9 Halloween Makeup Tips That Will Save You Time, Money, and Stress

halloween makeup

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Halloween is one of our favorite days of the year. Candy? Costumes? Creepy cocktails? Count us in. But, like with most other ultra-hyped holidays, there can be some lows interspersed with the highs—not to mention the pounds of pressure we feel to come up with the perfect costume, attend the best party, take the best Instagram picture, create the most enticing makeup look… We could go on and on. Is Halloween stressful? Objectively, it shouldn't be, but honestly, it can be. At least in our experience.

That being said, crafting a collection of helpful Halloween makeup tips can at the very least help streamline the beauty portion of the holiday. Stumped on setting, application, or removal? Don't worry—we've done our best to round up the top makeup tips and tricks of the Halloween trade to make your life a little easier come Halloween night. It's supposed to be fun, remember? Keep scrolling for nine Halloween makeup tips that just might change your life this year. Plus, they're so easy!

Invest in a Makeup Kit

Laura Geller Full Face Eye & Cheek Palette
Laura Geller Full Face Eye & Cheek Palette $40.00

Regardless of what you're going to be this Halloween, you don't necessarily need to purchase a million different makeup products. Investing in an inclusive kit with the majority of shades and items you'll need will streamline the application process. Plus, it's easy to bring with you regardless of where your holiday festivities take you.

Use What You Already Have on Hand

Kat Von D
KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner Vegan Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner $23.00

Guess what—just like something as simple as a strategic makeup kit can save you time, money, and energy this Halloween, so can the simple must-haves you use on a day-to-day, non-Halloween basis. From eyeliner to glitter, you can create last-minute (and super epic) Halloween makeup looks with the bare necessities.

Take Advantage of Tutorials

Urban Decay
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Deep End $23.00

Whether you seek step-by-step technical expertise for your Halloween makeup application or just crave variety and inspiration, taking to YouTube (or even your Instagram feed) can be one of the easiest ways to perform efficient and time-saving costume research. To get you started, we have mermaids, witches, skulls, vampires, and butterflies… plus nine of the most epic looks we've seen pretty much ever. 

Set, Set, Set Your Makeup

All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Jumbo Size - 8 oz/ 236 mL
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray $33.00

If you're going to try any of our Halloween makeup tips, let it be this one. After all, regardless of how intense or minimalist your aesthetic will be on October 31, keeping your look pristinely intact is the ultimate end goal, and a top-tier setting spray will play MVP. Team Byrdie (and plenty of makeup artists we've talked to over the years) is obsessed with this cult classic from Urban Decay. Spray your face two to four times—first making an X and then a T—and you'll be good to go.

Know Your Brands

Lime Crime
Lime Crime Matte Velvetines Liquid Lipstick in Rustic $15.00

While it may be tempting to reach for those infamous Halloween makeup essentials (you know, the ones that come pre-packaged at Party City), it's actually better for your skin, and, quite honestly, your finished makeup masterpiece, if you know and invest in the high-key and high-quality makeup brands that offer everything you and your Halloween makeup require this year. Plus, they don't necessarily have to be expensive: For example, we currently want everything drugstore favorites like Wet 'n Wild and Ardell have to offer.

Do the Least

Ardell Faux Mink Lashes $18.00

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to line and layer your face into an unrecognizable skeleton or pop-art cartoon this Halloween. If you're not in the mood to go all-out or if you're just super pressed for time, why not embrace your inner minimalist this year? A touch of strategic glitter, fluttery lashes, or even a pastel lip can make an impact.

Use Instagram for Inspiration

KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow, and Brow Pigment
KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow, & Brow Pigment $23.00

We know you're already giving your thumbs and index fingers a scrolling workout on a daily basis, so why not start your Halloween makeup research now to get a head start on brainstorming? Our favorite tip: Create a Halloween album on your phone that you can drop all of your favorite screenshots in.

Remove Your Halloween Makeup Like a Pro

Bioderma Micellar Water $17.00

Almost every makeup pro we've talked to recommends incorporating this cult-classic and model-approved French micellar water into a thorough cleansing routine. I mean, is that trifecta of approval convincing or what? According to Jonathan Kammerer, a personal shopper who also dresses in drag as Lana Labels (i.e., he knows a thing or two about makeup removal), clinching your cleansing routine with one last hit of this lightweight elixir is key. The quick extra step ensures you get rid of every last inch of makeup, which if missed, could result in post-Halloween breakouts (which are not the end of the world, but also not entirely ideal).

Pamper Your Face Before Falling Asleep

Sunday Riley
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Retinoid Night Oil $105.00

After a full day and night of Halloween festivities (and perhaps multiple days), it's important to replenish your skin with a little TLC. After all, even if you're wearing kind-to-your skin makeup (see above) and doing all the right things when it comes to removal (again, see above), the extra wear and tear can do a number on your natural glow. But according to celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas, patting an extra layer of facial oil post-cleanse can help cushion the skin, staving off damage and unnecessary stress before hitting the sheets.

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