Halloween Ghost Makeup

Girl wearing ghost makeup

Halloween ghost makeup is not simply about slapping on some white face paint and saying "Boo!" There are other ways to make yourself look scary, and the techniques aren't frightening at all.

Preparing Your Face

Most likely, when you're about to put on your Halloween makeup, it's in the evening. That means you may have residual makeup, oil, sweat, etc, on your skin. To keep your cream base on (or any makeup, really), you need to start fresh.

Oh, and you did that allergy test days ago, right? Good. You don't want your new makeup to make you break out in an itchy rash or send you to the ER. You just want to look dead, not have a near-death experience.

Wash your face with your regular face wash. If you're especially prone to the oilies, now's a good time to use a toner or astringent. Dermatologists and skin care experts will argue whether these are good for daily use, but for one night, you should be okay. It probably wouldn't hurt to do an allergy test ahead of time with that either, though. There's no harm in being cautious, right?

Dry your face well, pull your hair back if it's long, and now it's time to get started.

Applying Halloween Ghost Makeup

For this particular look, it may be easiest to go out and buy a Halloween makeup kit. That'll include quite a bit of white or grayish-white cream base, and you'll need that for all or most of your visible skin. If that won't work for you, try theatre makeup companies like Ben Nye to get your hands on exactly what you need.

Most regular drugstore and department store cosmetics lines won't have exactly the right white shade available (as all naturally fair-skinned girls have probably discovered over and over again in their search for the perfect shade).


Face makeup

Once you have your face makeup picked out, apply that to your whole face and neck (if visible). The rest of your Halloween ghost makeup is in the details. Sponges work better than fingers or foundation brushes for this type of application. Skip the rouge completely. Even if you're a ghost bride, you won't be blushing at all. If you feel like you want to sculp your face for a harsher look, you can use a matte gray shadow and swipe it under your cheekbones, on the sides of your nose, around your jaw line, and near your hairline. This is basically the same technique used to warm your face up with bronzer, but you're cooling it off to look ghastly instead.


eye makeup

Since ghosts stay up all night walking the halls and rattling chains, and facial and eye creams won't work on them; they're bound to have dark circles under their eyes. You can use two shades of gray here, a navy blue and gray, or gray and black. It's up to you. Using an eye shadow brush (the application doesn't have to be too precise, so any fluffy brush should do), put the darker color under your eye in the inner corner. Blend that out and down. On the outer corner, add the lighter color and blend in (to meet the dark color) and down.

If you want to add dimension to your eyes, use a black liner along the upper and lower lash lines. Unless you just want to be the sexy ghost on the block with cat eye liner, try to make the line thicker in the middle of the lid to give a more rounded appearance to the eye.



Black, blue, deep burgundy-any of those lip colors will do. You could even opt for a nude lip color like MAC Myth and tone it down and cool it off further with a blue-tinged gloss or lipstick on top. If all else fails and you really want your lips to disappear, use a very light concealer.

Want lips that appear cracked? Use a concealer with a dry consistency. Or a matte lipstick in a nude shade. If you don't apply chapstick or exfoliate lips first, they tend to give the look of a dry, chapped mouth without any special effects skills needed.

Extras: from Eyes to Shrouds


A few optional touches will make your look extra creepy:

  • Special effects contacts
  • A shroud of some kind (you could make your own). Check out the LoveToKnow Costume site for ghostly costume tips.
  • A pale silver wig to go with the rest of your gray and white look.
Halloween Ghost Makeup