Ace Frehley Makeup: Get the Iconic “Spaceman” Look

Ace Frehley Makeup: Get the Iconic "Spaceman" Look


Ace Frehley, the legendary guitarist of KISS, is not just known for his electrifying guitar solos and stage presence but also for his iconic makeup. As one of the founding members of KISS, Frehley’s “Spaceman” persona has become a symbol of rock history. In this article, we explore the evolution, significance, and impact of Ace Frehley makeup on rock culture and beyond.

The Evolution of Ace Frehley Makeup

Origins of the Spaceman Persona

Ace Frehley’s journey with KISS began in the early 1970s when the band was still in its formative stages. Each member was tasked with creating a unique persona that would distinguish them from one another and add to the band’s theatricality. Frehley, with his interest in science fiction and outer space, naturally gravitated towards the “Spaceman” character.

The initial versions of his makeup were relatively simple but gradually evolved into the complex and striking design we recognize today. The silver face paint, combined with black accents, mirrored the aesthetics of a futuristic astronaut, fitting perfectly with the band’s larger-than-life image.

Refinements and Variations Over the Years

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Frehley’s makeup underwent several refinements. Early designs featured a starburst pattern around the eyes, which was later refined to a more symmetrical and polished look. The silver base became more prominent, and the black detailing more precise, creating a mesmerizing and otherworldly appearance.

Each album cycle and tour saw slight modifications to accommodate new costumes and stage setups, ensuring that the Spaceman’s makeup remained fresh and visually captivating. Despite these changes, the core elements of Frehley’s makeup remained consistent, maintaining its recognizability and iconic status.

Step-by-Step Guide to Recreating Ace Frehley Makeup

Materials Needed

To recreate Ace Frehley’s iconic makeup, you’ll need:

  • White face paint
  • Silver face paint
  • Black face paint
  • Makeup brushes and sponges
  • Setting powder

Preparing Your Face

Start with a clean, moisturized face. If you want to stay your makeup last longer then apply a primer.

Applying the Base

Use the white face paint to create an even base layer across your entire face. This will make the silver and black stand out more vividly.

Creating the Star Design

With the silver face paint, draw and fill in the stars around your eyes. Use a fine brush for precision.

Adding the Finishing Touches

Outline the stars with black face paint and add the bold lines extending across your face. Set the makeup with setting powder to prevent smudging.

Visual Identity and Branding

Ace Frehley makeup is more than just a cosmetic enhancement; it is a crucial part of KISS’s visual identity. The distinctiveness of each member’s makeup allowed fans to easily identify them, even from a distance. This strong visual branding helped KISS to stand out in a crowded rock scene and build a dedicated fan base.

The Spaceman’s look, with its futuristic and cosmic theme, resonated with the era’s fascination with space exploration and science fiction. This connection to popular culture further solidified Frehley’s persona in the public consciousness, making it an enduring symbol of rock and roll.

Influence on Fashion and Popular Culture

Ace Frehley makeup has had a significant influence beyond the music industry. The bold and creative designs inspired a wave of fashion trends, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, when glam rock was at its peak. Artists across various genres drew inspiration from Frehley’s look, incorporating elements of his style into their own performances and public appearances.

The Spaceman’s makeup has also made its mark in the world of cosplay and fan culture. At KISS concerts, it is common to see fans donning Frehley’s makeup, celebrating the enduring legacy of the band. This fan engagement highlights the lasting impact of Frehley’s makeup on popular culture and its ability to inspire creativity and self-expression.

The Makeup Application Process

Materials and Techniques

Creating Ace Frehley’s iconic look requires a meticulous application process. The primary materials include professional-grade face paints, specifically designed for durability and vibrant color. The silver base paint is applied first, creating a smooth and reflective surface. This is followed by the precise application of black detailing around the eyes and forehead.

High-quality brushes and sponges are essential for achieving the clean lines and smooth gradients characteristic of the Spaceman’s makeup. The entire process can take over an hour, requiring a steady hand and an eye for detail to ensure symmetry and consistency.

Maintaining the Look During Performances

One of the challenges of performing in full makeup is maintaining its integrity throughout high-energy shows. Ace Frehley, like his bandmates, had to ensure that his makeup could withstand intense lighting, sweat, and movement on stage. This required the use of setting sprays and touch-up kits, allowing for quick fixes between songs or during costume changes.

Ace Frehley Makeup in Media and Merchandise

Album Covers and Promotional Material

Ace Frehley makeup has been prominently featured on KISS album covers, posters, and promotional materials. These images not only helped to promote the band’s music but also reinforced their individual personas, making each member instantly recognizable. Iconic album covers such as “KISS,” “Destroyer,” and “Love Gun” showcase Frehley’s Spaceman look in all its glory, contributing to the band’s visual legacy.

Action Figures and Collectibles

The popularity of Ace Frehley makeup extends to the world of merchandise. Action figures, dolls, and other collectibles featuring Frehley in full makeup are highly sought after by fans and collectors. These items capture the essence of the Spaceman persona, making them prized possessions for those who admire KISS and their theatrical style.

Legacy and Continued Influence

Impact on Future Generations of Musicians

Ace Frehley makeup and persona have left an indelible mark on subsequent generations of musicians. Bands and artists across genres cite KISS as a major influence, particularly in terms of stage presence and visual aesthetics. Frehley’s innovative approach to rock performance continues to inspire musicians to push the boundaries of their own stage personas and visual presentations.

Preservation of the Spaceman Legacy

Despite changes in the band’s lineup over the years, the Spaceman persona has remained a constant presence in KISS’s legacy. New members who take on the role of the Spaceman often pay homage to Frehley’s original makeup design, ensuring that the essence of his character lives on. This continuity helps to preserve the band’s history and keeps Frehley’s contributions to rock culture alive for new audiences.

Final Wording

Ace Frehley makeup is more than just a part of his stage costume; it is a defining element of his artistic identity and a symbol of the era of glam rock. From its early iterations to its refined, iconic form, the Spaceman’s makeup has captivated audiences and left a lasting impression on popular culture. As we look back on the legacy of KISS and Ace Frehley, it is clear that his makeup will continue to inspire and influence for generations to come.


What inspired Ace Frehley makeup design?

Ace Frehley was inspired by his love for science fiction and space, which led to his Spaceman persona and the iconic silver and black makeup.

How has Ace Frehley makeup evolved over the years?

While the core elements of his makeup have remained the same, there have been subtle changes in design and color over the decades to reflect contemporary styles and personal evolution.

Can anyone recreate Ace Frehley makeup at home?

Yes! With the right materials and a bit of practice, anyone can recreate Ace Frehley’s iconic look. If you want to get best results, then simply follow this step by step guide.

What is the significance of the silver stars in Frehley’s makeup?

The silver stars are a defining feature of the Spaceman persona, symbolizing Frehley’s connection to space and adding a striking visual element to his character.

How has Ace Frehley makeup influenced modern rock culture?

His makeup has inspired countless fans, tribute artists, and modern rock bands, contributing to the bold, theatrical styles seen in rock and metal performances today.

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