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  • Melissa

Halloween Makeup


Halloween holds a special place in my heart.

I was born on Halloween, so I take this holiday pretty seriously. It was the best birthday as a kid! We would have Halloween parties in school and then I would come home and go trick-or-treating and get tons of candy. I never missed a single year of dressing up and was trick-or-treating through middle school which may or may not be socially acceptable, but I never turn down free candy.


As I've gotten older, I wasn't sure if everyone's love for dressing up in costumes once a year would carry into our 20's, but I've seen no shortage of enthusiasm for this holiday as the years go on. It's gone from scary costumes and gorging ourselves with candy to...an excuse for girls to wear lingerie to the bars for one weekend every year.


In high school I kind of slacked on costumes. They were nothing extravagant, sometimes just a regular outfit with a masquerade mask. In my college years, my growing passion for makeup merged with my love for Halloween and I began dressing up in more elaborate makeup and costumes. I found inspiration pictures or YouTube tutorials and even started trying my hand at special effects makeup (SFX). I believe that dabbling in Halloween makeup and actually being able to replicate intricate makeup I saw in pictures gave me a stronger confidence in my regular makeup skills.

Don't be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone for Halloween. Halloween makeup is not meant to look pretty and perfect so don't worry about getting it exactly right. If you do want to try working with SFX, I've tried some products that I like:

Pictured above is an order I purchased from Camera Ready Cosmetics a couple years ago. They sell many different brands, including theatrical makeup brands like Ben Nye and Mehron. The two smaller bottles from Mehron in the picture are Liquid Latex (in white and skin tone). Liquid latex is used to create special effects, such as cuts and gashes. You can basically make it look like skin which is how you create the wounds and gory stuff. Ben Nye Fresh Scab is awesome. It's basically a thicker, clumpier version of fake blood so, in my opinion, looks more real. If you want the blood to be dripping or splattered, stick to the regular fake blood. The RCMA No Color Powder is a loose, translucent powder and I haven't experienced it flashing back in pictures so you can use it with regular or SFX makeup.

If you're going for a little less gory look, it is always easy to create a look with come colorful eyeliners and eyeshadows. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils cover a larger amount of the face because they're so thick but if you need something thinner, try their Slide On Glide On eyeliners or L'Oréal Silkissime eyeliners. Gel liner and a tiny eyeliner brush can help trace out shapes, like a skull. The brand Snazaroo makes some really nice face paints that you can buy at the craft store. I get mine from Michael's (Don't forget your 40% off coupon!)

I'll be the first to admit I'm very extra when it comes to Halloween. I often do multiple costumes each year because I have so many ideas I want to bring to life. Sometimes I just do them before Halloween and take pictures but one year I actually had 3 different costumes (one for each day of the weekend). Here are some of my creative looks that I've put together over the past few years:

Lady GaGa (2010): My Sweet 16 was a Halloween costume party and I was Lady GaGa, who I was obsessed with at the time.

Deer (2014)

Black Widow (2014): Regular black bodysuit, Spider skirt from Party City, fishnet leggings and booties.

Skull (2014): The first SFX-type makeup that I did which made me fall in love with Halloween makeup.

Robot (2015): Silver jumpsuit from Amazon

Skeleton (2015): Costume from Party City

Batgirl (2016): Did this for a theme day at work

Cosmic Glow (2016): Did this for a theme day at work

Masquerade Mask (2016): Did this for a theme day at work

Evil Queen (2016): I had this vision loosely based on the evil queen from Snow White. Dress from Forever XXI, Crown from Amazon (from Snow White and the Huntsman Queen Ravenna costume)

Mermaid (2016): I made the bra myself, inspired by a bra I saw on Etsy. The skirt is from Etsy.

Werewolf (2016): The inspiration came from the Florence + The Machine song "Howl" (I swear I get inspired by the most random things). Fur vest from H&M, ears made by me. No contacts, just used an eye-color-changing app for this picture. Quick note: contacts are never safe if you don't have a prescription. I know a lot of places sell them for Halloween and they're really cool but just use caution and know that you can harm your eyes. Gashes made with liquid latex, tissue paper, and Ben Nye Fresh Scab. To follow the same tutorial I used, click here. To this day, this is the costume I'm most proud of.

Ice Queen (2017): The skirt is from a dance supply site (I honestly don't remember which one), the bra and the crown are entirely made by me which I am super proud of. Like the mermaid bra, this bra was inspired by one I saw on Etsy. I just collected a bunch of shiny silver decorations from craft stores for the bra and made the crown from hot glue and some silver stems from craft store decor. The craft stores already had Christmas stuff out when I was shopping for materials, so that's actually where I found all the silver tinsel-y stuff. I still can't believe how lucky I was to find everything. I found the skirt last minute but it was exactly what I imagined! I did wish it was less see-through but I already knew I'd have to wear shorts under it anyway. Take it from me: if you're going to DIY, start looking for pieces in August or September. You'll thank me later.

Spider Illusion (2018): Not a costume, just wore it to work

Mummy (2018): This costume was inspired by Katy "LustreLux"'s makeup tutorial (watch it here). I saw it a couple years ago and knew that I wanted to do it eventually. Well, I didn't have any other ideas this year so I knew it was time! I got the costume online from Party City. I just wanted to make my cheeks look really hollow and I like how it came out!


2019: Maybe the first year of my life I didn't get the chance to dress up! I had a costume prepared, but life was busy and things just didn't work out. Honestly bummed me out and made me have a slight identity crisis (lol dramatic) but I got my neurotic self to let go of tradition and expectation and look forward to the Halloweens to come.

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