If you’ve spent countless hours searching for Halloween makeup ideas on YouTube or Instagram, you know how some of them seem near impossible to recreate.
But doesn’t mean you should surrender your Halloween makeup goals.
Mission, impossible? Call us eternal optimists, but we’d like to think of Halloween makeup as something that you can easily do even if you don’t have all the tools or the makeup skill to boot.
This year, show your love for all things creepy and beautiful with these insanely creative yet doable Halloween makeup looks. These are totally achievable whether you’re a makeup beginner or a pro. Even better, most of these looks don’t require you to buy any special tools or makeup.
So bring out your makeup kit and pack a lot of patience—these looks may look deceivingly complicated, but you can get them done under an hour or so.
Skull makeup is something that’s a bit complicated to do especially if you’re doing it for the first time. The most challenging part of this look is getting the symmetry right and having a seamless blend.
But once you get past perfecting the proportions, you can get into the details and be as intricate as you fancy.
Save for the black face jewels and freaky contact lenses (totally optional, but nice to have), everything you’ll need for this look is right inside your makeup kit. No black lipstick? Use a deep red one and add a matte black eyeshadow to the center of your lips for dimension.
Ace your base with a pale matte foundation. There’s no need to color correct or use an under-eye concealer (if you’ve already applied foundation), as you’ll be applying some black eyeshadow on that area.
Draw your brows longer than you normally would, filling in the sparse areas with a pencil or gel liner. You want your eyebrows to be longer to balance the dramatic smoky shadow and the face jewels.
For the skeleton teeth, it’s best to outline side-by-side to check the symmetry. Use a black kohl pencil to trace the outline and fill the edges + white face paint to fill in the gaps. To intensify the black outline, you may use a black gel liner.
Need a visual to see how it’s done? This Easy Skull Halloween Makeup Tutorial is an easier version of the look above, but it’s just as gorgeous.
Ready to make Halloween great again? Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is going to be a popular choice for Halloween makeup inspiration this year.
Complete with squinty eyes and furrowed brows, this Trump-inspired Halloween look will make your Halloween an interesting one.
President Trump’s most prominent feature is his pair of bushy brows. To get thicker-looking brows, conceal your own eyebrows with a glue stick. Make sure that all hair strands are coated before smoothing them toward one direction.
When applying the foundation over the brows, make sure to apply a heavy coat to cover all the hairs and the glue. Set the brows in place with a loose translucent powder before doing the rest of your face.
Since Trump has a square jawline, you need to make your features more masculine by using a cream contour or powder. For the trademark Donald pout, apply concealer all over your lips and draw a thin outline using a brown pencil or a cream contour.
Glamour Magazine’s Kandee Johnson nailed the Donald Trump Halloween Makeup look. Follow the video tutorial and get ready to Trump or Treat.
This Halloween look is admittedly not for beginners. But it’s going to make a lot of heads turn. Imagine going to a party looking like you’re ready to annihilate anyone who crosses your way. Scary thought, huh?
For this look, you’ll need some face paint and a couple of items from your makeup bag. The details seem tricky to perfect. But don’t worry if you have a few squiggly lines here and there. The beauty of this Halloween look is that you can cover up your mistakes later on with some face paint.
Apply foundation to one side of the face and leave the other side bare. Using a black kohl pencil, draw the outline on the cyborg side before filling it in with face paint. To complete the look of steel, apply black eye shadow along the outline and blend with well your fingers or a clean brush.
This look can be a bit challenging, but if you want to see how it’s done, check out this Terminator Makeup Tutorial by makeup artist Brittany Ivery. You might want to pause the video every now and then to get the details.
If you like the scary clown look but don’t want to go Pennywise all the way, then this Gangster Clown makeup is for you. It is both glamorous and bad ass—a combination that we love.
To nail this look, you need a dramatic cut crease and an intense wing. As always, blending is the key to making this look seamless, so don’t worry if it takes you a while to get it right.
Instead of using a black liquid liner, use black face paint instead. It glides more easily and it’s a lot more forgiving than a liquid liner, which can be very tricky to apply.
For the ombre lip, apply a matte red liquid lipstick and extend the lip line with a black liquid liner. Add a matte black eye shadow to the lip line and blend to the center of the lips until you get the desired gradient effect. Need a visual? Get the glam gangster clown look with this Halloween makeup tutorial.
Halloween won’t be complete without zombies and vampires. For some reason, there’s something sexy about the undead—or at least, pretending to be one. This Halloween, channel your inner zombie with this glam-dead Halloween makeup.
Don’t have time for an elaborate zombie makeup? This glammed up creation by face and body artist Sarah is an excellent starting point. No need for special effects makeup here—just some eyeliner, contour, and pale foundation or face paint.
To get a more realistic undead look, add regular foundation to a white face or grease paint. This balances the complexion, making the skin look pale and not clown white.
For the contour, use a cream one and place it right smack on the cheekbones. Drag the contour down to create a curved outline and blend.
Ready to take this look to another level? Create wounds with eyelash glue. Apply the glue to areas where you’d like to create the effect of an open wound. Wait for the glue to get tacky before peeling off the center to get that open wound effect.
Using a textured sponge, apply fake blood inside and around the wound. As always, the devil is in the details. Get zombiefied with the Easy Zombie Makeup by pro makeup artist Melissa Alatorre.
Vampires are like the turkey to your Thanksgiving—they’re Halloween staples. And no matter how basic it may seem to some people, the vampire look is hands down one of the most popular Halloween makeup looks and for good reason.
If you’ve watched True Blood and Vampire Diaries, you know that vampires can be really sexy and not the suck-you-dry kind of creatures that people usually see on screen.
That said, being a gorgeous vampire is a fun look that you can stick your fangs into this Halloween. Like the glammed-up zombie, the stunning and sexy vampire is fun to create, especially now that it’s fall, and deep colors like red, orange, and purple are everywhere.
Go with a cranberry eye that’s not only Halloween-appropriate but also perfect all season long. Shimmer lids and a strong cat-eye make this look extra enchanting.
For the blood tears, use a deep red liquid lipstick. Finally, draw two teeth marks on the neck and you’re ready to go. Need some inspiration? This easy last-minute Halloween makeup tutorial will help you nail that vampy look.
She’s a princess and a tech wiz, and she stole nearly all the scenes in Black Panther. And did we mention that her makeup is so easy to recreate for Halloween? Just do your makeup as usual, and you’re nearly done.
In the movie, Princess Shuri doesn’t wear a ton of makeup, but she has some tribal markings on her face. If you wish to add more color, you could wear a bold eyeshadow on your lids and leave the rest of the face in neutral shades.
For the tribal markings, dot some matte white eye tint above the eyebrows, on the forehead, and under the eyes. You could opt to draw the neckpiece with some white eyeliner for the outline (black eyeliner works great too) and fill it with some face paint.
Wakanda forever? You bet! Get the look of the Wakanda princess with this Black Panther Princess Shuri Makeup/Cosplay Tutorial.
How to Remove Your Halloween Makeup
So you’ve nailed your Halloween look. Now it’s time to remove all the gunk off your face. With the layers of makeup and face paint, how in the world are you going to remove them off?
Everyone’s been there:
Coming home from a party and just wanting to go straight to bed.
But leaving your makeup on, especially if you’ve used face paint, can wreck your skin. Trick or treat? More like trick, to be honest.
The good news is that you can enjoy the rest of your night without taking too long in removing your makeup. Here’s what you need to do:
Get the right first cleanser.
When wearing heavy makeup, it’s essential to get a good cleanse. But before you splash water on your face and call it a night, think first:
Was your makeup oil or water-based?
It may not sound like a big deal, but knowing what kind of makeup you used can help you figure out which type of cleanser to use.
Since Halloween makeup leans on the heavy side, it’s a good idea to double cleanse. Oil-based removers like balms and cleansing oils melt oil-based makeup and face paints. They can also remove fake blood, adhesives, and prosthetics, which can be difficult to remove with a water-based cleanser.
For foundation, eye makeup, and everything else, a good swipe of micellar water can usually erase the rest of your makeup with ease.
Follow up with a pH-balanced facial wash.
Double cleansing may sound tedious, especially if you’re dead tired from all the partying. But following up your first cleanse with a facial wash removes all the traces of makeup from your face.
But don’t reach for any facial wash. Most cleansers have too high or too low pH levels, which break down your skin’s acid mantle. And some contain harsh ingredients that can aggravate acne or trigger breakouts.
That said, double cleansing may not be for everyone. If you have dry or sensitive skin or rosacea, double cleansing may worsen your skin condition. But for the sake of removing all traces of Halloween makeup from your face, use a gentle facial wash.
The best way to get a deeper cleanse? Wash your face upwards to lift away dirt from your pores.
Tone and hydrate.
Removing all traces of makeup is just the first step to problem-free skin post-Halloween. To get the most out of your skincare routine, throw a good toner and moisturizer into the mix.
In most cases, toning can help remove the makeup that still sits stubbornly on your skin. But more importantly, it helps nourish and moisturize the skin and balance its pH level. Additionally, it preps the skin to absorb other skincare products.
The last step? Moisturize. After all the wiping and washing, your skin needs all the moisturizer it can get. Choose a moisturizer that’s suitable for your skin type.
Ready for Halloween?
Even if you don’t have a lot of time to plan your costume, you can ace your Halloween makeup with the inspiration above.
Try these Halloween makeup ideas for a spin and how much you can create with just makeup.