Halloween Makeup Application

Halloween is that special time of year when we can dress up like the monsters that scare us, the famous people we adore, and the gods and goddesses we aspire to be. While dressing up for Halloween can be fun and exciting, it's important to make sure our costumes are recognizable. Here are some easy Halloween makeup application tips for the most common Halloween costumes:

Scars, Cuts, and Bruises

If you want to get the bruised and battered effect, the easiest way is by applying black and red cosmetic makeup. You will need black eyeliner, a deep red blush, red lip liner and yellow eyeshadow. If you want to make oozing cuts and scars, you will need petroleum jelly. Start with a clean face. Apply a base coat of the yellow eyeshadow to the area you want to look bruised. Draw a small, solid circle with the black eyeliner over the yellow eyeshadow. Rub the black eyeliner into the yellow eyeshadow. Brush the red blush over the "bruised" area. If you wish to make an oozing scar or cut, draw a deep line with the red lip liner. Mix some red blush into the petroleum jelly and run it over the red lip liner.


If you want to become a werewolf, not only will you need brown, black, yellow and green makeup, but you will need fake fur (which can be bought at a craft store) and facial glue which can be bought at costume stores. The makeup should be applied mostly around the eyes. Outline the eyes with the yellow and green makeup. Mix the colors together and blend upwards. Next, move up towards the eyebrows with the black and brown makeup. Blend the black and brown makeup together and form points over the eyebrows towards the forehead. For a hollowed out check effect, blend both the brown and black makeup over the check bones. Apply the facial glue sparingly, and glue the fake fur over the eyebrows. Add the fake fur to the sides of the face to create a side burn effect.


Zombie makeup is the one costume that has the most creative freedom. By combining the looks of the skeleton/grim reaper makeup and adding the scars, bruises and cuts makeup applications, you can create your own version of a zombie. Make sure to practice your zombie walk.

Zombie Materials:

  • Elmer's glue (really any white school glue will work)
  • tissue or toilet paper
  • baking flour
  • liquid foundation (this is really optional)
  • eyeshadow: red, black, and gray
  • paintbrushes: one medium/small flat, and one small round for details
  • acrylic paint: red, black, brown, light green, light blue, and white (the crappy $1 acrylics work fantastic)
  • corn syrup or karo syrup
  • red food dye

Just a few things:

  • the blood will most likely stain both your skin and clothing, depending on what kind of food dye you use
  • at first, the blood is really messy and drippy but after a few minutes it'll start to dry and stay in place. it's still ridiculously sticky though so I wouldn't try to hug anyone.
  • try not to get the glue/tissue paper/flour in your hair like I did
  • to get the glue to dry quickly, use a hair dryer


To become a blood sucking vampire, you will need to cover your entire face with makeup. You will need white makeup, black makeup, red lip liner, and vampire teeth (which can be found at a costume store.) Cover the entire face with the white makeup in order to appeal pale. Make sure to cover the lips, especially well. Mix the black makeup with the white makeup to create a dark grey color. Line both the top and bottoms of the eyelids with the grey color to create a hollowed eye look. Use the red lip liner to draw a single red line down the lip and off the chin. If you want to make this blood drip and appear shiny, apply petroleum jelly to the red line.


Alien makeup requires green and black makeup, but is very simple. Cover your entire face with green makeup, including the lips. Draw huge ovals over your eyes, and cover them in with the black makeup. Draw a black slit over your lips for the alien mouth.


Witch makeup is also very simple to apply. You will need green makeup, black makeup, a latex witch nose, (which you can find at a costume store) and facial glue. Apply the green makeup all over the face, including the lips. Line the lips with the black makeup to create a lipstick effect. Line the top eyelids with black makeup. Sparingly apply the facial glue to the nose area and glue the latex nose on.

Skeleton Head/Grim Reaper

Skeleton and grim reaper makeup is very similar. You will only need black makeup and white makeup to complete this look. Cover the entire face with white makeup, including the lips. Outline the top and bottom eyelids with the black makeup. Cover the tip of the nose with the black makeup. Draw rectangular boxes along the cheekbones to create a hallowed effect. Fill them in with black makeup. Finally, outline the lips with the black makeup to create a lipstick effect. Draw small lines on both the top and bottom of the lips to create a teeth effect.

Cat Makeup

Cat makeup is very easy. All that is needed is black eyeliner. Apply black eyeliner to the eyes with wings, to create a cat eye effect. Draw three thin lines on each side of the cheeks to create a whisker effect. Color the tip of your nose black. Meow.

Frankenstein Monster

To apply Frankenstein makeup, you will need green makeup and black makeup. Apply the green makeup all over the face, including the lips and the neck area. Line the top and bottom of the eyes with black makeup. Draw fake stitches on the cheeks and forehead area.

Rag Doll

Rag doll makeup places the emphasis on the eyes. You will need white Halloween makeup, red makeup and black eyeliner. Cover the entire face with white makeup, including the lips and the neck. Draw large, solid circles on the cheeks and fill them in with the red makeup. Draw a solid heart with the red makeup over the lips. With the black eyeliner, line the top and bottom of the eyelids heavily. Draw individual small lines on the top and bottom of the eyelids to create the long eyelashes effect.

Mehron 3-D Gel Special Effects

Mehron 3-D makeup is used to create a "popping" effect with the traditional costume makeup. This makeup is available in 3 colors including blood red, clear and flesh-tone. Mehron 3-D makeup is great for use with scars and flesh ripping.

Latex Textures

Latex texture makeup is very similar to the Mehron 3-D special effects makeup. It is used to create a multi-dimensional pallet, as opposed to the conventional flat costume makeup. Latex textures are applied with a sponge applicator and require time to dry. Latex textures are great for any Halloween costume, but work best with flesh tears and costumes that require special noses.

Halloween Makeup Resources: