Halloween Face-Paint Ideas to Take Your Costume Up a Notch

  • How you do your makeup on Halloween can instantly transform your costume.
  • Face paint can be a great addition for a more dramatic or pigmented makeup look.
  • See our favorite Halloween face-paint costume ideas here.

If you're a whiz with a makeup brush, then Halloween is your time to shine β€” especially if you have the help of some face paint. With the transformative power of makeup, the costume you're wearing basically doesn't even matter β€” you'll win Halloween thanks to your face alone. You don't need to be creating an elaborate look to integrate face paint, either. With just a few key products and a couple of art brushes, you can make your everyday look just a little more glam.

Professional makeup artist Eve Jenkins, whom you may know from Netflix's "Glow Up," previously told POPSUGAR that it's worth picking up Mehron face paints before getting started since they're super creamy and don't dry out or crack. She also recommends the PLouise bases, which come in a variety of colors and don't require any water to get going. Jenkins says they're highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. "Use this as a base, and then set it with your favorite shadow," she says.

If you're ready to get started, we've rounded up our favorite awe-inspiring makeup looks to try to nail this year. From Disney-inspired costumes like Snow White's evil queen and Ariel from "Little Mermaid" to more general makeup like a cat or deer, there is an option for everyone no matter your skill level or abilities. We recommend you start practicing now. (And honestly, even if you make yourself look half as good as these photos, we're going to be impressed.)

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" Face Paint

To recreate this Sally look from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," you'll want to grab your key face-paint colors: blue (for the base), black (for detailing), white (for mixing), and red (if you want to skip traditional lipstick). A small art brush will help you create the perfect stitches.

Te Fiti, "Moana" Face Paint

This Te Fiti costume may look complicated, but it's actually extremely simple and requires one all-over face-paint color: green. Then, use a fluffy blush brush to sweep a luminescent-powder highlighter along your cheeks, nose, and chin to add dimension.

"The Emperor's New Groove" Face Paint

The best way to channel Yzma from "The Emperor's New Groove" is to invest in purple face paint. Instead of makeup brushes, use a range of tiny art brushes for details and makeup sponges for larger areas.

Zombie-Deer Face Paint

This look is all about creating dimension, so you'll want to load up on the black paint for shading. Adding swirls of white polka dots across the face also adds to the pop-art effect.

Evil Queen Face Paint

Snow White is a great costume, but the Evil Queen is a lot more interesting to paint on. Be sure to grab a detailing brush to emphasize her especially chiseled features, like her arched eyebrows and sharp cheekbones.

School-Dots Face Paint

For costumes like this, where you want highly saturated pigment, wet your face paints beforehand. Put some water in a spray bottle (or, according to Jenkins, you can also use a hydrating setting spray), and mist it directly on the face paint before applying.

Spider-Man Face Paint

When you're working on a smaller area that needs fuller coverage, such as the entire area around your eyes like this Spider-Man mask, use a damp makeup sponge to apply the face paint. Then, go in with smaller brushes to paint on the lines.

"The Little Mermaid" Face Paint

For eye-makeup looks that will take your costume up a notch, like Ariel from "The Little Mermaid," try using a variety of PLouise base colors. Apply that first for a hit of pigment before setting it with your favorite eyeshadow.

"Alice in Wonderland" Face Paint

For a costume like Cheshire Cat, where you'll need to do lots of layering, avoid water-activated face paints. Instead, try a cream-based face paint, and make sure you set it with setting powder.