But don't forget your mask!

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Easy Halloween Makeup
Credit: laurenconrad/Instagram

Maybe Halloween plans just sprung up on you and your local Spirit Halloween is now barren, or maybe you don't have any time at all to prepare a costume that takes more than 30 minutes to pull together. Regardless of your October 31st issue, this roundup of the all-time easiest Halloween makeup ideas will help you out. While we tapped makeup artist Alexandra Butler to give you a few pointers, you don't need to be a professional to master these looks.

"Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year because it allows me to take the creativity with makeup, up a notch," she tells InStyle. "The beauty about getting all dressed up as our favorite characters or potentially turn into fun creatures, is that we can literally be whoever we want to be as long as our imagination is wild." 

All of these costumes can simply be pulled together with a basic makeup stash alone, which should include an eyeshadow palette with bright and neutral shades, a black and brown eyeliner pencil with a sharpener (trust, you'll need it), mascara, and a few lipstick shades.

However, if you want to take your makeup-only costume to the next level, Butler shares a few of her favorite brands.

"I love using Face Lace products because their sticker decals are safe for the skin and give really cool affects to take the makeup to the next level," she says. "A staple also in my kit is the Makeup Forever Flash Palette that allows you to paint freely on your face using makeup brushes. Suva Beauty UV liners and Lemonhead LA Glitters are really fun products to use because they are bold, safe for the face, and stay put." 

From your classic cat to a space-themed masterpiece, keep scrolling for visuals on each.

Black Cat

A little black eyeliner, brown shadow, and a white eyeliner pencil is literally all you need to recreate this cat costume. Besides the obvious whiskers and nose, the detail on the inner corners of the eyes is what really takes this feline-look to the next level. To avoid smudges, go for a budge-proof pencil like Kat Von D's Lash Liner Liquid Inner Eyeliner and be sure to set the look with setting spray.


Pair with glittery smoky eye with an LBD and a black witch's hat, and you've got yourself a next-level sorcerer. Just don't forget your lashes!


You can skip the animal ears, because with this easy-to-follow doe makeup tutorial, you won't need them. Your essentials for this look will include bronzer, black eyeliner, and lots of mascara.


For a more abstract (but super easy) Halloween costume, outer space is your secret. Dust your cheekbones with iridescent purple and blue shadow and draw on the constellations with a white eyeliner pencil.


That orange eyeshadow tin is finally coming in handy. Besides the mouth detail and the nose, the fall shadow shade is what really pulls the look together. Apply a pair of false lashes to make the Halloween costume all the more doll-like. Finish off with a straw hat, a plaid shirt, and ripped jeans.


Credit: Courtesy

If you want to take your makeup to the next level this year, try this elevated doll look Butler created for herself. Start off by applying the eyeshadow of your choice as your base. Then, layer on a white shade on your top lid and also about half an inch below your lower lid. Follow up with a liquid eyeliner on the bottom to create the look of a drag queen-inspired eye. Next, apply some blush and pink lipstick. Finish things off by using the liner to dot on some freckles on each cheek.

How to Incorporate a Mask Into Your Look

In 2020, masks aren't just another accessory to add to your costume — they're mandatory. But, that doesn't mean they need to take away from your look.

"You could paint the mask to complete a look for the entire face," Butler suggests. "Get a mask that is white or the color of your skin and physically use paint and small brushes to paint lips, or features that match the makeup look."

She also recommends checking out Atlanta-based photographer Derek Blanks who creates custom masks that replicate your mouth.

"The masks look so real that it's as though you don’t have mask on," she says. "The coolest concept ever."