Get the Look I: Le Cirque Sombre

Le Cirque Sombre

Photo credit: Exeter Guild

This year’s RAG charity event is Le Cirque Sombre! Like most students, I don’t have a huge amount of money to splash out on a new costume, but most of the dressing up is in the makeup. The dark circus theme allows lots of room for creativity, so here’s one of the ideas I had:

Ring Leader/Animal Tamer/Magician (More ‘Natural’ Look)

This is a look that you can probably pull together with what you have in your wardrobe and in your makeup collection.

What you need is:

  • Foundation & concealer
  • Face powder
  • Contouring powder (top tip – I just use a face powder that’s two shades darker than my skin tone)
  • Eyelid primer (we’ll be using heavy eye makeup, so you’ll need something that’ll stop it running or creasing)
  • Eye shadow (white, light brown, deep brown and black)
  • Gel/liquid eye liner (black)
  • Mascara (black)
  • Natural lipstick
  • Blush
  • Eyebrow pencil (an eyeliner will work fine)
  1. Prep your skin! Apply foundation and then powder to make it stay, and concealer to cover up anything you want – but leave your dark circles to make the look a bit spookier
  2. Contour – for this, it’s preferable to have a sharper, more defined look. Here’s a diagram: 3ab752081a1e865862c84a1eb4625f3f
  3. To complement the face, angled and well-defined dark brows is the next step. Take a dark pencil, and make light strokes in your eyebrows. Then, use an eyebrow brush to comb out the hairs and blend the pencil strokes. I used a dark brown pencil eyeliner and an old (clean) mascara wand.
  4. Eye shadow time! First, prime your eyelids. For my eyes, I used white eye shadow in the inner third of the eyelid, light brown in the middle, deep brown on the outer third. Then, black on the corner, upper and lower lash line and crease. Finally, I blended the edges of these colours together. The white adds brightness to your eyes, whilst the black will intensify the darkness. Eyes
  5. Apply a thick line to your upper lash line to really define the eyes. I used gel to line, and liquid eye liner to make a little triangle in the outer corners for a mini-cat eye
  6. Line your lower lash line with a pencil, and use a small brush/cotton bud/or gentle finger to smudge it half way.
  7. Mascara time!
  8. Blush is optional – you can add a little life to your face, or leave it. Feel free to use pink eye shadow/lipstick for blush if you don’t have any
  9. Since the look is pretty top-heavy, it’s best to use a natural lipstick. Of course, if you want to, you can use black or purple lipstick on this – do what you want!
  10. Add a bowler/top hat and there you go!


If you’re stuck for costume ideas, here are some suggestions, available on the high street and online:

Ring Leader/Animal Tamer

Collage Ring Leader

Pork pie hat: Asos

Military jacket: Asos

Black jeans: H&M

Boots: Ebay


Collage Magician 1

Black dress: New Look

Feather cape top: Etsy

Collage Magician 2

Long cape: Ebay

Waist coat: H&M

(It’s weirdly difficult to find women’s waistcoats, so I advise shopping in the men’s section)

White shirt: New Look

Christy Ku

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