How to Choose the Best White Foundation for Your Halloween Makeup

Image of ghostly Halloween makeup

One of the most popular makeup products during the Halloween season is white foundation because so many costumes require it. There are many types available to help you achieve the perfect effect, whether your goal is a creepy clown or a doll-like apparition. But this can also lead to confusion when it comes time to shop. So, which one is best for the look you want to create? To answer this question, we’ve created a simplified guide to different types of white bases along with some examples to help you bring your Halloween makeup to life!

What’s Your Halloween Look?

What character makeup are you creating? Once you answer this question it will help you decide the coverage and finish best suited for your artistic interpretation. Does it require a “mask” effect so none of the skin underneath shows through? Or do you want to give the skin a wash of ghostly pallor? This step is important because starting with a product that’s designed to provide the coverage and finish you need will make the desired outcome much easier to achieve.

Products for Full to Maximum Coverage


Clown White is the thickest and most opaque cream makeup available for maximum coverage, meaning no skin tone will show through. It’s an excellent choice for clowns, mimes, or any character that needs to completely mask the person beneath. A base of Clown White makeup requires powdering to set it in place. If you’d like to add an extra punch of white pigment over the base, use Ben Nye Super White. Otherwise, a colorless powder will do, especially if you are setting other colors.

Clown White
$8 – 18
Super White Powder
1.5 oz $12

HOW TO USE IT: Start with a small amount and apply with your fingers or a makeup sponge using a patting motion to slowly build even coverage. Do not apply too much product at once or use a swiping motion which may cause streaks that are difficult to blend away. Apply face powder using a puff and gently press to set in place.


White greasepaint is another opaque cream makeup but has more emollience, providing fantastic coverage with enhanced spreadability. This old-school theatrical formula is really nice because it has shinier finish if you choose not to powder it. However, it could move over time which may be a plus for Joker-inspired or deconstructed horror makeup vibes. But if that is not your goal, set it with powder.

Image of Mehron Greasepaint Foundation in white with the top off of the pot and set to the side. Behind it is the box packaging.
Foundation Greasepaint in White

HOW TO USE IT: Greasepaint can be applied using your fingertips , sponge or a brush to get the desired effect. Spot and blend or lay it on thick—it is up to you! Use a patting or stippling motion to build coverage for the most even results. Set with face powder if you prefer a matte finish and/or before using other powder products like blush, contour, or other powder-based products.


Water-activated face & body paint provides full coverage and is an excellent choice when including large areas like chest, back, arms, and legs. All you need is some water and a brush or sponge to apply it. And because it works like a paint, once it is dry it requires no powder. Plus, it washes off with soap and water making it a popular choice for many Halloween, CosPlay, and fantasy makeup looks.

Aquacolor in White
Fixing Spray

HOW TO USE IT: For best coverage, dampen a brush with water and swirl over the cake until you have a creamy paint consistency. Then apply with the brush or a sponge, working quickly before it starts to dry to avoid streaking. Once finished, allow it to dry completely. For extra staying power, mist with a makeup sealer or fixing spray.

Image of arms iwht the different ype of white foundation swatched to show coverage
Some quick arm swatches to demonstrate the types of coverage and effect that can be achieved. Individual results may vary based on the technique and application method used.

Products for Light to Medium Coverage


White cream foundations are made with the same formula as the relative brands’ skin tone shades, which means many people find them familiar and easy to use. They provide everything from light to medium and up to full coverage , and they’re available in a pot or stick format. Some prefer the control of picking up the product from the pot and layering pigment. Others enjoy swiping the stick over the face to get it on quickly and then blend it out from there. Remember there are no rules with makeup!

Creme Foundation in P1 White
TV Paint Stick in 070 White

HOW TO USE IT: Apply with a brush or sponge and blend for an even finish. Cream foundation contains high levels of pigment so if you want a lighter or “ethereal “wash over the skin, you don’t need much at all. Layer to build to fuller coverage if desired. Set cream foundation with face powder before using other powder products like blush, contour, or other powder-based colors.


White cake foundation, aka “pancake,” is a water-activated makeup applied with a sponge. It’s easy to apply and delivers light to medium coverage and dries to a matte powder finish. This type of foundation is a favorite of stage and dance performers for its lightweight feel and durable wear, making it great for both face and body—an excellent choice for creating for head-to-toe ghostly characters or haunted beauties.

StarBlend Cake Makeup

HOW TO USE IT: Dampen a sponge with water and swirl it over the cake in circular motions. Apply to the face or body, blending as you work for even coverage. Work quickly before it dries for best results. Once dry makeup is set! If desired, gently buff with brush to smooth and soften the effect.

Products for Easy Makeup Removal

Depending on the type of white foundation makeup you’ve chosen, you also may need a good remover that’s designed to dissolve theatrical makeup quickly. Traditional oil-based formulas are tried-and-true favorites for getting the job done quickly and effectively. And if you need to remove your makeup while you’re on the go, Alcone Company Make-Off Makeup Remover Cloths do a pretty impressive job too!

Quick Cleanse
$8 – $20
Hydro Oil Make-up Remover
10 oz $20.10
Make-Off Makeup Remover Cloths Popup Pack
A Make-Off Makeup Remover Cloth effectively wiped away the full to maximum coverage product swatches.

We hope this guide answered some questions about the different products and will help you choose the best white foundations to create the Halloween makeup of your dreams (or nightmares!). There are many more professional makeup brands and products waiting for you at Alcone Company. Visit us for all your Halloween makeup needs!

You can also shop in person at out NYC store located at located at 322 West 49th Street in the heart of world-famous theatrical district!

Need some Halloween makeup inspiration? Check out Glamour Ghouls Halloween Makeup by Starr Blackshere.

How about more product info for Halloween and SFX makeup? Read Blood Science: How to Choose a Fake Blood Product.

Product availability and prices are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, visit