If you're like us, you concentrate most of your Halloween efforts on your makeup look. It's not that we don't like costumes—we just prefer channeling our favorite pop culture icons through creative beauty looks made with cosmetics we already have on hand. Take your basic black eyeliner, for example. It can double as face paint to draw on cat whiskers, a jack o' lantern grin, or Night of the Living Dead–style zombie skin. Our strategy saves us time and money, and best of all, it makes for beauty looks that are a bit more original.
One thing we've found over the years? Some of the best Halloween makeup looks have to do with the eyes, and the eyes alone. Whether you're trying to channel a specific time period or person, keep scrolling to see 20 hauntingly gorgeous Halloween eye makeup looks you'll be dying to wear come October 31.
"Glitter Queen" Eyes
Adele's eye shape was exaggerated with sharp black eyeliner before being completely surrounded with chunky silver-and-gold glitter. The makeup artist behind this "glitter queen" look? Anthony H. Nguyen. Add a vampy wine-colored lip for extra detail, as he did, or leave it as is to let the glittery eyes do the talking. Either way, it's like the makeup equivalent of an ornate masquerade mask.
'60s Pop Art Eyes
Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is the expert behind this gorgeous masterpiece of eye makeup, which Rosie Huntington-Whiteley showcased on her beauty website, Rose Inc. The bright blue, pink, and yellow hues are exaggerated by the graphic cat-eye liner. We're completely obsessed.
'70s Disco Eyes
Nguyen was also the expert behind Kaia Gerber's '70s disco-queen costume. The shiny wig and sequin top are pretty spectacular, but the most important detail (in our humble opinion) is her starry silver eye makeup. If you look closely, you can see the individual silver star sequins glued to the inner corners.
Dramatic '80s Eyes
Kaia Gerber makes the list again, and for good reason. This time it's for the ultra-'80s purple eye shadow she wore on the Anna Sui runway. All you need to achieve this look for yourself is some pigmented plum shadow like the one found in the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Bling Boss Eyeshadow Palette ($15).
Early 2000's Eyes
Remember Kylie Jenner's Christina Aguilera costume? We do. Her filled-in brows and nude lip were pretty standard, although her eye makeup was unique in being perfectly early 00s-esque. The key is to use a monochromatic blend of charcoal and black shadows, making sure the color stays the most concentrated along the lash line.
Rock N' Roll Eyes
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 (okay, and maybe a stencil).
Skeleton Smoky Eyes
If you're looking for a more traditional take on Halloween eye makeup, do as Lily Aldridge did and apply dark gray shadow under the brow bone in the hollow of the eyes. It's the easiest way to achieve that spooky living-dead look we all know and love.
In that same vein of traditional Halloween looks, we have spiderweb eyeliner. It only requires one product to achieve, which is nice considering you probably already have an inky liquid liner at your disposal. Be sure to check out other eyeliner-only Halloween makeup looks.
Minimalist Orange Eyes
If you want to channel the Halloween spirit but you're not into dramatic eye makeup looks, take inspo from beauty guru Dulce Candy, who's pictured here wearing a minimal orange eye. It can be worn year-round, but it's especially apt for October, no? We'll never say no to a statement color.
The only term we could think of to describe this look (by Katie Jane Hughes) was "wildflower eyes." The shadow is bright, springy, and varied, just like a hillside covered in wildflowers. Is this making anyone want to dress up as a flower this year?
Vampire Diva Eye Makeup
This fierce look from Katy Perry is equal parts vampire and '80s diva, and it has majorly inspired our Halloween plans. The shoulder pads, the slicked-back, side-parted hair, the graphic black shadow—all of it.
Yes, Pat McGrath did it again. She created an otherworldly makeup look by winging out dramatic metallic red eyeliner and adding silver sequins throughout. Try using the metallic red shade a part of her Mothership V: Bronze Seduction Palette ($125). Believe us—you'll want to use this palette far past Halloween.
Mardi Gras Eyes
This look's another one from McGrath. The rich gold, purple, and emerald eye shadow reminds us of Mardi Gras celebrations in the best way. Pair with bold metallic accessories and a velvety matte complexion to give it a rock 'n' roll vibe.
This queen's lids are all about geometric lines and bold color which is far from boring. Simply swipe a sparkly gold eyeshadow atop your lids and a matte turquoise shade beneath your lower lash line. For added drama, draw on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script with your favorite black liner.
We love this look because it's truly versatile. You don't have to dress as a bat to rock this winged look. It's festive enough to sport just because and gives Halloween vibes without overdoing it.
Sure, spooky costumes aren't everyone's cup of tea, but this glam-glore hybrid is so good we are definitely adding this to our archives. To achieve the blood-like splatter, beauty vlogger Taylor Bee used Custom Body Art Red Face Paint Makeup ($6).
Daddy Long Leg Spider Eyes
Warning: This may freak out all the arachnophobic's out there, but man oh man these spider eyes are so dope. The key to making the spider legs look realistic...shadowing and small dabs of orange liquid liner like the NYX Vivid Brights Liner in Vivid Delight ($7).
Green with Envy Eyes
There's something about bright green makeup that just screams Halloween. It's unique enough to stand on its own and we can assure you people will be too busy swooning over your standout makeup to care what you're costume is supposed to be. Sounds like a win-win in our book.
Vicious Villain Eyes
This might be the easiest eye look we've found and definitely a go-to when you make that last-minute decision to attend the party your friends have been begging you to come to for weeks. The key to getting smooth, even lines is an easy-to-glide eye pencil. We suggest the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eyeliner ($25) because it glides on smooth and lasts all night long.
Feisty Feline Eyes
Gone are the days when animal costumes are dependent on furry ears alone. These leopard-print lids paired with sun-kissed skin takes a traditional costume to the next level. Feline, but make it fashion.
Next, check out 10 glitter hair products to complete all of your celestial Halloween costumes.