8 Halloween make-up ideas for spooky season

We all need a bit of escapism, and Halloween provides the perfect opportunity.


Fairy queens, Day of the Dead, and Zombie Barbies — use these trending Halloween makeup ideas to get your creative juices flowing for the big night.

Skulls and skeletons

Haunted Hamlet, sugar-coated, or crystal appliquéd à la Alexander McQueen — the skull is one of Halloween’s most vampishly versatile looks. Our favourite? Day of the Dead. Every time.

Face: skin tone base, black painted nose.
Lips: black, pink or red, with vertical lines in white or black for a ‘stitched’ mouth effect.
Eyes: hollowed eye sockets, dotted around the outer edges with liquid liner. Apply several coats of mascara to capture that eye pop.
Nails: skeletal decals.
Hair: slicked back or tumble-down curls.

Killer Disney

Disney has brought to life some of the world’s most infamous villains: Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Ursula (Little Mermaid), Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians). But when cute becomes deadly, it’s darkly disturbing. Think about best loved characters, rewired with a blood-thirsty, split-personality twist.

Face: white base, with dalmatian spots dabbed in black.
Lips: Goth purple, lined in black.
Eyes: one black, one dalmatian spotted, and accented with green-with-envy liner.
Nails: smeared in black and white with splashes of blood red.
Hair: sprayed white and black (spotted if you have time), and backcombed.

Zombie Barbie

Watch out trick or treaters, when this cutie’s infected by a zombie virus, she gives a nasty bite.

Face: skin tone base, with hairline cracks applied using liquid liner. 
Lips: crimson red.
Eyes: accentuated with liner and mascara, sockets hollowed using shadow and paint. Incorporate white, blood-shot contact lenses for the freakiest finish.
Nails: white and cracked, or ant decals.
Hair: big and blow-dried.


Fairy makeup tutorials are trending on Tik Tok right now, making the good fairy a popular choice for Halloween. After all, the best costumes don’t always need to be scary.

Face: airbrushed pastel base across the nose and eyes, and flushed pink cheeks freckled with sparkles applied using a highlighter or white liquid liner.
Lips: rose pink and glossy.
Eyes: pink to skin tone, pastel falsies, and feathered brows.
Nails: fairy dust.
Hair: styled for the red carpet, accessorised with diamantes or pearls, sprayed with glitter, and crowned with a tiara.


Recreate the exuberant spirit immortalised by Jack Nicholson in four easy colours.

Face: white base.
Lips: black.
Eyes: black shaded sockets, lids brushed lime green with black and white zebra-striped detailing, and thick black false lashes that frame the eye. Shade under the eyes with deep purple eye shadow, and apply lime green mascara to the lower lashes for a Beetlejuice flourish.
Nails: lime green.
Hair: backcombed in rambunctious spikes.


Hit musical Wicked is a one-stop-shop for all things witchy. We’re fans of green-skinned Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, but if you want to go all out, why not follow the premise that there’s two sides to every story, and split your makeup down the centre of the face: good witch on one side, bad on the other.

Face: green base with darkly contoured cheekbones and a black web across the neck and collarbone, drawn on with liquid liner.
Lips: mossy green with a satin finish.
Eyes: highlighted with ivory cream, and framed with black liner and mascara.
Nails: all out talons, accessorised with bat wings and chains.
Hair: sprayed green and finished with glitter.

Warped children’s fantasies

From Hansel and Gretel to Wonderland, Lord of the Rings to Stranger Things, literature is a limitless well of gothic and gruesome inspiration. Embrace the story and turn up the darkness.

Face: skin tone base, with flushed pink cheeks.
Lips: white, with a blood red heart at the centre.
Eyes: turquoise shadow, and red liner.
Nails: playing card suits: clubs, spades, diamonds and, of course, hearts.
Hair: up or down, and electric in fiery red.

The Joker

When Heath Ledger took on his final role as the Joker, he ramped up the fiendishness to a terrifying crescendo. Recreate the look.

Face: white base.
Lips: red and elongated for a bloody smile.
Eyes: the Joker is all about the eyes, so deep black sockets, intensified with liquid liner that wings up towards the brows. Use mascara to widen the eyes.
Nails: white, with black cracked decals.
Hair: green and backcombed for a spine-tingling finish.



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