Each year, I make grand plans for Halloween. I come up with an idea for an elaborate costume. Often it's a group costume that I plan on coercing some friends into. I dream about all the hair and makeup products I'll need to create the aforementioned convincing costume. Yet each year, without fail, I end up going as my tried-and-true favorite: a skeleton. You might call it boring, but I call it timeless. Plus, I'm not bad at creating a DIY skeleton makeup look in a pinch. All I need is some dark contour powder and a waterproof eyeliner.
Oh, and lots and lots of mascara, but I digress.
I know I'm not the only one who does this. Many of my own family members and friends lament that Halloween is only days away, forcing us to forgo our elaborate costume plans in favor of something quicker and easier. That's where makeup comes in because even if you don't have the right clothes to create a unique and spellbinding costume, a little makeup will help you pull it off anyway. Keep scrolling to see the 10 best last-minute makeup products for Halloween, regardless of your costume.
Remember how I said I always default to dressing up as a skeleton for Halloween? This is the product that allows me to do that. I received this Kat Von D palette two years ago, during an exclusive interview with the beauty maven, and I have used it each Halloween since. The mix of neutral tones (including black and white, which are the two colors that come most in handy for skull makeup) makes it a perfect palette for all your October 31 costume needs.
If your costume isn't dark and spooky, but more so bright and colorful, then reach for this palette from Nyx. It contains 16 different pressed powders in almost every shade you could ever need, including hot pink, tropical yellow, and toxic green. This can create myriad looks, from unicorn makeup to alien makeup and beyond. The best part is that it's only $13.
Depending on the costume, some Halloween looks require more than just eye pigment. If that's the case for you, then MAC pigment might come in handy. Each one is portable (about one ounce), yet they have enough loose pigment inside to cover a large area.
Most Halloween makeup looks require a little (or a lot of) black liner. Whether you're outlining sharp teeth across your cheeks, creating hollowed-out eyes, or something else entirely, this jumbo eye crayon from Iman will save the day. It contains a lot of product, so you won't have to worry about running out halfway through the process.
If your Halloween makeup requires a thin and inky liquid eyeliner, look no further than this one from Wet n Wild. It's completely waterproof, so it will stay put all night long. We like that it has a super-fine brush tip for extra precision. (By the way, we have some inspiration for you. Click here to see five costumes that only require eyeliner.)
If your Halloween makeup needs to be as radiant and glowy as possible (for example, if you're dressing up as a fairy, an angel, or something similar), we recommend this illuminating product from Soap & Glory. Use it on the high points of your face or all over your skin before your foundation application. We even like to mix some with our moisturizer to make sure it looks extra even and illuminated.
For something less subtle and much more glittery, we like Lemonhead LA's Spacepaste. It's a full-coverage metallic glitter paste that can be applied to the face, body, and hair. It's available in a variety of shades, one of which will be perfect for any Halloween costume you could dream of. We're also loving the Magic Highlite, which is a transparent, holographic highlighter. This shade is called Houdini. It's a clear gel base with iced-lavender glitter. When light hits it, it looks ultra-violet.
For lipstick, we'll be sticking to a tried-and-true product: Lime Crime's Matte Velvetine Liquid Lipsticks. The formula is 100% opaque. What starts out as a thin liquid dries down to a powdery finish that stays put for what seems like forever. Seriously, sometimes it's tough to take these off with makeup remover, so we turn to pure virgin coconut oil. That's how long-wearing they are. In the interest of Halloween, these lippies are available in myriad shades (and metallic finishes, too). Most of these are available at Ulta, so you don't even have to wait for online shipping.
Dust the final makeup look with a setting powder to keep it locked in place all night long and extra shine at bay. This one from Nyx is only $10, yet it was designed to perform as well as special-effects setting powders, so you know it'll hold up.
I spritzed my final skull makeup look with this iconic Urban Decay setting spray, and I can tell you with utmost certainty that it works. It kept my makeup looking fresh through a four-hour-long Halloween party. It even kept my makeup on through to the next morning when I woke up and realized, much to my chagrin, that I had accidentally fallen asleep with my makeup on. (Horrible, I know.)
Next, check out nine ways to channel your inner witch with makeup this Halloween.