you can find at home, like white fabric and tulle.
So grab your costume on and get ready to float this Halloween.
- Bald cap
- Cotton or fibre to fill the bald cap
- Spirit gum, Pros Aide, or latex. If you have allergies to latex, you can use knox gelatine
- Glue stick
- White paint for the skull, face, and neck. Tracy uses PAX paint on the skull and Mehron face paint on the face & neck
- Red paint: you can use Mehron, face paint, or lipstick
- Black eyeliner and eyeshadow or black face paint
- Black tooth paint
- Yellow or lime green contact lenses
- Large sponge and several thin makeup brushes
- Stencils–can be made at home using cardstock or paper
- Cuticle scissors
- Craft scissors
- Fake hair, fake fur, or crepe wool
Once you’ve gathered all your materials, use the instructions below to follow along with Tracy. Be sure to get your model (or yourself) into costume before you get started.
Step 1: Apply Padding and Bald Cap
Put your models hair in a loose bun and add hair spray to help the cotton adhere to the head.
Next, add cotton around the head.
Tear the cotton pieces from around the ears.
Add volume by adding more cotton on the top of the head.
Feather out it around the forehead.
Add your bald cap with the models’ help, making sure to keep all the cotton tucked inside.
Squeeze out any excess air
Add spirit gum or another safe adhesive to seal the cap to the models forehead and the back of the neck.
Cut holes out for ears: use a pencil for your guide and make sure to keep your hand between the models’ ears and your cuticle scissors to protect the skin.
Cut the cap to the models hairline. Aire on the side of caution by cutting a little at a time.
Add more glue to seal the cap further
This next step is optional, you can skip right to “White Out” if you choose. Use latex or bondo around the outside of the cap to help conceal the edges. Use a blow-dryer to seal the product.
Step 2: Paint Bald Cap
If your model is comfortable with contacts in her eyes, skip down to Step 9 before continuing with the rest of the look.
Using a large sponge, apply the white paint all over the bald cap.
Step 3: Flatten Eyebrows
Next, use a glue stick to flatten down the models eyebrows. Make sure her eyes are closed for this step.
Step 4: Paint Face White
After the eyebrows are flattened, use white face paint over the entire face and neck, or if you have it available, you can use an airbrush for this step.
Step 5: Paint Face Detail & Eyebrows
For added texture and creepiness, mix a drop of black paint to the white face paint and apply some gray shading around the forehead and neck.
Using stencils, apply the gray shading paint to add details to the forehead and sides of the cheeks.
Using a stencil or free-handing it, draw on the eyebrow in light gray. As tracy puts it, “the more curved [the brow], the more menacing.”
Next, use black or gray eyeshadow on the lids.
Step 6: Paint Red Details
Use red cream paint to draw lines from the center below eye down to outer edge of lips and from center above the eye up to the forehead.
Blend these lines slightly to give it a fuzzy or messy look.
Paint the nose red and blend a little for a fuzzy look.
Step 7: Paint Lips
Hand paint the lips using red cream paint or lipstick. Make sure to draw a pronounced cupid’s bow and overdraw the bottom lip. Blend the lips slightly for a fuzzy look.
Step 8: Add Hair
Make sure you have all your crepe-wool or fake fur and your craft scissors handy.
Add glue around the head — making sure to keep the shape of Pennywise’s hair line–he has a big widows peak and a receding hairline.
Grab your crepe wool or fake fur in one inch chunks and cut them to size, about 3 or 4 inches long.
Apply them to the head and use a flat edge to press the hair into the glue.
Add more glue as needed.
Create a little pompadour on the top of the head, a few inches back for that receding hairline.
Step 9: Put in Contacts
Get your model to pop in yellow or lime green contacts.
Fix up any makeup that got smudged in the process.
Lastly, add black eyeliner or shadow on the lower-lash line and smudge the makeup a little for a messy look.
Step 10: Paint Teeth
Get the model to dry her teeth with a tissue or paper towel.
Then, black out the bottom row of teeth using tooth paint.
Next, emphasize two front teeth by shortening the teeth around them.
Lastly, compare your model’s final look with your favourite Pennywise photo and touch up anything that got smudged or isn’t quite right. The great thing about this look is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, so the messier it is, the creepier it looks.