It’s October — can you feel it? That chill in the air, the delightful crispness that means basically the world’s best holiday is on its way. That’s right: Halloween is just around the corner. We don’t want to put any undue pressure on you but it’s time to get your creative juices flowing if you want to win the best costume prize at this year’s party. Not feeling inspired? No need to fret, we’ve got the scary part covered with the killer Halloween makeup ideas that require just your cosmetic stash and a little patience. No matter your skill level, we’re sure there’s a Halloween makeup idea that’s perfect for you. Peep them all above.
Prep and Prime
First, you'll want to prep your face as usual, applying a primer and a foundation matching your skin tone. Apply the foundation to half of your face, creating a vertical line down the bridge of your nose to separate the two halves (this will separate the "pixelated" half of your face from the "unpixelated" half). You can use any primer and foundation of your choice, though, since Halloween looks generally demand a long-lasting finish, we recommend using a full-coverage foundation, such as Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. Apply your favorite contour, highlighter, concealer, and blush to the half of your face with foundation as usual — like you would for a typical day of work.
Using four different shades of foundation (two lighter than your natural skin tone and two darker), begin to contour and highlight the "pixelated" half of your face, creating small, even rectangles in a checkerboard-like pattern (a small, straight-edged brush is best for this, as you want the lines to be as sharp as possible). According to Shkimba, "the idea is to put the darker [foundation] shades where you would contour, and the lighter shades where you would highlight." She recommends using the medium shades (the second lightest and the second darkest) to "fade" the contour and highlight together, creating a blended effect. Continue applying your highlight and contour until satisfied — the beauty of this look is, you can create as much (or as little) of a pixel effect as you want.
Use a gel or liquid eyeliner to create a normal cat-eye on the "unpixelated" side of your face, extending the wing out for dramatic effect. On the "pixelated" side, you'll do the same, creating the cat-eye with small, unconnected dashes instead of one long, connected line. Continue layering the dashes in a checkerboard pattern until you have a cat-eye and wing made up of dashes.
The most traditional Halloween costume is a mainstay for a reason. This look involves swathing large sections of your face in gel or liquid liner: your full lids, your under-eyes, your nose, and the hollows of your cheekbones. Then up the creep factor in the form of vertical stitches and boo! You're a skull.
Get fierce with this super simple lioness tutorial by Desi Perkins. (Here's how you can match your child for Halloween!) Master the look with a golden smoky eye, a bit of highlighter and shimmery bronzer, and a crisp cat nose and lip. These are the 9 types of people you see every Halloween.
Turn yourself into a living Lichtenstein. For a pop art look, take everything you know about contouring and reverse it. You'll want liquid eyeliner (we like Eyeko Black Magic Eyeliner) drawn directly onto your facial lines. Then use a white pencil liner to cover your face in those classic comic-book worthy dots. Finish up with a red lip lined in black.
If you're a regular makeup pro, try this involved look by Roxxsaurus. All you'll need is a palette of black and white face paint and a precision makeup brush. Watch these beyond-scary Halloween movies to put you in the right mood.
Add some creep factor to any costume (or to any old Thursday, there are no rules here) with this makeup that Lola Von Esche titles simply "Dead." This look gets extra points for being the easiest and the most creative. Just add serious layers of undereye liquid liner plus black teardrops, and you're zombie Taylor Swift, zombie Donald Trump, or a zombie sexy kitten.
This classic Halloween zombie look by Pollyanne B requires little more than a tube of red lipstick and a black eye shadow palette.
Halloween is the perfect day to show off your cat eye. Wing out your favorite liquid or gel liner as usual, then extend all the way into the inner corners of your eyes. YouTuber BeautyByGabbie gets even more feline with a pair of colored contacts.
Whether you want to call yourself Bambi or the Snapchat filter this is a simple costume you can throw together at the last minute. Daisy Marquez shows you just how easy it is to complete the look with a face of makeup.
This idea is fun, creative, and can be paired with a colorful outfit that you already own. The look can be done in a lot of different ways, Jacky Oh demonstrates how.
If Halloween is just an excuse for you to get fancy, well then you probably already have this masquerade mask filed away on Pinterest. Keep a picture close by to aid in drawing, and make sure to have a pencil like Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil nearby to erase any mistakes. We also can't recommend stick-on face gems enough for an extra layer of glam.