Promise Tamang via YouTube
Promise Tamang via YouTube

Frightening Face-Off: 10 Halloween Makeup Tutorials

Promise Tamang via YouTube
Promise Tamang via YouTube

Determined to win first prize at your local Halloween costume contest? You'll probably really have to get into character, complete with special effects makeup. But before you get started on your head-to-toe transformation, take a few cues from these pros who have already proven they know how to put on an impressive front.


Kat Sketch set out to mimic what she calls a "creepy" shark face that she spotted in a painting. In the video above, she uses face moisturizer, face makeup primer, makeup setting spray, Halloween makeup, and more to create a detailed look.

And if you'd rather not dive into an ocean-themed transformation, Sketch's other special effects makeup tutorials teach viewers how to turn themselves into Disney characters, horror movie villains, celebrities, and dismembered ghouls.


Swedish duo ellimacs sfx—makeup artist Ellinor Rosander and photographer Macs Moser—created this recreation of the Demorgorgon monster from the Netflix series Stranger Things. Beware: This project isn't for beginners. It takes over 2 hours to prepare and another 30 to 40 minutes to apply. See more of elliemacs sfx special effects tutorials on their website.


In the video above, Chicago makeup artist Alex Faction transforms himself into a fearsome skull with only the power of makeup. You’ll see many variations of the skull at Faction’s Instagram page, and more of his Halloween makeup tutorials on YouTube.


Promise Tamang can make herself into a number of characters, whether they are captured in CGI, live action, or stop-motion. One of her top tutorials: Sally from the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas (seen above), which pulled in over 14 million views! Tamang is also known for taking on other Tim Burton characters, including Edward Scissorhands and The Corpse Bride as well as tutorials for all the Disney Princesses.


British artist Emma Pickles is best-known for this look, inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book pop art. Check out Pickles’ portfolio of other special effects makeup art.


Sarah Coy of Coy Makeup took on the challenge of recreating Venom, a villain from the Spider-Man comics with a huge mouth, enormous sharp teeth, and a long tongue. The trick, according to Coy, is to use the entire chin and neck for Venom’s mouth. The eyes must also be enormous for balance.


Los Angeles-based special effects artist Angie Davis started working her recreation of Valak, a demon nun from the 2016 movie The Conjuring 2, almost immediately after seeing the film. If you would rather create your own original character, Starling also has a number of tutorials that explain how to create bloody body wounds.


DeviantART member Katie Alves works her Halloween magic with the help of UV blacklight paints. One example: this alien recreation, which also features glitter and a glow-in-the-dark wig. See more of Alves' makeup masterpieces in her gallery.


Greg Nicotero and Andy Schoneberg create the zombies on the TV show The Walking Dead. At their day job, they have 30 sculptors, mold-makers, painters, and makeup artists producing prosthetics for thousands of stunt actors and extras. Some zombies and death scenes require special rigs to spew blood or even complete latex doubles to endure dismemberment. But in this makeup tutorial, they only use materials you can find at a Halloween shop or grocery store to help you become one of the undead for Halloween.


Body paint artist Bethany Geek (YouTube user Geekup) treats skin as a canvas in order to turn herself into Night King, the leader of the White Walkers, the army of the undead in the Game of Thrones. She also takes on a number of comic book, video game, and movie characters in other tutorials.

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Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.


The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice

Most versions of black licorice contain glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]


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