The key is to have fun with it and let your inner artist run free.
You don’t have to buy a pricey Halloween costume to achieve a wow factor. Sometimes the most creative and spooky looks are created through makeup alone. And don’t worry if you’re not a beauty aficionado — there are plenty of looks you can create with a few simple products. Like anything, it just takes some practice.
“If you try something and you fail, try it a different way. Go on YouTube and search different tutorials for a look that you’re interested in,” explains Elly Supalo, an uber-talented special effects makeup artist. “Practicing is the key to really knowing how to work things for makeup.”
That’s why we’re sharing these looks with you way ahead of Halloween — so you have plenty of time to pick, practice, and prep your look before the big day.
The first step: Always use a primer. “I highly recommend using primer. It helps grip the makeup so it stays on,” says Supalo. Her go-to? Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip primer. “It’s the best primer I’ve ever used.”
And if you’re worried that heavy Halloween makeup will clog your pores and won’t come off after the night ends, that’s not the case. You just just need to stock up on a few hardworking cleansing products. “I always get rid of mascara and my eye makeup first using a cotton swab and micellar water. Then I’ll use Farmacy Beauty’s Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm. It helps melt everything off. Once that’s done, I’ll go back in with micellar water again to ensure all the oils are off, and put on moisturizer.”
So, if you’re ready to try out a fun makeup look for your costume party this year, we’ve got you covered. We asked Supalo for some easy Halloween makeup ideas and the steps to take to achieve each look. Whether it’s a cute clown, a scary zombie, or a Katy Perry-inspired googly eyes look, get inspired to take your Halloween makeup up a notch this year with five ideas below.
A Cute Clown
“I always recommend doing a clown, just because you can pretty much do any design that you want to,” says Supalo. “It can still be basic (if you want it to). Just draw in a red nose, add red lips, and do blue shadow with triangles on top of them.”
For this look, Supalo used Colourpop Cosmetics’ Blue Moon eyeshadow palette and painted on red lips with water-based face paint by Moon Creations. To draw in the blue triangles, she used light, upward sweeping motions with a shadow brush to create the outline, then carefully colored it in.
A Spooky Zombie
A zombie makeup look only requires a few easy steps. “You can create hollowed-out eyes with gray and black eye shadow around your eyes. Then go over your cheekbones with some gray and black eyeshadow to hollow everything out. Lastly, apply black or dark red lipstick on your lips,” says Supalo. Her favorite dark shade to use on lips for a zombie look is this Stone Fox cream lipstick shade by NYX Cosmetics.
For the face and eyes, look for a shadow palette that has several dark shades. “Colourpop Cosmetics has great shadows and I always use their Blowin’ Smoke palette for dark circles or to emphasize bone structure,” says Supalo. “The type of brush I use for this is a flat shader brush and blending brush — my favorite brand is La Beauté Soi.”
Character-Specific Looks, like Beetlejuice
YouTube is a goldmine for character-specific makeup tutorials. Supalo recommends checking out videos by Ellimacs SFX Makeup. “They do great character specific tutorials like JigSaw, Walking Dead characters, or Edward Scissorhands.”
If you’re looking for an easy win, try mastering a Beetlejuice look. For shades of purples and greens, Supalo uses Makeup Revolution’s Forever Flawless Birds of Paradise palette. “Use purple eyeshadow to hollow out your eyes (similar to the Zombie look). Then, stipple on some green and brown eyeshadow around your face using a stipple sponge.”
And if the look requires a different hair color (and you don’t want to wear a wig), Supalo recommends Bwild’s temporary hair color spray. “It has a chalky texture once it dries,” she says. The best part? “After one shower, it comes right out.”
A Butterfly Emoji
Earlier this year, makeup artists took to TikTok to recreate emoji looks. This Halloween, try your hand at recreating the butterfly emoji on your face. Supalo recommends using water based paints by Moon Creations for the butterfly design. For her take on the butterfly emoji, “I went in with a finer-tipped brush and started with my outline. Then, I went in with the solid color and added more of the finer details on top of the blue on my face.” Makeup Revolution’s Precision Paint Brush set “works great for detailed work like this!” she says.
Play with Glittery Googly Eyes like Katy Perry
For this look, dig a few googly eyes out of your child’s craft box. To get them to stick to your face, Supalo recommends using Pros-Aide or Spirit Gum adhesive. “Those are the most common adhesives for your face and body. For heavier pieces, use Pros-Aide,” says Supalo.
You can also add glitter to your face to make the look pop. “I don’t use glitter too often because I’m prone to dropping it everywhere, but Makeup A Murder has a really nice, loose powder glitter. And if I am using glitter, I always use a glitter primer by NYX professional makeup. That helps keep the glitter on — it’s an alternative to an adhesive,” she says.
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