The Babadook: Halloween Makeup That Will Probably Cause at Least One Heart Attack

If not a heart attack, then a solid pants-pooping.
Publish date:
October 23, 2015
movies, xohalloween, scary, Halloween Costumes, Halloween Makeup, Babadook

In case you didn't see the 2014 horror movie The Babadook, it's about a grieving widow whose son becomes convinced that a frightening storybook creature named the Babadook has invaded their home.

People tend to have strong reactions to this movie, either loving or hating it, but either way, it's hard to forget it. I certainly haven't been able to get the Babadook out of my mind ever since I saw the movie, so of course I had to turn it into a Halloween costume.

It's a fairly simple costume, but you'll need to put aside about an hour to do a full face of makeup (and buy a top hat).

Here's what you'll need:

  • Black matte lipstick (for larger areas)
  • Black eyeliner (for smaller areas)
  • White eyeshadow stick (for larger areas)
  • White eyeliner (for smaller areas)
  • Eyelid primer
  • The non-makeup elements: a black top hat, black turtleneck, black coat, and possibly a short black wig

Specifically, I used Illamasqua Lipstick in Pristine and Sigma Line Ace in Legend for the black areas and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk and Sigma Line Ace in Endorse for the white areas.

Step 1: The Mouth

For the mouth, I suggest starting by drawing a thin white line in the shape of the wide, grinning mouth. Then draw the upper and lower teeth. It's OK if they're uneven and mismatched; in fact, that's encouraged. Remember, the Babadook is supposed to look like a crude illustration.

Then take your black lipstick, or whatever you have that's black, and fill in the area between the rows of teeth. Don't forget to completely cover your lips as well.

You'll need to use something thinner, like black eyeliner, to fill in the areas all around each individual tooth. Then take the black liner and draw another thin line on the very outside of the mouth (on the other side of the white line).

Step 2: The Eyes

For the eyes, you can just rely on your regular eyes if you want. However you'll get a much better effect if you draw fake eyes on your eyelids. Start with a good primer so nothing budges; I used Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

Draw a large black circle on the middle of each eyelid with black eyeliner; that's the pupil. Then make a white circle around that with white eyeliner. Then draw another black circle around that with the black eyeliner.

After that, as you'll see below, you'll continue the outermost black circle so it engulfs your brows, under-eye area, and the bridge of your nose.

Step 3: The Nose

The Babadook has a short white nose that falls somewhere in between a triangle and a rectangle. So draw an outline in that shape around your nose in black. Then you can fill in the nose shape with white.

I made sure to cover both the sides and front of my nose with black; I even went inside my nostrils a bit so that no flesh tone was showing.

Step 4: The Cheeks and Forehead

Add some white to your upper cheek area and your forehead.

Step 5: The Jaw and Neck

Take your black lipstick and use it to cover any remaining skin on your jawline, temples, forehead, and neck. As you can see above, I also added a few messy strokes of black onto the white since the Babadook is a rather crude, messy illustration in the movie.

Step 6: Add a Wig, Hat, and Coat

The final step is to add the finishing touches, such as a large black overcoat, a black top hat, and a disheveled, short black wig if you can manage it (if your hair is already black and above shoulder-length, just make it as messy as possible and skip the wig). You can also add long, sharp, black fingers on each hand to replicate the Babadook's creepy hands, if you want.

Please, stay away from small dogs and young children while made-up like this. I guess grieving widows are fair game, though. Actually, this would make for a great couple's costume if one of you has long blonde hair.

Photos by Josh Kirby