Last-Minute Cartoon Halloween Costume Idea: Debbie Thornberry

Her clothes were all grunge, but her makeup was over the top VAMP.
Publish date:
October 31, 2013
eyeliners, halloween, lipsticks, mac, retro, cartoons, Debbie Thornberry

Being born in 1994, I can’t really call my self a '90s kid. I don’t remember much about being six or younger. Honestly, I don’t have many strong memories of my life before I was about eight, which puts my childhood nostalgia firmly in the early aughts.

Therefore, my favorite childhood cartoons are also from this time; specifically, The Wild Thornberrys. Basically, the show was about the Thornberry family, who traveled the world in the planet’s sickest RV, filming a nature show. Eliza, the show’s main character, also happened to be able to talk to animals. Obviously, I was jealous.

But it wasn’t until recently I took notice of Eliza’s older sister, Debbie. Specifically, her crazy-amazing makeup. Debbie’s clothes were classic grunge, consisting of a flannel, crop top, and ripped jeans. But, despite the fact she spent everyday alone with her family, her make up was always perfect. Her go to look consisted of deep purple lipstick, crazy winged liner, and blonde waves.

I’m going to show you how to create a Debbie-inspired look, which is really nice for every day, and a more, dramatic replica look, perfect for Halloween. (Or everyday--why not?)


On the show, Debbie lines around her whole eyes and has a wing at both the outer and inner corner. But for this first look, I just lined my upper lid and did one wing on my outer corner. I used my Sigma E05 Eyeliner brush to apply MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack.

Apply black mascara. I’m using Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash.


Here we’ll be using MAC lipstick in Sweet Succulence. I had already planned out this article before I bought this lipstick, but it’s PERFECT for this look and for fall in general. It’s a deep purple in the tube, but can be applied sheerly for a gorgeous berry stain, as I am doing here.

And here are some swatches before we move on:


Debbie’s hair is super long and wavy. I used some Lush Sea Spray and the scrunched to get a similar messy texture. Then I did a deep side part.

And here’s the finished inspired look. Perfect for fall, in my opinion.

Now for the full-on Debbie.


I’m just going to go ahead and say that this look is very dramatic and will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Strangely, the makeup worn by a cartoon character doesn’t exactly translate into real life. But real life is boring anyway, so let’s do this.

Take the existing wing and bring the line down, lining your ENTIRE upper lash line. Then create a triangle at your inner corner. Fill it in and line your lower lash line for some crazy, double winged action. I would also recommend lining your water line.


Take Sweet Succulence and go full blast. Apply it at it’s full opacity, twice if you want to. Get it dark.


We could all take a lesson from Debbie Thornberry about not being afraid to wear bold makeup. After all, she did it everyday in the jungle (and savannah, and outback, and arctic…).