Halloween is approaching fast, and it'll be the perfect time to let your creative juices flow. Transforming into a completely different character or creature will call for face paints and makeup, and if that isn't your area of expertise, you can use all of the help you can get. Halloween makeup hacks are a godsend when you want to invest minimal time and money into a costume that is nothing short of amazing.
As convenient as it is to buy the accessories you need to make your costume a winner, it's not always necessary. You can easily DIY special effects makeup yourself, considering you probably already have everything you need to try Halloween hacks using household items. And as an added bonus, getting your Martha Stewart on will save you money when you opt for cheap Halloween makeup to create your costume's look.
It all sounds like a chore, but with the right pro tips, your special effects won't require a ton of effort. You just may even surprise yourself with the killer makeup looks you can do using unusual products and spare materials. These weird Halloween makeup tricks straight from a pro artist's handbook will get you one step closer to the costume of your dreams — or spooky nightmares!
1. Create Falsies With Paper
A pair of dramatic falsies may be just what you need to spice up your costume, but that doesn't mean you have to buy them. In fact, you can make your own strip lashes out of the most unexpected materials, such as shredded garbage bags and strips of paper, Gita Bass, a celebrity makeup artist and Simple Skincare advisory board member, says in an email to Bustle.
"It all depends on what you have lying around the house and what look you are going for," she says. "Personally, I like to embellish an already made strip by gluing on the additions using eyelash glue." If you want to start completely from scratch, Bass recommends using a strip of cardboard as your base and adding "lashes" in whatever material you'd like, from feathers to tinsel.
2. Use Liquid Lipstick As Face Paints
As strange as it may sound, you don't have to restrict yourself to only using lipstick on your pout. In fact, lipstick can come in handy when your costume requires a full facial transformation. "Liquid matte lipsticks are great for longevity and can be used as face paint", Joel Canales, Director of Artistry and Training for Hourglass Cosmetics, tells Bustle. "There are no rules and the benefit is that you can wash it all off with soap and water afterwards".
Liquid lippies come in a range of shades from stark white to neon pink, so you're guaranteed to find a color that will fit your costuming needs. You can always get creative by purchasing basic black, along with the primary colors, and mix your liquid lipsticks together to make unique face paint colors. It's safe to do for Halloween and all year — MUAs like beauty blogger NikkieTutorials have used this trick to create full faces using liquid lippies.
3. Add Strawberry Jam To Fake Blood Mixtures
The more realistic your fake blood is, the spookier your getup will be! Strawberry jam is a great household ingredient you probably wouldn't think could bring your bloody makeup to life. "If you want to thicken your blood so that it appears more like a scab, you can add a scoop of strawberry jam to the mix, and the best part is it’s totally edible," Disney Style Makeup Artist Laurie Hallak tells Bustle via email. "So if you need to use it around the mouth area it’s not only safe, but also tasty."
You could easily buy fake blood from any costume store too, but making your own is totally doable. Hallak's favorite faux blood is a combination of Karo Corn Syrup, strawberry jelly, and red food coloring. But jelly isn't the only thing you can use to make your mixture delicious. Check out Chowhound's video for making edible fake blood.
4. Turn Eyeshadow Into Custom Lip Colors
Your costume could call for a fun and unusual lip color that you may not already own. And you probably wouldn't want to purchase a green or blue lipstick that you'll only wear once (although you could totally rock an off-beat lippie all year round). You could always make your own custom lipstick just for the night.
"A great way to DIY a unique lip color is to use a little loose eyeshadow mixed with a clear gloss to make the shade you desire," says Hallak. With this trick, you won't have to worry about wasting money on a color you don't see yourself wearing beyond Halloween.
5. Fishnet Stockings Make Realistic Fish Scales
You couldn't be a true mermaid without glittering scales. Pulling fishnet stockings tightly over your face may sound weird, but according to the pros, they make the best stencils for dusting on fish scales. Gita Bass recommends applying shimmery shadows over fishnets using a beauty sponge.
"Change colors in sections and mix greens, blues, silvers, pinks, and purples for a rainbow fish scaled effect," she says. Then, finish the look by spritzing water over your shadows to make them really gleam. With this pro hack, you'll give the Little Mermaid a run for her money!
6. Use Tissue For 3D Effects
You probably wouldn't think to incorporate toilet paper into your costume (unless you were dressing up as a mummy, of course), but it's the key to forming raised wounds. For peeling zombie skin, Bass says single-ply toilet paper and clear eyelash glue can transform your skin into rotting flesh.
Layer the glue and tissue until you've achieved your desired effect, and blend the mixture into your skin. Once it has dried, Bass suggests adding white makeup over your toilet paper lacerations to give them a cohesive look. "I've mixed bleached flour with my powder when it wasn't white enough, or added red shadow or lipstick for a bloodier effect," she adds.
7. Create Wounds With Red Lipstick
"A fun way to make wounds or lacerations is to take some red lipstick and a makeup sponge and stipple the red to look like the inflammation of your wound," says Hallak. "Add a little bit of black eye shadow or cream liner right in the center to give the appearance of some depth to the wound." Drip a little more fake blood from your streaks of lipstick and you could be oozing from head to toe this year.
8. Make Realistic Freckles With Thin Liners
If your costume calls for freckles, cream eyeliner and brow pencils can be used to create them. With a light touch, dot on as many as you'd like in a natural shade like medium or dark brown. You can definitely get dramatic, but opting for a color that is a few shades darker than your skin tone will ensure your look is authentic.
To take your faux freckles to the next level, Hallak has her own special pro tip. "Powder over them lightly and it will make them appear as though they are under the skin and not painted on," she mentions.
9. Use Thread For Faux Veins
If you want to up the ante on your spook factor, creepy crawly veins may be just what you need to add to your costume. Bass recommends thread as one of the best materials for creating popping veins. Red and purple are your go-to colors to make them look authentic. "You just take a thin brush and apply clear eyelash glue in squiggly lines on the face and place the thread over the top," explains Bass. And there you have it!
As you put some of these pro makeup hacks to use, you just may turn your body into a walking arts and crafts project this Halloween. But all of your efforts are guaranteed to pay off when you hit the town in your best costume ever.