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40 Halloween Face Paint Ideas That Are Simple and Fun

Get ready to take your costume to a whole new level with these spooky, simple and unique Halloween face paint ideas

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Face painingNikola Nastasic/Getty Images

Make your costume memorable with these Halloween face paint ideas

Ready for Halloween? Everybody’s favorite dress-up holiday isn’t just for children—adults can (and should!) get in on the spooky fun too. Sure, you could buy one of the best Halloween costumes, but half the fun of Halloween is cobbling something together yourself, and that includes bringing one of many Halloween face paint ideas to life.

If you’re looking to flex your creative muscles, take a gander at one of these Halloween face paint ideas. You can even create some of the specific makeup looks listed with your glam bag staples—or you can get a basic DIY Halloween face painting kit and take your creation to the next level. There’s a Halloween face paint look for everyone, even those looking for an easy Halloween costume to throw together this year.

zombie make upCourtesy Jamie Stone

Zombie face paint

Missing the Walking Dead? Turn yourself into the living undead with this incredible (and incredibly spooky) look, which is possible to achieve with just a little pale foundation, black eyeshadow, red blush and matte ruby red lipstick. Speaking of spooky, don’t miss this backstory on the hidden origins of Halloween’s spookiest creatures.

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Gothic woman is a vampire with pale skin and red hair in a black dress and a necklace on her neck. Girl witch with vampire claws and red lips. Gothic look. Outfit for halloween.iiievgeniy/Getty Images

Gothic vampire face paint

Transform into one of Halloween’s most iconic creatures: the vampire. Stock up on white body paint, grab your favorite makeup staples (a good red lipstick would look great) and voilà—you’re ready to turn heads at the Halloween party.

blue universe face paintGanna Gavenko/Getty Images

Blue universe face paint

Blue face paint + glitter + lots of creativity = one great look! This face paint would look great with a DIY adult Halloween costume.

cat make upCourtesy Allison Weiss Brady

Cat face paint

The feline look is purr-fect for Halloween. (We couldn’t resist!) Creating a cat-makeup look easy and fun to recreate yourself at home: simply shadow the tip of the nose with black eyeshadow, and use eyeliner or black paint to create whiskers. Become a matching duo with your feline with these cat Halloween costumes.

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Hailey Barry cheetah leopardvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Cheetah face paint

Get a cheetah look thanks to simple—but visually stunning—makeup, including gold lips, gold highlight dotted onto the forehead and black eyeliner to create whiskers on cheeks. Finish with shimmery metallic black eyeshadow. If you’re looking for a humorous getup, check out these punny Halloween costumes.

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Portrait Of Man In Zombie Make-Up During HalloweenPaul Farace/Getty Images

Gory zombie face paint

Being undead has never looked so cool. Get some face paint (black, white and red are must-haves for this look), and you’re all set. Use fake blood and fake scabs to really sell the look.

Portrait of young woman with creative make up as joker lady for halloween .MilosStankovic/Getty Images

Lady Joker face paint

This is one of those Halloween face paint ideas that’s simple but effective. Grab black and red face paint, add red lipstick, put on dark eye makeup and transform into a head-turning Lady Joker.

Portrait Of Boy dressed up in Pirate face paint for halloweenIsabel Pavia/Getty Images

Pirate face paint

This is a perfect Halloween face paint look for the kiddos! It’s super simple: paint on an eye patch, mustache and bandana. That way, you spend less time at home and more time trick-or-treating.

make upvia @emmagarden_/Instagram

Clown face paint

Clowns can veer from cute to creepy, so if you’re looking for a look that’s more pretty than Pennywise, less is more. The only must is a red or pink dot of makeup on the nose, red or pink lipstick, and white or silvery clown tears, like this whimsical clown look.

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fairy make upvia @b_dockk/Instagram

Fairy face paint

An ethereal fairy look is possible with just a few makeup items, including rosy cream blush, rosy lipstick and a bright pop of color all around the eyes. Add sparkle appliqués for an extra fairy gleam, like this beautiful look. Keep the whimsical momentum going with one of these Disney Halloween costumes.

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sally a night before christmasvia @miss_laurenmarie/instagram

Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas face paint

A popular look at Halloween—for obvious reasons!—is Sally from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of the best Halloween movies for kids. While some of the Sallys you’ll find on Instagram are incredibly elaborate, it’s also possible to do a great Sally with nothing more than a blue-black eyeliner pencil and red lipstick, such as in this fun Instagram look.

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mermaid make up for halloweenGanna Gavenko/Getty Images

Mermaid face paint

Transform into this mythical creature of the sea with this face paint idea. Add a headband and face jewels to make it come to life!

spider web make upvia @kirbiejohnson/instagram

Spiderweb face paint

Left your Halloween costume until the last minute? For a fast holiday-appropriate look, create a spiderweb effect on your face with black face paint—even black eyeliner will do in a pinch—layered on the side of your face over your normal makeup. And don’t miss these Halloween crafts that anyone in the family can make.

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halloween make upvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Sugar skull face paint

While a sugar skull face paint look might seem impossible for all but the most experienced makeup artist, it can actually be surprisingly easy to achieve: It simply takes a bit of time! (It’s also important to remember to be culturally sensitive and respectful for this traditional Day of the Dead look.)

Start with white face paint all over the face, and then use a dark shade of gel shadow or face paint to create circles around the eyes. Use black face paint to shade in the nose, and then to draw lines out from the corner of your mouth and vertically along the lips. Finally, create petals by drawing small circles around the eye sockets with colorful face paint, and add extra adornment around the face. Or, try the simple look shown here, which (incredibly!) uses only drugstore makeup. Once you’re done with this look, play one of the many Halloween party games.

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Mother painting daughters face for halloween bat costumePeter Muller/Getty Images

Bat face paint

Your kid will be the cutest bat on Halloween with this face paint idea. Just grab some black face paint and draw those bat wings!

eyes make upvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Multiple eyes face paint

Dying to indulge your creative drawing skills? Try this Multiple Eyes face paint makeup, sure to draw a double (or triple!) take thanks to its colorful and literally eye-popping look. Talk about an illusion! Keep your eyes and brain in motion by solving these Halloween riddles. Can you figure them out?

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via @haileyelizr/instagram

Wonder Woman face paint

For an easy but gorgeous Woman Woman face paint look worthy of the Amazonian goddess herself, use a black eyeliner to create cartoonish contours under cheekbones, at the jawline, down the nose, around the lips and around the eyes. Draw a “helmet” on the forehead, fill in with glittery gold face paint and top off with a small star and juicy red lips.

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halloween make upvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Two-faced face paint

Looking to rock an eye-catching costume? This pop art skull is guaranteed to grab attention, thanks to its bold detail and bright colors. Even better, the outfit itself can be basic because the makeup is the star of the show. See if you can add a two-faced face paint look to one of these vintage Halloween costumes.

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peach skull make upvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Peach skull face paint

Turn a basic Halloween skull into a frightfully good costume with this makeup look. Peach face paint mixed with glittery definition and painted on teeth combine for face paint sure to turn heads. Wear some of your edgier clothes to create an easy costume.

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hearts make upvia @haileyelizr/instagram

Lovesick face paint

Spending Halloween with that special somebody? Write your love all over your face with this playfully romantic look, featuring delicate hearts and hot pink eyeshadow for extra pizazz. These are more of the best Halloween costumes for couples.

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harle quinn make up haileyelizr via @haileyelizr/instagram

Harlequin face makeup

Take the best parts of a clown, minus the creepiness of the Joker, and you’ve got an appealing, fun and colorful harlequin makeup look. Even better: This look is completely achievable with regular makeup (no professional face paint needed).

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halloween joker face paintSavusia Konstantin/Getty Images

Joker face paint

Speaking of Joker, you can draw inspiration from Batman’s arch-nemesis for this Halloween face paint idea.

Spider Eye Makeupvia @erika.fx/Instagram

Spider eyes face paint makeup

Get creepy and creative with this idea. Inspired by season six of American Horror Story, this look requires a black eyeliner pen, red liquid lipstick and some courage—you are painting spiders on your eyes, after all.

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mom putting dog makeup on her child for halloweenmanonallard/Getty Images

Kids’ dog face paint

This is a simple Halloween face paint idea for a little one! Use black and red face painting sticks to turn them into an adorable pup for the night. Here are some Halloween costumes for kids for more inspiration.

girl with cracked face paint for halloween costumeKryssia Campos/Getty Images

Cracked face paint

This could really work if you’re going for a scary Little Red Riding Hood costume. Plus, it’s pretty easy to do—all you need is a black face paint stick to draw the cracks.

black and white halloween face paint makeupurbazon/Getty Images

Black and white face paint

The coolest thing about this Halloween face paint is that you can make whatever shapes you wish. Get creative (and spooky) with it!

young woman with scary clown face paint for halloweenKaren Roxana Ramos Ramos/Getty Images

Eerie clown face paint

Looking for a clown look that’ll turn eyes? Try this one out. Don’t forget to get some red lipstick and dark eyeshadow to help complete the look.

Nikkietutorials Butterfly Makeup 2via @nikkietutorials/Instagram

Butterfly face paint

You’ll float like a beautiful butterfly this Halloween with this gorgeous look! NikkieTutorials picks a vibrant eyeshadow pallet to make the look pop, and it looks so fun to create.

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vampire face paint for halloweenstock_colors/Getty Images

Vampire face paint

This is a Halloween face paint look that works for kids and adults! Get some white face paint, a colorful paint stick for the eyes and fake vampire fangs to complete the transformation.

skeleton halloween face paintPaula Daniëlse/Getty Images

Skeleton face paint

Get some white face paint, a black face paint stick and black lipstick to create this simple skeleton look.

little girl with witch halloween face paintSasi Ponchaisang/Getty Images

Witch face paint for kids

Draw a spider and its web to bring a child’s witch look to life!

nun face paint for halloween costumeReyes Brune/Getty Images

Scary nun face paint

Pair this Halloween face paint with a nun costume and you’ll definitely turn heads! There’s no doubt you’ll have a scary Halloween costume.

Scar Lion King Face Paintvia @ohh_maly/Instagram

Scar face paint

Transform yourself into the villain from The Lion King this Halloween, like @ohh_maly on Instagram did!

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young girl with pumpkin face paint for halloweenpetrenkod/Getty Images

Pumpkin face paint

This look is simple but effective for kids and adults. All you need is orange face paint, a black paint stick and some creativity.

halloween demon face paint makeupmorgan23/Getty Images

Demon face paint

This Halloween face paint look is sure to turn heads. Grab red face paint and some demon horns to complete the look.

Poison Ivy Face Paintvia @zurifx/Instagram

Poison Ivy face paint

Zuri Fx does an incredible job transforming into one of Batman’s foes, Poison Ivy (who makes a great Halloween costume for women). Don’t forget to grab a red wig and a green body paint stick if you’re itching to replicate the look.

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young girl with rainbow cat face paint for halloweenscaliger/Getty Images

Rainbow cat face paint

This Halloween face paint idea is purr-fect for kids!

sinister face paint for halloween costumeAndrii Iemelyanenko/Getty Images

Sinister face paint

Get as creative as you want with this look. Bring the white face paint, a black face paint stick and your own spooky ideas.

Cherry Bomb Face Paintvia @raydiatebyraychel/Instagram

Cherry bomb face paint

Raychel Roll really knocks it out of the park with this look—and you can too!

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Sunflower facepaint for halloween costumeSrdjanPav/Getty Images

Sunflower face paint

The sunny sunflower meets the eeriness of Halloween with this face paint idea. All you need is yellow and black face paint, some brown eye makeup and red lipstick to complete the look.

Next, check out these best Halloween Instagram captions to accompany your fabulous pictures.

Additional reporting by Nadine Jolie Courtney.

Kelly Kuehn
Kelly Kuehn is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest covering entertainment, trivia, and history. When she’s not writing you can find her watching the latest and greatest movies, listening to a true crime podcast (or two), blasting ‘90s music, and hiking with her dog, Ryker, throughout New England.