With the right products and tools, there are so many creepy and crazy Halloween looks that you can create. But whether you've never tried your hand with special effects products, or just waited until the last minute to choose your costume, there are still ways to achieve special-effects Halloween looks with makeup you probably already own. Because even though I always think it would be cool to become more comfortable with molding scar wax and slinging around scab blood, I just don't use SFX makeup enough (or decide on my Halloween costume early enough) to try to incorporate it into my Halloween looks.
Everyday makeup though, is something I already have. Plus, I love me some multi-taskers. And after a number of Halloweens trying to get by with products I already own, I've learned what great substitutes some of the makeup I use every day make for the SFX products I simply don't have. You may even be surprised how well some of the products you own can be repurposed to help you look like a zombie or achieve other creepy Halloween makeup. So you can make do with what you already have, here are nine products that make great last-minute substitutes for SFX makeup:
1. Lash Glue
You might be surprised just how much lash glue can help you achieve in the way of Halloween makeup. Instead of Spirit Gum or liquid latex, you can use lash glue to stick things like string or rhinestones to your face. Also, instead of liquid latex or scar wax, lash glue can offer texture for wounds and scars. Apply a thin layer, wait for it to dry, and tear a hole in it like you would liquid latex to create the illusion of an open wound. Or, create thicker lines and wait for them to dry to fake the appearance of raised scars. The right shading around either of these approaches will complete the look.
2. Lip Gloss
If you don't want to deal with messy, fake blood, try opaque lip gloss instead. Shades of red and purple are great for applying as-is or even mixing together to achieve your ideal, bloody-wound effect. So you don't have to touch the same wand you put on your lips to fake wounds all over your face, try using a cotton swab, cosmetic spatula, or disposable lip gloss wands instead.
3. Gel/Liquid Liner
Black cream color and body paint are basically staples for any Halloween makeup look. But black gel or liquid eyeliner also works in a pinch. If your gel eyeliner isn't as creamy as it once was, try adding eyedrops or a transforming liquid like Duraline to get the consistency you need to paint your face.
4. Petroleum Jelly
Vaseline is great as a mixing medium or even used alone to provide a variety of effects. Alone, it can give the shiny appearance of tears. Mixed with a red or yellow pigment, it can pass as fresh blood or pus. Yum.
5. Liquid Lipstick
A red liquid lipstick will perfectly imitate dried blood, while other colors can step in for cream colors or body paint. As with the lip gloss though, if you want to keep your tubes as sanitary as possible, try using a cotton swab, cosmetic spatula, or disposable lip gloss wands to apply your liquid lipstick on other areas of your face.
Many Halloween looks require a pale or even white complexion. But if you don't have a series of cream-color bases on hand, a foundation that is a few shades lighter than your complexion, or a white foundation mix will work perfectly instead.
7. Washable Stick Glue
OK not exactly makeup, but chances are you probably have a glue stick handy, and these work great in place of Mortician's Wax for concealing eyebrows. All you have to do is run a washable glue stick over your brows, and apply a full-coverage concealer to block out your brows. E-Z.
8. Powder Eyeshadow/Pigments
Although it can take a bit longer to build up powder color than cream color, the right shades of eyeshadow can help you create a variety of looks and effects. Bruising or even scars can be made with eyeshadow instead of body paints and scar wax.
9. Cream Eyeshadow
Don't worry if you don't have flash palettes or color wheels to paint your face for Halloween. Cream eyeshadow pencils work in a pinch. If you have white, black, red, blue, and yellow pencils, you can create any color you might need for any look you desire.
Images: Miki Hayes (1); Courtesy of Brands