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Excessive Evil Eyeshadow

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The Chick: You're wearing lipstick!
Dark Nella: I know, and eyeliner.
The Chick: Where are your glasses? [Gasp!] You're evil!
The Nostalgia Chick reviews

Villains and evil characters tend to wear excessive, dark-colored makeup on and around their eyes. The key word here is "excessive," as in "singlehandedly keeps a cosmetics company in the black" (no pun intended). There are a few ways for the character to apply the Evil Eyeshadow: there's always some on the eyelid accompanied with mascara to darken and lengthen the eye lashes, and the "excessive" extra can be applied as upper or lower eyeshadow... or both to go the extra villainous mile. The color isn't restricted to just black, but just about any color as long as it's sufficiently dark.

Considering villains tend to go overboard, this is usually also accompanied with lots of extra creepy makeup, and some pale foundation and a dark wig or hair dye to make the character really look like Cesare. Finishing this fearsome facial are Evil Eyebrows, either natural or (probably) plucked and stenciled on. The ironic thing is that heavy eye make-up is actually easier to apply, since it doesn't require as much time to blend into the skin as the more 'natural' looking varieties.

By now the villain has so much product on their face (and hair too, probably) that they will have a very real aversion to water... not because it's their Weaksauce Weakness, but because a good splash means Your Makeup Is Running. Heroes are advised to avoid making them cry or splashing them, as the resulting fury won't be pretty (Pun intended).

This is a favored feature of makeup in Daddy's Little Villain. Usually accessorized with Femme Fatalons. Compare Black Eyes of Evil. Compare/contrast with Ghostly Gape. See also Paint It Black and Evil Costume Switch.

Despite the Trix girls being the page pic, guys can wear Excessive Evil Eyeshadow, usually in the form of Guyliner. They also tend to be a lot... quirkier... than other guy villains. It's also worth noting that this Sub-Trope of Obviously Evil is so exclusively villainous that it's rare to see even Anti Heroes use Excessive Evil Eyeshadownote . If the character also wears a lot of makeup in addition to the excessive evil eyeshadow, expect them to be a Monster Clown. When the darkness is natural, rather than from cosmetics, it's Creepy Shadowed Undereyes — and sometimes it's hard to tell which of the two the character has going on, because they have what looks a lot like eyeshadow, but no apparent way to acquire it or time to apply it, so apparently their skin spontaneously generates it.

Sub-Trope of Makeup Is Evil.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kodachi Kuno in Ranma ˝ wears a lot of eyeshadow, and while not being evil per se, she is certainly one of the suitors that is least likely to play fair or be rational (and in that series, that is saying something) and is certainly treated as one of the bad guys.
  • Orochimaru from Naruto.
  • Sesshomaru and Naraku from Inuyasha, also indicating their nobility (as typical of Heian period Japan).
  • Drocell Caines from Black Butler (anime only).
  • In Bleach, Filler Villain Muramasa has large fields of purple eyeshadow in a fancy shape. He is fairly reserved but definitely bold, mysterious, and unsettling. Although being the spirit of a zanpakuto weapon, it could just be part of his anatomy.
  • Zorin Blitz from Hellsing.
  • Given a rather sad spin in Rurouni Kenshin. Anji Yukyuzan uses ashes to his eyelids and makes himself look scarier... and the first time he did it, he used ashes taken from the lifeless, burned body of one of his murdered adoptive children.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! eventually does this to Kinshirou Kusatsu.
  • Sailor Galaxia in Sailor Moon wears heavy purple eyeshadow.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • Ragyo Kiryuuin is a very nasty piece of work and also the only character to wear prominent makeup.
    • When she is brainwashed and dons Junketsu, Ryuuko dons prominent red eyeshadow and, much like Ragyo in some shots, it makes her look very crazed.
  • Croix Meridies from Little Witch Academia (2017) wears dark pink eyeshadow to just scream her impending antagonist role. Perhaps symbolically, she lacks it from when she was still friends with Chariot as a teenager, and noticeably also loses it post Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dancougar: Shapiro Keats wears prominent blue eyeshadow, being a triumphant example of a Sissy Villain and The Fighting Narcissist.
  • Kars from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency is a rare male example.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Wolnie is constantly clamoring for her husband Wolffy to catch them some goats who clearly don't want to be eaten, and she always has noticeable purple eyeshadows on her eyelids.

    Card Games 
  • Munchkin has a card called Evil Eyeshadow. It gives +1 bonus, too.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Villainess The Enchantress.
    • Emma Frost is a dual example. She plays the trope straight (apart from going a for a light shade) during her White Queen of the Hellfire Club days, but subverts it now that she's one of the X-Men, still wearing the silver-white eyeshadow and lipstick.
    • Morgan Le Fay, occasional foe of anyone foolish enough to cross her path, tends to wear a lot of purple around her eyes. When drawn by George Perez, it's combined with drawing her to look like someone whose looks clocked out at least ten years ago.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Paula von Gunter wears thick black eyeshadow on her upper lids which she stops wearing after her Heel–Face Turn.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Wyrd Sisters gives us our Trope Namer, although it's not an example: Magrat is a kind-hearted witch whose personal aesthetic is something of a Discworld hippie. But when she wants to look scary and "witchy," the cosmetics come out and take action...
    "You're not a witch, are you?" he said, fumbling awkwardly with his pike.
    "Of course not. Do I look like one?"
    The guard looked at her occult bangles, her lined cloak, her trembling hands and her face. The face was particularly worrying. Magrat had used a lot of powder to make her face pale and interesting. It combined with the lavishly applied mascara to give the guard the impression that he was looking at two flies that had crashed into a sugar bowl. He found his fingers wanted to make a sign to ward off the evil eyeshadow.
  • In Another Note, Beyond Birthday wears copious amounts of theatrical makeup, including heavy eyeshadow and eyeliner, so he can look more like his senpai, L.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel when he becomes Angelus on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also Wishverse Buffy. She's not evil, but definitely Darker and Edgier (it shows off her Dull Eyes of Unhappiness).
  • In Charmed (1998), whenever the Sisters become evil, their eye makeup becomes heavier. It's especially noticeable during Phoebe's brief stint as the Queen of the Underworld in Season 4, but it dates as back as Season 1, when she was possessed by the Woogyman, and even extends to an alternate timeline's Piper when she went rogue and became a revenge-obsessed anti-heroine.
    • In the Mirror Universe from Season 6, all the evil counterpart of the good characters dress in goth-inspired fashion, so of course the evil Charmed Ones have extra heavy eye make up.
  • Dr. Renfro/Madame X from Dark Angel.
  • The most obvious difference between One and his Evil Twin Jace Corso in Dark Matter (2015) is that the latter wears black Guyliner. Most excessive in his first appearance.
  • Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. Drew at least considered her evil. She's the page picture for Uncanny Valley Makeup.
  • The Eternal Love: Yi Huai starts wearing dark colours and black eyeshadow after he decides to usurp the throne.
  • Horrible Histories has a sketch in which Vikings use eye makeup to make themselves appear more intimidating. Ivan the Terrible also sports some extreme eyeshadow, and Dick Turpin wears eyeliner (even if it does heighten his sexiness more than the evilness the song is trying to emphasize).
  • Ice Fantasy: The Fire King wears the most eyeshadow of any character in the series. His daughter Yan Da inherited his fondness for it, though she's more of an Anti-Villain than truly evil.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): By the time of the after-party feast, the eyeliner Louis de Pointe du Lac had worn at the Mardi Gras ball has become so smudged that it resembles a thick layer of black eyeshadow, which adds a dramatic flair to his green vampire eyes. Although Louis typically isn't cruel towards his human prey, being blood-starved for the past three nights means that his vampiric urges completely override any empathy he might have felt, so Louis indulges in excessive violence by ripping out a man's lower jaw before exsanguinating him.
  • Robbie Rotten from LazyTown, a kids' show, wears an excess of eyeshadow.
  • Along with a new black wardrobe in series 4 of Merlin (2008), Morgana also gets dark green eyeshadow.
    • Mab wears dark eyeshadow.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Regina, the Evil Queen favours lots of outfits with a mix between dark eyeshadow and a Navel-Deep Neckline. Naturally a flashback to her time pre Face–Heel Turn has her with more subdued eyeshadow. And after she redeems herself, it gets toned down again.
    • Zelena manages to merge this with her green skin (she's the Wicked Witch of the West). Upon becoming the wicked witch, she sports some very prominent eyeliner in her Enchanted Forest costumes.
    • Nimue's Face–Heel Turn when she becomes the first Dark One is accompanied by her eyes gaining a noticeable black ring to go along with the other Dark One make-up.
  • Lampshaded In-Universe in Rome when the fact that Marc Antony has "blackened his eyes with soot" when Going Native in Egypt is used as propaganda against him.
  • Smallville: In "Spell", Lana, Chloe and Lois get possessed by a trio of evil witches who are after three Kryptonian crystals. All three dress in black and were excessive eye shadow.
  • "Evil" Kirk in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Enemy Within".
  • Also Ensign Hoshi and T'Pol in the Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, given their roles as more sensual, sexually manipulative characters. It also adds to TOS look, though, once they board the USS Defiant, which has been brought to their universe from Kirk's time.
  • When Ensign Uhura is transformed into the Evil Queen Neve on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds she sports very dark eye makeup, with eyebrows and lips to match. And some jeweled accents.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One", this is subverted. Lily is made to appear to be the villain, with lots of eyeliner and dark eye shadow, but it is another one of the Special Children who actually starts killing the others.
  • Azkadellia from Tin Man.
  • Caroline from The Vampire Diaries gets this upon first becoming a vampire. Dropped after a few weeks when writers realized it was ridiculous, as Caroline isn't evil and nor is she trying to look different, and other vampires don't have this effect.
  • Word of Honor: Wen Kexing wears red eyeshadow when he's acting as the Master of Ghost Valley.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sherri Martel would wear typical wrestling warpaint, but sometimes substitute eyeshadow.
  • Cheerleader Melissa went through a heavy bright eye shadow phase, though it didn't stop when she turned.
  • Sara Del Rey apparently mistook "eye shadow" for "war paint". If you see her smearing it around, keep your distance. If you're unfortunate to be her scheduled opponent when she's shadowed up, brace yourself and keep an eye out for fouls.
  • A lot of eye shadow went into Tetsuya Naito's transformation of Takaaki Watanabe into "Lord Of Darkness" EVIL when the latter returned to New Japan Pro-Wrestling from a learning excursion.

    Video Games 
  • This distinguishes the more evil of the two consorts in Overlord.
  • Morrigan of Dragon Age: Origins wears tons of purple eyeshadow around her gold eyes. Despite fulfilling the role of Token Evil Teammate, she's not actually evil, just a fairly self-centered Jerkass who disapproves of any Dudley Doright Stops To Help tendencies of the Grey Warden.
  • Tira in the Soul Series wears heavy makeup.
  • Jaryn and Kerith, resident jerkasses in Dance Central 3, have these.
  • In Cinders, the Queen endings make blatant use of this trope. Of the varying Queen endings, the Evil Queen has the most eyeshadow, the Machiavellic Queen has slightly less, the Fair Queen has a normal amount, and the Good Queen is wearing no eyeshadow at all.
  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, Zara has excessive teal eyeshadow.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jaesa Willsaam wears a lot of makeup and gets glowing red eyes if she's turned to the Dark Side.
  • Drowned Ophelia and the rest of the Drowning Doom in Brütal Legend love this trope, as they represent Goth Metal.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds As ruling monarch of a dark mirror to Hyrule, Princess Hilda wears purple eyeshadow in contrast to her Hyrulean counterpart Zelda who is clean-faced and wears none but this could also be an early indicator of her leanings towards villainy as revealed at the game's climax.
  • Persona 5: As part of the goth motif the character has, the Shadow form of Sae Niijima has black eyeshadow all around her eyes.
  • Final Fantasy VI: The villain Kefka has a penchant for dressing like a clown, which includes stark-white face paint and dramatic red eyeshadow drawn into points.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Main villain Ultimecia has markings on her face that resemble heavily applied eyeshadow. When she is possessing the body of Edea Kramer, Edea also has heavy eyeshadow. This is a clue that Ultimecia is in control at the time.


    Web Original 
  • Boss Fight:
    • The wicked sorceress Zarkazaan, and the true Big Bad of the series, has some wing eyeliner in dark red and black to sell her as evil.
    • Beelzeboob has a Good Bad Girl by contrast has a lot of eyeshadow to also signal that she's not the typical Ingenue.
  • Prince Jazan subverts this in the Neopets Ancient Egypt-themed "Lost Desert" plot. For most of the plot, he's played as a villain, with heavy guyliner. (That is, heavier than other characters.) Later on, he's revealed to have been controlled by the real Big Bad and makes a Heel–Face Turn. He never stops wearing the guyliner.
    • The Neopets Team was asked about this anomaly in their Editorial, with someone wondering whether it was the result of the curse or just Guyliner. Their response? "It's cursed guyliner!"
  • Dark Nella from The Nostalgia Chick reviews. It even gets lampshaded.
    The Chick: You're wearing lipstick!
    Dark Nella: I know, and eyeliner.
    The Chick: Where are your glasses? (Gasp!!) You're evil!
  • Sara Waite of the Whateley Universe isn't a villain, but she has this as part of her "scary goth girl" character design. Lampshaded in her introduction; the narrative describes her as "wearing enough make-up to deflect low caliber projectiles at close range". It's not actually makeup, though — her face just looks that way.
  • Mocked in "Marik's Evil Council of Doom nº 2".

    Western Animation 
  • Ember from Danny Phantom
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In "The End of the Universe-ity", Timmy has this when he wears a dark suit given to him by Dark Laser.
  • The Joker has this in Filmation's version of Batman, which was produced in 1968.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): After her costume switch in the first episode, Harley starts wearing prominent pink and light blue eyeshadow, which matches the colors on her twin pigtails. While she was already evil, the eyeshadow indicates she's an independent evil villain on her own after breaking up with the Joker.
  • Professor Venomous from OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes wears shiny purple eyeshadow and Guyliner.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, you think that its just how Hordak's alien face looks, until you see that his clones don't have the same aesthetic and you realize that he's just wearing copious black eye makeup around his eyes.
  • Master Cyclonis from Storm Hawks wears a ton of eyeshadow and eyeliner. Then again, with the liner, it's hard to tell whether or not that's just the animation style...
  • In Villainous, Miss Heed wears pink eyeshadow shaped like hearts. While technically a hero, Miss Heed is actually a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who uses Mind Control pheromones to control heroes, villains, and civilians alike into loving her.
  • Pictured above, the Trix Girls from Winx Club are witches who want to take over the Magical Dimension and are rather proud of their evil deeds. In their witch form, they wear tons of dark eyeshadow.
  • Wuya in her human form from Xiaolin Showdown appears to have eyeliner, as does Jack Spicer.
  • Opaline in My Little Pony: Make Your Mark is an eyeshadow wearing alicorn villain.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Eyeshadow