Suprise, Bitch: It's an American Horror Story Undead Madison Montgomery Halloween Tutorial

The perfect no-frills costume that could easily translate into any undead look of your choosing.

Halloween is HUGE in New Orleans. People get excessively excited. Having spent the vast majority of my life in the boring suburbs of Chicago, though, Halloween never stirred up in me the gusto to cover literally my entire lawn with skeletons like they do here.

Being the creative genius that I am, I went as a witch for Halloween for at least five years as a kid. And it wasn’t even like I was reusing a badass costume; it was just a wizard robe. This year I need to actually step things up a notch. When in Rome, eh?

Seeing as American Horror Story: Coven was filmed right here in NOLA, I thought that the generically undead look on Madison Montgomery—you know the scene when she's smoking on the stairs?—was the perfect no-frills costume for this Halloween newbie. Plus, this makeup could easily translate into any undead costume of your choosing.

First, bring on the deadly pallor.

Use a super-matte foundation a shade or two too pale for your skin. Feel free to powder as needed, any shine will make the skin appear more alive, which is not what we want. Also cover your lips to take the color down a notch.

The majority of this look is focused on making the eyes look deadly. First thing to do on the eyes is to lay down a sepia toned base.

I used the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Leather cream shadow in Creamy Beige. I really roughly applied the color all over the lid, all the way up to just above the crease, and also haphazardly under the lower lash line.

To deepen the color, use a slightly darker powder like the NYX Blush in Taupe, and sweep over the base.

Take the powder down your inner-eye corner and onto your eye bags. Follow the shape of your eye bags, and if you don’t have any (lucky you) just follow the shape of your eye socket.

For a more bruised look, add a green-tinged gray color to the inner corner and up to the crease of the eye. I’m using Shiro Cosmetics' Sherlock-inspired sculpting shade in Do Your Research.

Now we're going to contour using the same Shiro shade.

Instead of making your face into an impossibly perfect alien, we’re going for more of a gaunt look. Start just under your cheekbone, where you would normally for contour. Continue down and stop about an inch or so away from your mouth, then blend down to pull down the shape of your face. I also added a touch of contour to my hairline, temple and under my jaw.

To liven up the lips just a smidge, add a little lipstick in a shade similar to your lips just to the inner edges, leaving the outer edges flesh-toned.

Mascara is optional for this look; I chose to add it to more closely follow the makeup from the show.

To finish the look, throw on an all black ensemble (complete with neck-gash-covering ribbon), smoke a (candy) cigarette, and act like you can’t feel anything but you’re still better than everyone else.

  • What is your favorite undead look? Something more tame like this, or over the top zombie?
  • Have you ever used the same Halloween makeup for different costumes? Because if I were still in school I would totally use this and say I was studying for midterms.
  • What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?