If there's anything a couple of years of scaled back Halloween celebrations have taught us, it's that sometimes, makeup is all you need to make a major impact. As events have returned, we've definitely been having fun dressing up again, but we're also embracing the power of our makeup products to bring an otherwise minimal look to life. Think about how a glammed-out eye immediately screams Euphoria, or how a few key details can take dressing like your favorite animal from simple to stunning.
If a full-fledged costume isn’t your bag, it’s understandable—especially if you’re running to a last-minute party or just taking an epic selfie. We searched all corners of the internet to bring you nine of the coolest makeup looks for whatever form your Halloween takes this year and for all skill levels. Recreate them exactly or put your own spin on the looks (glitter goes with everything, right?) for a face-only costume worthy of a thousand screenshots.
Scroll on to check out the very best makeup-only looks for Halloween.
Clowns of All Kinds
Remember late 2016 when there were those terrifying clown sightings on college campuses across America? And we thought, “Surely this is the weirdest a year can be?” Yeah, me too—our past selves would never believe how much has happened since them. The thing about clown makeup is you can take it in any direction you want: Cute? Evil? Minimalist? There’s a tutorial for you no matter the style. Here are two of our favorites from both ends of the effort spectrum: a maximalist version by beauty influencer Aaliyah Jay followed by a minimalist take that reads a little more Marcel Marceau than Pennywise.
Your Own Star Sign
If you’ve been sitting on a super colorful eyeshadow palette but have yet to put it to the test, now’s the perfect opportunity. Use color, glitter, rhinestones, and more to create a shimmering intergalactic look that’s uniquely you: your own zodiac sign. From sea-goat Capricorn to airy Aquarius—and everything in between—this is one your friends will wish they thought of first.
She’s smart, sassy, and sinister—why wouldn’t you want to be Wednesday for Halloween? Not only are the makeup look and signature braids instantly recognizable, but you can recreate your own Wednesday look using products you probably already have in your makeup stash. Take notes from this tutorial by beauty vlogger Daisy Marquez.
Animated Tim Burton Characters
Already trending thanks to a viral Tim Burton TikTok challenge (seen above done by Luisa Wiskow), take it to the next level with makeup looks inspired by Coraline, Sally, and Corpse Bride. Watch beauty vlogger Annie Thomas for tips on how to beautifully (and spookily) execute the latter.
Nancy from “The Craft”
One of the most iconic characters to ever occupy the teen and horror movie space, Nancy’s look, attitude, and one-liners make her the perfect Halloween inspiration. And after the release of a long-anticipated sequel, Nancy’s relevant as ever. Check out beauty vlogger Lesley Marie's tutorial above for everything you need to get the look. We are the weirdos, mister.
It’s a classic for a reason: you can put in a ton of effort or none at all and everyone will still know who you are. Like clowns, there are a million different directions you could take your scarecrow look, from over-the-top scary to adorably minimalist to full-on glam.
It’s showtime! Technically another Tim Burton but occupying a league of his own, put a glamorous twist on the ancient poltergeist with this step-by-step tutorial by Keilidh Cashell. If you want to channel the goth-obsessed Lydia from the film (played by Winona Ryder), there's a tutorial for that, too, courtesy of Bacardi and beauty influencer Ashley Yaniz, who drew inspiration from a spooky libation.
What better excuse to act a little naughty on the Saturday of Halloweekend? Makeup artists are bringing chic new interpretations to the classic standby, and the results are breathtaking. We couldn’t even blame you if you wanted to wear elements of these looks well into next week, or even next month, for that matter.
What better occasion to don fake freckles than Halloween? With a pop of pink lipstick and super-long lashes, you’ll be all set to tell people you’re a doll (duh). Check out our step-by-step doll makeup tutorial.
All you need for this ethereal look is blue eyeshadow, shimmer, and blue lipstick. We love the mesmerizing final effect from this look by beauty vlogger Alatorre.
What’s cuter than a baby deer? Few things, which is why you should channel one for Halloween this year. This Halloween makeup tutorial will help!
The go-to for costume-less cool girls everywhere, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust is the easiest look to pull off. All you need is some face paint and well-placed Scotch tape. Click here for the step-by-step tutorial.
Betty Boop is surprisingly easy to pull off, thanks to this detailed tutorial by Kandee Johnson. Now, go dig that red dress out of the depths of your closet.
Give yourself plenty of time to turn yourself into a pop-art masterpiece, or have fun and harness your favorite comic book superhero (or villain). The result will be worth it—we promise.
Everyone has a K-pop star inside of them just waiting to get out (or so we say). Glam it up with a dramatic wing, fluttery lashes, and a bright pop of pink lip gloss. Then, all you'll need is to grab your nearest mic and silver hot pants.
To pull off a look worthy of the queen of the Nile, we suggest loading up on gold accessories. But if all else fails, some thick kohl liner (we suggest Stila's Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner, $22), turquoise shadow, and gold glitter should do the trick. We love this mesmerizing Cleopatra-inspired makeup tutorial courtesy of gorgeous vlogger MsRoshPosh.