Halloween is the one night per year you can morph yourself into anything. From ghastly ghosts to wicked witches, the ideas are endless, and it's the perfect opportunity to let your creativity run wild (and sometimes a little wacky, if we're being honest). If you're looking for inspiration and haven't decided on what to wear this year, we've got the perfect gory-glam look that can be done solely with makeup. Ahead, we asked New York-based makeup artist and founding member of Glamsquad, Kelli Bartlett, to create a step-by-step tutorial for an elevated vampire look, and the results are seriously spooky.
For starters, it's important that the skin is prepped before applying the foundation. Bartlett suggests hydrating your lips first and massaging a moisturizing cream onto the skin before applying any kind of makeup. This really helps the product to set well and allows it to last for quite some time. To even out your skin tone, apply a tone-correcting cream like Chanel Le Blanc Multi-Use Illuminating Base ($48) to help minimize any appearance of sunspots and redness. Next, buff on your favorite full coverage foundation with a big fluffy brush like Anisa Multi-Powder Brush ($40). Bartlett recommends Nars Natural Radiant Foundation ($49) in a lighter shade than your skin. (Go ahead and skip the concealer—after all, you are nocturnal.) Then, apply a clear brow gel to get your arches ready for the next few steps.
Here, the skin looks even, yet slightly pale—the perfect complexion for a vampire.
Create a bold, sinister brow by using a gel pomade or liner such as KVD Vegan Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow, and Brow Pigment in Graphite ($20). Use a spoolie or an angled brush, gently working the product through the natural brow hairs and extending the shape back towards the temple. Bartlett suggests defining and amending the shape using an angled brush saturated with makeup remover to help wipe off any excess product.
Use a creamy black shadow to shape the eye such as Nars Velvet Shadow Stick in Flibuste ($29) applying it very close to the lash line, then buff the product into an angular shape (past the orbital bone, towards the temple) and into the nose contour. Don't worry if this gets messy as you can use your angled brush dipped in remover to finesse and create the shape. Add several layers to achieve a rich black color.
Next, paint on INC.Credible Lid Slick Eye Pigment in Back in '99' ($10) which is a red metallic gel directly over the iris of the eye using a synthetic fiber paintbrush. This adds immediate dimension to the eyes and is a key step for this eye makeup look.
After, using your finger, press a sparkly red-toned shadow such as Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in shade Aura ($29) to the eyelid until you are satisfied with the level of shimmer. Then, buff the same product into the lower lash line, dropping it to the under eye to even everything out.
Line the upper lash line and the inner rim of the bottom lash line using an eyeliner like Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Perversion ($22). Buff and drop the shadow as low as you want using a stiff brush. A long-wearing eyeliner is key so that it doesn't fade.
Apply several coats of black mascara to top and bottom lashes—the chunkier the better. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($27) is an excellent product for this. Take it to the next level by tapping on Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Rouge Grenat ($30) to the eyelid for a gory effect.
Add definition by brushing on a bright red cream to the brow hairs with a spoolie, (a matte red lipstick will also work for this trick).
Carve Out Your Contour
To carve out your cheekbones and create exaggerated contour, Bartlett used a blackened purple lipstick (Pat McGrath Mattetrance Lipstick Deep Void, $38) by applying it to the palm of her hand and then blended it out on the cheeks and forehead using Anisa Buffing Bronzer brush ($34) on the cheeks and forehead. Using a blending brush such as Mac #221 Mini Tapered Blending Brush ($28) will help give great control while blending.
Next, apply Fenty Match Contour Stick in Amber ($25) to the deepest hollows of the cheeks with the Anisa Buffing Bronzer brush, buffing in an upward motion.
Set your makeup using a giant fluffy brush, apply a translucent powder all over the face, and let it sit for a few minutes before buffing away any excess product.
Vamp it Up
The first step to creating your vampy lips is to ensure that lips are primed and hydrated. Bartlett suggests using Mac Prep +Prime Lip ($19) to help smooth out the lip surface and keep lipstick from feathering, as this is a must when layering several lip products.
Bartlett then went on to mix a few lipstick shades to create the classic red to ensure it was bold enough with a pop. She noted that Pat McGrath Mattetrance Lipstick in shade Elson ($38), a bright orange-red was applied to the center of the lip and shade McMenamy ($38), a deep burgundy, was applied to the perimeter of the lips. For an extra special touch, pat on a clear lipgloss into the center of the lips, then press in red glitter to the gloss—any fine red glitter will do.
The fun part comes next: it's time to add blood—a lot, a little, your choice!—Bartlett prefers Ben Nye Fresh Scab ($10) because of its thick texture which keeps it in place.