Halloween Ghost Makeup: Get a Stunning, Supernatural Look

Updated September 28, 2021
Girl wearing ghost makeup

Halloween ghost makeup is not simply about slapping on some white face paint and saying "Boo!" There are other ways to make yourself look scary, and the techniques aren't frightening at all.

Preparing Your Face

Most likely, when you're about to put on your Halloween makeup, it's in the evening. That means you may have residual makeup, oil and sweat on your skin. To keep your cream base on (or any makeup, really), you need to start fresh.

  • Wash your face with your regular face wash.
  • If you're especially prone to the oilies, now's a good time to use a toner or astringent.
  • Dry your face well.
  • Pull your hair back if it's long.

Now that you're properly prepared, it's time to get started with your ghostly transformation.

Applying Halloween Ghost Makeup

For this particular look, it may be easiest to go out and buy a Halloween makeup kit. That will include quite a bit of white or grayish-white cream base, and you'll need that for all or most of your visible skin. If that won't work for you, try theatrical makeup companies like Ben Nye to get your hands on exactly what you need. Be sure to do an allergy test first. You don't want your new makeup to make you break out in an itchy rash or send you to urgent care. You just want to look dead, not have a near-death experience.

Step 1: Face

Once you have your grayish-white face makeup picked out, apply that to your whole face and neck (if visible). The rest of your Halloween ghost makeup is in the details.

Face makeup
  1. Sponges work better than fingers or foundation brushes for applying all-over face and neck makeup.
  2. Skip the rouge completely. Even if you're a ghost bride, you won't be blushing at all.
  3. If you feel like you want to sculpt your face for a harsher look, use a matte gray shadow and swipe it under your cheekbones, on the sides of your nose, around your jawline, and near your hairline.

This is basically the same technique used to warm your face up with bronzer, but you're cooling it off to look ghastly instead.

Step 2: Eyes

Since ghosts stay up all night walking the halls and rattling chains, and facial and eye creams won't work on them, they're bound to have dark circles under their eyes. You can use two shades of gray here, a navy blue and gray, or gray and black. It's up to you.

eye makeup
  1. Using an eyeshadow brush (the application doesn't have to be too precise, so any fluffy brush should do), put the darker color under your eye in the inner corner. Blend that out and down.
  2. On the outer corner, add the lighter color and blend in (to meet the dark color) and down.
  3. If you want to add dimension to your eyes, use a black liner along the upper and lower lash lines. Try to make the line thicker in the middle of the lid to give a more rounded appearance to the eye.

Alternatively, you could go for sexy ghost eyes with cat-eye makeup.

Step 3: Lips

There are a lot of options for lip color when you're making up your face to look like a ghost.

  1. Black, blue, deep burgundy, any of those lip colors will do. You could even opt for a nude lip color, then tone it down and cool it off further with a blue-tinged lipstick or gloss on top.
  2. If all else fails and you really want your lips to disappear, use a very light concealer.
  3. Want lips that appear cracked? Use a concealer with a dry consistency, or a matte lipstick in a nude shade. If you don't apply lip balm or exfoliate lips first, they tend to give the look of a dry, chapped mouth without any special effects skills needed.

Extras: From Eyes to Shrouds

Make your ghostly look uniquely yours with a few optional touches. Any of the following options can make your look extra creepy:

  • Insert ghostly looking special effects contact lenses
  • Wear a shroud of some kind (you could make your own)
  • Pair a pale silver costume wig with the rest of your gray and white look

Ghost Bride Makeup Tutorial

For a unique take on a ghost costume, you might want to dress up like a ghost bride rather than a regular ghost. This look starts with white face makeup, but also includes a bit of shimmer. After all, even a ghost bride wants to look fabulous on her special day. Of course, you'll need to snag a cheap white dress to complete this look.

Victorian Goth Ghost Makeup Look

If you want to look like a ghost who has been haunting the party for a really long time, opt for this Victorian approach to ghost makeup. This ghostly makeup is a great option for history buffs and those who like the idea of channeling a goth look.

Ghost Pirate Makeup Instructions

For a fun and creative take on the ghost costume idea, you may want to get dressed up like a ghost pirate. This is not a difficult makeup look to achieve, and it's like you're wearing two costumes at once. What could be more fun than going as both a ghost and a pirate?

Happy Hauntings

Now that you know how to do ghost makeup, you're just about ready to rock the costume party as a spooky apparition. All you need is the perfect ghost costume to complete your ensemble.

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Halloween Ghost Makeup: Get a Stunning, Supernatural Look