The best part? You can achieve most of these Halloween makeup looks with what’s already in your makeup bag, plus a few small additions.

By Heather Muir Maffei
Updated September 16, 2020
Credit: Getty Images

Most people take one of two routes when Halloween rolls around: Some spend hours (or even days) on DIY Halloween costumes and elaborate Halloween makeup, while the other group might muster up the energy for some easy Halloween costumes but little more. Fortunately for holiday and Halloween procrastinators everywhere, there’s a middle ground: clever Halloween makeup ideas.

Sure, your Halloween costume could be less than stellar, but if you put on a face of great Halloween makeup, you’ll look as good as someone who spent days (or a lot of money) on a fancy costume. Best of all, some Halloween makeup ideas—especially these—are actually almost easy. You don’t need too many supplies outside what you probably already have in your makeup bag, and if you have a steady hand, you can be done with your Halloween makeup within an hour or so—that leaves plenty of time for some Halloween cocktails before you have to head out.

If you’re more interested in decorating your face this Halloween or you want some great cat or fairy makeup to dress up your costume, look no further than these Halloween makeup ideas. Our step-by-step guides and tutorials will walk you through how to do these makeup ideas so you can perfect your look and get to celebrating (even if it’s just on a video chat) sooner.

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Halloween makeup ideas and video guides


You’ll be the pick of the litter with our wild cat how-to makeup video. What you’ll need: red lipstick, black eyeliner, and a broomstick (check the garage) for the most purrrfect-looking whiskers ever.


On the hunt for a hit couple’s costume? This feminine twist on The Joker pairs perfectly with Batman (cute for your partner or your kid). Pull out red lip liner and purple eyeshadow to ace this artsy villain look.


Friends and strangers alike will geek out over this intricate yet easy futuristic face. The secret to pulling this Halloween makeup idea off: a few clock gears you can pick up at a craft store.


An edgier version of last year’s Elsa, this dark fairy comes together quickly (you know, for when you totally forgot your kid’s parade is today). Throw on black clothes and toss your hair into a bun then follow these simple steps to nail the grunge makeup #goals.

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