Making Halloween Picture Perfect
You don't have to be an award-winning special effects designer or an influencer makeup artist to be able to create some delightfully convincing Halloween looks using face paint. While there's definitely an art to applying Halloween face paint, practicing a few of the fundamentals will give you the tools you need to manifest dozens of haunting guises and spooky silhouettes. Invest some time in mastering these techniques, and you're sure to win whatever costume contest you enter this year.
Antique porcelain dolls inspire a certain visceral feeling of fear in most people, and you can translate that innate sense of wariness into your Halloween look. Creating that perfect bisque doll appearance requires only a few items from your makeup bag. Try to coat your face in the lightest matte face paint or liquid foundation you can find, and make sure to set it with some setting powder to abate some of the typical liquid shine. From there, it's as easy as drawing dark cracked lines across your face with eyeliner or a dark eyeshadow, and (depending on which direction you envision a light source is hitting your face at) buffing out these lines with a slight shadow using a lighter shadow color. Once you're finished, find the perfect rocking chair to rest in to complete the look.
From sweet to scary, the basic formula for pulling off a perfect scarecrow is well-suited for kids and adults alike. Your two main focuses for a full scarecrow face should be on the mouth and the nose. If you've got that iconic triangular brown nose, stitch line-work across your lips and extra stitches exaggerating your mouth, then everyone should pick you out as a scarecrow straight away. If you're a little more advanced with your makeup skills, you can even paint a few patchwork squares onto your face to simulate the stitched patches found on a scarecrow's straw-covered clothing.
Whether your favorite skull imagery comes from Hamlet's beloved Yorick or from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, it's undeniable that the human skeleton has become an integral part of pop culture and the Halloween experience. Recreating the human skeleton on your own face can be both easy as pie and incredibly difficult - it all depends on your level of detail and anatomical accuracy. However, if you follow the lines of your actual skull when you're denoting the lines of your skeleton, you'll be able to pull off a proportional and convincing effect of skull makeup.
AMC's The Walking Dead absolutely revitalized the zombie genre in popular culture and inspired people to experiment with creating their own types of zombie looks. Showing off their hard work at both zombie walks and Halloween parties, amateur zombies have perfected what fundamental elements people need to make a deliciously disgusting walking corpse. The main goal to bring this transformation to life is to make your skin look like it's decomposing; so simulating decay using earth tones rich in browns, greens, and grays will give you that rotting look. Similarly, things like maggot holes and flesh tears are details you can add, to further sell your zombie-fied costume.
Pop Art Character
Pop Art was a well-known western art movement that developed during the 1960s, as creatives turned toward cultural commentary and making art that spoke to their anti-capitalist feelings. One such famous creator during this time was Roy Lichtenstein, whose paintings like Drowning Girl (1963), with their comic book style and intellectual sensibility, took the world by storm. To become your own Pop Art character this Halloween, make sure you paint out evenly spaced 'Ben-Day' dots across the parts of your face that light would naturally hit. Then, separate the shadows from the dots by painting thick lines, and exaggerate the shadows using heavy, saturated paint.
There's nothing quite so pictorially synonymous with Halloween as the jack-o'-lantern is, with its sharp-toothed smile and vacant eyes. To transform yourself into a pumpkin head, properly cover your face in orange paint. Then, paint on your face the design that you'd normally carve out of your large pumpkins, and fill in those spaces with black paint. Adding thin striations around your face in varying shades of yellow or orange can create depth and mimic that rough pumpkin texture without needing any prosthetic pieces.
Even if you're not a huge fan of classic films, chances are high that you've seen at least one film noir in your life. Of the many iconic elements to stem from this popular interwar genre is the femme fatale, with her wry smile and sharp gaze. To both entrance and repulse the crowds this Halloween, break out the best of your makeup brushes, and focus on creating an incredibly precise and simple glamour look. Facial characteristics like thin, pointed eyebrows and a bold lip will add to that sense of danger you're trying to evoke.
A very popular costume choice on All Hallows Eve, you have a lot of options when it comes to creating a vampire ensemble. Whether you want your character to hail from the 1540s or the 2010s, a little dollop of fake red blood (using a mixture of corn syrup, food coloring, and other materials) along the edge of the mouth will instantly give you away as a vampire. Also, tossing a pale white face paint or powder on your exposed skin will give you that long-dead look, and a pair of fangs will tell everyone that you're just itching for a bite.
Miming has deep historic roots, and there are people who continue to study the craft of miming to this day. However, if you'd like to pay homage to these legendary thespians, you can design your own mime makeup to wear on Halloween night. An impenetrable white face paint is a must with all mimes, and you can use cake makeup or body paint to achieve this look. After you've gotten your base layer, you can add different motifs onto your face to suit your character's attitude using black body paint. For a happy mime, an exaggerated smile will do well, or for a sad mime, a small tear at the corner of the eye would be à propos. Of course, a horizontally striped shirt and pair of white gloves will really finish off your twenty-first century mime costume.
You're Never Too Old to Dress Up
It's all too easy to get lost in the hubbub of Halloween, setting up your candy stations, getting the kids in your family ready for trick-or-treating, and decorating your space for the special occasion. Yet, people often forget that you're never too old to celebrate the holiday by dressing up. Even if you only have a few hours to get yourself ready, there are a ton of great costume ideas that only require a handful of materials and a steady hand to be brought to life.