8 Gorgeous Makeup Ideas for Halloween 2017

Some things you grow out of over time, like all-nighters and microwavable mac 'n cheese. (...for some of us, at least.) But Halloween is a different story; this fall holiday is for everyone. It just looks a little different when you're an adult — think a little less trick-or-treating and a little more Halloween parties, and haunted houses. (We're not crazy: Candy is still fair game on Halloween no matter how old you are.) And then there's the costume. There's no better reason to experiment with your hair and makeup than when you're transforming yourself into another character for the night.

Halloween is the time to put your beauty skills to the test and DIYing your own look. There are no rules, so you're not only allowed, but actually kind of encouraged, to go wild. Use a shadow palette all over your face or kelp-colored liner to free your inner mermaid. Turn your hair purple! Be a witch with insane contouring skills! The sky's the limit if you want makeup worthy of both a double take and a double tap. Plus, you'd might as well as put your beauty stash to good use. So what better night to go all out? To give you a head-start, we've partnered with Target Beauty to bring you the coolest beauty ideas for this Halloween. They're so good — and easy — that it's scary.


Fish out of water! Pair long mermaid hair with colorful makeup inspired by the ocean. First, dust an iridescent or holographic turquoise shadow onto your lids. Then, line your eyes with a shimmery pencil in a seaweed-inspired shade, like Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Glossy Emerald. Use a small brush to smudge it in. Finally, pile on black or blue mascara.

Shop multicolor eyeliner.


Blood-red lips are kind of a no-brainer for a classic vampire look. First, apply foundation, concealer, and some black-gray eyeshadow for a dark, sultry look. Then, line your lips with a deep red lipliner and layer on NYX Professional Makeup Liquid Suede Lipstick in Cherry Skies, or something similar. Finish by taking a makeup brush and sweeping some of the color down your chin to complete your blood-sucking costume.

Shop red lipstick.


Do some serious witchcraft on your bone structure for this costume. (It's a way better alternative to wearing green makeup, which can take a decade to scrub off.) After you apply your foundation, follow it up with palette such as e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Turks & Caicos. Dust the bronzer across the hollows of your cheeks, up around your hairline, along your jawline, and then down the sides of your nose. Blending the powder is just as important now as it is when you aren't a witch, but do multiple rounds of contouring to get an exaggeratedly sculpted (witchy) look.

Shop bronzer and blush.


Forget the ears. No feline would be complete without a cat nose and whiskers. First, use a black eyeliner, like NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Eyeliner, and draw a "v" shape on the very tip of your nose. Then extend a line down to your cupids bow. The felt-tip pen guarantees a smooth, even line, and the formula won't budge. Then, fill in your top lip with black lipstick and dot your felt-tip pen against your cheeks to get the perfect whisker spots.

Shop black eyeliner.


Make your own makeup magic with highlighter. A champagne shade (think e.l.f. Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls) works well on most skin tones and creates an ethereal glow. Use a damp brush or blending sponge (the moisture will intensify the effect — a must for Halloween) to apply the shimmer to your cheekbones, brow bones, the inner corners of your eyes, and on your cupid's bow. Then, sweep it with a dry brush onto the lids for an unreal glow.

Shop highlighter.


If a fake horn in the center of your forehead just isn't happening, channel your inner mythical mare with pastel hair. A cool, lavender tone has a magical quality to it (try L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Purple). Or, mix it up with several pale shades. Don't worry, mom — it washes out in four to eight shampoos. Pair it with a rainbow of makeup for an otherworldly look.

Shop temporary hair color.


A superhero doesn't have time for a ton of makeup (too busy saving the world and whatnot), but false lashes are an exception. Take your flutter to cartoonish proportions by applying strips like Sonia Kashuk Faux Real Eyelash Book lashes. Draw on eyeliner to make them look natural and hide any glue, and then finish off your look with a coat or two of mascara. Add a cape, and you're good to go.

Shop false lashes.


Might as well capitalize on the movie of the year. First, apply red lipstick to the center of your lips. Then, choose a few bold colors from an eyeshadow palette (try the blue, orange, or pink tones from NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in Brights) and sweep them onto your eyes. Finally, apply some red shadow to your cheeks, and you're ready to make them laugh.

Shop colorful eyeshadow.

This post is sponsored by Target Beauty.

Design: Dana Leonetti/Bustle