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Halloween looks start with makeup

October 25, 2009|Melissa Magsaysay

For some women, Halloween may be an opportunity to show some skin as a sexy nurse, cat or cowgirl, but for those intrigued by the more creative possibilities, a costume can come together with just a little inspiration and a makeup kit. Anchoring your idea with makeup will take the pressure off finding the right garment and make for an impressive addition to even the most simple costume concept.

MAC senior makeup artist John Stapleton and MAC makeup artist Jae-R Tuason gave us a step-by-step lesson on how to get an attention-grabbing face for Halloween. Whether you're planning to be a reptilian sea creature or a pop star, it's the makeup that makes these costumes impressive, no matter what the clothing.

Look 1: Sea Creature

Stapleton used several colors of eye shadow and a pair of fishnet stockings to get this aquatic effect.

Step 1: Lighten the skin with foundation a few shades lighter than your natural skin color. Highlight the high planes of the face -- cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, top of the lip, chin and eyelids -- with a shimmery white highlighter. Go back over the same areas with an aquatic color, such as the glittery green eye shadow Stapleton used, Juxt from MAC.

Step 2: Contour the face with a deeper, still shimmery color, in the hollows of the cheek, down the sides of the nose, the crease of the eye, hairline and jawline. Add another contouring color, such as a dark blue, lightly into the same areas to accentuate the contours even more. Don't worry about covering all your skin. Stapleton says that having the skin show through the colors in some areas adds more depth. Blend the highlights, contours and colors slightly so the strokes aren't too choppy. Stapleton added a white highlighter with a gold sheen on the forehead, cheeks and nose to help blend the colors and add more sheen.

Step 3: Apply a generous amount of eyelash primer to the lashes. Start flocking the eyelashes with one of the green eye shadows until the lashes take on the color. Stapleton adds that this can also be done to false lashes if you want a more intense eye. Do this same flocking technique to the eyebrows by stroking lash primer into the brows and then applying green eye shadow.

Step 4: Cut a pair of fishnet tights to create an area that slides easily over the face. With a firm brush, dab a dark blue or green shadow over the entire face for a fish-scale effect. "This makes her look like something between reptile and mermaid," Stapleton says of the texture. Highlight some of the "scales" with a light dust of glitter so that they are more defined.

Step 5: Line the lips with a magenta lip pencil and fill in with an iridescent violet eye shadow. Brush the same violet shadow across the apples of the cheeks. Finally, finish the look by popping a blue-tinted highlighter or shadow on the same areas where you initially applied the highlighter.

Look 2:

Lady Gaga Poker Face

Step 1: Start with a clean and even canvas achieved by using your everyday concealer and foundation. Tuason stresses the importance of having highly hydrated skin for smoother application.

Step 2: Cut a piece of paper in the shape of a playing card to fit the area where you plan to draw the shape. Hold the stencil over one eye and mark the corners with a white eyeliner pencil. Connect the corners by drawing in the line of the card. Tuason recommends coating a small angled brush with the white eyeliner to do this for a more crisp line. Fill in the card with a white eye-shadow base. Go over the base with a matte white eye shadow, and then again with a shimmery white eye shadow. "The three different layers of white give the card more depth rather than the flat effect of just white makeup," Tuason says. Define the edges of the card by lightly lining it with a black gel or cream eyeliner. Tuason stresses that you don't have to line the entire card perfectly, but rather just the corners and a bit down the sides. Trace over the eyeliner with a matte black eye shadow to intensify the line.

Step 3: Draw the hearts on the card with a red lip-liner pencil. Fill in the hearts with a red eye shadow and a few dabs of a bright fuchsia to add depth to the color. Outline each heart with the black gel eyeliner and again with the black eyeliner. Draw in the A's in the same black gel eyeliner. "The card should have a 3-D effect, as if it's really sitting on the face," Tuason says.

Step 4: Tuason flushed the cheeks with an intense vibrant pink blush called "Dollymix." He focused on the apple of the cheek, with a little peeking out from "underneath" the card on the other cheek.

Step 5: "Erase" the entire lip with MAC Lip Erase or a concealer. Go over the lips with a pressed powder. Take the same red lip pencil used to make the hearts in the card and create a kewpie doll-style lip, using the natural peaks of the top lip and drawing in the rest like a heart toward the bottom lip. Fill in the shape with a heavily pigmented red lip stain.

Step 6: Create a smoky look on the eye opposite the playing card. Using the black gel eyeliner, drag the liner across the top eyelid and under the bottom lash line. Brush a soft brown eye shadow into the crease of the eye. Apply a heavy mascara or false lash. On the eye with the card, brush an eye lash primer to "white out" the lashes so they blend in with the card, creating even more of a contrast with the other eye.


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