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Updated September 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best witch makeup

Whether you’re planning for Halloween or getting ready for a theater production, pulling off a successful witch costume can be tricky. In addition to having the proper attire, a witch costume requires the right makeup to sell the look.

Witch makeup is available in an array of options because there are so many witch looks to choose from. You can find both individual makeup products and kits with multiple products that have everything you need to create your look. The most common witch makeup includes items that change the color of your skin, but you can also find sets with prosthetics to change the shape of your face.

Are you looking for witch makeup to finish off your costume? Start by deciding on the witch makeup style you want to achieve and the makeup formula you prefer. You have to choose between individual makeup products or sets with multiple items to create a look, too. It’s also important to identify other features that help the makeup work for your look, such as the colors it includes or whether it comes with tools.

a woman applying makeup in front of a mirror
If you’re unsure which type of witch makeup you prefer, YouTube has plenty of tutorials that can inspire you and walk you through the application steps.

Finding the best witch makeup

Witch makeup styles

The trick to finding the right witch makeup is figuring out which style you prefer. You have plenty of options when creating a witch costume, so it’s a matter of choosing the style that best fits the look or character you want to create.

The most common witch makeup styles include the following:

Classic witch makeup

This look is often based on the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, centering around green skin. It typically includes shading or contouring around the face and may also incorporate black lipstick or dark red lipstick.

Scary witch makeup

This is similar to classic witch makeup, often featuring green skin and dark contouring. However, it kicks things up a notch for a more menacing look. As such, it may include prosthetics, such as a pointy nose or warts. The makeup is typically used to give the eyebrows an angry or imposing look, too.

Gothic witch makeup

This style doesn’t feature the classic green witch skin tone. Instead, it incorporates black and gray tones. It often calls for making your skin look paler and includes a dramatic smoky eye and black or deep red lipstick. Drawing spooky moons or spider webs on the face can add to the look.

Good witch makeup

This look isn’t as common; it's a lighter twist on the usual witch makeup. It usually involves pale or pastel makeup and glittery accents. This makeup is often similar to fairy makeup.

Witch makeup types

While you can use traditional makeup like eyeshadow, contour powder, and lipstick for your witch look, you may also want opaque products to apply all over your skin to change its tone.

You can choose from several types of face makeup for your witch costume. Here are the most common types:

Cream paint: This is the easiest type of face makeup or paint to use and is usually more affordable. It doesn’t require any activation, so you can use it right out of the package. It’s available in single shades and in palettes with multiple colors. However, it doesn’t have a very long wear time and can easily transfer onto clothing and other people. It works best for Halloween or other costumes you don’t need to wear very long.

Grease paint: Similar to cream paint, grease paint works best for covering smaller areas. It transfers easily, but it’s harder to remove than cream paint.

Water-activated paint: This material requires clean water to activate the color. You can customize how sheer or opaque the paint is by adding more or less water. When the paint dries on the skin, it stays in place for hours. It’s easy to remove with soap and water, but it can run if you sweat or go out in the rain.

Alcohol-activated paint: This is similar to water-activated formulas, but it requires 99% alcohol to activate. It’s pricier than other makeup options, but it works well for covering large areas and detailed work. Alcohol-activated face paint doesn’t run or transfer, so it can last for hours, making it ideal for stage performances. Notably, you shouldn’t use alcohol-activated paint in the eye area.

Individual pieces vs. sets

Depending on how you plan to do your witch makeup, you could purchase individual products or a set that contains multiple products or shades.

Green face paint or makeup is the most common option for witch makeup. However, that may be all you need because you may have other items at home, such as black eyeshadow, dark lipstick, and black eyeliner, to finish off your look.

If you’re going for a more complex look, you may prefer a set that includes multiple makeup colors as well as tools for applying the makeup or prosthetics. Sets typically offer the best value, but you’ll usually get more makeup if you purchase the products individually.

a woman applying makeup
DID YOU KNOW?
In addition to contouring, you can use dark eyeshadows to create wrinkles and shadows on your skin.
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Witch makeup features to consider

Colors

As we’ve discussed, the most common color for witch makeup is green. You can find many individual products, like cake or stick makeup, in a green shade.

However, if you opt for a set or kit with multiple colors, it will likely include dark shades like black and purple for shading and contouring. It’s also common for witch makeup kits to have a blood-red shade.

If you opt for a general face makeup kit, the palette may include a wide range of colors, including yellow, blue, and brown. A white shade can come in handy for lightening other shades in the palette and creating a custom color.

Prosthetic appliances

Some witch makeup sets include prosthetics that can change the shape of your face. Prosthetics are usually made of latex and attach to the skin with a skin-safe adhesive. For witch makeup, a pointed nose and elongated chin are common options.

You can also find prosthetic warts to add to your face, and some kits include wax that lets you hand-craft scars or other textured areas on the skin.

You can trim most prosthetics to make sure they fit your face well. You can apply cream makeup over the prosthetic to blend it in with your skin for a seamless transition, too.

Tools

Some witch makeup kits include not only makeup but also the tools to apply it. You can find sets with brushes, sponges, or sponge-tip applicators. These tools come in handy if you’re doing makeup for Halloween or a costume party.

However, if you’re doing stage makeup, you’ll likely prefer brushes and applicators you purchase separately because they offer greater precision.

Stencils

Some witch makeup kits come with stencils that allow you to easily add a design to your face. The stencils often sport iconic Halloween shapes: cats, spider webs, bats, or pumpkins.

If you’re applying green makeup to your face and neck as part of your witch costume, remember to cover your hands for the most authentic look.

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How do you accessorize witch makeup?

Makeup sponges

If you’re applying makeup all over your face to change the color of your skin tone, consider using makeup sponges for quick and efficient application. Some sponges have pointed edges so you can apply makeup in areas that require more precision.

Makeup brushes

If you plan to add shading, contouring, or other details to your look, it helps to have a set of high-quality makeup brushes. Brushes with synthetic bristles are ideal for the cream-based makeup often used for costuming. For powder products, natural bristles usually work best.

Costume wig

The right costume wig can really pull your witch outfit together. A long, black wig is probably the most popular option, but you can play around with other colors, such as purple, green, or red.

How much does witch makeup cost?

Inexpensive

The most affordable witch makeup products are usually individual products, such as sticks or pans of cream makeup. Those on the lower end of the price range are typically meant for Halloween or other costumes you won’t wear for long periods. This makeup generally costs $2 to $15.

Mid-range

Mid-range sets of witch makeup often contain multiple makeup shades and products. For example, they may have a cream formula that works best for Halloween and other costumes you don’t plan to wear for extended periods of time. You can also find some individual prosthetic pieces for witch costumes in this price range. Expect to pay $15 to $40 for this makeup.

Expensive

The priciest witch makeup items tend to be individual items or kits with multiple products and shades designed for extended wear. These products work well for Halloween and other costume parties, but they’re typically meant for stage work. You can also find sets of multiple prosthetic pieces in this price range. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $130 for this makeup.

a woman in witch costume
DID YOU KNOW?
If you’re going for a scary witch look, you may decide to wear a set of costume teeth with gaps or discolorations.
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Tips

  • Pin back your hair before you apply your makeup. It’s extremely easy to get makeup in your hair or for loose strands of hair to get stuck in the makeup. Pull it back into a ponytail or bun, and clip back sections that tend to fall forward.
  • Apply moisturizer or primer before the makeup. You want your witch makeup to go on as smoothly as possible, so prep your skin beforehand. Hydrating the skin helps prevent the makeup from clinging to dry patches, while a primer smooths the skin and helps the makeup last longer.
  • Use makeup you already have to enhance your witch look. While you’ll probably need to buy green or other colored face makeup to change your skin tone, you can finish your look with items you may already have in your makeup bag. Dark green eyeshadows work well to contour green face makeup, but you can also use gray and black powders to create shadows. Black or purple lipstick is ideal for a witchy look, but you can use black or purple eyeliner as lipstick if you don’t have the right lip color.
  • Remove your makeup at the end of the event. After a long night of partying, trick-or-treating, or performing, you may be tempted to crash in bed as soon as you get home. Not only can that leave you with a stained pillowcase, but the thick witch makeup can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
two women applying makeup
Cream and grease makeup often contain oil that clogs the pores. If you have oily skin, water-activated face paint is a better choice for your witch costume.

FAQ

Q. Can a beginner apply witch makeup?

A. Yes, a beginner can pull off a fun witch makeup look. Just by applying green makeup all over your face, you can create a dramatic witch look perfect for trick-or-treating and Halloween parties without much practice.

If you’re creating a look for a stage performance, you may want to do a test run of your makeup before the big day to ensure you’re happy with the look.

Q. How long does it take to apply witch makeup?

A. It depends on the look you’re going for and how much effort you want to put in. For example, you can create a fun but simple witch look with just some green face makeup that takes five minutes or less to apply. If you want to add contouring and eye makeup, though, you may need another five minutes.

That said, you may need as much as an hour to apply makeup for a more complicated witch look that features prosthetics or other embellishments.

Q. What’s the best way to remove witch makeup?

A. The type of makeup you use determines the best way to remove it. For example, water-based makeup easily washes off with facial cleanser and water, while cream and grease paints may require cold cream or oil-based makeup remover.

Alcohol-activated witch makeup is the most difficult to remove because it’s a long-wearing formula. Look for a makeup remover formulated specifically for alcohol-based makeup.

 

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