5 Ways To Make Up A Killer Costume

Focus on your face “paint” for this year’s costume.


Costume-store crowds give you an anxiety attack. Your germaphobia won’t let you near the thrift store racks. And you’re about to go broke from year-after-year American Apparel Halloween shopping sprees. It’s T-minus 10 days till Halloween and your costume situation is looking bleak.

This year, let your face do the talking. You’ll be amazed at what a little lipstick, some hairspray and some well-placed glitter will do for a scary-clever getup that can be paired with pieces from the closet. Here are five go-tos that are on our list for a cosmetic costume this year.

Time to paint the town (and your face) red. Or white. Or gold.

Black Swan

What you need:
Black liquid liner (1)
White face paint (2)
Plum lipstick (3)
Red blush (4)

We promise, those winged eyes are way easier than they look. Cover your face with white, then, starting with your brows, sweep a line of thick, black liquid liner out toward your temples and create the outline of the swan wings. Finally, fill in the wings with details, keeping “black swan feathers” in mind for the aesthetic. Finish with red blush around your waterline to fake the bloody-eyes look, and then pop on some dark plum lipstick. This look speaks volumes, so skimping on the attire is no biggie. A simple pair of black flats, full, black skirt and a basic black tube top or tank will do. Finally, throw on a dollar-store crown and an optional black feather boa and you’re done. Got a bit more time? We love this ingenious crown D.I.Y. project from The Sorry Girls.

Frida Kahlo

What you need:
Brown eyeliner (5)
Red lipstick (6)

Paint your pout with a sultry, Frida-approved shade of vibrant red, then fake her fierce AF unibrow with your brown eyeliner. Voila! Top it off with an updo accented with colorful, tropical flowers and a flowery, colorful dress or shawl. Bey did it best with her perfect neckerchief, frock and chunky earrings that pay stylish #girlboss homage to the Mexican artist. We even forgive her for skipping the must-have unibrow.

Poison Ivy

What you need:
Leaves from a fake plant
Red lipstick (6)
Green eye shadow in a variety of shades (7)
Eyelash glue (8)
Red spray hair dye (9)

Spray your hair with the temporary red color, and then give yourself a generous, dramatic smoky eye with the green shades. Really, just go to town. After all, Poison Ivy holds nothing back. Take some faux leaves and cut the bottoms to roughly the shape of your eyebrow, checking how they’ll look before adding the eyelash glue, to give you a sort of leaf eyebrow. A good rule of thumb is starting small nearer to the nose and getting bigger as you move outward.  Vamp it up with some red lipstick, a green dress, green tights and a vine of more faux green leaves from the craft store.


What you need:
Bright red lipstick (6)
Brow powder (10)
Black eyeliner (1)
Bright red (not pink) blush or eye shadow (4)
White face paint (2)


Start with the white face powder or face paint all over, turning your face into a crisp, clean canvas. Add some sultry, slightly winged liner to give yourself that exotic look, then line below and above your lash lines with the red shadow and blend outward, toward the temples at the corners to make the pigment really pop. Darken your brows to a dramatic black, and then go over them with a tinge of red. Finish up with bright red lipstick, an Asian-style updo and a kimono or Asian-printed tunic or dress.


Night Sky

What you need:
Silver shimmer eye shadow (11)
Silver cosmetic glitter (12)
Eyelash glue (8)

This one’s a little abstract, but, when we saw the Olsen twins rocking those Night and Day costumes, we were totally smitten. Start off with a “mask” of silver shimmer shadow across your eyes and cheeks, then, using the eyelash glue as an adhesive, add trails of glitter around your eyes. Think: trails of comets. Adhere a few small stars to your face (cut out from glitter paper will do), especially around your cheeks and hairline. Wear it with a black tunic adorned with more stars and a headband with a cardboard, glittery moon.