Great Halloween Face Paint Tricks

By Oscar Wolfe (with Ali Kaplan)

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I spend most of October thinking about what I’m going to do for Halloween. I love the whole idea of it—the costumes, the makeup, the decorations, the candy!!! Even if you don’t like to plan ahead or be elaborate with your costume, face paint can be a whole costume by itself (especially if you have to wear a jacket to stay warm while trick or treating).

My neighbor and family friend Fatima Olive just so happens to be a nationally known makeup artist, and a huge fan of everything dress up. In about an hour, we came up with a few great face paint ideas that are easy to do at home, yet still seem like you’ve been planning it for months!

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Fatima says all you really need is white clown makeup (powder or light foundation can substitute), a black pencil or eyeliner (a pot of eyeliner works great), and some eyeshadows for color. NYX Cosmetics is one of Fatima’s favorites for colorful, inexpensive makeup. Red lipstick is great for blood. Just don’t use lipstick around the eyes—it can be irritating to the skin.

Try sketching out your ideas on paper before applying on the face.

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Here are three great face paint ideas:

Creepy/Dead Guy

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Start with pale skin and lips. Use white makeup or a light shade of foundation. Try burgundy, gray, or black eye shadow all around the eyes. Apply the same colors on cheeks for a hollowed out look. Finish with a drop of red lipstick on the corner of your lips.

Skeleton

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All you need is a thick coat of white clown makeup all over. Apply black eye shadow all around eyes. Use black makeup on both sides of the nose, cheeks, lips, and around the eyes. It’s easy to upgrade this look to Day of the Dead with a bit of color on the forehead and dots near eyes.

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Cat/Lion/Other Animal

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Start with a black nose. Then run lines up the nose and through the eyebrows. Make the upper lip white and add a black line along the bottom lip. Then, decide what animal you want to be! Add gray for a mouse. Brown and white spots for a deer. Orange and yellow for a lion or tiger. “I think what’s intimidating for most people—for parents—about doing face painting is they think they have to do the whole face. you don’t really need to,” Fatima says. “Do a little color around the eyes, and on the outside, and it’s a really easy way to do it.”

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