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Putting a bedsheet on and calling yourself a ghost for Halloween just doesn’t cut it anymore. Luckily, makeup artists on YouTube have made coming up with Halloween makeup ideas easier than ever.
From prosthetic-free ideas to special effects makeup, here are 29 scary Halloween makeup tutorials and ideas to inspire your next terrifying costume.
Halloween Makeup Tutorials (Without Prosthetics)
If you haven’t worked with special effects makeup like latex before, you don’t have to settle for a dull Halloween costume. In fact, shading and creativity can achieve wonderfully hideous effects by themselves.
Here are a few prosthetic and latex-free creepy Halloween makeup tutorials…
1. Pennywise The Clown Makeup
Thanks to the release of IT Chapter 2, there’s no doubt about how truly terrifying Pennywise The Dancing Clown is. While you may not be able to pull off his iconic smile, you can still channel the clown with the right makeup.
Madeyewlook’s Pennywise tutorial stands out as a great guide.
2. Game of Thrones White Walker
With the right shading, you can get the gaunt and ghostly look of the White Walkers. Paired with a white wig, face paint and a steady hand are all you need to achieve this look.
3. Disney Halloween Makeup—Cruella de Vil
We love Disney villains, but Halloween brings out the opportunity to make them even more devious. This tutorial by Evensya Xo shows you how to create a truly terrifying version of Cruella while representing her obsession with Dalmatian fur coats.
4. Easy Zombie Makeup Tutorial
There’s no shortage of zombies in today’s popular culture. If you want a simple yet effective look that doesn’t require prosthetics, then BodyFX has a tutorial demonstrating just how to do it.
5. Creepy Joker Halloween Makeup
It seems every few months there’s a new interpretation of the iconic Batman villain Joker. However, the comic versions of the Joker continue to be some of the most unsettling.
Jordan Hanz’ makeup tutorial captures this look and features the creepy, manic smile that we’ve come to know and love.
6. Shattered Face Makeup
Halloween is a great time to try out optical illusion makeup ideas. Dope2111’s tutorial on how to create a cracked face with makeup is particularly spooky, requiring no prosthetics.
7. Terrifying Vampire Makeup
There are tons of glam vampires out and about on Halloween. But if you want to bring out the terrifying nature of vampires and represent their bloodthirst, then Elijah Adson-Holmes’ tutorial will show you how.
The look uses makeup, fake blood, and fangs—a simple toolkit for people who don’t want to deal with latex or molds.
8. Detailed Skull Halloween Makeup
Skulls are a mainstay of Halloween costumes, but they sometimes come out as cartoonish. Alex Faction’s gets the scary look right, giving you a truly spooky skull tutorial.
9. Demon Halloween Makeup
Looking for inspiration for a creepy, black magic-inspired demon look for Halloween? Then Pompberry has the perfect tutorial.
While she uses a headdress with horns as part of her final costume, the horns-free look is still incredibly effective.
10. Creepy Jester/Clown Makeup
If you’re looking for a unique take on the killer clown or creepy jester look, Melvin Lozada has a perfect guide. He combines the creepy clown makeup with a Jack-in-the-box twist.
11. Bent-Neck Lady/Scary Ghost Makeup
The Haunting of Hill House reminds us that ghosts don’t need sharp teeth or gore to freak us out. Atleeeey’s ghost makeup tutorial draws inspiration from the Netflix series’ Bent-Neck Lady to create a truly haunting ghost look for Halloween.
12. Unique Frankenstein’s Monster Look
Frankenstein’s monster is another classic look for Halloween. However, painting yourself green and adding a few bolts to your head can get a bit boring over time.
If you want a unique spin on the classic monster, then Alex Faction provides a great option. You could always switch up the colors for your own costume, but this interpretation definitely adds a bit more interest to the traditional take.
13. Monster Mashup/Mixed Monster Makeup
Speaking of unique Frankenstein’s monster looks, AJ Kane takes this to a whole new level with her awesome makeup tutorial. Instead of just creating a stitched look, she also stitches together parts of her favorite horror movie characters.
Her makeup shows pieces of Jigsaw’s mask, Pinchead’s forehead, Jason Voorhees’ hockey mask, Twisty The Clown’s mouth, the Bride of Frankenstein’s eyes, and some more elements.
Special FX Halloween Makeup Tutorials
If you want to go further than face paint and makeup, there are plenty of Halloween tutorials that will show you how to create scary costumes with prosthetics. These range from liquid latex and gels, to plastic molds and other accessories.
Check out these tutorials for more advanced Halloween makeup ideas…
1. Voodoo Doll Halloween Makeup
Sydney Nicole creates a truly haunting look with her voodoo Barbie doll makeup. She combines liquid latex with her makeup and creates 3D wounds. She also incorporates some string, pins, and a button to complete the look.
2. The Purge Halloween Makeup
Madalyn Cline’s makeup tutorial for Lady Liberty is one of the scariest Purge-inspired costumes we’ve found. She completes most of her look using just face paint. However, the string and Lady Liberty crown are needed to finish the costume.
3. Trauma/Mauling Wound Victim
If you want to incorporate realistic-looking prosthetic wounds into your Halloween costume, then Elliemacs SFX Makeup’s tutorial on wounds will teach you how to do this. The wounds shown in the tutorial use latex paste to mold a prosthetic.
4. Rotting Zombie Halloween Makeup
RawBeautyKristi has a great tutorial showing you how to make a rotten zombie appearance using DIY plastic prosthetics. She even adds some moss to the wounds to create a unique look for your zombie’s face.
5. Undead Scary Mermaid Makeup
This story mermaid look from Jaclyn Forbes is one of our favorites, turning a typically mystical creature into something horrifying. She uses a silicone molding compound to give the skin tears and gills a 3D look.
6. Evil Swamp Fairy
Evil magical creatures are another popular choice for Halloween costumes—though Linda Hallberg Tutorials takes this to a whole new level with a swamp-inspired look that is truly creepy.
7. Rotting Mummy Makeup
Even though a mummy is quite a conventional Halloween costume, the use of some adhesives and household items can create a terrifying rotten look. LadyParadoxx shows you how to do this in her decaying mummy tutorial.
8. Scary Alien Halloween Makeup
Scary aliens are one of the most difficult Halloween looks to pull off—since they often appear strange or quirky instead. However, this tutorial shows you how to use prosthetics to achieve a very eerie effect.
9. Twisted Daenerys Dragon Makeup
Most of us now know how Game of Thrones ends. So if you want to embrace a twisted take on the Mother of Dragons, Keilidh Mua has a great guide. This Halloween getup melds Dany’s face with a dragon’s—which brings a literal interpretation to waking her inner dragon.
10. Missing Eyes
Using special effects makeup to create the illusion of one or two missing eyes is another popular choice on Halloween. Kait Nichole shows you how to create this effect while also still being able to see through your prosthetics.
11. Wendigo Makeup From Until Dawn
The ghastly wendigo monsters from Until Dawn are among the most chilling game creature designs out there. You can capture this scary take on the mythological monster using Madalyn Cline’s guide.
12. Unzipped Face
Another gruesome body horror makeup idea for Halloween is the unzipped face. There are a variety of takes out there, but Camilla Frederikke’s tutorial achieves a gory look with minimal effort.
13. Bride of Frankenstein
If you would rather dress up as the bride of Frankenstein’s monster, the good news is that you can bring forth a truly frightening creation. Onlinekyne goes a step further and not only provides a great makeup guide but also a guide on how to create a standout wig for your costume.
14. Evil Witch
If you want to induce more chills than your typical Wicked Witch of the West, Petite-Sue Divinitii shows you how to master a wrinkly, distorted visage with minimal prosthetics.
15. Terrifying Scarecrow Makeup for Halloween
When you dress up as a scarecrow for Halloween, you run the risk of looking goofy instead of scary. But with Elijah Adson-Holmes’ scarecrow makeup, you will creep your friends out. He shows you how to use cotton, latex, burlap sack fabric, and false individual teeth for a truly terrifying scarecrow.
16. Silent Hill Red Nurse Makeup (Weeping Blood)
Another simple yet effective look comes from Elliemacs SFX Makeup—this time, it’s the terrifying red nurse from the Silent Hill movie. This is one of the easiest prosthetic looks since it only uses 3D gel in addition to face paint and makeup.
Complete Your Look With Halloween Stores
Now that you have plenty of inspiration for your Halloween makeup, you might need to stock up on a few supplies and costume accessories. Start planning your Halloween party today.
Check out our guide on online Halloween stores and choose the perfect supplier for your spooky costume needs.