Slay 3 Amazing Halloween Makeup Looks with this Genius Guide (2020)

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halloween makeup looks 2020

Listen, I love Halloween just as much as you do. But it causes me great anxiety.

Hear me out:

If you’re anything like me, you A) spend weeks leading up to Halloween scouring the internet for Halloween makeup ideas and B) wait until the last minute to figure out your costume because you’re so consumed with Point “A.”

And once you’ve finally decided on an idea, it’s time to actually pull the look together, something that appears to be simple to accomplish, but in reality, it is no easy feat.

It’s deflating to know that the vast majority of Halloween makeup looks on Instagram only show the end result–never the steps needed to make that transformation happen. Or, if the steps are shown, it’s done by someone who’s a mega-talented makeup artist.

Uh, that’s not me!

I need the full breakdown, knowing each and every step. And I’m pretty sure you do too.

This is why I called in pro MAC makeup artist Tasha Conn to give me the ultimate tutorial. If there’s anyone who knows how to slay Halloween makeup looks – it’s her. With 25 years of experience and counting under her belt, she is a true creative genius.

“What’s really cool about these Halloween makeup looks is that I’ve broken them down based on skill level – from easy to intermediate to advanced, so there’s something for everyone. Halloween gives us an opportunity to play dress-up – have fun with it!”

Here’s everything you need to know to achieve these 3 Halloween makeup looks this year:

Start with the right base: 

“Each of these looks follows the same base. Follow these steps first before diving into the specific look you aim to create.”

1. Prep the Skin

Prepping the skin is a definite must for all Halloween makeup looks. I love to use MAC Strobe Cream as it’s super hydrating and adds a luminous finish to the skin.

2. Next, Apply Foundation and Concealer 

Use your go-to foundation and apply on the face and down your neck for an even canvas. I used MAC Face and Body Foundation for these looks, which is perfect for working in layers, allowing me to build more coverage when needed.

For darker skin tones, Peach Lustre is excellent for color correcting and boosting brightness. Typically, I’ll do a light layer under the eyes and apply it to any other dark spots on the face. Then, I’ll go in with my 24-hour Smooth Wear Concealer and blend. This 2-step process makes the skin so even-toned, flawless.

3. Add Powder

Use setting powder and apply to your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) with a powder brush. To really lock in your makeup, gently press the powder on your skin using a beauty sponge. This creates a smooth, sweat-proof finish and will add major lasting power to your look.

4. Use Blush

Take a pink powdered blush and apply it to the apples of the cheek. This adds a soft rose-like glow to the skin. 

5. Bronze It Up

Heavily bronze your face using a large powder brush. Focus on the areas where the sun would naturally cause you to tan. Think forehead, cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and above the eyebrows. 

6. Finish Off the Look

Finish off your makeup with MAC’s legendary Fix Plus and you’re ready to get going.

Halloween Makeup Look # 1: Cat (Skill-Level: Easy)

“The Cat is hands-down, one of the most uncomplicated Halloween makeup looks to achieve. It’s great for beginners and doesn’t require anything fancy – you can create this look with basic makeup products you probably already own.”

For the Eyes and Cheeks:

1. We’re going to start off by prepping the eyelids for makeup. To do this, use an eye primer like MAC’s Prep + Prime 24-hour Extend Eye Base.

2. Once the eyelids have been primed, begin to create the wing. Take black liquid liner and line the upper eyelid.

Here’s my trick to nailing the wing: standing in front of a mirror, look at how your bottom eyelid curves upwards in the outer corner. Follow this angle up, taking your black liner past your upper eyelid for a lifting effect. Now, connect the liner from the upper eyelid to the wing. And, that’s your basic cat-eye.

If you mess up or need a re-do, use concealer to clean up the edges.

3. Swipe a few coats of mascara onto your upper lashes. 

4. Apply highlight to the eyelids, inner corners of the eye, and cheekbones. 

For the Nose:

Tip: To make it easier, it’s important to understand each animal’s nose by shape. This will really guide you as you begin carving out this feature.

For the cat’s nose, remember to follow a triangular shape.

1. Take a pink eyeliner pencil and shade in the center of your nose, following a U-shape design.  

2. Next, use a black eyeliner gel pencil and follow the same U-shape from above, but this time, create the line on the outer area of the nose (the pink liner should remain inside). Start at the tip of your nose and extend it towards the outer sides.

Tip: always start with creating the pink region first, followed by the black liner. That way, the black edges will remain clean and sharp.  

3. Going back to the tip of your nose, make a straight line down to the top of your cupids bow. 

4. Create a triangle in the center of your upper lip where the top of the triangle meets your cupids bow.

5. Add tiny black dots in between the nose and upper lip (7 on each half of the face)

6. For whiskers, take white eyeliner (black is okay, too), and create light strokes between the mouth and nose area. 3 lines per side are what you’re aiming for.

For the Lips:

Finish off the look by swiping on clear lip gloss to the bottom lip only.

halloween simple cat look

Halloween Makeup Look #2: Deer (Skill-Level: Intermediate)

“The deer is such a fun look. When re-creating this, focus on incorporating brown tones and circular shapes to really make your costume come alive.”

For the Eyes:

1. Take contour powder and swipe over your lids, focusing on the outer corner crease. This will help enhance the eyes, making them pop. Note: brown eyeshadow is an alternate option.

2. Apply a soft beige eyeshadow – I like to use Brule from MAC- to the eye’s inner top and bottom corner (think of a small V-shape).   

3. Next, take the same contour powder and blend into the lower lash line, creating soft-blurred, smoky edges.

4. Apply false lashes. 

For the Face:

1. Contour your nose using the same product from step 1, running down the sides of your nose and up into the inner eyebrow. Blend.

2. Yup, more contour. Apply into the cheeks’ hollows, the hairline, temples, jawline, and down the neck. As you do this, make sure to blend, blend, blend for a seamless finish. 

For the Nose:

For the deer’s nose, remember to follow an oval shape. The only tool you’ll need is black liner.

1. Draw a curved line across your nose (it should reach end to end).

2. Shade the entire area below the drawn line, including underneath your nose. 

3. Draw a small oval at the base of your nose near your nostrils and fill with black.

4. Make a straight line down to your cupid’s bow.

Create Dots: 

Using the back of a makeup brush or a pencil eraser, and dip into white body paint. I used Chromacake in Pure White for this look. Apply to the forehead and upper cheeks. To add more dimension, I went back in with the rounded end of a smaller makeup brush and applied a few more dots to the face.

For the Lips:

Color in your upper lip with black lipstick

halloween deer look

Halloween Makeup Look #3: Werewolf (Skill-Level: Advanced)

“I’d describe the werewolf look as bold, confident, and messy. Yes, it requires a bit more finesse, but you don’t have to be so precise with it. Feel free to play up this look! Create unruly hair, use colored contacts – go extreme with your creative choices.”

For the Eyes:

1. Add highlight to the brow bone using an eyeshadow brush, and blend. 

2. Take brown eyeshadow and sweep over the lids to intensify the eye area. As you blend, gently move the brush in an upwards direction, towards your temples. 

3. Next, add black eyeliner to the upper and lower eyelid. Try to get as close to the waterline as possible. No wing necessary. 

4. Use a chocolate brown eyeshadow and smudge on to the lower lash line and blend for a lived-in effect.

For the Face:

1. Apply bronzer to the cheeks and forehead. 

2. Take a black eyeliner pencil and draw strokes of “hair” around the entire edge of your forehead following the shape of a widow’s peak (i.e.: a triangle down the middle of your forehead). Extend the lines into the hairline. Continue creating these lines along the sides of your face, stopping at nose-level. 

Tip: criss-cross some of the hair-like strokes to make them appear more realistic. 

3. Add dimension by using white eyeliner to apply a few more lines to the face, approximately 1/3 of the amount compared to the black lines.

For the Nose:

For the werewolf’s nose, follow a circular shape. The only tool you’ll need is a black liner.

1. Draw a curved line across your nose (it should reach end to end).

2. Shade in the entire area below the drawn line, including underneath your nose. 

3. Draw a small semi-circle at the base of your nose near your nostrils and fill with black.

4. Make a straight line down to your cupid’s bow.

For the Eyebrows:

1. Brush hairs upwards and outwards using a spoolie brush or eyebrow gel – the bushier, the better.

2. Next, take your black liner and draw lines onto your brows, extending them past the top of your hairs. Repeat the same process, this time with your white liner. 

For the Lips:

Take black lipstick and sweep over the upper and lower lip. 

halloween werewolf look