10 Best

Halloween Makeups

of November 2023

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Gory and Spooky Makeup Ideas for Halloween

Mark Schwarz

Ever wonder how makeup artists achieve those gory effects in slasher movies like the “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” series? It’s actually a clever mix of using skin-colored wax and fake blood! There are Halloween makeup kits that have everything you need to allow you to recreate these effects yourself, and they’re not all that elaborate or expensive. And many come with detailed instructions, so you won’t have to go through some special cosmetics course.

And that’s only the beginning. Properly applied makeup or face paint can enhance any Halloween costume and make a much better impression, no matter what theme you choose. You can try your hand at dressing up like Pennywise the Clown--or a more benevolent clown. Or you can use it for other cosplay events. You can choose to combine elements from several kits, to get the effect you want.

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you look through the options when selecting Halloween makeup. We’ll help you:

  • Choose the right type of Halloween makeup for your preferences,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of Halloween makeup,

  • Read reviews of different Halloween makeup, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of Halloween makeup, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Halloween Makeups

There are many makeup sets available for non-professional use and casual cosplay. We’ll discuss several of the entries on our Top 10 list of Halloween makeup:

  • Face and body paints: There are color palettes of paints that you can apply to your face or body as part of a costume. You also can find vials of individual colors of paints. But there are several types, each requiring different treatment:

    • Water-based paint: This is the easiest to apply and also to remove. It washes off with just soap and water. But, it might tend to run if you start sweating profusely. It’s ideal for applying to children for their costume needs. An example is the Mehron Makeup Fantasy F/X Face & Body Paint

    • Oil-based paint: There are color palettes of oil-based face and body paint, such as that offered by the CCbeauty Store. Oil-based paint will take longer to penetrate into the skin, and take longer to dry than water-based paint. But, once dry, it’s more difficult to remove. It can also get smeared onto clothing.
    • Alcohol-based paint: This is waterproof, so it won’t get ruined if you start sweating or on a hot day. You can remove it by applying alcohol, or using baby oil or coconut oil.
    • Powder-based paint: This is applied to dry skin. If you wish, you can use it as a foundation and apply other paint on top of it. This will prevent the second layer of paint from rubbing off.

Mehron Water-Based Paint

CCBeauty Store Oil-Based Face Paints


  • Face and Body Crayons: You can also find makeup sticks in crayon form. It’s much easier to apply it to precisely the areas that you want. One set of such crayons is produced by DressUp America.

DressUp America Face Paint Crayons

  • Fake Blood: Many of these Halloween makeup kits, such as Rubie’s Hollywood Makeup Kit, already contain fake blood, either in liquid or congealed form. You can also buy individual vials of fake blood, such as the Soofun Fake Blood Halloween Makeup. They also provide capsules of blood that you can bite or crush, to create the illusion of blood spurting out! If you want to use a lot of fake blood, there are also 18-oz. Bottles, such as those by Spooktacular Creations.

Soofun Fake Blood Halloween Makeup

Spooktacular Stage Blood

  • Fake Skin: There are also latex pieces of fake skin, so that you can create a bald cap out of it, such as the Kangaroo Bald Cap. The latex is able to stretch over your hair. You can use cosmetics to make the edges match your skin color.

Kangaroo Bald Cap

  •  Scar Wax: Makeup wax allows you to give your skin the effect of burns, gashes, scars, and bites. We’ll see more of that later, in the “Useful Tips for Shoppers” section.

  • Ready-made kits: If you don’t want to bother improvising, but just following the instructions, there are also ready-made kits of makeup, to prepare a designated costume. An example is the Mehron Makeup Premium Character Kit. They provide all of the materials to create a skeleton, witch, or werewolf, as well as more benign characters. It includes a pencil liner, a makeup brush, setting powder, a foam wedge and powder puff for application.

Mehron Makeup Premium Character Kit

Important Features

  • Applying makeup: There may be a number of ways of applying face paint or other makeup. On occasion, it’s possible by means of a sponge, brush, or even just your fingertips. Some body paints can even be applied to your hair by means of a comb or brush. You’ll have to check each type of body paint to see if it’s also suitable for the hair.

  • Applying scar wax: Meicoly SFX includes scar wax in their kit, plus all of the accessories to apply it properly. You can also purchase their scar wax separately.

Meicoly Nose and Scar Wax with Applicator

Here is a sampling of what you can do with scar wax:

Customers' Ideas with Meicoly Scar Wax

The steps for application are as follows:

  1. Take some scar wax with the special spatula, and roll it into a sausage-shape.

  2. Apply it to your skin, smoothing out the edges with your fingers so that it’s not conspicuous.

  3. Cut into the wax with the desired type of wound you want to mimic: gash, stab wound, gunshot, etc.

  4. Use the castor oil sealant to the wax along the edges.

  5. Put blood gel into the “wound” in the wax. You may use the stipple sponge applicators to distribute fake blood around the wound as well. The sponge is made in a special way to give different effects.

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