There are two types of people in this world—those that 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 dress up, 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. This is achieved first by using any face paint to apply dots throughout the face, along the forehead and cheekbones. Then, utilize the same brown eyeliner such as 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 lipgloss.
From the cover of his Aladdin Sane album, David Bowie's lightning bold makeup is an iconic look, and a fun way to show your fandom. All you'll need is Makeup Forever's Flash Color Case ($99) to create the red and blue bolts, separate them using a black liner, and apply a metallic bronze 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 facial look is pretty simple to achieve. Apply a foundation about 3-4 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 your ears and possibly a tail, and voila!
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 NYX's SFX Créme Colour ($10) to create the iconic mask, a white pencil to add on some accent marks, and a bright red lip to glam it up.
Keeping with the Batman theme, Joker is another character you can easily achieve. We love this look here created by makeup artist Anastasia Zawora, as it gets right down to business and skips the whole paint-your-entire-face thing. Instead, start with purple eyeshadow on your lid and below the lash line. (She used Anastasia's Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol. 1, $60). Next, line your brows in green using a green pigmented shadow or liner. Then, apply red lipstick to your lips and smudge it outward for the signature, sinister smile look. Finally, heavily line your eyes with a liquid black liner, such as Morphe's Liquid Liner ($12) in Black Out.
Why not embrace your inner Ariel and transform into a mermaid using just three products? First, grab your favorite eyeshadow palette that offers pretty, shimmery colors (we happen to love Anastasia Beverly Hills's Norvina Eyeshadow Palette, $42, for this). Using your fingers, dab on varying mermaid-esque shades along your forehead and cheekbones and decolletage to create pretty, scattered scale-like patterns. Then, apply stick-on crystals to add some sparkle, remembering less is more! Apply your favorite pink-pigmented lip gloss to complete the look.
Does anyone really like spiders? Doubtful. But, this is a perfect Halloween look that can be done in minutes, with just two eyeliners you probably already have in your arsenal. Simply do your makeup however you typically do, and then use a white pencil or liquid liner such as Stila 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 the hit HBO Drama Euphoria by embracing pastels, crystals, and glitter in an oh-so-easy to apply look. All you'll need for this is a palette like NYX's Ultimate Shadow Palette ($18) in Brights, and 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.
Let out your inner Ariana on Halloween by recreating her most iconic album cover. Michael Anthony—the makeup artist who gifted the world Ariana's white cat-eye from the "Rain on Me" video—walked us through how to recreate this look. Start by drawing out a circular or oval shape with a makeup pencil. "I tend to use eyebrow pencils for this because a taupe shade will give you a sketch-like effect and won’t be too much trouble erasing or correcting," says Anthony.
Once you have the shape you like, use black paint like MAC Cosmetics' Pro Paint Stick ($22) to fill in the space around the circles you've drawn. "If you want a little dimension to your mask, try adding a grey smokey metallic eyeshadow on the high planes of the face just where the mask is. For example, if the mask goes over the nose, highlight the bridge of your nose with the metallic gray just where the mask is. This will give your mask a 3-D 'living' effect.'"
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, and then use colored eye pencils to fill in your brows. Next, apply black liquid eyeliner and draw triangles circles under your eyes and above the brow. Use that same black liquid eyeliner to overline the lips and extend the corners of the mouth, and 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 lipliner. Finish off with an electric blue winged line on the eyes.
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, and then focus 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 Danessa Myricks' Colorfix 24 Hour Cream Colors, $18) onto a working surface, and dip the end of the brush into the paint, wipe off the excess, and 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," adds Anthony. "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 Chromagraphic Eye Pencils by MAC ($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," says Anthony.
It's been nearly 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." 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 their 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 their 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 is, and this look will be 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. 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," she says.
Next, re-wet the brush and 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 lipgloss over the previously applied eyeliner. I recommend Tower28'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, perfect for creating this look."
Baby deers are precious as can be, and this look is both super 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, and then go down the side of the nose in a triangle shape. Using a blending brush, take a light brown shadow, and use it on the outer side of the white triangle blending out to give dimension to the look.
Then, take a white pencil and run it along the lower waterline, and use the same pencil to draw the lines in the brows. Take a black pencil and draw a partial triangle on the top of your nose, and 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 New York 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 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," says Irwin. "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 makeup, 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 give your eyes a gorgeous smoky eye look, before gathering a white eye pencil as well as a green eyeliner like Colourpop's Teaspoon Liner. 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-ern 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 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 are on me!" 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 stronghold, 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.
We're still recovering from IT: Chapter 2, but 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 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, and once you've achieved the look you desire, blend using your liquid lipstick and set it and blend more using the shadow over the liquid.