Easy Halloween Makeup Looks That Require Only a Few Products

Updated 08/22/18

I think there are two types of people in the world. I'm not talking about people who prefer a smoky eye and people who prefer cat eyeliner. I'm not talking about people who prefer red lipstick and people who prefer nude shades. I'm not even talking about people who think pineapple belongs on pizza and those who do not (although that's certainly a worthy topic). I'm talking about the people who prepare their Halloween costume ahead of time and those who don't.

People who prepare for Halloween sometimes start months before the holiday. They collect ideas, products, and costume elements so that once October 31 rolls around, they're ready. I'm, however sadly, not one of those people. I'm lucky if I remember to dress up in costume at all. Call me lazy, but if I do dress up, it needs to be something quick and easy. That's why I let my makeup do the talking rather than a spectacular (not to mention expensive) costume. Keep scrolling to see the 10 best Halloween makeup looks that only require a few products.

Skeleton

Writer Kaitlyn McLintock with skeleton makeup
Byrdie / Kaitlyn McLintock

Here's a picture of yours truly from last Halloween. I had neglected to even think of possible costumes up until the last minute (i.e. three hours before heading off to a Halloween party). As any beauty-obsessed person is wont to do, I looked to my existing product collection for inspiration. After seeing my Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette ($48), I settled on transforming myself into a skeleton.

First, I concentrated on creating the hollow eye look by picking up the black shade on a fluffy brush and sweeping it all over my lids, underneath my eyes, and above my eyebrows. I added some black eyeliner and mascara for definition and then moved on to carving out sallow-looking cheekbones. For this, I mixed black and brown shades and swept it on with the same fluffy brush I used before. Finally, I picked up Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner ($20) and drew on the lines around my lips and mouth. After a misting of Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray ($33), I was ready to go out. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. I still consider it to be the perfect Halloween makeup look to use when you're in a pinch for time.

Ariana Grande From the "God Is a Woman" Music Video

Ariana Grande in the
@arianagrande

This image of Ariana Grande floating in a celestial pool of blue and lavender paint is all over Instagram, which is why it has the potential to be one of the most relevant pop-culture costumes this Halloween. At least we think so. All you need is a nude bodysuit, some hair chalk to liven up a braid (we recommend using Splat's Violet Sky Hair Chalk, $6), and some purple-blue body paint applied in messy streaks. Finish with some mascara and a lilac liquid lipstick, like Nyx's Liquid Cream Suede Lipstick in Sway ($7). For bonus points, try re-creating Ari's classic winged liner look. Then you'll be able to check off pop diva from your Halloween costume master list.

Deer

YouTuber Claudia Sulewski films an easy-to-follow (and even easier to re-create) deer makeup tutorial. Consider this the 2018 version of the cat costume everyone has worn in the past. Although almost any brown and pink-toned palette will do, she used the Lorac Pro Mega 3 Palette ($59), along with white and black eye shadow/liner, to create this doe-eyed result.

Kiss Group Costume

Little Mix dressed as the members of KISS
Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

If it's a group costume you're looking for, do as Little Mix did and adorn your face with black face paint and dark lipstick to channel the famed '80s band, Kiss. Depending on which band member you become, you only need a single shade of face paint, and maybe a stencil, too.

Morticia Addams

Morticia Addams is basically the matriarch of Halloween costumes. Her ghostly elegance is classic and her makeup is easy to replicate if you have the right products. Take it from us; we've been drawing inspiration from her for years, which is why her makeup look is a mainstay in our Halloween arsenal.

We recommend starting with a foundation that's too light for your skin tone by a shade or two. Move on to a dark brow pencil (to replicate her insane arches), and some frosted eye shadow like Wet n Wild's Mega Shimmer Dust in Lotus. After liner, like Sonia Kashuk Jet Set Liquid Eyeliner in Black, and some blood-red lipstick, like Maybelline's SuperStay Lipstick in Ravishing Rouge, you're basically done. For the full tutorial, click here. Or check out the easy-to-follow one from YouTuber Olivia Doyle.

Snapchat Filter Makeup

Re-creating Snapchat filters is always a hit. (For proof, check out our tutorial from last year, in which we showed how to achieve the Snapchat butterfly filter IRL). This YouTube tutorial lays out each step you need to achieve the Flower + Freckles filter. While it gets pretty in-depth, the basics you'll need to successfully replicate this look are faux freckles (or real freckles, if you're lucky enough to have them!), glowy skin, and a hibiscus flower.

Riverdale's Cheryl Blossom

Madelaine Petsch as Riverdale's Cheryl Blossom
@madelame

Cheryl Blossom is the Morticia of Riverdale. She's confident, powerful, and a little dark, too. While this may require temporary hair dye or a wig for those of us who aren't blessed with naturally ruby-red hair (which is most of us), the makeup look is super easy to achieve. All you need is a pale foundation, a bit of blush, bold lash-lengthening mascara, and ruby-red lipstick. Reach for Lime Crime's Matte Velvetine Lipstick in Red Velvet ($20), which happens to be the exact shade actress Madelaine Petsch wears on the show. (Speaking of Madelaine Petsch, make sure you check out her exclusive Byrdie interview.)

Mermaid

It's hard to nail the mermaid look without tons of products and some hard-to-follow application techniques, but YouTuber Kate Manihera shows us that it's entirely possible. Her silvery-blue makeup is spot-on and surprisingly easy to replicate (simply watch the whole video to see every product she uses). You probably won't believe this, but the scales are the easiest part of this look. Hint: Applying them involves a fishnet stocking.

Cruella de Vil

Lauren Conrad dressed Cruella de Vil
@laurenconrad

Lauren Conrad's take on Cruella de Vil might be one of the easiest celebrity Halloween looks we've ever seen. As long as you can source a faux-fur coat (and maybe some red patent gloves, too), all you need is a black winged liner and blood-red lipstick. Oh, and some temporary hair dye. All things considered, this is a quick costume to replicate, even if you're doing so on the morning of October 31 in a burst of pre-holiday panic (like we do).

Scarecrow

Model Emily Sears dressed as a scarecrow
Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

Model Emily Sears shows us how scarecrow makeup is done. Aside from any possible straw accessories you might want to gather, all you'll need is a bright pop of coral blush, black lipstick and liner, and mascara (color contacts not necessary). Easy peasy. Start by lining your lips with black liner, ensuring you extend the line well past the edge of your lips for a doll-like look. Then, fill in with jet black lipstick, like E.l.f's Moisturizing Lipstick in Black Out ($3). Then, pick up your liner and draw a triangle on the tip of your nose. Fill in with the same shade of blush you used on your cheeks, add a swipe or two of mascara, and voilà.

Now that we all have some much-needed pre-Halloween makeup inspo, be sure to check out 11 of the most Instagram-friendly Halloween makeup looks.

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