3 Iconic Catwoman Costumes: Newmar, Pfeiffer & Hathaway

Truly, there is a Catwoman for every girl out there.
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Truly, there is a Catwoman for every girl out there.

I feel like every Halloween, much like every Comic Con, we see a plethora of “sexy cat” costumes, many of which are based on some sort of cat character. But as far as I’m concerned, if it’s not Catwoman, what are you doing with your life?    

One of my favorite kleptomaniacs, Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) has been giving Bruce Wayne AND Batman the vapors since the mid 20th century. Truly, there is a Catwoman for every girl out there. And I don’t mean that in a “Are you a Carrie or a Samantha?” kind of way. 

Let’s review.

Julie Newmar: The Classy Catwoman 

julie newmar catwoman

“A serial thief, who me?”

Julie Newmar’s 1960s glamour-puss Catwoman in the television Batman series was all kinds of sexiful, not that Julie was a stranger to characters with sex appeal. To me she is the classiest cat of the bunch, always maintaining her perfect cat coif on her grand theft escapades.  

blue eye shadow

I swiped blue eye shadow all over my eyelids, extending it into a dramatic wing and using it to line my lower lash line. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason a strong light blue eye shadow is always indicative of '60s makeup looks to me.

cat eye liner

Then I liquid lined a cat-eye overtop and waterlined my lower lash line with white pencil liner to make my eyes look all, “Who me?” Add gobs of mascara for that Twiggy look.

bushy eyebrows

Julie’s rocking some seriously wiggy brows, with extra brow-limbs all akimbo sticking up (I suppose for “whiskers”?). I drew those on with an angled brush and brow powder. Then I swiped some pink blush under my cheekbones for definition and topped my lips with a light pink gloss (NARS Chihuahua).

Now for the tricky part. If you have medium-long hair--good for you. I am resorting to this unruly wig.

teased brown wig

Take a wide section of hair from the front and section that off in front of your face. Place your kitty ears behind that, and then lay that sectioned-off piece over the headband between the ears and secure with one of these comb thingies. You can tease it Snooky-style a bit; I'm pretty sure she stole that pomp from the '60s anyway.

julie newmar catwoman look

And look, now you can go around to friends’ Halloween parties and steal everyone’s jewels!

Michelle Pfeiffer: Psycho Kitty Catwoman   

michelle pfeiffer catwoman

She had all the good one-liners. 

My personal favorite Catwoman is Michelle Pfeiffer’s psycho kitty. Overlooked in the workplace and pushed out of a high window by Christopher Walken, she somehow DIDN'T DIE, was resurrected by alley cats, and proceeded to trash her apartment and dedicate her life to a latex body suit and, oh yeah, REVENGE. Neat.  

gunmetal eye shadow

I swiped on MAC’s Jet Couture, a sparkly gunmetal shadow, in a similar way as I did with the Julie Newmar eye look.

cat eye liner

I took a smudgy black eyeliner pencil and traced a cat-eye around both lids, which I blended into the eye shadow a bit.

gunmetal eye shadow

Voluminous mascara and some arched brows are in order. (It was the early '90s, arches were high). 

Forgo blush because that part of your face will be wrapped in rubber and latex. But red lips of the cherry red variety are definitely in order. I used Rimmel’s Kate Moss Collection in 001.

michelle pfeiffer catwoman halloween look

Maybe I’ll go to the gym like this…

Not one to omit camp, I’m sure Tim Burton had a strong hand in his Catwoman’s persona, which Michelle delivered with such feline ease. You barely blinked when she “bathed” herself.

michelle pfeiffer catwoman halloween look


Anne Hathaway: High-Tech Catwoman 

anne hathaway catwoman

Anne Hathaway’s The Dark Knight Catwoman was probably the first Catwoman who didn't originate from a traumatic circumstance, but rather a somewhat political, if not radical, agenda to go Banksy on the 1%, but with more stealing, natch. Her feline likeness was probably just an occupational hazard, as she donned slick gadgets with a cat ear-like appearance instead of a "costume."

subtle smoky eye

Her makeup is surprisingly simple, a subdued smoky eye and red lips--easy enough to go from charity ball to breaking into vaults all before midnight. I used a dark brown liner pencil to line both top and bottom eyelids and blended with a smudger brush before topping with black mascara. The red lipstick is Laura Mercier’s Sienna.

catwoman halloween look

Her identity is hidden by what looks like a high-tech masque, and OK, NO ONE is supposed to know it’s you, Anne? Seriously, Anne, what were you thinking?

anne hathaway catwoman halloween costume

The ears in the film are actually some upside-down goggles, but I made a weird tent-bow with vinyl and plastic because, if nothing else, the millennium is good enough occasion for some architectural, and perhaps even aerodynamic, cat ears.

Catwoman is probably one of my favorite human female comic characters. Who doesn’t love a badass babe with a wicked agenda? Moral or not, strong female characters in the DC Comics world always twist the most interesting plots, I think.

  • Let’s talk villainesses. Aren’t they just so much more fun than heroes? 
  • Who’s your favorite Catwoman? Afraid to say it, but slick as she is Halle Berry isn’t in my running (wrong canon).