Tim Burton: Inspiring Our Halloween Makeup For Decades

Tim Burton: Inspiring Our Halloween Makeup For Decades

From Beetlejuice to Batman, Tim Burton is killing the movie makeup game. He has been inspiring Halloween makeup styles for decades and with characters that are a little weird and the misfits of society, we think his unique style provides the perfect material to explore a signature goth look.

Take Dark Shadows for example. A classic remake of the series with Jonathan Frid. Johnny Depp's, Barnabas, resembles the original on a basic level, but expertly exaggerated in true Burton style, where he takes it to a whole new level in his over-the-top style.  

Besides giving Depp a hairstyle, pointy ear extensions, and a prosthetic nose bridge, Department head Joel Harlow added a Burton-esque pallor. "Johnny's Barnabas is quite a bit paler than Jonathan Frid's," he says. "Another huge addition to Johnny is the finger extensions. Tim Burton made sure to extend makeup far past the face and even focused on Depp’s nails being long and ‘creepy’ to dramatise the character further when Barnabas would talk with his hands leading the way. 

Harlow also designed Depp's makeup as Mad Hatter in Burton's Alice in Wonderland. To complement Alice's troubled yet fun-loving friend, vivid colours were layered over Burton's usual whitened palette. 

We admire how Burton isn't afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to the look of a character, but only if the direction of the look is to help the actors with understanding their role.

Burton shows us the truth, the eyes ARE the window to the soul. His looks always attempt to emphasize the feelings and emotions of his characters. Bringing out the strongest and most expressive feature on the face is nothing new to makeup artists.

And it’s hard to talk Burton without mentioning Bigheads! Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland showed us what special effects can do to our favourite characters, and her cranium was larger than ever. Bonham Carter's visage got its very own camera for close-ups. In post-production, composite artistry was employed to enlarge her head and shrink her body. The final result—a freakish forehead, blue and highly strung eyes, heart-shaped lips, and tiny waist—is a sight to behold.

Batman Returns showed us that although we'll never understand exactly what went on in the demented minds of the villains like Catwoman, Burton made sure that we wouldn’t be able to keep our eyes off the bold shadowy eyes and out-there lips. Gorge! 

At Reckless we’re always looking out for those new, bold looks to give us inspo and Burton may not help in day to day life but Halloween is just around the corner. Keep an eye out for our looks😜👀

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