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6 scary-good makeup tutorials for your killer Halloween costume

Learn how to paint your face and transform your Halloween look.


Rae Votta


Posted on Oct 18, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 7:12 pm CDT

When you’re stuck for Halloween makeup ideas, it’s YouTube to the rescue. The video platform is there for you with step-by-step instructions and Halloween makeup tutorials to help you figure out how to turn your face into a one-night work of art.

From scary witches to Snapchat-inspired DIY, we’ve rounded up some of the best tutorials for all your Halloween makeup needs.

1) Snapchat-inspired paint filters

If you want your Halloween makeup ideas to be viral-ready, painting your face to be the puking Snapchat rainbow is the ticket. Lots of YouTube beauty gurus have made this Halloween makeup tutorial already, and while we love the original, the most popular is from YouTuber RCL Beauty 101. She shows you how to do the puking rainbow, the cute crying filter, and the creepy monster filter all in one video.

2) Disney-fy yourself

If you’re looking for great Disney makeup inspiration, look no further than Promise Phan, Michelle Phan’s sister. Promise is never short on Halloween makeup ideas, and she’s been doing tons of Disney looks for fans. For a simpler option, you can do a picture-ready Elsa from Frozen look that comes off as frosted glam.

For those in pursuit of more adventurous Halloween makeup ideas, she also does characters like Ursula from The Little Mermaid, which requires a lot more colorful paint and dramatic designs.

3) Pop art looks

Turn yourself into something worthy of hanging on a museum wall with a pop art look. For this effect, it’s all about the colors and your careful dot placement to create a Lichtenstein-esque look. Shaaanxo does the iconic crying comic girl look in her video tutorial, but you can apply this style to any Halloween makeup ideas you have for a comic book look.

4) Be-witching DIYs

There are two ways to be a witch this Halloween: You can do regular makeup and add a hat for a “sexy witch,” or you can go all out and make an elaborate and scary witch. Makeup vlogger Pixiwoo took on the latter challenge—using only the kind of Halloween makeup you can find in any Halloween supply store, not a fancy makeup shop.  

5) Embrace the horror

Fancy faces and pretty princesses are all great options for Halloween makeup, but the spirit of the holiday is to scare. If you’re going to delve into horror makeup tutorials, you should invest in some basic latex. BeautifulYouTV’s zipper face tutorial only requires a little bit, and the majority of the effect is created by paint and a zipper you can buy from a fabric store.

6) Advanced character work

If you are ready to really commit to an advanced Halloween makeup idea, invest in some latex and polymorph plastic, and go to town on crazy designs like this killer snail. You’ll definitely win your local costume contest, but on the flip side no one will want to talk with you all night long because you’ll look terrifying.

With these Halloween makeup tutorials at your fingertips, you’ll be full of Halloween makeup ideas to turn into a spookily impressive reality this Oct. 31.

Screengrab via ellimacs sfx makeup/YouTube

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*First Published: Oct 18, 2015, 9:00 am CDT