Makeup Tricks for Halloween Costumes

How to make dressing up fun with easy DIY face-paint ideas

On Halloween, both children and adults love the chance to dress-up as beloved characters, and simple makeup is the quickest way to be transformed into these personas.

Every year, popular movies and news stories inspire timely Halloween costume concepts. We debate what to be: something scary, someone famous or a classic character. Parades and parties are a way for adults to flaunt their alter egos and trick-or-treating lets kids, from toddlers to teens, strut their fantasies. All that is needed is water, corn syrup, flour and food coloring to become a vampire.

Despite all the inventive possibilities, the most common costumes that still capture the imagination of kids of all ages remain: superhero, cat, princess, pirate, vampire, ghost, witch, fairy and ninja. Makeup can make or break a homemade costume. For parents trying to turn their child into a fun cartoon creature or a queen, it can be a challenge, but so can applying their own Halloween face.

The following ideas take the mystery out of makeup with simple methods for application, plus tips and an easy, non-toxic recipe for paint:

Cat: For simple and effective makeup for a feline, draw whiskers on cheeks and a black dot on the nose with a black waterproof eyeliner pencil. Line the eyes, too, for drama and add pink lipstick.

Vampire: Use pale makeup foundation over lips too for a bloodless pallor or make the face white with powder, create blood dripping from the mouth with dark burgundy lipstick, fill in and thicken eyebrows, add dark circles around the eye sockets and lids with charcoal eye shadow.

Witch: Apply a green tint to the face, a bluish tint to the lips, draw thick eyebrows, a large mole and thin dark lines for wrinkles around the eyes and mouth with eyeliner or an eyebrow pencil. Baby powder makes hair gray. Backcomb it to make it a rat’s nest.
For a good witch use red lipstick, light foundation, sparkly blush and a beauty mark.

Zombie: To become the living dead, glue toilet paper to your face and add fake blood with dark burgundy lipstick, bruises are created with eye shadow in green, violet, dark brown and dark blue in a matte (not shiny) finish.

Pirate: Make fake beard stubble by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the face and chin and patting on coffee grounds. Attach an eye patch.

Fairy princess: Paint colorful flowers, hearts and stars on cheeks.


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DIY Face Paint recipe

Stage makeup is available at party stores in lots of colors, but be sure it's a non-toxic type, especially for children. Makeup is also easy to make at home with common kitchen ingredients. Here's what you'll need: makeup remover, soap, bowls, drops of glycerin, solid shortening, white flour, cornstarch and food coloring. Now just follow these steps:

In a bowl mix:

  • 2 teaspoons solid shortening
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 4 drops glycerin for a creamy texture

Blend ingredients well for white base paint. Add food coloring—for example, green for a witch or an alien—mixing a little at a time until it’s the shade you desire. It can be washed off with warm water and soap.

For the little vampire or zombie, stir-up a ghoulish recipe for non-toxic blood with these simple instructions:

For blood:

  • Mix 1 part water to 3 parts corn syrup
  • Add red food coloring gradually until it's the right shade
  • Add a few drops of blue and green for a realistic hue
  • Thicken with corn starch or flour to reach blood consistency
  • Let sit for 10 minutes before applying.

Other tips:

  • Sketch out designs on paper to practice before applying makeup
  • Use a makeup sponge dipped in water to moisten the face before putting on makeup so it’s damp (available at pharmacies)
  • Start with lighter colors and a small paintbrush
  • A light dusting of face powder helps set the look.

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Really interesting article to read. I'll try it.

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Every year I make my own fake blood I tend to mix a "big" batch, though I use a full small bottle of cornsyrup, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee and then add the red and blue food colouring. I've used gelatine before now to thicken it and give it more of a scabby/ coagulated look which works well (splitting the first mixture into smaller batches) but the thing with food dye is it will dye the skin for a few days after. I got my recipe from PinkStylist on youtube :)

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Fab idea and so simply

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