Halloween Makeup Tutorial: The Bride of Frankenstein

The classic monster beauty gets a glamorous makeover.

When it comes to glamorous monsters, no one is more beautifully terrifying than the Bride of Frankenstein.

I teased you guys a couple of weeks ago about the looks I'd be recreating for xoHalloween--and The Bride is first on my list.

I chose her for a few reasons: one, because my historical doppleganger Valerie Hobson is in the movie as Elizabeth, two, because I love old Hollywood and therefore old Hollywood Monsters are even better, and three, because the HUGE hair and '30s makeup would be a massive beauty challenge.

I love a challenge.

This is maybe the most involved look I've put together to date, but I'm going to walk you through it step by step. You'll be beehived and bee-stung and ready for Halloween in no time!


The classic calling card of the Monster's mate!

What you'll need:

  • Hair doughnuts. I used three, because that gave the most stable beehive height.
  • White or silver extensions.
  • Hairspray. You're gonna need a lot of it.
  • A curling or waving iron.
  • A comb or teasing brush, not pictured for some reason.
  • Bobby pins.

OPTIONAL: a false front, if you have bangs. I'll get into this in a bit.

First, pull a small section of hair up into a very high ponytail on the top of your head. This is the “anchor” for the rest of the style.

Next, stack your hair doughnuts on top of the ponytail, pulling the hair through the center. Make sure they’re angled backwards, rather than straight up--you want Bride, not Marge Simpson. Split the ponytail into four smaller sections, pulling each down and over the doughnuts and the front, back, and sides. Pin them securely at the base so that your anchor stays up, fastened by your own hair.

Now the fun part: beehive creation. We’re curling (or waving, it’s the texture that’s important) and teasing our hair in concentric rings around the anchor, so start by separating out a 1 1/2” circle of hair all around.

Curl this ring and set it with hairspray, then brush out the curls and working in 2” sections, tease them straight up.

Pin these sections back onto your doughnut-anchor to cover it up. Add more hairspray, because you cannot get enough.

My thick bangs meant that I didn’t have enough long hair to cover the front of the anchor. The only flaw in my otherwise perfect plan! Instead of abandoning the look altogether, I grabbed some weave track, dyed it, and used it as a fill for this otherwise empty patch.

I curled and teased my false front, pinned it behind my bangs, flipped the hair up and attached it to the anchor. So easy!

For my bangs (and much of the outside “ring” of hair), I didn’t hold it up with pins at all. Instead I used a TON of hairspray to keep the hair where I wanted it, then set it with my blowdryer on a low setting. TIGI Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray is, as always, the most perfect thing ever invented. It held my hair up like magic for hours, yet wasn’t a total nightmare to brush out.

Continue curling and pinning (or not) until you come to the temples of the final layer. Leave these out.

Now the white streaks! I curled my extensions and teased them lightly, then pinned each at my temples, covering the base with the front pieces of hair that we left out. I held each extension in place with a liberal application of hairspray, and my hairdryer locked them down.

The result is a HUGE beehive that is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to wear! It's a bit of a modern take on the classic Bride, but it stays very true to the spirit. Just watch out for low doorways.

Thanks to Dani for helping me solve the structural questions posed by this style.


First, I marked out where my facial scars were going to go with grey pencil eyeliner. In the film, The Bride’s scars go along her jawline and up and around her ears, so that was my reference.

I painted my face and lips up to the scarline with MAC Face and Body Foundation in white to emphasize that my face wasn’t always MY face. The beautyblender is the best for applying this tricky formula; it gives a perfect finish, with no streaks. I set it all by PRESSING, not dusting, Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder overtop with a large brush.

Next I drew my stitches in with black liquid liner. I alternated crosses with straight and angled lines so that it wasn’t too perfect-looking.

I also painted my left hand white and drew some scars on, as if I’d had a hand reattached. A weird touch, and one not super relevant to this shoot, but I LOVED it.

To give my face some old Hollywood angularity, I used a matte grey eye shadow to contour beneath my cheekbones. Since I’m not using any highlighter, I made extra sure to blend this really well.

I applied the same grey across my mobile eyelid, then drew a thin line of black liquid eyeliner across my upper lashline. Black pencil liner under my lower lashline and white kohl on my waterlines gave me a wide-eyed look. Some curly fake eyelashes and a bunch of mascara, and my reanimated eyes were done!

A note on the brows: I tried to get rid of them completely, but the white foundation and my glue stick did NOT get along. So I improvised. I used Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Ebony to fill in my own brows and extend the tail up and out towards my temples. I then covered my “real” brow tails with a ton of concealer and more setting powder.

The dark, bee-stung lips were the finishing touch. I drew my lips in with a burgundy lipliner, making them rounder and less wide than they really are. I mixed a custom color using a dark red lipstick and some brown and painted them in with an angled brush.

Are you ready for the final result? Because I’m REALLY proud of it. Here's to a new world of Gods and Monsters...and makeup!

This is truly a look of GRAVE importance.

So what do you think? Did I nail it, or DID I NAIL IT? (I think I nailed it.) Are you a Bride of Frankenstein fan? What's your favorite classic monster movie? Did any of you guess that this was one of the looks I'd be recreating this year?