Last-Minute Halloween Makeup: 3 Products, 11 Costumes

Supplies: white foundation, red lipstick, black eyeliner.

If you procrastinated on your Halloween costume for too long, or just received a last-minute invitation to a costume party, you might be grabbing your car keys and heading for the nearest place where you can buy a costume in a bag.

But why spend $40 on a sexy carrot costume that you’ll only wear once when you already own the tools to DIY something way cooler at home? For instance, do you have red lipstick, black eyeliner, and white foundation? Starting with that, you can easily scrounge around for the rest of what you need for these 15 homespun costume ideas.

(P.S. My product recommendations--and swatches--are down below the costume inspiration.)

1. Cruella de Vil

I went as this one year in college and it was so easy (and warm!). In addition to red lipstick and faux fur, you’ll want to make half of your hair white. If you don’t have time to pick up white hair spray, you could use baby powder, or even flour.

2. Marilyn Monroe

Do you have blonde hair and a white dress? OK, put on your favorite red lipstick and you’re ready to go.

3. Mary Poppins

This is best for brunettes. Wear your hair back with a center part and gather the following: a white button-up, a black or navy blazer or coat, a small red bow to go on your collar, and a black umbrella. Bonus points if you wear a black straw hat decorated with flowers. Keep makeup minimal--just a touch of a light red lipstick.

4. Dita Von Teese

If you have dark hair and you’re looking for a sexy last-minute costume, you've found it. You’ll need perfect red lips--Dita has mentioned her favorites here--and retro waves in your hair. For clothes, think burlesque: black or red lace, thigh-highs, corsets, anything with feathers or sequins.

5. Twiggy Or Edie Sedgwick

This one's easy: check out my Edie Sedgwick tutorial that I did last year. (Just put your hair in a low ponytail if you don't have a pixie cut.)

6. A Pirate

Pirates wear lots of black eyeliner, so just pile it on all around your eyes (and/or dot some around your jaw for stubble), wear some ragged clothes and boots, and you’re all set.

7. Margot Tenenbaum

You know who else wears a lot of black eyeliner? Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums. If you have a blonde bob (or a wig on hand), just line your eyes raccoon-style and throw on a striped dress and a faux fur coat.

8. A Puppet

The basic requirement for this costume is two black lines drawn from the corners of your mouth to the chin. After that, you can get as creative as you want by adding white face paint, red lips or a mustache, and a suit with a bow tie.

9. Roy Lichtenstein Pop Art

Christina just did an awesome tutorial on this look. For my version, I used Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red for the dots and lip color; Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner for brows and outlining; and MAC white foundation for the small touches on my lips.

10. Wednesday Addams

For this, you just need one or two coats of the white foundation, a Peter Pan collar dress, and two braided pigtails with a severe center part. Oh, and a perfectly deadpan delivery.

11. A Zombie

Zombies, vampires, and witches are classic Halloween costumes that never get old. For zombies especially, it’s okay if you do it in a rush and get a little messy. I applied my MAC Foundation in white all over my face and blended black eye shadow around my eyes and under my cheeks. Then I added red eye shadow under my eyes and smeared my lips with red lipstick and black eyeliner (for depth).

Products & Swatches




  • Have you ever dressed up in any of these Halloween costumes?

  • What's the best homemade costume you've ever created? Pics in the comments!