Festive makeup is always fun, and ’tis the season to be extra. Everyone’s obsessed with natural makeup, which is totally fine and great and all, but Halloween gives you the perfect excuse to live out your wildest makeup fantasies IRL. Fond childhood memories of getting your face painted at birthday parties might come to mind, but even though you’re a grown-up, you can still paint your face.
Instagram is an absolute gold mine when it comes to finding Halloween makeup inspiration. Warning: Some of these looks require lots of skill, while others are rather easy, but the fun part is experimenting.
Ahead, find our favorite Halloween face paint glam—then carve out some one-on-one time with your mirror so you can practice your winning costume makeup look this year.
How gorgeous is this screenshot-worthy look? All eyes will definitely be on you if you model your makeup after this purple floral skull look. Don’t forget the purple wig to match the lilac brows.
Under the Sea
This all-blue-everything vibe is seriously next level. The makeup artist, Sarina, created her spooky deep sea look with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Volume 2 ($60).
We’ve seen glitter tears everywhere, from New York Fashion Week runways to cool Halloween makeup looks. Take this simple trick to the next level with colorful eyeshadow. The gorgeous blue shade from the KKW X Mario Palette (currently sold out) was used for this look. “It’s very important to use cosmetic-grade glitter on your face rather than glitter from a craft store because should you get glitter in your eye, you don’t won’t it to scratch your eye,” notes Lindsey Trop, a makeup artist based in New York and Connecticut. She loves Make Up For Ever’s Star Lit Glitter ($20).
If you’re trying to recreate this look for less, NYX Professional Cosmetics seems to be a popular pick among beauty vloggers. Makeup artist Rose Mallen used NYX’s SFX Créme Colours ($5) in shades black and white to execute this look.
“Clown makeup is easy for Halloween,” says Maybelline Global Makeup Artist Erin Parsons. “There are so many variances of the look that one can accomplish, making each and every look unique to you and your personality.” Pennywise from IT is a spookier take. To accomplish, draw elongated triangles above and below the eyes, then add a creepy smile that extends past your natural corners.
We’ve arguably never seen a more head-turning green Halloween makeup look. Makeup YouTuber Shania Parris killed it. The single green contact lens really ties it all together.
This is a literal day-to-night look, and the highlight is so good it’s practically blinding. While the sold-out Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter is responsible for this effervescent glow, you can snag a similar eye-catching radiance with Smashbox x Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop ($40).
Doll makeup is effectively creepy, and there are versions appropriate for all makeup levels. Stick to an exaggerated doll eyes look for something quick and easy, or go all out by mimicking this cracked porcelain effect.
Avant-garde face paint for the win. The white paint used to create this artsy look is Official Snazaroo’s Classic White Face Paint ($9).
Fire Sign Aries
Take the simple route and rep your horoscope sign this year. This sunset-orange look can be achieved with a palette like Juvia’s Place’s The Magic Mini Eyeshadow Palette ($15), which has all the shades you could possibly need.
With an icy shimmer finish and sparkly rhinestones to boot, your head will certainly be in the clouds after creating this look. Makeup artist @ItsZayBayBay used P.Louise Makeup Academy Baseic in Touch of Frost (sold out) to achieve the pale blue clouds. A shadow base like this will dry down for a paint-like effect that will last longer than if you used regular eyeshadow. “When applying small crystals, rather than use tweezers to pick them and apply them, which could cause them to go flying, try using a small wooden stick with rubber on the end, which is a tool sold at craft stores,” Trop says.
Many Halloween looks are improved with the addition of glitter or face crystals. To apply, Trop says to “first spray the area with a setting spray like MAC Fix Plus ($31), and then apply the glitter—there’s no need to use glue!”
This intergalactic blush look is literally out of this world. Makeup artist Zorin Blitz created the look using Sugarpill Cosmetics’ Pressed Eyeshadow ($13) in Velocity, along with NYX Cosmetics’ Ultimate Shadow Palette ($18).
Neon Face Frame
Reminiscent of a light-up neon sign, this face-framing makeup will surely turn heads. The makeup artist credits Makeup A Murder’s Poison Neon Pigment ($7) in Pink for the bold pop of color. For more complex looks, Parsons suggests sketching the general shape using white eye pencil. “Sharpen any lines with a pointed Q-tip and micellar water,” she adds.
At times we wish we could have two sets of eyes, but this look takes seeing double to the next level with four sets of eyes that come equipped with individual eyeshadow looks. For this mega-creative makeup look, use NYX Cosmetics’ Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette ($18), and Mehron Makeup’s Paradise Makeup AQ ($13) in white, black, and gray.
Someone is Typing
For a simple costume, recreate the iMessage typing bubble. Add a blue wig and a white outfit, and you’re that nerve-wracking moment when you’re waiting for a text message to come through.
Sweet like a candy jawbreaker while telling a spooky story by taking the name literally, this confetti paint-splattered look is super fun to recreate due to all of the colors you can use. Snazaroo’s Fantasy Face Paint Kit ($19) would be a great choice for the gorgeous multi-colored splatter.
This look brings a whole new meaning to face paint. With a vibe that looks like something out of a Roy Lichtenstein painting, it’s certainly a makeup masterpiece. All you need is black and white face paint to blot out most of your face and create the pop art lines, plus your preferred products for full glam makeup. To get that opaque white, Parsons recommends Mehron Clown White ($9).
Sweet and bubbly like your favorite soda, this look certainly packs a colorful, mouth-watering punch. The makeup artist here credits Lunar Beauty’s Life’s a Drag Eyeshadow Palette ($48) for the eye look and yellow face hue.
Talk about a glow-up. This rainbow-colored eye look combines well-blended eyeshadow and fine lines of face paint to deliver a simple-yet-stunning Halloween makeup idea.
Sometimes, an impactful Halloween makeup look is as simple as showing up only half glam. Just look at this X-ray-inspired makeup idea if you don’t believe us. “Press the entire look with loose setting powder” to protect your makeup for the whole night, says Parsons. She likes Maybelline’s FaceStudio Master Fix Setting Powder ($12).
What can be more classic than a painted-on Spiderman mask? The best part is that you don’t have to take it on and off when you want to talk or eat. You’ll need red, black, and white face paint.
Hoping to show off your villainously good looks this Halloween? This simple cartoon-inspired makeup requires three paint colors and a touch of patience to create.
Keeping with the comic book theme, here we have a simple Cat Woman makeup look that can be brought to life using just black and white paint, red and white eyeshadow, black eyeliner, and your favorite red lipstick.
If you don’t want to cover your entire face in paint, look no further than this bright rainbow skull idea. While the paint coverage is far less than some of the other makeup looks, the impact will be just as great.
These bright, bold stars really take your eyelid game to the next level. Make sure to use a neon liner, like the L.A. Girl Shockwave Neon Eyeliner ($5).
Want to keep your Halloween allure on your lids? This intricate butterfly eye makeup idea can be created with black face paint or your favorite liquid eyeliner.
This sweet pastel floral look is achievable with a dainty brush like the MAC 210 Precise Eye Liner Brush ($21) and IMAGIC Face & Body Paint Palette ($14).
Who said face paint has to look like, well, face paint? This version might appear to be plain makeup, but thanks to inconspicuous purple paint, the lids and gloves match perfectly.
This colorful makeup look is sure to make you want to stop and smell the flowers. The best part is you can copy the idea while including all your favorite blooms. There’s no rhyme or reason to the look—just mixed florals in all their strewn-about glory.
No Rain, No Rainbow
As the popular saying illustrates, rain and rainbows must coexist. That’s clearly the idea here, where UK-based influencer Anna created a dark-and-light, left-to-right makeup look that perfectly represents the balance between stormy skies and sunny days.
Out of This World
Talk about a stellar makeup look. This Saturn-inspired eye look might be confined to the lids, but the impact goes up, up, and beyond.
If you have the artistry, create a simple black rose over the eye. For the less artistically inclined, a stencil ($4) will do the trick. To remove heavy Halloween makeup at the end of the night, Parsons likes Ben Nye’s Bond Off! Prosthetic Adhesive Remover ($4) for glue and Drunk Elephant’s Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser ($34) for everything else.
Ariana Grande Eyeliner
All you need to recreate Ariana Grande’s iconic eye look from the “Rain on Me” video is a white eyeliner like the NYX Professional White Liquid Liner ($23) and some duct tape for precision if you’ve got shaky hands. We suggest a liquid liner rather than a pencil because it will appear more opaque.
Pair literally any outfit with these veiny, smoky zombie eyes.