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5 minute DIY: Homemade Halloween makeup

Posted by Melissa Massello  October 24, 2013 11:22 AM

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DIY_halloween_makeup_recipe_shoestring.jpgPhoto: Shoestring

Inspired by a trip to Tulum, Mexico in late October a few years ago for a friend's wedding, I've been longing to do a Day of the Dead doll costume for Halloween but was totally intimidated by getting the sugar skull design just right. Thanks to the magic of Pinterest searches and this simple 5-minute homemade Halloween makeup recipe, using just water and two common household ingredients, I found everything I needed to give it a try.

DIY Halloween makeup recipe

Adapted: Frugal Yankee for Shoestring Magazine

  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 teaspoon cold cream

  • Makeup brushes (including one with a fine tip)

  • Cotton balls

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl, then add food coloring. Whisk immediately using a small knife or spoon, taking care not to let the corn starch sit in the wet ingredients for more than a few seconds or it will clump. Once combined, add additional drops of food coloring until desired color is reached, then apply.

Wash your face and any area to which you'll be applying makeup, then dry thoroughly. Apply a thin coat of cold cream to your entire face. Using a cotton ball, gently pat cornstarch over the cold cream, taking care not to let any pieces of cotton stick. Using the makeup brush, apply a thin layer in long strokes and let dry completely. Pat with cornstarch on cotton ball and repeat, as many times as necessary to get the smooth, even look you desire.

To get that authentic sugar skull design, here's a 5-minute video tutorial with step-by-step instructions from The Beauty Box 1211:

I skipped the colored eyeshadows and cheekbone shading and went very simple in black and white, but if you wanted those colors you could also make them using the cornstarch & cold cream recipe. Just be sure to let each layer dry completely, and dab your face with additional cornstarch in between layers to keep them from pocking and blending. I used a cheap fine-tip flat eyeliner brush from e.l.f. ($1.49) to apply the black design around my eyes and over the white base to create the "teeth" across my mouth and chin. At the very end, once everything was dry, I dabbed a little of the coconut oil & berry lip stain I made last week for the interior of my lips, for that truly "undead" look. Not bad for a first try, but I'll definitely go for a smoother, more layered application on Halloween night.

DIY Halloween makeup recipe

For my costume, I'll wear a short white lace dress (my wedding after-party outfit) and add a black crochet scarf from the Goodwill Outlet ($0.50) on my head, along with some red silk flowers from Michael's in Porter Square pinned along my forehead using bobby pins.

You could also easily use this makeup recipe and design for a Nightmare Before Christmas costume for kids (or grownups) and other characters — use your imagination! Check out these 143 costume ideas from three local thrift stores for more DIY Halloween ideas.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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