3 easy Halloween makeup ideas

Emma Pickles creates an easy but convincing werewolf look.

With Halloween just around the corner, kids everywhere will be frantically preparing their costumes ready for a night of trick or treating and terror whilst the only thing scaring their parents is the prospect of the endless amounts of sugar they’ll consume.

If you’re not such a fan of the occasion yourself, and refuse to spend money or time putting together an elaborate costume, then we might have the perfect solution for you. With the right makeup, you can create perfectly creepy looks without worrying about itchy face-paint, sequins or anything papier-mâché. You may not have wanted to go to that fancy dress party, but with clever makeup and an almost effortless outfit, you’ll turn heads when you walk in and stand out from the inevitable crowd of witches, zombie nurses and sexy kittens.

Below, we’ve compiled three easy solutions for Halloween costumes that are easy to recreate, and you probably already have most of the things you’ll need in your makeup bag. You won’t need to spend days customising a bin bag or trawling fancy dress shops for something original, and the great thing is you can have fun with these looks and play around, they definitely don’t have to be perfect. In fact in some cases, the messier they are the better!


If you’ve seen the 2014 horror film, you’ll know the terror Annabelle can inflict. If you haven’t seen it yet, Annabelle is a creepy doll- need we say more? This is a really simple look to recreate but is a great, current costume idea for Halloween this year.

The look: Start with a thick pale base all over your face (conceal your natural eyebrows too), and rub red cream-blush into the apples of your cheeks to create a doll-like rosy face. Use flecks of black eyeliner on the left cheek to create the look of a couple of cracks, as well as one on your chin and a couple of smudges on your nose too.

For the eyes, apply black shadow to the eyelid and highlight the upper lid with a paler white or grey, all the way up to the brow bone. Bring the darker colour down into the corner of your eyes to create a shadowed, hooded look and line the eyes above, underneath and inside the lower lid with heavy black liner. Once you’ve done this, blend all of the eye makeup together to get rid of any lines and finish by using mascara to create long, doll like lashes. Use a black eyeliner pencil to draw on doll eyebrows – thin, angular lines are most effective – the more exaggerated the better.

Finish the look with a glossy, deep red lip and line the cupids bow and the centre of the bottom lip with black eyeliner. Finish with a very light dusting of black powder across your face to create a dirty, tattered effect and that’s it- your makeup’s done.

The rest of the costume is really easy, centre-part your hair and create plait-pigtails brought down over your shoulders and tied with red bows. Wear a frilly white dress and stripy red and white knee socks if you have them and finish with patent, shiny shoes- ideally Mary-Jane’s or lace up brogues.

21st century Vampire

Everyone’s idea of what a vampire should look like has been warped by the idealised modern-day versions in Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. Thanks to these, vampires are prettier, sassier and sexier than they’ve ever been. For this costume, you can wear whatever you want – the more glamourous the better – the key to this look is all in the make-up.

The look: Start with your normal base, making it as smooth and flawless as possible. Add a subtle shimmer powder to highlight your cheek bone, and create a slight contour by blending a taupe powder or bronzer into the hollows of your cheeks.

Create a very dark, smoky eye with silver and black eye-shadow and use eyeliner all the way around the eye. Finish off with false eyelashes to create that alluring, femme-fatale look.

Blend purple and black eye-shadow into your under-eye to create a blood-starved, bruised effect and finish off with a glossy red lip. If you want to be really convincing, drip fake blood down your chin and smudge it around the corners of your mouth to make it look like you only just finished your last meal.

The Walking Dead

Halloween makeup

Take inspiration from another popular TV series this year and turn up at your party as a zombie from Fox TV’s The Walking Dead. Again, this look is all in the makeup- the dirtier and more blood stained the better.

The look: For the costume itself, use old clothes that you don’t mind cutting up and create rips and tears. Use fake blood to stain the clothes and smear with thick, slightly diluted coffee granules for that muddy, gritty effect. Your hair should be as under-groomed as possible, backcomb it for that tangled, wild effect and use gel or oil to make it look greasy and unkempt.

Now for the fun part. Your makeup should be as creative and messy as you can make it. Start with a pale base all over your face and lips and use black shadow on your eyelids, forehead, the creases of your nose, the hollows of your cheeks and even on the inside of your pale lips- you’re aiming to look as inhuman as possible. Next, use a light dusting of purple and green powder across your cheeks and forehead for that corpse-like look and blend some of the purple with black eye-shadow to create a dark under-eye.

Make it look like you have clotted wounds on your face and body by mixing lumps of deep red lipstick with Vaseline and black eye-shadow powder, then use a brush to create different effects with it. Use the bristles to stipple it onto the skin to look like scratches or grazes, and use the other end of the brush to dab it on thickly and create the look of open, still oozing wounds.

This is a look you can really have fun with- as long as it’s dark, dirty and blood stained, it will work!

Whichever you choose, we hope you have fun this Halloween! Don’t forget to take pictures in your finished costume and share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages- we’d love to see them!

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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