There are two types of people in this world—those who love Halloween, and those who, well, don’t. Whether you’ve been planning and prepping your Halloween costume or are dreading the very thought of having to put together a look for that upcoming party, we’ve got your back.
Fun fact: With just a few products, you can totally transform your face into a festive look without needing all the hustle and bustle of a detailed (and expensive) costume to go along with it. And, you can use as little as three products to get the job done. Yes, really. We reached out to a few makeup artists for their tips and tricks for some scary good (and cute!) makeup this Halloween.
Keep scrolling for some easy Halloween makeup ideas that won’t take you all day to recreate.
Here’s a look people will be sure to fawn over. Start by using any face paint to apply dots throughout the face, along the forehead and cheekbones. Then, use a brown eyeliner such as the Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner in Warm Brown ($9) to heavily line your lips, shade the sides of your nose, and overdraw your brows. Finish the look with some pink shimmer eyeshadow, like NYX’s Shimmer Down Pigment in Mauve Pink ($7) and a pink lip gloss.
From the cover of his Aladdin Sane album, David Bowie’s lightning bolt makeup is an iconic look and a fun way to show your fandom. All you’ll need is Makeup For Ever’s Flash Color Case ($99) to create the red and blue bolts, then simply separate them using a black liner and apply a subtly metallic lip. You’ll be paying homage to Ziggy Stardust himself in no time.
Sophie Turner did it, and so can you. While it may require a long black wig, the Morticia Addams look is pretty simple to achieve. Apply a foundation about three to four shades lighter than your typical color to make sure you achieve that undead sort of look. Then, use a black eyeliner such as Rimmel London’s Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner ($6) to heavily line your eyes, and darken your eyebrows to match your hair. Finally, apply a super-glam, cherry red lipstick like MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color ($22) in Feels So Grand to finish off the look.
Becoming a feline only requires black liner, fake lashes, and two shadows. After all, cats are all about the eyes. Draw on your whiskers, nose, mini freckles, and line your top lip all with the same black pencil. (We love the Fat Liquid Eyeliner by Eyeko London, $18, for this). Use a bright white shadow or liner for the inner corners of your eye to make them pop, and add a tawny hue to the creases up to the brow line. Pop on a set of cat ears and possibly a tail, and voilà!
If the above cute cat look isn’t quite cutting it, why not embrace the fierce feline superhero of Cat Woman instead? All you’ll need is black face paint like the Haus Labs Hy-Power Eye, Cheek, and Lip Pigment Paint ($24) to create the iconic mask, a white pencil to add on some accent marks, and a bright red lip to glam it up.
Does anyone really like spiders? Doubtful. But, this is a perfect Halloween look that’s achievable in minutes with just two eyeliners you probably already have in your arsenal. Simply do your makeup however you typically do, then use a white pencil or liquid liner such as Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22) to draw mini webs around your eye(s). Finish with a tiny black spider down your cheek, or to kick the glam up a notch, use a glitter liner instead.
Capture the mystical, unique look of hit HBO drama Euphoria by embracing pastels, crystals, and glitter in an oh-so-easy look. All you’ll need for this is a palette like NYX’s Ultimate Shadow Palette ($18) in Brights, as well as stick-on crystals. The best part? There are so many variations that Euphoria characters rock, you don’t have to worry about achieving one standard look and can have fun with it.
This clown look is far from IT, but it’s exactly the kind of easy, effortless look to go for this Halloween. Start with a clean base, then use colored eye pencils to fill in your brows. Next, apply black liquid eyeliner and draw triangles and circles under your eyes and above the brow. Use that same liquid liner to over-line the lips and extend the corners of the mouth, then apply a raspberry or purple lipstick. You’ll want to use a lip brush (we love Sigma’s L05 Lip Brush, $19) to blend the lines between the lipstick and the liner. Finish with an electric blue winged eyeliner.
Comic Book Effect
Some of your friends will be superheroes, but why not look like your own comic this Halloween? Anthony recommends starting on a clean canvas with your base makeup, then focusing on the dots. “I typically trace shapes with a pencil before committing to paint, but for this look, I have found the best way to get the dots on in a uniform way is to find something in your house and use it as a rubber stamp. You can even use the end of a brush if the handle ends in a flat tip,” he says.
Start by pouring some white makeup paint (try the Danessa Myricks Colorfix 24 Hour Cream Colors, $18) onto a working surface. Dip the end of the brush into the paint, wipe off the excess, then dot away. “It’s also very helpful to have a handful of tightly packed synthetic brushes to use with the rest of your pop colors,” Anthony adds. “I love the Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette Multi-use Cream Color Palette ($99) for looks like this; it has every color you would need for this look.”
This look takes Halloween hot to a new level. If you’re comfortable with freehand drawing and shading, this look will be a great way to show off your skills. (And if not, be patient and give yourself plenty of time—we believe in you.;). “I would start with the orange and yellow, building a flame shape gradually and softly,” Anthony suggests, recommending the MAC Chromagraphic Eye Pencils ($18) for this.
Once you have drawn the desired shape of the flames, use a highly pigmented eyeshadow to fill in the orange and reddish color. As an added bonus, add some glitter. “For looks like these, I love using a small thin liquid eyeliner brush to paint little glitter highlights into the flames,” Anthony says.
It’s been over a decade since Natalie Portman shocked the world with her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan, but it still can make for a truly magnificent Halloween costume. Celebrity makeup artist and founder of Guide Beauty, Terri Bryant, walked us through how to recreate this iconic look. Start with your base: “Use Manic Panic’s Goth White Cream/Powder Foundation ($12) and Manic Panic Vampyre’s Veil Pressed Powder Virgin (white) ($18), either alone or together. Both are great cruelty-free and vegan options for achieving the ‘all the color has been drained from my face’ look. Make sure to bring the color down the neck and around the ears,” she says.
Next, trace the lines of the feathers on your eyes. “The beauty of this look is that you don’t want a perfectly applied line and is meant to be a little messy and “feathered” looking,” Bryant explains. Once you have your outline, use your fingers to fill in the entire space above the lid and over the brow with the Guide Beauty Line ($24) eyeliner. Finish up by applying a white or silver eye product like NYX’s liquid liner ($8) or loose pigment ($7) with a wet, fine-tip eyeliner brush to create little branches across the lid, and soft feathers at the tail of your wings. Finish up by filling in the lips with a deep blood red, matte lipstick.
This gentle, ethereal look is perfect for someone who just wants to feel beautiful on a spooky day. Stick with a liquid or cream blush to lightly stain the lips and cheeks. Bryant says for a luminous finish that catches the light, apply the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($48) in Ethereal Light, focusing on the cheeks and down the center of the face. Next, use your fingers to sweep the brand’s Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow ($29) in Reflect across the eyelid. Create a graphic line with a white eyeliner above the lid, and sweep a white powder eyeshadow under the lower lash line.
Billie Eilish’s visual branding is as good as her music, and this look is unbelievably easy to recreate at home. Bryant recommends starting with a long, loose-haired makeup brush and sweeping a little taupe eyeshadow under the eyes to create a deeper pocket. Next, line the top and bottom waterline and apply mascara to lashes. To recreate the drip effect, you’ll need black body paint, water, an eyeliner brush, damp cloth, and lip gloss. “Wet the brush and pack the black color under the lash line,” she says. “Then use a slightly damp cloth to very lightly pat over the color, which will lightly break up the pigment so it looks a little messy with some skin showing through. Repeat until you get the depth desired.”
Next, re-wet the brush, draw your drips down both the face and neck, and allow it to dry. “To add more depth and texture to your wet-look, use a slightly larger lip brush to and working from the back of your hand, press a lip gloss over the previously applied eyeliner,” Bryant explains. “I recommend Tower 28’s ShineOn Lip Jelly ($14) in Fearless, a dark berry, or Chill, which is clear. These are two of my all-time favorite glosses in general—they deliver just the right texture without being sticky and offer that high-shine, wet look.”
Baby deers are precious as can be, and this look by skincare and makeup creator Kailin Chase is both cute and super easy. Using an eyeshadow palette with a ton of neutral colors, start with a white highlight in the inner corner of the eyes, then go down the side of the nose in an inverted triangle shape. Using a blending brush, apply a light brown shadow on the outer side of the white triangle, blending out to give dimension to the look.
Then, run a white pencil along the lower waterline and use the same pencil to draw the lines in the brows. Using a black pencil, draw a partial triangle on the top of your nose, then run the line down the center to your top lip. Fill the top lip in with black pencil and the lower lip with a silver lipstick, like Maybelline’s Color Sensational Metallic Lipstick ($7). Celebrity makeup artist Mary Irwin suggests finishing off the look in one of two ways: “Either use white eyeshadow to make the white spots, or use eyelash glue to glue craft pearls to your face for the deer spots.”
This mermaid look can seem super complicated, but according to Irwin, there’s a secret trick: fishnets. Using whatever complementary color combo your heart desires, do a smoky eye with the lighter color fading into the darker color, and add a dramatic lash. “Take some old fishnet hose, and stretch them over your head. Use the same colors on top of the fishnet on the places on your face where you would contour and give dimension,” Irwin says. “Your application is the same, but you’re using the fishnets to give it the scales.”
Unleash your inner goddess with this perfectly low-maintenance look for Halloween, while also incorporating glitter tears. After doing your base as well as a gorgeous rose gold eye look (you can use a palette like Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Eye Palette in Pillow Talk, $75) use a small eyeliner brush and a gold eyeshadow to outline the shape of the tears coming from your tear ducts to your cheek. To apply the glitter, carefully spritz your brush with setting spray, and dip into a shimmery glitter that’s safe for eye use, like Smith & Cult’s Glitter Shot All-Over Glitter Crush ($22), and let the tears flow.
Your Halloween will get a shock with this bright neon skull look that only requires the use of two products. Set your base and create a gorgeous smoky eye before gathering a white eye pencil as well as a green eyeliner like the Haus Labs Optic Intensity Eco Gel Eyeliner Pencil ($22). Using the white eye pencil, outline the orbital bone around your brows and under your eyes, as well as tracing a line from the corners of your mouth, along the cheeks, and up around the forehead. Draw white lines on your lips, as well as tracing under the chin and framing your clavicle bones.
Using short strokes will help the lines look smoother in the long run.
Once set, trace that same line with the green pencil, both on top and bottom of the lines, giving it a “halo” effect. Alternate the white lines on your lips with the green pencil, and you’re a new type of skeleton.
Twiggy is a fashion icon, and the looks that make her famous are almost astonishingly easy to replicate. To create this easy Twiggy look, dust a white powder eyeshadow, like Kiko Cosmetics’ High Pigment Wet and Dry Eyeshadow ($8) in Matte White Milk, all over the lids until it’s nearly opaque. From there, take a black eyeliner pencil to draw a line in the crease of your eyelid, extending it into a wing. Use that same eyeliner to draw exaggerated “mascara” lines on the waterline, apply a nude lipstick, and your mod Halloween is all set.
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch
Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the perfect spooky vibe for Halloween, so why wouldn’t you want to replicate the prep school witch for the most haunted day of the year? The key to this costume’s brilliance is the deep, blood-red lipstick shade that complements a cat-eye wing sharp enough to make Salem worried. Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick ($8) in Voyager is a perfectly bewitched color, as well as a Byrdie favorite.
Make your own interpretation of a red rose stand out on Halloween. This look uses the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette ($45), a stunning palette of pinks and golds, and blends them with a plum-toned blush that goes all the way into the temples to create a look designed to make the roses on The Bachelor envy you. Top it all off with a blue-burgundy red lipstick like MAC’s Lipstick Matte ($19) in Diva, and you’re bouquet-ready.
Eye’ll Be Seeing You
Attending a party with a look like this on just screams “All eyes on me,” plus it’s an amazing reference if you loved Everything Everywhere All at Once. Recreating this eye-gazing look is easy: Once you’ve finished your base makeup and eye look, use a dark burgundy, purple, or even black lipstick for your lips.
Next, you’ll want to grab an eyelash glue that dries clear and has a strong hold, as well as your bag of googly eyes—make sure they’re the ones with flat backs and not velcro or even the pre-sticky ones. Apply a thin layer of eyelash glue to the back of the googly eye, and place on your face in the location that seems to fit it best. As seen above, larger eyes are placed on the larger parts of the face like the forehead, while the smaller googly eyes have been reserved for the nose. Look out, world: They won’t see you coming.
If you’re a fan of IT: Chapter 2, this Pennywise look is too good not to recreate. Start by shaping your lips using a liquid lipstick like Anastasia Beverly Hills Strawberry ($20) or MAC’s Retro Matte Lip Colour ($22) in Deep True Red. “You’ll have a better idea of where your lines should go, and how far your shadow should be winged out, as opposed to starting from the eyes and working down,” celebrity makeup artist Justin Tyme, founder of Adveket Cosmetics, shares.
Starting at the lash line, take a red eyeshadow and blend up and out until you achieve the level of extremity you desire—symmetry isn’t important at this point, and imperfections can add to the authenticity of the look. Take your liquid lipstick and follow along next to the bright lines up to the eye. Once you’ve achieved the look you desire, blend using your liquid lipstick, set it, and blend more using the shadow over the liquid.