23 Halloween Costumes You Can Create With Your Everyday Makeup

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Halloween is a favorite time of year for millions of people. Whether you celebrate the classic Big Spooky or the even spookier Día de Los Muertos, this is a time for costumes and candy. Of course, not everyone has a costume or the right supplies to build one ready on time.

Sometimes, it’s a wardrobe disaster and a new costume is needed pronto. Or maybe you opened the Halloween costume face paint kit to find the materials unusable. Maybe you convinced a friend to come to the costume party at the last minute and need a new costume fast.

In these moments, it’s useful to know how to create a Halloween look with your everyday makeup. We’re right there with you. We’ve been there, digging through the makeup box or drawer looking for something dramatic enough for a cool costume. Have no fear, your friend is sure to like one of the following 23 awesome Halloween costume ideas you can pull off with everyday makeup.

The Living Dead Halloween Costumes

  • Zombie
  • Vampire
  • Ghost

If you have some pale foundation and gray to green eyeshadow, you can make someone look dead. This opens a whole box of options for costumes that you can also make with random clothes and costume pieces pulled from the back of your closet.

Start with a pale overlay – ashy or pancake. Then make big or subtle scary bags under the eyes. For zombies, use extra green and yellow to make them look sickly. For vampires, use dashes of brilliant red. Use lip liner for eye accents and blood drips for that extra flare. For a ghost, favor a palette of blue, silver, and gray. 

Specific undead characters can guide your creative design and signature marks to make an undead costume more distinctive.

The Adorable

  • Scarecrow
  • Raggedy Anne
  • Pirate
  • Evil Doll
  • Princess

Are you saving Halloween for a young child or your cutest friend? There are some great adorable Halloween costumes you can do with everyday makeup. Raggedy Anne and the Scarecrow share similarly pronounced blush dots on the cheeks and nose. But Raggedy Anne also has tiny bow lips you can paint with lipstick. Give a pirate a sallow complexion and some fake stubble with the eye pencil – maybe a tiny drawn mustache or extra-large drawn eyebrows.

For an evil doll, pancake the face and draw lines down from the corners of the mouth. Draw or even create cracks in the pancake and overdo the eye makeup and blush.  Princesses and angels are easy-peasy, as these costumes usually just require making your friend look classically (or thematically) beautiful.

The Dramatic Halloween Costumes

  • The Spider Queen/Lord
  • Día de Los Muertos Sugar Skull
  • Witches, Wizards, Sorceresses, and Warlocks
  • Cat Woman
  • Mad Scientist
  • Queen of Hearts/Mad Hatter
  • Mimes/Kiss

Have a friend who wants to make a splash with a last-minute costume? No problem. A well-stocked makeup kit can help you create a whole cast of villains. But you will need plenty of eyeliner. The spider queen needs only a few spider webs or a crown of spider legs to complete her look alongside normal dramatic cosmetic techniques.

You can also draw a simple sugar skull with heavy foundation. Just a touch of color will make a great Día de Los Muertos look that pairs well with formalwear for men and women. Your creative license comes in how you draw the skull circles (or flowers) around the eyes and any skull-like or flowered details you choose to add.

A spellcaster needs only a dramatic look and a matching color scheme for their eye makeup, while Cat Woman needs only to add a nose and whiskers. The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter enjoy a stage makeup look, while you can make someone a mime – or a Kiss member – with just white and black supplies.

The Fictional

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Superheroes
  • Disney Princesses
  • Anyone from Game of Thrones

Fictional characters are a great wealth of normal-makeup costumes because a lot of them did not have crazy faces. While you probably don’t have enough green foundation for Frankenstein, most live-action and even cartoon characters will require more from your wardrobe and hairdressing skills than from your makeup kit. If your friend has a famous fictional lookalike – or you have the perfect outfit anyway – then just a little makeup can go a long way for impersonating a character.

Sherlock Holmes has been a popular Halloween costume for over a century, and most superheroes need only a little stage makeup to go with their signature plainclothes look, even if you don’t have a costume from the store. Disney princesses need a little hairdressing and last season’s party dress, while a few dramatic accessories can pull off a Game of Thrones look.

The Historical Halloween Costumes

  • Cleopatra
  • Presidents
  • Rock Stars
  • Marilyn Monroe

Finally, there are the historical characters, Cleopatra has a signature makeup style that any makeup kit can emulate, while it can be fun to paint those wearing a dead president costume as zombies or in sepia tone. Marilyn has her mole and bright red lipstick, and many rockstars also have a signature look you can recreate with just a few photos for reference.

Historical costumes work best when you find something in your wardrobe that somehow perfectly matches an iconic look, and all you need is a few subtle changes of the face to suggest the shape, features, or distinct marks of the historical person.

Using Your Talents to Unlock a Career in Cosmetology

Are you the person your friends and family go to when they need a last-minute Halloween costume? Is your makeup kit the most likely to have plenty of powder, pancake, liner, and a vast color palette because makeup is an art that you practice with enthusiasm? You may not have realized that you have a talent for cosmetology, but others likely have.

If you are interested in using your talents to unlock a career in cosmetology, the path may be shorter than you think. Learn more about the cosmetology operator program you can find at Southern Careers Institute. Let us help you turn your talent and passion into job opportunities that you just might love.

This article was published on: 10/24/22 11:17 AM

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