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Halloween Makeup & Face Paint Tips

How to Use Halloween Makeup Without the Spooky Skin Reactions

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Halloween Makeup & Face Paint Tips

All it takes is just a little glitter.

Photo: By Frederic Tousche/Photographer's Choice (Getty Images)
Halloween Makeup & Face Paint Tips

Michelle Phan

Photo: Lancome

It’s that spooky time again, when adults become kids. What a great excuse to play dress up and eat Snickers bars. But if you’re not the type that likes wearing masks for Halloween, makeup can transfer your face into any look you desire – vampire, ghoul, zombie, princess or even one of your favorite celebrities. Wouldn’t it be fun to be Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga?

Novelty or Regular Makeup?

There are two popular options for your Halloween makeup. One is to use the real deal face paint that you can find at craft, costume or drug stores. If you want to go all out and need special effects like vampire blood dripping from your mouth or a gory vampire bite on your neck for example, face paint or special Halloween makeup kits would probably be the way to go.

Is It FDA Approved?

Some face paints and other items shouldn’t be used near the eyes, so it’s better to use eye makeup. Other products like glitter might not be made for use on the face. If you decide to use face paint, make sure it is safe to use on your skin and that it is made in the United States. The FDA has guidelines for ingredients that are safe for consumers. Color additives have to be approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, including face paints and other cosmetics used around Halloween.

Do A Skin Patch Test

Just because a product is FDA-approved, it doesn't mean that your own skin will approve its usage. If you have never used a product before, test it out on your arm, like the bend of your elbow, two days before using it on your face. Certain ingredients can cause irritation to the skin, skin rashes, and sometimes minor swelling, depending on the individual.

Even if you used the product in the past, there could be a possibility that it could cause a reaction—ingredients could be different or the condition of your skin or body could be different. So it’s always best to be on the safe side.

Keep An Eye on Your Eyes

Make sure that any products used near the eyes will not harm them. Particles can flake off and get into the eyes. Be gentle and careful when removing the makeup from around the eye area.

Allergic Reactions

When you appear at the party in your fierce Halloween costume and makeup, you definitely want to get a positive reaction. Just make sure it’s the right reaction! To be on the safe side, have an antihistamine like Benadryl or a hydrocortisone cream on hand in case of a possible allerigc reaction. If you have a severe reaction, don’t self-medicate. Consult your doctor immediately.

Safe Makeup Removal

Remove face paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the package. Otherwise use a good makeup remover for the face and an eye makeup remover for around the eyes. These products are formulated to dissolve makeup ingredients. Removers that work for waterproof or long-lasting products would be good choices. Using an actual remover made for this purpose will also prevent you from having to rub too hard to remove the makeup and further irritate the skin. Thoroughly cleanse the skin to make sure all traces of makeup are removed to avoid clogging the pores and causing breakouts.

Visit the FDA site for more information on novelty makeup and safety tips.

Dip Into Your Makeup Bag

If this is a one-time event, though, you could end up with more novelty makeup than you’ll use. So to save money you might want to dip into your makeup drawer.

Some products that you might have on hand that could work for your Halloween makeup look are glitters and shimmer gels and powders, metallic eye shadows, black kohl eyeliner and black nail polish. You can use this time to try out those over-the-top makeup looks from the runway or use that dreadful foundation that was way too light for your skin tone for the ghoul effect! Kidding aside, you can create a pasty ghost look with a foundation four to six shades lighter than what you normally use.

Consult How-To Videos, Then Do a Trial Run

Practice applying the makeup a night or two beforehand to perfect your look. There are some great You Tube videos that show how to apply Halloween makeup or how to look like certain celebrities. You Tube favorite Michelle Phan has created Elegant Masquerade, a great video for Lancôme that teaches you how to applying makeup under a masquerade mask.

The Finishing Touch

To set your look, use a barrier spray like Mehron Barrier Spray to keep your makeup from smearing or fading. And even though it’s regular makeup, make sure you thoroughly cleanse your face before retiring for the night.

Have fun boo-tiful.

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