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Put on a Spooky Face with these Halloween Makeup Tips

Put on a Spooky Face with these Halloween Makeup Tips

Treat yourself to Easy Halloween Makeup Tricks

In another life, I was a professional actor. After college, I went to graduate school, where I received classical theatre training. Theatre training sounds stuffy and boring, but it teaches actors how to move, speak, analyze text, and…apply make up! While film and TV thespians rely on makeup artists to transform their faces, theatre actors are on their own.

Reflection of white woman in a mirror with red hair and freckles applying foundation powder with makeup brush

Stage actors learn how to use color and contour with a set’s lighting to create different effects — like appearing elderly, wounded, disfigured, or fantastical in some way. In fact, most of the make-up tricks that are all the rage today — thanks to the Kardashians, Instagram, and RuPaul’s Drag Race — have their origins in the theatre! Check out these make up tricks and see what Halloween costume ideas you can scare up.

Age Makeup

Aging yourself with makeup is super easy, although it might be a little traumatizing to see what your face will look like in thirty years. The trick is to replicate with makeup what time and gravity do to your appearance; for example, wrinkles appear deeper, and skin looks sunken and sagging.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Foundation
  • Contour Cream in Dark, Medium, and Light
  • Makeup Wedges
  • Flat Brush
  • Angle Brush
  • Translucent Powder
  • Setting Spray

What to Do:

  1. Apply foundation — go for a full coverage foundation, like stick or cream
  2. Add contour in medium under cheekbones, above the browbone, and at the temples
  3. Add light contour to the forehead, the cheekbones, and the jawline
  4. Add dark contour mid-cheek and just below the jawline for a nice jowly look
  5. Raise your eyebrows and use the angled brush to draw precise forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet with the medium contour; frown and do the same thing around the mouth, along the nose, and under the eyes
  6. Use the flat blush and add light contour underneath the wrinkle lines you’ve drawn, then blend down
  7. Set your newly haggard face with translucent powder

You’re old! You can gray your eyebrows with baby powder or add age spots to look even older. Great costumes to pair with age makeup? A witch (add a hint of green to your powder), Bernie Sanders at the 2021 Inauguration, or your favorite Golden Girl (#TeamDorothy). Keep your contour palettes at the ready with mDesign’s Divided Makeup Organizer.

White plastic divided cosmetic organizer on granite marble vanity countertop storing makeup pallets vertically

Mermaid Makeup

Mermaid makeup is an easy way to transform into an ethereal amphibian-like character.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Foundation
  • Pair of Old Fishnet Stockings
  • 2 Stippling Brushes
  • Contour Brush
  • Loose Powder Eye Shadows
  • Eye Shadow Palette
  • Setting Spray

What to Do:

  1. Apply foundation — medium to full coverage, depending on your preference
  2. Contour hairline, jawline, and cheeks in darker shades of Blue/Green or Purple from your eyeshadow palette
  3. Pull fishnets over your face as if you were a really inept bank robber. With the stippling brush, use the fishnets like a stencil and stipple the loose powder eye shadow in a lighter, complementary color, stopping about an inch outside of your features. Iridescent, high pigment loose eyeshadow adds oomph to this ombre look
  4. Carefully remove fishnets and set your scales with spray

Now you’ve got the beginning of any number of cool Halloween costumes. Add eyeliner, lashes, and face jewels for a glamorous mermaid/merman. Let Shakespeare inspire you and use this trick to transform into Caliban from The Tempest or Peaseblossom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Don a blue bodysuit and, voilà, you’re Mystique from the X-Men movie franchise. You can also use this trick for dragon, snake, and alien costumes. mDesign’s Large Plastic Makeup Caddy lets you create the perfect Halloween transformation station — its compartments are deep enough to hold loose powder eye shadow vials and wide enough for small-to-medium eye shadow palettes.

Clear plastic cosmetic storage tote on white background containing makeup eyeshadow pallets

Horror Movie Person

Horror Movie Person is a great costume if you’re on a budget. All you need to look like you’re being chased by a hockey mask-wearing, machete-wielding maniac are your own clothes and the makeup trick below.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Foundation
  • Non-Toxic Glue
  • Tissue or Toilet Paper
  • Scissors
  • Face Paint or Cream Eye Shadow
  • Setting Spray
  • Brushes

What to Do:

  1. Use a brush to apply glue to the area of skin you’d like your fake wound
  2. Apply tissue and let dry for a minute. Repeat the process two or three more times if you’d like a deeper, gorier wound
  3. Flatten your wound’s edges by painting them down with a thin layer of glue. Once the glue gets tacky to the touch, apply foundation around the edges
  4. Cut or tear a jagged line (stab wound) or circle (zombie bite) in the center of the tissue paper
  5. Dab face paint or eyeshadow around the wound — use purples, grays, and black for bruises
  6. Dab dark, deep red in the heart of the gash (lipstick works, too)
  7. Set with spray

You can add a trickle of fake blood or, if you really want to go all out, flick a toothbrush dipped in fake blood for a spookily realistic blood splatter. Where you place the wound decides the costume. A forehead wound paired with pale makeup gives total zombie vibes; while a gash on the neck and a casual outfit of jeans and a t-shirt is perfect for a classic horror movie victim. Don’t forget to wash your brushes as soon as you’re done, so the glue doesn’t harden. Storing brushes is easy with mDesign’s 3 Section Makeup Brush Holder. It’s compact enough to maximize storage on your vanity or makeup table, but it still has enough room to hold your glue and scissors, too.

Black plastic cosmetic organizer on marble countertop with 3 round compartments containing makeup brushes and eyeliner pencils

Hope these makeup tricks are just the start of a treat-filled Halloween!

Airtight canisters stacked against kitchen tiled wall containing candy surrounded by Halloween decorations



Lisa Langford is the Senior Copywriter at mDesign

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Sep 29th 2021

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