Halloween makeup can take any costume to the next level — or, it can be a way to get into the festive October spirit entirely on its own. Dark and moody tones such as black and burgundy help create a spooky vibe, while orange and green tones play on the holiday’s signature colors and evoke pumpkins and witches.
Still, it can be a waste to invest in Halloween-themed makeup items that are too literal, meaning you’ll likely want to throw them away after Oct. 31. Instead, go for more versatile cosmetics which evoke the Halloween spirit more subtly — and will be vanity workhorses for months to come.
If you want to incorporate Halloween-inspired vibes into your makeup look, the best way to create this effect is with your lips and eyes. Use punchy lipstick colors such as deep, blood reds — or, try black lipstick, which practically screams Halloween. Since the fall air can be crisp and dry, you’ll want to use moisturizing lip products to prevent chapped lips.
Eyeshadow palettes are a cost-effective way to try a variety of hues in a single product. For a versatile eyeshadow palette that incorporates Halloween colors yet also has plenty of tones with year-round appeal, look for products that contain at least seven shades. Black is a great color to look for since it’s perfect for Halloween but also works in a variety of year-round looks. If you’re looking for orange and green tones, pick darker hues, such as rust and olive, which are more adaptable to different looks.
If you want to doodle on your skin to create designs such as a cat nose and whiskers or spiders crawling all over your face, you don’t need to invest in special face painting pens. Eyeliner works just as well. For the finest lines with added staying power, try a waterproof liquid eyeliner. (Just be sure to load up on eye makeup remover so you can easily wipe it away afterward!) A lip liner is another great product since you can use it to paint your lips but also draw on your face.
For a vampy look that channels grungy, goth vibes, try a Bordeaux-colored lipstick such as this highly pigmented pick from Nars. The weightless, creamy formula glides on easily and won’t dry out lips thanks to the inclusion of nourishing tamanu oil.
This deep-red, long-wearing lip liner works well for any costume that requires a bold red lip (think: Sandy from “Grease” or Cruella de Vil). It’s also the perfect hue if you want to draw fake blood on your face or body. Still, the timeless color makes it a staple piece to keep in your collection for years to come.
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For an eyeshadow palette that incorporates all the fall and Halloween colors and more, look no further than this 40-pan pick from the budget-friendly brand NYX.
You can’t dress up as a cat without rocking the perfect cat-eye makeup. Still, the style can be notoriously difficult to create. That’s where iMethod’s stamping tool comes in: it creates the perfect symmetrical wings each time. The dual-sided tool also has a thin-tipped liner pen, which can create any eyeliner look with ease.
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Stila’s cult-favorite liquid eyeliner is known for its waterproof staying powder and easy-to-use ultrafine tip. In addition to the classic black and brown hues, it’s now available in five shimmering metallic hues that are perfect for eyeliner looks and face drawings alike.
You’ll need a tough-but-gentle makeup remover to thoroughly clear your skin. Charlotte Tilbury’s version, which easily dissolves eye makeup, including mascara, uses soothing chamomile to keep your skin nourished.
This 35-pan palette has bright and bold colors aplenty for creating a variety of eye-catching looks. You’ll find wearable neutrals, vibrant pastels, and striking brights in multiple finishes.
Black lipstick is a classic way to evoke a Halloween look — and it’s had a bit of a resurgence in the beauty world as of late, so you can certainly re-wear this color for non-Halloween events. Revlon’s creamy matte formula will leave your lips soft and supple.
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Eyeliner is a great way to create a variety of looks, and Urban Decay’s pencil color selection is unmatched. There are over 30 neutral and bold shades to choose from in matte, satin, glitter, metallic or shimmer finishes.
To give your Halloween makeup the staying power it needs to withstand a night of trick or treating, use a setting spray to lock in your look. This hydrating mist by Morphe also works to prep your skin if you apply it under any cosmetics.
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Talia Ergas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.