Did that infamous last day in October arrive before you could pack up your summer wardrobe? Whether you need to throw together a Halloween costume for your office’s impromptu celebration, you are struggling to flex your creative muscles and come up with a clever idea or you want to take your already brilliant plan to the next level, makeup is an easy-peasy solution. When you use a variety of textures and colors to transform yourself into everything from a unicorn and a cat to a deer, you give the impression that you put in effort, even if you whipped on a face last-minute. For spooky and spectacular looks alike, take these pro tips from makeup artists who share the simplest—and yet most alluring—Halloween makeup designs you can totally pull off in ten minutes or less.
In case you’re wondering, there’s no shame and no limit to how many times you can be a cat for Halloween. As the easiest of all makeup looks, it’s a no-brainer way to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve without stressing. Put on a black dress, a black leotard or just cat ears with a black tank and jeans to become a frightening feline.
Step 1: Alexis Ferro, lead trainer at Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge, says to apply makeup as you do daily, but skipping the contouring and bronzing, so your eyes can truly be the focal point of appearance. Instead, use that contour shade merely on the crease of your eye.
Step 2: Ferro explains you’ll want a liquid eyeliner that has staying power, like Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – Intense Black. You also want to lean on the edge of imperfection instead of being precise. After all, cats are unpredictable animals. “Make your eyeliner winged out at the end to give a cat-like effect,” she explains. “Then make the liner pointed in the inner corner of your eye. Line the bottom lash line with a black pencil liner and smudge it so it isn’t perfect.”
Step 3: Pile on fake lashes to emphasize your eyes even more, or add a little bit of sparkle with a glitter eyeshadow, like Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow.
Step 4: To finish, use an eye pencil or liquid liner to paint on a nose and a few whiskers on each cheek. Just a pair of cat ears on your head, a dark, vampy lip and you’re ready to purr-ty!
Eloquent yet eccentric, to transform into a poised woodland creature, all you need is a brown dress, a faux-fur jacket and a little makeup. Especially if you need to remain professional in a work environment, this Halloween style can be one you can exercise over the years.
Step 1: Since deer are known for their doe eyes, much of the attention for this makeup look is above your nose. Licensed cosmetologist Lexington Hartman says to begin with a warm-toned brown eyeshadow that encompasses your lid. She suggests a nice variety in autumn colors that will last you far beyond Halloween, like Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette. For extra sparkle, layer Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Smoky Storm on top.
Step 2: Though the name may suggest differently, Hartman explains that many palettes can be used to highlight other features, like your cheekbones. As a twist on contouring, a few swipes in pointed places can go a long way in your deer transformation. “Using the same palette, heavily contour your cheeks, forehead and nose. You want to sell the illusion that your face is long and narrow like a deer,” she says.
Step 3: For the finishing touches, used the darkest black shade from your palette to carefully draw a deer’s nose. Then, using a white eyeliner, give yourself a few freckles on your cheekbones and forehead. Hartman recommends Blinc Eyeliner Pencil in White for easy, smudge-proof doodling.
Step 4: For the lips, choose an oxblood-colored liquid lippie with a matte finish, like Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist™ Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Hangry
With a quick sweep of your local discount market, you can pick up a tutu and a green tank to effortlessly become Peter Pan’s sidekick, Tinkerbell. Hartman says the makeup look for this whimsical boss lady is just as straightforward.
Step 1: Hartman says to take a lime-green eyeshadow and cover your entire eyelid, matching your peepers to your get-up. For a trusted brand that won’t break out sensitive skin, Hartman opts for Face Stockholm Eye Dust in the shade ‘Purpose.’
Step 2: What fairy is complete without a little glam? For the next step, apply gold glitter to the top of your eyeshadow and pat it with your fingers to make it stick. “You can also use glitter on your cheekbones for an extra pop of sparkle,” Hartman adds. If using actual glitters seem a little too messy for you, stock up on Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Diamond Dust so you can reapply with ease as you twirl through the evening. To make your eyes pop even more, Hartman suggests applying a thick layer of mascara, like Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara.
Step 3: For that ethereal, out-of-this-world, lit-from-within glow, apply highlighter (more than you normally would) on your cheeks, nose and forehead.
Ferro says unicorn makeup is a timeless, ageless look that pulls out your natural beauty with colorful accents and of course, glitter! Once you find a rainbow adult onesie or an all-white dress, adding a few accents to your makeup is the only step left in your whimsical transformation.
Step 1: After doing your makeup as you normally would, Ferro says to add fun colors to your eyes, like violet, pink or green. But don’t just apply in a frenzy: “Start with the lightest color in the crease and use the darker colors closer to your lash line,” she explains. For a bright palette choice, try Manna Kadar Cosmetics in ‘Get Gorgeous.’
Step 2: As if you ever needed permission to play with false lashes, a unicorn Halloween makeover is the ideal one. Ferro says this adds some glam to your unicorn, especially when you get creative with out-of-the-ordinary pairs, like these pink Fantasy lashes from Pop Beauty.
Step 3: To give your lips a little love, use a light-colored pink lipstick like Lipstick Queen Saint Hot Rose that goes on vibrantly and helps create dimension in your face.
Step 4: Last but not least: glitter everywhere. You know the drill.