How to Make a Fake Black Eye

For Halloween, or for a theater production, you may want to make a fake black eye. Or maybe you just can't come up with a doctor's note on such short notice. Either way, with a little makeup and artistic flair, you can create a realistic bruise in about five minutes!


  1. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 1
    Wash and dry your skin before you begin. Otherwise, you can irritate it. What's more, you want to work with a clean palette.
  2. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 2
    Smear black eye pencil around your entire eye socket, including your eyelid. Give special emphasis to the area below your eye, nearest your nose. Smudge the eye pencil with a tissue wrapped around your finger for a smoother look. Be sure to let the edges of the "bruise" fade realistically.
    • Highlight immediately beneath your eye and the line that forms a crescent shape underneath your eye. These two areas get very puffy and inflamed when hit.
  3. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 3
    Apply a coat of matte, dark purple eyeshadow over the eye pencil. Highlight the edge of the nose that got hit (near the corner of the eye) and just below the eye, where the last knuckle would land.
    • A cream-based shadow may be more effective, but matte powder will work, too.
  4. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 4
    Apply some dark red eyeshadow or lipstick in small amounts. Use a stipple sponge, if you have it, to mimic a scrape. Concentrate the red on the corner of the eye near the tear duct and at the top of the cheekbone near the outer edge of the eye.
  5. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 5
    Add dark blue or dark maroon eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye and along the eyelid. Dab the brush on your hand before applying to make sure you're not accidentally concentrating too much product on any one area.
  6. Image titled Make a Fake Black Eye Step 6
    Finish by blending in yellow or light green. Add these colors at the outer corner of your eye, your orbital bone, and the lower edge of the "bruise". When a bruise fades, it turns more to this end of the color spectrum.


  • The bruise from a black eye is caused by blood draining towards the lowest point (the area between the nose, eye, and cheekbone), so make sure to give extra emphasis to this area when applying makeup.
  • Be sure to use matte eyeshadow -- sparkles will ruin the effect!
  • Do not pack the makeup on too much the overlapping will cause puffiness.
  • Don't do this activity if you are allergic to anything in this process.
  • Black eyes are usually caused by an injury on the forehead or orbital bone. For extra realism, add a small bruise there.


  • Make sure the make up isn't shiny. If it is shiny, it can easily be discerned as fake.
  • Don't use this to fake an injury unless it's part of a Halloween prank, theater production, or other costume.

Things You'll Need

  • Eyeshadow in various colors (purples, blues, reds, greens, yellows)
  • Application brush
  • Stipple sponge (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Costumes