Makeup Ideas: Make Halloween Amazing

makeup ideasMakeup ideas can inspire you to choose a daring Halloween costume. They can inspire you to take your look to the next level. Forget the pre-made masks and think of some fabulous ways to use makeup to bump up your dress-up to the next level! The history of makeup is filled with classic themes and innovative new ideas. From enhancing your own natural look to turning you into another creature entirely, makeup transforms you.

Fabulous Lids and Lashes

Perhaps you do not have a particular costume or theme in mind. You can just give yourself extraordinary eye makeup that you could never pull off on an average day. There are many wild variations for exceptional eye makeup, from colors, to patterns, to themes. And there are fabulous false eyelashes to complete any look, from feathers to metallic. Just pair your stellar lids with a daring outfit and you’re all set for the party.

Day of the Dead Calavera (Sugar Skull)

Looking to practice your professional makeup skills? A Day of the Dead costume is the perfect way to show off your skills for Halloween. This Mexican holiday falls on Halloween and the following holy days of November 1 and 2. (The day is a chance to remember the dearly departed.) Dress in traditional Mexican garb and then paint your face to look like a brightly colored sugar skull! Paint your face a pallid white – with the exception of your nose and eye sockets. Those you then paint black to appear like a skull. Then add flourishes like flowers and curlicues in colors to complete the look. Paint faint stripes across your lips to simulate the toothy grin of a skull.

Mime Time

Are you just learning about makeup? If you feel like executing the finer brush motions required for the sugar skull is beyond you, then consider painting yourself up as a mime! It is an easy costume that leads to lots of fun and jokes. (Or you can look on it as the perfect excuse to escape mindless small talk at a party!) Mimes dress in black and white, and paint their faces to match. Start with a white base, then add black highlights to emphasize your facial expressions. Every mime adds their own touch. Finish the mime look with a perfectly applied layer of red lipstick on your mouth. Voila!

Clown Around

If colors attract your attention, then you could go as a clown for Halloween. There are many different elements to creating a clown’s makeup. You will want white for the base to help the other colors stick out more clearly. Then explore images online or in books to determine your own unique clown look! You can have brightly colored eyes, a painted or false red nose, and a big colorful smile that extends well beyond the borders of your own mouth. Top it all off with a colorful wig and and boldly patterned and colored clothing.

Panda Perfection

You’ve got the black makeup. You’ve got the white makeup. Why not combine the best of both worlds and head for the evening as a panda?  (Everybody likes pandas!) You can buy a full furry panda suit or just cobble together an outfit from a black and white tee shirt. But then you complete the look with black eyes, nose, and mouth against a white background! This is makeup easy enough for nearly anyone to execute. You then just need to top it off with a pair of black ears on a headband. You could also wear an adorable panda hat. The final element is an essential prop – a piece of tasty bamboo. With this easy costume, you’ll be everybody’s favorite cuddly bear in no time.

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands found his first friend in Peg, an Avon makeup saleslady. This belovd movie character has a very distinctive look. Getting his makeup look right will complete the costume. You will need his buckled goth black outfit and wild black hair first. Then there are, of course, the scissored gloves for your hands. But for the makeup, you need to apply fake scars – the sad remnant of mishandled scissor edges – and finish it off with a pallid coat of nearly white makeup. Select a skin tone base much lighter than your own to mimic Edward’s pale skin.

Black and White Photo

Do you love vintage looks? Do you think classic movies just have more style? Consider the Black and White Photo grayscale makeup look for your next costume. Dress in black, white, and gray vintage clothes, then complete the look by turning yourself black and white too! Use a black or gray wig to cover your own hair. Paint your skin – including the ears – with a light gray makeup. Highlight your face with varying shades of gray makeup – you might want to mix your own supply from black and white to get a fuller range of tones. Do not forget – you do not want to use just black and white. This all about the shades of gray in between! You can find your own look or model yourself after favorites from a classic black and white movie like “Casablanca” or “Double Indemnity.”

The Wizard of Oz

Of course, no one can forget Dorothy’s journey from the black and white world of Kansas into the colorful world of Oz in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz.” This beloved film provides plenty of fabulous makeup ideas that are instantly recognizable. If you are heading out with a group of friends, you can each pick a different character and dress up accordingly. Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion all have distinct full-face makeup looks that you can copy from the film. But do not forget about the Wicked Witch, or the Wizard himself! There are Winkies, monkeys, Munchkins, and even Toto to round out the group.

Fierce Felines

We all remember Dorothy and her friends tiptoeing through the forest, fearfully on the lookout for “lions, and tigers, and bears – oh my!” You do not have to be a cowardly lion – you can make up your face to be a fierce feline. Consider also painting yourself as a tiger with its distinctive black and orange stripes. As a lion, you need a dark nose and some whiskers paired with a wild mane wig. As a tiger, you just need to paint the stripes on your face. Whether you’re huggably adorable or fearsome and fanged is up to you. And “Napoleon Dynamite” fans – or indecisive people – can always go as a liger!


Of course, most people aim to be terrifying on Halloween. A good scare is the essence of the holiday. Scary makeup can be very effective in that regard. How about painting yourself up as a zombie? You need a sickly green or other necrotic skin tone to make yourself look horrifyingly undead. Paint your eyes dark, add wounds, and finish the look with blood (or stage blood, more precisely) pouring of your mouth. Soon you’ll be staggering around the party looking to devour brains as a terrifying zombie.

Rock N Roll

Another great group idea is to go as the rock band KISS. Their recognizable look is easy to replicate. You need black, white, and silver makeup to become the Spaceman or the Starchild or other rock gods. If glam rock is more your style, consider releasing your inner David Bowie and going with the red lightning steak from his “Ziggy Stardust” album cover. Or with some wigs, some eyeliner, and a very small rendering of Stonehenge, you can be the ultimate rock stars – Spinal Tap.