Learn exactly how to get into the Halloween spirit, safely

By Kaitlin Clark
Aug 26, 2020 @ 5:31 pm
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This year’s Halloween is, without a doubt, going to be the weirdest we’ve ever had. And while that's completely on-brand for 2020, the good news is that where there are challenges, there’s always amazing creativity.

So whether you’re the type who spends 364 days eagerly awaiting the clever costume parties, haunted hayrides, and witchy-themed cocktails, or you're more of the throw-together-a-costume-an-hour-before type, innovative mask-friendly makeup ideas will get you ready for this year's unpredictable Halloween season. 

That's why we tapped a few of the most creative makeup artists around to give you some spooky inspiration. 

All of their best tips, ahead.

Get Crafty

Whether or not you're a fan of your face covering, you're going to have to wear one on Halloween. But integrating a mask into your costume doesn’t have to be a bummer. It actually should be quite the opposite, at least according to John Stapleton, senior national artist at M.A.C. Cosmetics.

“I think this year, costumes are going the route of creating character and people getting their glue guns out and gluing vampire teeth or a cigarette or a red pompom for a clown nose or really any kind of other weird props to their mask,” says Stapleton. “You could have a lot of fun getting a little crafty and embellishing your mask if you are willing to think outside the box.”

Try Out Florals 

This year has been enough of a horror show, and we all deserve a night off from the truly scary. So why not go for a beautiful, joyful, and ethereal look instead?  

“I think it’s definitely more of a time to be a little more playful, a little friendlier with costumes,” says Stapleton. “Now is the time to look for interesting body paint ideas, or even painting a simple thing like flowers near your eye.”

He recommends using the end of a brush to press into a liquid eyeshadow or face paint to create an easy petal shape on your face. Just be sure to use a duo primer-moisturizer first, like Bobbi Brown's Vitamin Enriched Eye Base to smooth the eye area and give you brilliant color payoff. 

To shop: $54; sephora.com

For a more 3D flower look, the makeup artists suggests choosing a few colorful flowers from your garden or corner store at least a week before Halloween. To dry them out, place each flower face down, without overlap, in between two pieces of parchment paper and slip inside a heavy, thick book (think: telephone book or textbook-level density). Put another weighty item on top of the book and in seven days, voila! 

To make those beautifully preserved buds stay put all night, Stapleton suggests applying a tiny bit of eyelash glue to the flower and then pressing and holding on your face for 10 seconds. 

The otherworldly feathered look Pat McGrath created for the Valentino spring 2019 couture show is another great example to mimic. 

Go for the Glow — and Glitter

If there's ever been a time to go there with glitter, it's definitely Halloween.

Luis Carrero, celebrity makeup artist and education artistry trainer at KVD Vegan Beauty, suggests trying out a Euphoria-inspired look with swaths of highlighter, sparkle, and soft shimmery colors.

Start by using a primer with a sticky, adhesive texture, like KVD Vegan Beauty’s Shake Primer, and generously swipe it across your entire eyelid. Next, Carrero recommends using your finger— never a brush — to stamp the glitter or shimmer onto your eyelid.

To shop: $22; sephora.com

Keep skin fresh and dewy by using an antioxidant-packed oil, like Tata Harper’s Beautifying Face Oil. Then finish off the look with a buildable halo highlight by using Carrero’s foolproof strategy: mix a hydrating primer with glitter or shimmer then use your fingers to stamp it onto your cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, and bridge of your nose for a glow that is ultra soft and super blendable. 

To let your sparkle flag really fly, Stapleton suggests jazzing up your mask with glitter, rhinestones or sequins to “make it a little more playful.”

VIDEO: Heidi Klum’s Latest Halloween Costume Is Her Most Over-the-Top Yet

Elevated Eyes

Save the vampy red lipstick this year (especially since no one will see it anyway), and choose glam that makes your eyes the true statement. Smokey eyes with lashes that reach to the moon will always have a home during Halloween. But this year, nearly anything goes.

“Why not just do things like KISS would have done where you’re just painting over your eye in graphic shapes?” Stapleton says of this approach. “This is a moment where you can play with your eye makeup, maybe trying out floating or disconnected eyeliners in interesting shapes.” 

To make your eyes really pop in a graphic, larger than life way, try an old drag queen hack. Start by camouflaging your natural eyebrows with a few swipes of a glue stick across your brows then pat powder over them and apply foundation that matches your skin tone. Then go wild with whatever type of eye look tickles your fancy.

“If you’re looking to really create an animated shape or a very different look for yourself, there’s a really great trick where you transform the eyebrow into the crease of your eye and then draw the brows above it,” he says.

To master this anime-style look, glue down the eyebrow tails only then take the crease of your brow and connect it to the outer corner of your eye near your temple, instructs Stapleton. Then, just make everything larger-than-life.

Faux Fluttery Lashes

Ever had the highest hopes for a majorly glam look by popping on fake lashes, only to be wildly frustrated by the application process, then swearing them off forever? Well, there’s an easy peasy celebrity makeup artist hack for that. 

“If you are new to applying lashes, the biggest tip is to wait for the glue to dry down and get tacky before you apply the lashes,” says Charle Riddle, Stila Cosmetics’ editorial director of artistry. “A lot of first time lash users will apply directly after applying glue, but you actually want to wait a good 30 to 60 seconds before applying.”  

Swap Skincare for Makeup

Stapleton is a self-professed Halloween fanatic and makes his go-to creepy clown costume pull double duty as spooky and skincare savvy.

“I use a Neutrogena clay mask which breaks apart when you leave it on,” he says. “You can do the whole face so it will look crumbly and crackly, but at the end of the night, you just rinse it off and go to bed and your skin’s immaculate.” 

Just make sure to use a rich moisturizer once it's been rinsed off if you plan to leave it on for more than an hour.