Airbrush Makeup for Halloween

Shannon Boyce
Woman covered with blue

Halloween is the perfect time to have fun, get creative, and showcase your skills. If you want to stand out from the crowd this season, leave the fingerpaints and plastic masks to the kids. Airbrush makeup is one surefire way to add authenticity and intrigue to any Halloween look.

Airbrush Halloween Ideas

There are many advantages to airbrushing, like full coverage, a sheer finish, and non-transferable product. While airbrush makeup is more expensive than traditional forms, it is extremely versatile as it can be used on the face, hair, and body. That makes it a must-have item to have when the Halloween season rolls around.

With an airbrush kit, some stencils, and a bit of creativity, you can produce many different looks.

Gory Details

Woman in dramatic makeup

Many of the first store-bought costumes featured scary vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. That trend continues today, with gory outfits lining the shelves. There are countless ways to incorporate spooky elements into the rest of your costume. Airbrush makeup can be used to create fake bruises with varying shades of blues and purples, along with deep red cuts, wounds, scrapes, and scars.

You can also add gore to your Halloween look by airbrushing your face white with eerie dark shadows around the eyes. This will give you that classic zombie appearance. Another idea is to use stencils for a more defined skeleton face (like the Day of the Dead Stencil Set from Dinair). Other possible looks include Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, or a creepy Voodoo Witch.

Beautiful Butterfly

Many Halloween goers prefer sweet to scary. That makes butterfly costumes a hit year after year. Use your airbrush kit to create a spectacular winged effect. Infuse your look with tons of personality by using your favorite colors or choose a shade that complements your skin tone.

Another great option is to use a butterfly stencil. Stencils can be applied on the face or body and are a good starting point for beginners. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to create this Halloween look. Play around with colors (yellow, blue, and pink are popular for butterflies), patterns, and shapes until you are happy with your airbrushed masterpiece.

Animal Patterns

Some of the most popular costumes are animal themed. People love to transform themselves into exotic animals, like cheetahs, leopards or zebras. To achieve those distinct prints on your skin and hair, use stencils and airbrush makeup. A few well-placed spots and stripes will take your costume to a whole new level.

Another option is to create lizard or alligator scales on your skin. That scaly effect can be achieved by creating a quick and easy DIY stencil. The end result will be both creepy and creative. Other animal looks to try out this Halloween include a deer, mouse, lion, or tiger.

Pop Culture Inspired

Ice queen girl

Many of the most popular costumes are related to popular culture. They are often tied to a movie that has taken over the box office, a celebrity that continues to nab headlines, or a top-selling musician. Use airbrush makeup to take that superhero ensemble to frighteningly realistic heights. This Harley Quinn tutorial on YouTube, for example, is sure to inspire you this season. Whether you want to dress like a Minion, Lady Gaga, or the latest Disney Princess, you can. All it takes is a dash of creativity and color.

Another idea is to transform your face into a walking work of art, as this Andy Warhol/Roy Lichtenstein pop art tutorial does. Simply use your airbrush machine to apply pigment and create that iconic dot print. You can also take inspiration from your favorite Snapchat filter. Plenty of beauty lovers are re-creating them this year and you can, too.

Alien Encounter

One costume that never goes out of style is the extraterrestrial. Alien-inspired looks continue to be popular with Halloween fanatics. They often feature bold colors, scaly skin, and exaggerated features. There are many different ways to approach this look.

Cover your face with green and silver pigment for a campy 1950s style alien, go dark and dramatic for deep space, or use high contrast to create a futuristic design. You can even airbrush your neck, arms, and hands for added realism. If you don't know exactly what you want, watch your favorite sci-fi movie or look through alien makeup photos. Once you find that spark of inspiration, the rest will be easy.

Glamorous and Sexy

Get the look of a 1920s pin up model or Marilyn Monroe this Halloween. Airbrush makeup allows you to nab a flawless complexion, which you can accent with dramatic lip and eye pigments. Use metallics to highlight your cheekbones, a bright red color on the lips, and a touch of dark brown for a glamorous beauty spot. You will be perfectly retro in no time!

Another option is to create a Barbie-inspired look. Opt for bold eyeshadow shades, a pink lip, and contoured cheeks. You can make this Halloween style as subtle or extreme as you like. It all depends on the Barbie you choose for inspiration. If exotic beauty is more your speed, recreate Cleopatra's dramatic makeup. Go heavy on the blue and gold, and don't be afraid to darken the brows or use a stencil underneath the eyes.

It is also possible to get glamorous by using lace. This fabric can work with your airbrush kit to create a beautiful textured look in no time. Pair it with a dark smoky eye and a berry-colored lip.

Tips and Techniques

Airbrush and paint

Most reputable airbrush makeup manufacturers include an instructional book or DVD when you purchase a starter kit. This will help you learn the basics of preparation, application, and clean up. After some experimentation, you should start to get the hang of it. Be sure to use your airbrush machine well before October 31st to get comfortable and sharpen your skills. If you need more guidance, check YouTube. It contains a wealth of videos detailing airbrush looks for Halloween.

  • For best results, apply makeup to clean, dry skin. If your skin is on the oily side, use an astringent to soak up any excess so the makeup can properly adhere.
  • When applying airbrush makeup to the face and head, use cotton balls or pads to protect eyes, nostrils and ears. As a precaution, hold your breath while the makeup is being sprayed to avoid ingesting particles.
  • Hair should also be clean and dry before application. It will not adhere well to damp, oily, or product-laden hair.
  • Remember that the makeup should be applied in light layers. That way, minor mistakes can be disguised and you maintain control.

As with anything applied to the body, conduct a test patch before applying to large areas to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. If you have no prior experience applying this type of makeup, it's a good idea to ask a friend who does or speak to a professional.

Where to Buy It

Airbrush makeup is a fantastic way to give your Halloween costume that realistic finish. There are many places that sell kits, colors, and tools. They are typically found in beauty supply stores and online.

You can find Halloween-themed airbrush makeup at the following retailers:

  • Halloween Express: This store offers a little bit of everything. They have Halloween-centric stencils, airbrush pigments, air compressors, cleaning supplies, and how-to books.
  • Costumes 4 Less: This shop has a wide array of colors for sale (there is everything from blue to silver to Lovely Lilac) as well as instructional DVDs to elevate your airbrushed look.
  • Special Effect Supply: This retailer provides all of the airbrush essentials you need. That includes Badger airbrush equipment, pigments, and even add-ons like fake body parts.

Traditional airbrush makeup is available from the following brands:

  • Dinair: This well-known brand has been in business since 1981. They are highly regarded thanks to their high-quality airbrush kits, pigments, and stencils.
  • Kett Cosmetics: This cosmetics brand can help you achieve any look with their large selection of tools and equipment. They sell everything from nozzles to cleaning brushes and metallic pigments.
  • Luminess Air: This brand gives you incredible looking skin thanks to their airbrush moisturizer, concealer, and foundation. The site also offers bold metallic shades, bronzers, and highlighting products.

Create an Unforgettable Halloween Look

Anyone can create a memorable look for Halloween. Whether you choose a pop-art inspired look, a playful animal print, a frightening zombie, or even choose to come up with your own design, the options are practically limitless for your makeup look. With an airbrush makeup kit, some practice, and creativity, your costume will turn heads.

Airbrush Makeup for Halloween