Simple Halloween makeup tips - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Simple Halloween makeup tips

With the right makeup tips, you won't end up looking like this on Halloween. (©Krista Ryan) With the right makeup tips, you won't end up looking like this on Halloween. (©Krista Ryan)
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By: Dan Meade
Provided by WorldNow

A couple of years ago, I decided to be a zombie for Halloween. It was my first time using makeup for a costume and the results were mixed. Instead of a zombie, I ended up looking more like a Smurf who had gotten into a car accident (as you can see in the photo).

Why did I look blue? That's because in the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) many of the zombies had a blue-ish hue due to the makeup that was used on set. Why did I look SO blue? Because I didn't know the first thing about makeup, let alone costume  makeup.

So I asked our style expert, Shahnaz Kahn, who has worked as a theatrical costume designer, stylist, and make-up artist. Here are three basic tips she had for turning your Halloween makeup from frighteningly bad to shockingly good:

Shahnaz's Tip #1: The most common mistake that people make with Halloween makeup is that they concentrate too much on making their face darker without adding highlighting tones.  Especially when people are making their entire face one color (such as blue), highlights are essential for adding depth, contrast, and believability.

Shahnaz's favorite highlighting product is BEN NYE's Fireworks Fantasy Wheel (priced at $17.50 on Amazon.com).  It contains 6 metallic colors that can be used alone or for highlighting.

When highlighting, try to hit your most prominent bones - cheekbones, center of forehead, tip of nose, chin, brow bone.  Highlight the center of the eyelid with the white to open up eyes and center of bottom lip (just a dab) to create fullness.

You could use the gold and silver alone on the Fantasy Wheel to create a pretty beautiful fairy princess!

What I could have done differently: I tried to use bloody wounds as a highlighting effect, but I still left too much of my face blue.  If I wanted to have a blue-ish hue, I should have stuck to "traditional" zombie colors - gray, pale white, perhaps a little green to show decay - and then used the blue as a highlighting color.

Shahnaz's Tip #2: Keep the makeup in place for the entire evening.  Most cheap makeup kits don't come with powder - which is essential for setting your makeup .  Apply powder with a large puff and lightly sweep away excess with brush.  You should use a translucent powder - but talc is fine too if you're in a pinch.

Shahnaz recommends applying powder through one ply of tissue to keep color in place.  Always blot powder, never wipe - and be sure to get powder into creases (side of nose and chin) where moisture naturally builds up.

What I could have done differently: I ended up with blue stains on much of the clothing that I wore that Halloween - and they still have not come out. Had I used powder to set the makeup that I used, it would have saved my clothing, and would have made me less nervous about applying the makeup too close to certain parts of my face.

Looking back, the circles of skin around my mouth, eyes, ears, and nose really stand out. By giving the makeup enough time to dry, I could have applied more of it where it was needed to provide a better,  fuller look to my costume.

Shahnaz's Tip #3: If you are game, have someone spray your face with hairspray to really keep makeup in place!!  This will set the makeup and stop it from bleeding later in the night.  Don't forget to close your eyes and mouth when being sprayed.

What I could have done differently: If you are dressing as zombie, a little "bleeding" is not necessarily a problem. However, if you are applying makeup for a prettier costume that allows you to add rhinestones, glitter, or other sparkly add-ons (such as a fairy or princess), a dash of hairspray could really come in handy.

No matter who you are for Halloween, whether it is a vampire or the tooth-fairy, always perform a "test-run" of your makeup first. This will allow you to experiment with some ideas, or to make a quick run to the store for an extra color or accessory. Also, before trying any makeup, be sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.

A Recipe for Realistic "Blood"

Many monster costumes, or even those based on certain movie characters, can be made all the more realistic by adding some fake blood to your look. Ever since Psycho (1960), corn syrup has often been the main ingredient for the blood that is used in Hollywood.

This recipe, from wikiHow.com, will show you how to make realistic, and edible, blood from the confines of your own kitchen:

  1. Combine 1 part water with 3 parts corn syrup.

  2. Add red food coloring and mix gently by shaking or stirring. Continue adding drops until the shade resembles that of real blood. Add a small amount of blue food coloring to achieve a more realistic shade.

  3. Add a thickener:

    A) Dry thickener - Add sifted flour or corn starch to your mixture, and gently mix it all again. You may get small lumps forming at the top of the mixture. Wait about a minute and they will float to the top where you can remove them.

    B) Wet thickener - Stir in chocolate syrup until the desired consistency is reached. It will also add a realistic brown tone to the blood.

  4. 4. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes in a warm environment. This will give it some time to thicken. Then you can freak people out with this lifelike accessory, it is a lot of fun.

Note 1: This recipe for blood may stain clothes permanently.

Note 2: Edible fake blood should be used immediately or refrigerated. You want to look like you're wounded or dead . . . but you probably don't want to smell like you're dead, (or taste rotten fake blood).

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.