Beauty and Grooming

Easy, Last-Minute Halloween Makeup

Last-minute Halloween party? Need a costume quick? Don’t worry we’ve all been there, but even still, you can do better than some drawn-on whiskers. Even if you don’t have a full get up, you can make a spook-tacular Halloween look with everyday makeup. If you’re in need of some inspo, look no further. Here are three easy, last-minute Halloween makeup looks for quick costumes with minimum effort and maximum effect.

halloween makeup

Image from Illamasqua

#1 Cat

We know, we know, it’s an obvious one but it is a classic last-minute Halloween makeup go-to. However, with just a bit more time, you can completely alter your face shape into a spooky feline creature without needing endless makeup skills. 


  1. Start off with your regular base.
  2. Grab a contour colour and go in a lot harsher than you normally would, tracing the contour around the apples of your cheeks and up towards your nose. Apply the contour to your jawline as well, aiming to make your jaw more angular and pointing down towards your chin.
  3. Use a far lighter tone in triangles under your eyes and on your upper lip, blend this in but keep it as light as possible. Set this with a white powder or eyeshadow.
  4. With a dark brown eyeshadow, contour the sides of your nose and trace this all the way up into the crease of your eye socket. Use this dark brown to set your cheek contour and connect it to your nose.
  5. For your eyes, take an even darker brown and apply in your crease, going from your nose contour, across your socket and taking it up and out towards your eyebrow to elongate your eye. Concentrate this on the outer corner of your eye, starting to sketch out where your winged eyeliner will be.
  6. With a lighter sparkly shade, apply this on the inner corner and centre of your eyelid.
  7. Use a liquid eyeliner to draw a thick cat-eye starting in your inner corner to further extend your eye. Apply fake lashes that fan out in the outer corner.
  8. With the dark brown eyeshadow from before, shade the tip of your nose and down in a straight line through the centre of your cupids bow to create a little kitten now.
  9. Use your eyeliner to draw little dots on the upper lip where your whiskers would be.
  10. Finally, with a lip liner, extend your lips out and line the outside, shading them in slightly but leave the centre light.

#2 Doll

More cutesy and less scary, but still a great last-minute Halloween makeup option. If pink is more your thing than black, a creepy doll is a perfect costume to stay true to you while getting into the spirit of spook season.

last-minute halloween makeup

Image from Illamasqua

  1. Use a lighter shade foundation with a cooler undertone, this will help the blush really pop.  Aim to create the most flawless finish you can, think porcelain doll smooth.
  2. Avoid over-arching your eyebrows, instead, keep them straight and sweeping.
  3. Skip the bronzer completely, instead pick up a bold pink blush and don’t be shy. Use this to contour your cheekbones and then sweep it up to your temples and into your eye socket. You want to keep pink/red tones as the only colour on your face.
  4. For your eyes, use more pink tones to create a shadow in your crease but keep it relatively simple.
  5. Take individual eyelashes, and glue them to your lower lash line instead to give you the widest doe-eyed gaze imaginable. To really exaggerate this, line your bottom last line with white eyeliner or light eyeshadow to make your eyes 10x bigger.
  6. For your lips, apply a pink to match your blusher for a uniform look, like you’re fresh from the painting workshop. 
  7. If you want to make it a little eerier, become a weeping doll. Using a small eyeliner brush, dampen the brush then pack it with a deep brown/black shade eyeshadow. Then dip it in some water and hold to the lower lash line, in time for the droplet to roll down your cheek leaving a tear stain behind. Repeat this a couple of times for a look that’s bittersweet.

#3 Vampire

A horror hero, a vampire is a foolproof backup plan. Sure you could just get some fake fangs and call it a day, but why do that when a little more effort will give you far bigger frights? Brushes at the ready for a bloody good last-minute Halloween makeup look.

  1. Make your base as pale as you possibly can. Using a colour correcting palette is a great way to get a lot of the colour out of your face, combatting any red or yellow undertones. You can also use the purple colour corrector on your under-eye circles to make them appear greyer and hollow. 
  2. For a more intense look, use your foundation to cover your eyebrows and set them with a white powder.
  3. Don’t touch that bronzer. Instead, use a grey eyeshadow to carve out your cheekbones, jaw and contour your temples and forehead. 
  4. If you want to go down a more glam, twilight-style vampire, grab that highlight and go ham. Just make sure it’s a white/silver shade.
  5. Using the grey shade from your contour, sweep this over your entire eyelid and in your socket for a base. Gradually harshen the look with dark greys and matte blacks, sweeping it all out and up towards the eyebrow in a cat-eye shape.
  6. Grab a red shade and work this along your lower lash line, blending it out onto your under-eye and sweeping it up into a cat-eye flick tracing all the way to your temple.
  7. Taking a small eyeliner brush, start painting tiny red veins around your eyes, above your eyebrows and under your eyes. Gently soften the lines and set with white powder to create a skin-like veil across the top.
  8. Go big or go home with some huge flash eyelashes to add some more drama to the look.
  9. Apply some dark lip gloss and some fake blood in the corner of your mouth dripping down to your chin.

To make easy fake blood:

Mix together-

  • 200ml water
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons of red food colouring 

If you want it thicker, add more cocoa. Easy! 


Written by Lucy Harbron

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert