easy halloween makeup

We have researched and compiled four easy Halloween makeup and costume ideas to save you time and effort getting ready this year!

Below we list of all of the makeup, hair accessories, and outfit details you will need (the most important elements for each look are in bold). All of the looks are pretty simple, and you will already have most of the components in your closet and makeup bag!

Each of our main costume and makeup ideas is also broken down in full, with an in-depth description of the historically accurate look (with citations), in separate articles for further reference.

Just keep reading!

1920s Flapper Girl

Although most women in the 1920s were not flappers, the look immediately springs to mind when we look back at this decade. Putting together a last-minute Halloween costume? It’s pretty easy to recreate this iconic look. You will probably have most of the essentials in your makeup bag and closet already!

You Will Need…

For The Makeup

  • Dark colored lipstick
  • Kohl liner
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow pencil (in a darker shade)
  • Matte foundation and concealer (optional)
  • Blush (optional)
  • Self tanner (optional)

For The Hair

  • Bobby Pins to pin your hair short or a bob wig
  • Cloche hat or headband

For The Outfit

  • Knee length, or below-the-knee shapeless dress (beaded and metallic embellished dresses are ideal)
  • Mary Jane shoes
  • Pearl purse (optional)
  • Calf length coat with faux-fur trim (optional)
  • Long beaded necklace (optional)
  • Long earrings (optional)

Easy Flapper Makeup For Halloween

To read more about this iconic look (and for the full list of sources) check out our full flapper makeup post.

Easy Halloween Makeup

Iconic Flapper Heart Shaped Mouth

The ‘rosebud’ mouth is key to nailing the flapper look. You want to create a bee-sting look by making your mouth looks smaller while keeping the lips pretty full.

Blank out your lips with your foundation brush, and then carefully apply your deep red, plum, or brown colored lipstick in the center of your mouth in a heart shape. Make your cupid’s bow look defined.

If this look is too dramatic for you, feel free to just apply lipstick normally – just keep the shade accurate by choosing a dark lipstick color and keep a lot of emphasis on your cupid’s bow.

1920s Eyes

Flappers created a glossy but vampy look by combining vaseline with burned matchsticks or charcoal. To get the look (safely) we recommend priming with a glossy base and running a kohl liner across your lash line. Not all flappers wore eyeshadow, but some opted for a gray tone all over the lid.

Dramatic, long lashes are a must for this costume. Add plenty of your favorite mascara and follow up with some false lashes if you like.

“I wear bobbed hair, the badge of flapperhood. I powder my nose. I wear fringed skirts and bright-coloured sweaters, and scarfs, and waists with Peter Pan collars, and low-heeled “finale hopper” shoes.”

‘A Flapper’s Appeal To Parents‘ by Ellen Welles Page in ‘Outlook’ Magazine on December 6th, 1922

Flappers had wafer-thin dark brows – a huge contrast to the Cara Delevingne bushy browed look today! If you want that true flapper look, blot out your natural brows with your foundation brush and draw a super thin line with a dark eyebrow pencil for each brow. Alternatively, keep your brows pretty natural (just make sure you don’t make them any bigger than they already are).

Basic Base Makeup

Tanning really took off in the late 1920s, but a lot of flappers opted to stick to their natural pale skin tone. Whether or not you choose to apply self tan is up to you – some flappers did, others did not.

The base makeup was, well, pretty basic! The main look was pretty simple which makes it such an easy Halloween makeup idea to quickly throw together.

Stick to your go-to matte foundation and concealer. Most women wore face powder in the twenties (matte skin was definitely in!) and about 50% used blush (called rouge at the time).

Feel free to use a heavy hand with the blush, just pick a color that will flatter your skintone. Edna Wallace Hopper (dubbed the ‘eternal flapper’ recommended red and pink tones for paler skin, while peach shades worked better for those with tan and deeper skin.

With their legs sometimes on show, flappers even applied rouge and powder to their knees!

Short Hair

If you have a short bob already, this is the perfect Halloween look for you! Just leave it as is or try out the finger waves style. If you have long hair, curl it and then pin it up using bobby pins to create a faux bob. To finish off the look grab a cloche hat or wear a headband (a scarf or ribbon will work well).

Glamorous Outfit

The typical ‘flapper’ dress that you will find in a costume shop is much too daring even for the outgoing and confident flapper of the 1920s!

Unlike the dresses of the 1800s, flappers wore straight-up-and-down cuts to get that more ‘boyish’ figure. Sometimes flapper dresses featured plunging necklines (either at the back or the front).

The highest a hemline reached was just above the knee. For that authentic look, stick to the knee and midi length styles, and opt for the beaded and metallic embellishment dresses to get that true flapper vibe. Flappers wore mary jane style heels at night.

Statement earrings can look great with the short flapper hair, and a long bead necklace is a perfect finishing touch to the main outfit. Carry a pearl purse for makeup touch-ups.

If it’s cold on the way to the costume party, grab a calf length coat with fake fur trims.

Greek Goddess

Makeup was heavily frowned upon by many in ancient Greek, and when women did wear makeup, it was usually a natural look (though sometimes they went heavy on the eyes).

The modern ‘Greek goddess’ makeup look is heavier, more glamorous, golden, and dewier than the historically accurate beauty standard.

Choose whichever version you prefer for an easy Halloween makeup look. The hair and outfit styles are almost the same for both looks.

You Will Need…

For The Makeup:

Greek Goddess Style

Self Tanner

Gold highlighter

Luminous primer

Dewy foundation

Concealer

Black kohl

Gold eyeshadow

Bronzer

Contour

Nudey pink lipstick

Historically Accurate Style

Pale or natural skin tone (lighter foundation)

Kohl liner

Dark eyeshadow (or gold as a nod to their appreciation for gold)

Eyebrow pencil to draw unibrow

Subtle lip tint in a natural color

For The Hair

Gold hair accessories – leaf hair clips or headbands

Blonde wig (optional)

For The Outfit

‘Toga’ style tunic or long flowy dress (white bed sheet also works)

Gold or white waist belt (optional)

Check out our full historically accurate and modern Goddess Grecian look breakdown for more.

Easy Halloween Makeup

Grecian Makeup Looks

Pale Skin (Accurate) Or Glowy Skin (Goddess)

Pale skin was a symbol of purity at the time. While the Greeks used potentially poisonous ingredients like lead to achieve the fair look, we recommend just sticking with your natural skin tone if you want to keep it historically accurate.

The modern ‘Goddess’ look is best represented by glowing skin, so feel free to wear some false tan! This form of the Grecian look looks great with heavier face makeup. Don’t be afraid to go heavy with your highlighter – a gold highlight shade is perfect for this makeup style. Apply a warm bronzer and contour for sun-kissed skin and higher cheekbones.

Kohl With Added Unibrow (Accurate) Or Kohl With Gold Accents (Goddess)

When ancient Grecians wore a bit more makeup, they did not hold back on the eyes! The Greeks mixed olive oil and charcoal to create a form of black kohl liner. To create an even darker eye look, they combined soot and kohl to use as a dark eyeshadow. Just use a simple kohl liner close to the lash line to get the look and keep your Halloween makeup easy. To make it truly accurate, use an eye pencil or powder to create a unibrow between your brows.

For the Goddess look, add kohl close to the lash line, and create a sultry eye using a dark or gold eyeshadow on the middle of your eyelids, in the inner corner, and under the brow bone.

Subtle Lip Tint (Accurate) Or Nude Lipstick (Goddess)

Your lips should be pretty natural no matter which Grecian style you go for.

Lipstick was only used by the lower ranks of society in ancient Greece and was highly taboo, if you are trying to be historically accurate, opt for a subtle lip tint instead.

Grecian Goddess makeup is all about the glowing skin and sultry eyes, keep the lips pretty natural by choosing a your-lips-but-better nude or pink shade. For some added emphasis, apply a small amount of gold eyeshadow in the center of your lips.

Long Lucious Hair

Long hair was en vogue for the ancient Greeks. While single women kept their hair loose and free, married women typically tied it up in a bun style. The Greeks loved curly blonde hair and they really did wear hair accessories like diadems, combs, and hairpins. Grab a blonde wig or curl your natural hair and add a gold hair accessory to get the true look.

For the Goddess look, stick to your natural color but curl or wave your hair to add some bounce and finish with a gold hair accessory.

 “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Ancient Greek Proverb. (More Makeup & Beauty Quotes here)

Tunic ‘Toga’ Style Clothes

To suit the scorching temperatures, Greek men and women wore flowing long tunics made from light materials, fastened together with broaches or pins. Women sometimes wore simple sleeveless dresses dubbed ‘peplos’. Sometimes they added empire line waist belts for a more flattering look.

A boho white maxi dress with a gold waist belt is perfect to get the historically accurate or Greek Goddess look. If you are getting ready last minute, use a white bed sheet instead and fasten it with gold pins at the shoulder for some shape and to keep it in place.

No Grecian inspired look is complete without some gold jewelry. Try a necklace or some gold-look bangles.

Easy 1960s Makeup For Halloween

1960s makeup and style is an easy Halloween look for a decade theme costume party.

Check out our full post for a thorough breakdown of the 60s Mod and hippie styles.

costume makeup ideas

You Will Need…

For The Makeup

Black eyeliner

Mascara

False lashes

Dark brown and white eyeshadow

Eyebrow pencil or powder (optional)

Pale pink or white lipstick, or light pink lip gloss

Contour powder

Foundation in a slightly paler shade, or slightly darker if you choose not to wear blush

For The Hair

Teasing comb or wig

For The Outfit

Anything from a straight up and down mini dress or a mini skirt, bell-bottom jeans, pants suits, go-go boots, anything with psychedelic prints. PVC material clothing. Bright chunky jewelry

Mod Makeup

Dramatic Eyes With Long Lashes & ‘Twiggies’

The iconic mod look was all about the eyes. You definitely need dramatic eyeliner on your upper and lower eyelid. For the full look, contour your eye socket with a darker (brown) shadow just above the crease of your eye, and a lighter (white) shadow on the lid of your eyes and just under the brow bone. In the mid-1960s, more colorful shadows became popular, so feel free to add some color!

The 1960s look was defined by the ‘Twiggy’ lash. Apply lashings of mascara on your upper lids, and draw lower lashes on the bottom of your eyelid to create that big bug-eyed look. Once you nail the eyes, this is a super easy Halloween makeup look.

Brows took a backseat during this decade. Even though a lot of women experimented with new brow looks, none really defined the 1960s. Keep your brows as they are or draw them in lightly with a slightly darker eye pencil.

Frosty Lips

Pale frosty shades paired with the more dramatic eyes. Try an ultra pale pink shade, white lipstick, or keep it more natural with a simple translucent pink gloss.

Toned Down Base Makeup

While a lot of mods went paler with their foundation, sometimes they wore darker shades to bring in some color to compensate for the lack of blush (though blush became more common later in the 1960s). The dewy look was not in – definitely choose a matte finish. In order to appear even thinner, mods applied a contour shade in the hollow of their cheeks for a more gaunt face.

High Hair

Straight hair was fashionable, however, women often curled their hair and scraped it into a high bun. High hairstyles were all the rage. Teased and bouffant ‘beehive’ hair helped deliver the voluminous style. Women often used hooded hair dryers with hair rollers to get the volume necessary for these looks. Sometimes mods added barrettes or ribbons as a finishing touch.

Both short and long styles were in fashion, and from the mid-60s onwards, wigs were the must-have accessory.

Any voluminous and big updo of your choice will work. We also recommend a short bob wig with a ribbon for the iconic 1960s look.

Slimming And Bright Clothing

Clothing for the mods was all about looking thinner. The goal was to create a boyish figure with straight up and down cuts. Additionally, fashion was all about expressing fun and youthfulness. Everything from mini dresses, mini skirts, pantsuits, bell-bottom jeans, and go-go boots were in style. Anything with a psychedelic print will look great. Chunky bright jewelry works well to finish off the 1960s look.

“I wanted to make clothes that you could move in, skirts you could run and dance in.”

Iconic 60s makeup and fashion designer, Mary Quant


90s Grunge

Grunge makeup is iconic and perfect as an easy Halloween look if you want your costume to be immediately obvious.

View our in depth 1990s grunge makeup breakdown for more information.

Easy Halloween Makeup

You Will Need…

For The Makeup

Black kohl liner

Paler matte foundation

Paler concealer

Dramatic dark (plum or maroon) or nude lipstick

For The Hair

Backcomb

For The Outfit

Ripped baggy jeans, flannel or dark band tee, boots, black beanie.

Easy Grunge Makeup For Halloween

The grunge look ranged from effortless no-makeup makeup to heavy eyes and dramatic dark lips.

Often it met somewhere in the middle, where grunge inspired women would go heavy on the eyes or the lips but not both at the same time. That is what makes this makeup look so easy for Halloween – go heavy on the eyes if you are good at eye makeup, or focus only on the lips if you are more comfortable with lipstick and liner.

Although tanning was popular in the 1990s, those who rocked the grunge look avoided it at all costs. Grunge girls wore paler matte foundation and concealer. The face was kept plain with no blush, highlight, or bronzer.

Grungy Eyes (Or/And) Lips

Create a smudged kohl liner look on both the top eyelid and the bottom. Grunge teens used their fingers and a little vaseline to smudge out the liner for a messier just-rolled-out-of-bed-with-last-night’s-makeup look.

Eyebrows in the 1990s were thin and neat. Keep your eyebrows as thin as possible and don’t fill them in if they are thick.

The classic grunge typically featured darker lipstick (red, plum or maroon shades, or even black) but they sometimes kept the lips blank or nude. Go for a nude lipstick if you apply heavy makeup on the eyes and don’t want to overdo it.

1990s Grunge Hair

Grunge hair was intentionally messy. Grab a backcomb and tease at your hair to make it look frizzy and messy. You want to look like you have just rolled out of bed. If you don’t have a backcomb, just tip your hair over and shake it and roughly run your hands through it to get it as messy as possible. Straight hair also looks great with this look, and a slouchy grunge beanie in black can really bring together the whole outfit.

1990s Grunge Clothing

Grunge fashion is so easy to achieve – I bet you have most of these items in your closet, especially if you like a tom-boy look! Fans of the grunge style in the 1990s shopped in thrift shops a lot. Baggy ripped jeans were a must. Usually they wore a flannel or a dark colored band tee. Black Doc Martens style boots added a tough and androgynous element to the outfit.

“Punk was anti-fashion. It made a statement. Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement.”

– Details editor, James Truman.