Feeling the Halloween spirit, but not quite ready to fully dress up or go all out with a costume? Or are you begrudgingly heading to a Halloween event and really, really don’t want to dress up? Thanks to the power of makeup, you can quickly and (relatively) easily partake in the fun festivities without a full commitment to a character, outfit, or full-blown look. And chances are, you already have most of what you need in your makeup bag.
We spoke with beauty expert and professional makeup artist Nicole Gilani for her expert tips and tricks with plenty of inspo below of some of our favorite Halloween looks you can achieve with minimal makeup — and effort. Happy Halloween!
Meet the Experts
Nicole Gilani is a beauty expert and professional makeup artist.
Create your base
Before you put on anything, Gilani stresses the importance of starting with a good base or face primer and a long-wear eyelid primer for a fresh, clean slate that will help your look stick.
As a pro makeup artist that specializes in bridal looks, Gilani has the know-how to make your look last all day. “I always use products that are long wearing so that your hard work doesn’t go to waste.”
Keep it simple
Scouring social media can be super fun and exciting, but it’s also all too easy to get carried away with more complicated makeup looks that may be hard to achieve. Nicole says, “Remember, the more details in the design, the harder it could be to recreate, so keep it simple!”
She adds, “Black eyeliner can be used to create most of these designs.” Depending on your skill level and preference, she says an eye liner pencil can be used for larger areas (like a cat nose), and a liquid liner with a felt tip or brush with a gel or cream eyeliner is great for any smaller, thinner details such as spider web eyes, or even a ghost.
Break out the glitter and color
Adding a bit of sparkle or embellishments like stickers, rhinestones, or stars to your look can really elevate it. Especially when it comes to glitter, Nicole recommends working from the cap of the product instead of the actual product tube or container itself. She explains, “ This helps so that you don’t pick up too much product and then it winds up everywhere except where you wanted to place it.”
If applying to the face, Nicole recommends using your ring finger or pointer finger to place it and gently press the product where you want it. If on the eyes, “you can also use a flat, dense concealer brush to press the glitter onto the eyelid.” She also recommends that when you’re using glitter, do the rest of your eye makeup first, then the glitter, and then your face makeup to avoid being covered in glitter. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, of course.
It’s also the perfect time to break out makeup colors you don’t normally use in your everyday look. Think: bright greens, vibrant violets, and pigmented yellows.
Minimalist Halloween makeup inspo
With this eye makeup look, you can pretty much wear whatever you want, yet your eyes will get all the attention. A small white ghost painted beneath the brow is an adorable little nod to the holiday, and it pairs perfectly with winged eyeliner. You can do one side or both, depending on how spooky your vibes are! All you need is a liquid black eyeliner with a fine point tip and a white liner pencil to fill in your ghost design.
Creepy crawly spiders and their webs are Halloween staples. Drawing on a web effect below the eye area. You can dress it up by adding rhinestones or glitter, or keep it simple in flat black. If you’re feeling “extra” add some tiny spiders on your face for a freaky effect. And pair it with a vampy, glossy plum lip like shown.
This minimalist version of Pennywise the clown from the hit Halloween horror movie is perfection. You can recreate this look with a classic red lipstick by creating a bold red lip with vertical lines leading up toward the eyes. Finish the look with a dot on the tip of your nose and blending a little on your lids (making sure not to get lipstick in your eye), and you’ll be ready to terrorize young children everywhere.
There’s a time and a place for strategic placement of covert undereye concealer. But Halloween simply calls for more. This colorful trend on TikTok not only doubles as a Halloween look but it illuminates dark undereye circles in swirly, rainbow blend of color. You don’t necessarily need every color of the rainbow to pull this off, but use the pastels that you have (cream shadows are preferable for more color payoff) and use different shadow brushes with each new color to make sure it creates a smooth gradient.
We’re literally starry eyed for this cool constellation look. All you need is a white or pale pink liner to create your design and a small blending brush to create the glowy effect. Add a touch of silver shimmer to your lids and a few strategic face gems to add extra sparkle to your look.
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