The Lion King Makeup Inspiration

There has never been a better time to experience Disney’s landmark musical – The Lion King.

Ingeniously adapted from the beloved animated feature, the multi award-winning musical is now celebrating its 18th triumphant year in London’s West End.  Book your tickets to experience The Lion King now!

The bright colours of the costumes and makeup of The Lion King are deeply inspired by global culture, ritual and tradition. The producers, along with MAC cosmetics, held a makeup masterclass to share the variety of makeup styles and techniques used by the show’s makeup artists, as well as to explore day-to-day makeup ‘looks’ inspired by the characters’ makeup.  Grab your brushes and blending tools, and lets begin!


The bright red, blue and yellow colours of Rafiki’s makeup hint at the contours of the Mandrill Monkey. The makeup is designed to reveal Rafiki’s whimsical nature and enhance her qualities as a spiritual healer. Check out the inspiration board for Rafiki below to see how the look for the character developed.

The makeup looks below are inspired by the moodboard and the awesome African sunset colours of the wise prophet. To the left is the finished stage ready look of Rafiki and to the right is the every day look, toning down the bold colours. We love it!


Nala’s look is inspired by the Wodaabe Tribe who are known for their beauty, elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies. Check out the inspiration board for Nala below and bring traits of a strong warrior to your daily makeup routines.

In Nala’s stage ready look to the left of the image below, you can see the orange glow around her face, which acts as a mask, similar to Pura, a yellow paste the tribe use when dressing for ceremonies. The aim of the makeup is to make her look strong and warrior like. On the right is the look inspired by Nala with deep yellow and orange eyeshadow with the white dot details to make the look pop.

Feeling inspired? Get The Lion King look at MAC