As far as my everyday makeup routine goes, I would use the word "minimal" to describe it. Lately, I've sworn by a couple of products that take me only a few minutes to apply. I start with Giorgio Armani's Face Fabric Foundation ($49) and a little TMF Vegan Dream Concealer ($47). Then I move on to whatever mascara I'm using at the moment, add a little Kosas Cosmetics Weightless Lipstick in Rosewater ($28), and I'm out the door. It's quick, easy, and (yes) minimal. That all changes, however, when it's a special occasion, like my birthday, New Year's Eve, or Halloween… especially Halloween.
After all, October 31 is the perfect opportunity to go all out and experiment with texture and color. But with bold, and what we'll refer to as "high-key" makeup, comes the opportunity for creasing, flaking, and feathering. That's why we forgo low-quality Halloween palettes (which could be bad for your skin, btw) in favor of high-impact products from tried-and-true brands. Keep scrolling to see the 10 best Halloween makeup brands.
Lemonhead LA is a company that I consider to be the leading authority on all things glitter. Every single one of its products is vegan and cruelty-free, which I love. I also love that each product can be used on the face, body, or hair, so it's super versatile. As such, I recommend it to anyone who's planning a costume that involves glitter...whether celestial space alien, Studio 54 dancing queen, or anything else that could use some sparkle. The best part is that there's no messy glitter glue involved.
You just swipe it right on.
This shade, called Reigning Men, is a limited-edition product in bright ultra-violet (which also happens to be 2018's Pantone color of the year). For each purchase, $5 will be donated to GLAAD, the leading LGBTQ charity, so consider it glitter for a good cause.
Lime Crime is another vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that specializes in long-wearing and high-impact products, like this matte liquid lipstick (once it dries down, it stays put for hours at a time, without any touch-ups). Aside from vivid eye shadow palettes and blushes, the brand also makes Unicorn Hair Dye ($16) that works on dark hair colors without any bleaching necessary.
Make Up For Ever
Make Up For Ever is another brand we count on for a long-wearing finish. This foundation promises it will stay put for 24 full hours. While we've never worn it for 24 consecutive hours, we can say it does a good job at staying put throughout dinner and drinks. Plus, it keeps shine at bay, which is great for people with oily skin.
Kat Von D
If Kat Von D is good enough for its fans to use as FX makeup, then it's good enough to wear for Halloween. I've used multiple products from the brand in my everyday routine, including the brand's Tattoo Liner ($20), which is one of my all-time favorites, on the daily, though the brand-new and super colorful brow pomades are something I'll reserve for special occasions and spooky October festivities.
Faux lashes are a must to make any Halloween eye makeup look pop. Ardell is a drugstore classic. It's a brand that's beloved by beauty editors, influencers, and celebrities. In the spirit of Halloween drama, try this thick faux mink set which will add a lot of density.
Wet n' Wild
Speaking of drugstore beauty, Wet n' Wild is a brand that we've counted on for many Halloween costumes in the past. Its products are highly pigmented yet inexpensive, which is a combination we love. Try this creamy lipstick, which only costs (wait for it) $2. Like we said, it's budget-friendly.
Mehron specializes in stage and FX makeup, so you know anything you try from the brand will show up and stay put. Take this palette for instance. It's formulated with eight matte shades that are so bright and pigmented they can be used on both the skin and the hair.
Like Mehron, Kryolan is another professional makeup brand that's utilized by makeup artists worldwide. It's also used in theatrical productions for its high-impact and long-wearing products. Just look at this blush palette, which includes eight different rosy shades you can mix and match to create a customized color. Even though it's perfect for Halloween, you'll likely use it long past October 31, like all other brands that are a part of this list.
Profusion may not be as buzzy as other brands that sit on Target's beauty shelves, but it's worth taking note of, especially when it comes to Halloween makeup. The brand offers a huge variety of palettes, from simple 10 shade shimmer ones like this to something called the Treasure Box ($13) which includes basically everything you could ever need from a palette.
If your Halloween makeup will be colorful and complex, but you don't want to tote a variety of messy, loose products along, stow one of these palettes in your bag.
What would be a list of the best brands for Halloween makeup without MAC, an industry classic? We like the brand's famous loose pigments, which can be mixed in your existing liquid makeup (like lip gloss, for example) or combined with a mixing medium to create a high-definition and long-wearing paste. They're brilliant. Enough said.
This isn't technically makeup, but it's worth including anyway since it's so good. If you're in need of a new Halloween hair color and you don't want to splurge on a wig or a permanent salon dye job, reach for hair color from Manic Panic. The brand has all the vivid colors your costume could need. You don't even have to commit to color. Just use this styling gel that imparts temporary pigment. It rinses out with shampoo.
We have one more hair brand to suggest, and it's IGK. This brand's hairstyling products will keep any Halloween coif in place. Many of this brand's products are Byrdie favorites, though this glitter hairspray is especially pertinent for Halloween.
Now that your Halloween makeup is in order, check out eight easy Halloween hairstyles to go along with it.