80+ Spooky Halloween face paint suggestions with tutorials

John Griffith / September 27 2021

In our last article, we compiled an amazing selection of Halloween costumes, aimed for the romantic souls among us. Today, we would like to offer some tips and ideas for those of you who would rather be spooky than sweet. If you are wondering how you can get a truly scary and memorable All Hallows Eve look without breaking the bank, we have a simple (and very creatve) solution for you – Halloween face paint! Not only is this a much cheaper and faster alternative to buying (or making) a costume, but it can also be a lot more effective and very creepy. Furthermore, using face paint is incredibly easy – yes, even if you are not very good at art. Don’t believe us? We have collected a few amazing photo tutorials to prove it! In just a few steps you can transform yourself, your family or your friends into a spooky skeleton, a wicked witch, or a gruesome zombie.

Be the star of the party with our Halloween face paint ideas!

halloween face paint, young woman with clown makeup, in black and purple, wearing pale blue contact lenses, and black lipstick

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Halloween face paint ideas are awesome

Before we get on to the tutorials, we should mention some very important points about working with face paints. First of all, it is very important to use the correct materials. If you have some water colors or pastels laying around the house, it might be tempting to try using them, instead of forking out money for specialized face paints. However, this will just lead to best results and can even be potentially dangerous. Even if the materials in question are non-toxic, they may still contain ingrediants that can be harmful to your health. Applying them on your skin may cause irritation and rashes. Always make sure that you are using paints especially created to be used on your face and body!

Isn’t this warewolf face paint amazing?

werewolf face paint, in white and grey, worn with pale blue contact lenses, by a blonde woman, halloween face paint

Werewolf Halloween face paint

Having the right tools is also ingredibly important. You will need face paints in different colors, of course, but also make up brushes in various sizes – a large one for applying the base color, and a few smaller ones for adding the details. In addition, you will require a glass of water for washing your brushes and a kitchen towel for drying them. If you’d like your face paint to be extra sparkly, you can also add body glitter and rhinestones.

Once you have the right face paints and tools you can start your tarnsformation. You don’t need to apply any face creams or primers – just ensure that your skin is clean and dry. Arm yourself with plenty of patience – work slowly and add as much detail as possible. If you happen to need a darker hue, simply apply one layer of face paint, let it dry and then repeat the process. And finally – if you make a mistake – don’t panic! Just use a damp towel to wipe it away and continue.

And now it’s time for our photo tutorials! Are you ready? Let’s get started!

In our first tutorial we will show you how to recreate this beautiful sugar skull face paint, inspired by Dia de los Muertos

skeleton face paint, two images showing a woman's face, decorated with white, black and red paint, and red rhinestones, sugar skull costume, curled brunette hair, with red flowers

Sugar skull face paint tutorial

You will need:

  • White, black and red face paint
  • A big makeup brush or sponge
  • A small makeup brush
  • Several large red faux flowers (optional)

And here is the step by step photo tutorial:

First, apply the white base color, using the large makeup brush (sponge)

woman applying white powder on her face, using a brush, how to create skeleton face paint, tutorial with photos

Next, outline a circle around each of your eyes, using black face paint and a small makeup brush

brunette woman with face covered in white paint, using a small brush, to outline her eyes, skeleton face paint, steb by step

Color in the circles with red paint

putting pink eye shadow, on the eyelids of a young woman, with face covered in white paint, skeleton face paint, step by step tutorial

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Now, start adding the details. Decorate one half of your face first, and only the start the other half. This way it will be much easier to get an even, symmetrical look. Begin with the forehead and work your way down to the cheeks

spider web details, and floral motifs, painted on the face of a young woman, covered in white paint, skeleton face paint, sugar skull style

Paint the nose and mouth details

how to create a sugar skull, skeleton face paint, young woman drawing details with black, on her face, covered in white and pink paint

Add some shading and, if desired, stick a few red rhinestones around your eyes

sticking red rhinestones, around the eyes of a young woman, wearing white and black, and pink sugar skull makeup, skeleton face paint, with floral motifs

Floral motifs are essential for the suger skull look. Try to keep them symmetrical

drawing a floral motif, on the face of a young woman, covered in white, and pink paint, with black details, skeleton face paint, creating a sugar skull costume

Color in the flower details using red paint

completing a floral motif in red and black, on the face of a young woman, with sugar skull, halloween face paint

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Add the finishing touches

almost completed sugar skull makeup, halloween face paint, worn by a young woman, with brunette hair tied in a ponytail

Then style your hair and decorate it with red faux flowers. Your gorgeous Halloween look is complete!

finished sugar skull face paint, worn by a young woman, with curled brunette hair, decorated with three red faux flowers, halloween face paint, in white and black and red, decorated with rhinestones 

This video tutorial offers another amazing variation of the sugar skull look

Our next photo tutorial will show you how to transform yourself into a creepy zombie. It’s super easy and lots of fun!

black costume with tassels, worn by a brunette woman, with messy and wavy, long brunette hair, and halloween face paint, featuring fake blood

Zombie Halloween face paint tutorial

You will need:

  • Regular face foundation (preferrably a shade lighter than your skin color)
  • Smokey eye (grey) eye shadow palette
  • Blush
  • A large makeup brush
  • Smaller makeup brushes
  • Special effects (FX) makeup wax
  • Red and blue face paint
  • Fake blood (optional)

How to do it:

Begin by applying the foundation, using the large makeup brush. Cover your entire face, including the lips.

smiling brunette woman, with long and wavy brunette hair, applying foundation on her face, using a brush, halloween face paint how to

Add a generous amount of dark grey eye shadow on your eyelids, continuing past the outer corner of your eyebrows

dark grey eye shadow, applied with a brush, on the eyelids of a smiling brunette woman, dressed in black

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Next, apply some blush around your eyes, to make them look puffy and red

zombie face paint, tutorial with photos, smiling brunette woman, dressed in black, putting pink blush, around her eyes, using a brush

Create a sickly, pale look by adding some dark grey eyeshadow under your eyes

adding dark grey eye shadow, under a young woman's eyes, zombie face paint, step by step tutorial

Add some pale grey eyeshadow on your cheeks, to make your face look gaunt

contouring the face of a young brunette woman, using makeup and a brush, zombie face paint, halloween tutorial

Underline your bottom lip with light grey eye shadow. This way your lips will look even paler

outlining the mouth of a young, brunette woman, using grey makeup and a brush, zombie face paint, and a black tasseled costume

Using a clean brush, apply some special effects makeup wax on your lip. 

step by step photo tutorial, explaining how to create zombie face paint, young brunette woman, applying special effects makeup wax, on her lip, using a brush

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While the wax is drying, draw some thin vains on your forehead, using the blue and red face paint

small and thin brush, used to paint little blue and red veins, on the forehead of a woman, wearing zombie face paint, halloween ideas for grownups

Once the FX wax has dried, paint over it with red face paint (or fake blood, if you prefer)

faux blood added with a brush, on a the lips of a woman, with zombie face paint, wearing a black costume

Add some FX wax below the corner of each eye and let it dry

teal brush used to add special effects makeup wax, near the corners of the eyes of a young woman, with zombie face paint, and brunette wavy hair

Finally, paint thin vains over the wax with red and blue face paint. You are ready for trick or treating!

scary face paint, painting small thin veins, in blue and red, near the corners of the eyes, of a young brunette woman, wearing zombie makeup

What’s Halloween without witches?

Those of you who are a little bit more advanced in the art of face painting will love our next tutorial. We will show you how to create a super realistic and gruesome zombie makeup!

child with long brown pigtails, wearing scary face paint, resembling a zombie, and holding an old football

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Kids’ zombie face paint

What you will need:

  • FX makeup wax
  • White and grey face paint
  • Yellow and light green face paint (optional)
  • Fake blood
  • A pair of mall scissors
  • Makeup brushes in different sizes

Technique:

Begin by deciding where you want your fake scars to be, then apply generous amounts of FX makeup wax on the desired areas

girl with blue eyes, and brunette hair, braided in pigtails, wearing a white t-shirt, special effects makeup wax on her cheek and neck, how to create scary face paint

In a few moments, the wax will become crackled and dry. Using a pair of small scissors, carefully make a few incisions, to simulate gashing wounds. Make sure not to overdo it – they need to look as natural as possible

hand holding a small pair of scissors, and cutting dried special effects makeup wax, stuck on the cheek of a young female child, scary face paint, zombie costume tutorial

Now, begin applying white face paint, using a large makeup brush

creating a realistic fake wound, on the face of a child, using special effects makeup wax, scary face paint, halloween ideas

Make sure to cover the entire face, so it looks sickly and pale

blue-eyed child, with brunette hair, braided in two pigtails, and face covered in powder-like white paint, scary face paint, with fake scars

Add some dark face paint around the eyes

extreme close up of a paint palette, with yellow and red, green and black, and brown colors, scary face paint, child with a white face in the background

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This is what the makeup should look like at this stage

t-shirt in white, worn by a young girl, with face covered in white powder, fake scars on her cheek and neck, scary face paint, grey eye shadow around her eyes

Now it’s time to add the blood

facepaint ideas, close up of a black bottle, with the inscription dark zombie blood on the label, smiling young girl, with pale makeup in the background

Carefully apply the fake blood over the dried FX makeup wax

realistic bloody scars, created with special effects makeup wax, and faux blood, on the face of a smiling young girl, facepaint ideas

Make sure that the wound is darker in the middle, and becomes gradually lighter around its edges. You can add some yellow or light green face paint to the outer edges to make it seem more realistic and gross

close up of a gory faux scar, facepaint ideas, created with special effects makeup wax, and fake blood, on the neck of a young girl

Your spooky zombie costume is ready!

strongly illumianted image of a young girl, her face painted to look like a zombie, facepaint ideas, gory realistic scars, pale white skin

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An undead child – if this doesn’t spook your friends, what will?

contact lenses in white, worn by a small girl, in a zombie costume, facepaint ideas, with pale skin, and realistic scars

Still not scary enough for you? Then check out this horrific zombie Halloween face paint tutorial 

Skull face tutorial

And now it’s time for a true Halloween classic – the good old skull face paint. It’s easy, it’s fast, and you only need two colors to create it. It’s the perfect solution for those of you who need a last minute costume that looks professional

You will need:

  • White face paint
  • Black face paint
  • A large makeup brush
  • A smaller makeup brush

How to do it:

Begin by applying the white base color, using a large brush. Make sure that your entire face and neck are covered

man with brunette hair, styled in a quiff, wearing white paint on his face, facepaint ideas, easy skeleton makeup tutorial

Outline your eyes with black paint, starting from the top edge of your eyebrows and continuing down to the bridge of your nose. Collor them in. Repeat the process with the tip of your nose

drawing skeleton features, with black and white paint, on the face of a young man, with brunette hair

Now it’s time to draw the jaw. Use light strokes of black paint and make sure to paint one side first, so it’s easier to get a symmetrical look

jaw bones and teeth, and other skeleton features, drawn on the face of a young man, with black and white paint

Add finishing touches around the eyes, and you’re done!

halloween face paint ideas for adults, completed skeleton face paint, worn by a young man, in a black t-shirt

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This is one scary tutorial! Watch at your own risk!

Joker – Halloween face paint ideas

If you would like to create a last minute Halloween look that is not only creepy but also inspired by popular culture, our next suggestion is the perfect choice for you. Tranform yourself into the notorious Joker from the Batman franchise in just a few steps! The process is very quick and easy, and, once again you will only need a few materials:

  • White face paint
  • Black face paint
  • Red lipstick
  • Large makeup brush
  • Small makeup brush

Instructions:

Once again, begin by covering your entire face in white paint

clown face paint, recreating the look of the joker from batman, hand applying white paint, on the face of a young man, with wavy brunette hair

If you have facial hair – don’t worry! You can paint right over it

short beard worn by a smiling brunette man, entire face covered in white paint, clown face paint

Apply black face paint on your eyelids and around your eyes

black eye shadow, applied onto the eyelid of a young man, wearing white paint on his face, clown face paint, step by step tutorial

Don’t worry if they are not 100% symmetrical

joker halloween makeup tutorial, adding black eye shadow, around the closed eyes, of a man with a face covered in white paint

Paint your eyebrows too, giving them a bushy, dishevelled look

bushy eyebrows and eyelids covered in black paint, clown face paint, inspired by the joker from batman

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This is what your face paint should look like at this stage

closed eyes covered in black makeup, on a face painted in white, clown face paint, the joker from batman, diy halloween costume

Furrow your brows, so that wrinkles become visible on your forehead. Using black face paint and a small brush, paint over the wrinkles, following their natural curves

forehead wrinkles drawn with dark grey paint, on the face of a man, wearing white makeup, and grey eyeshadow, clown face paint, easy halloween ideas

Do the same with the rest of the wrinkles 

lots of wrinkles, painted with grey, on the face of a young man, wearing white makeup, and grey eyeshadow around his eyes, clown face paint, batman joker look

Put some red lipstick on your lips and, using a small brush, smudge it so it forms a exaggerated messy smile that reaches up to the middle of your cheeks

lipstick in red, smudged to create an exaggerated smile, on the face of a young man, wearing black and white joker face paint, halloween face paint ideas for adults

Ready!

final touches added, on the face of a young man, painted in white, grey and red, to resemble the joker from batman, halloween face paint ideas for adults, halloween costumes inspired by movie villains

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Scare your friends with this amazing neon look!

 

We hope you find our tutorials useful. Now it’s time to enjoy our gallery of Halloween face paint ideas! We have lots of suggestions and inspirations that are certain to make an impression!

Why choose between beautiful and scary when you can be both!

ash blonde young woman, wearing realistic skull makeup, halloween face paint ideas for adults, hair tied in a messy bun

witch face paint, woman with face covered in green paint, wearing bluish green lipstuck, and a large black hat

This look might just a little bit too creepy for us!

ghost or demon makeup, halloween face paint ideas for adults, face covered in white, with black smudges

three examples of halloween costumes, witch face paint, the guy from saw, young woman with skeleton jaw

We love this glam witch Halloween face paint!

platinum blonde young woman, wearing black and white witch face paint, with a crescent moon on her forehead

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classic witch face paint, brunette woman with long curly hair, wearing green paint on her face, and a black witch's hat

Glow in the dark sugar skull Halloween face paint. How cool is that?

neon colored sugar skull face paint, with glow-in-the-dark details, halloween face paint ideas for adults, worn by a young woman, with dark eyes

Pennywise from the film IT – so creepy!

wig with small red curls, on a woman wearing clown makeup, resembling the face of pennywise, from the film it, halloween face paint ideas for adults, collage with two images

Who said Halloween face paint needs to be scary? 

pumpkins and bats, painted on the forehead of a woman, with blue eyes and freckles, halloween face paint ideas for adults, pale blue and orange paint

a different kind of witch face paint, pumpkin painted in orange and black, brown and white, with little green leaves, on the forehead of a young woman

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These spider drawings are too realistic for comfort…

3D effect spiders, painted on a person's arm, and on the face of a young child, halloween bodypainting ideas

angry looking woman, with witch face paint, in green and yellow and black, wrinkles and large eyebrows, a fake black mole

Creepy meets cute in this lovely Halloween face paint inspired by Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

nightmare before christmas-inspired face paint, woman dressed like sally, in a ginger wig, wearing pale blue paint on her face, with black hand-drawn stitches, and glossy red lipstick

glam skull face paint, on a young woman, with long and wavy teal hair, and teal eyebrows, wearing matching teal eyeliner

another harlequin inspired face paint, with glossy effect, neon pink eye shadow, and dark red lipstick, with black details, and a small heart shape, on the tip of the nose

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Give your mom the scare of her life with this realistic Halloween face paint

slashed eye wound, realistic claw marks face paint, worn by a young boy, with wavy brunette hair, blue eyes and freckles

highlights in red, in the black hair, of a woman, wearing green witch face paint, and wearing red lipstick, and a witch's hat

Let’s not foget the smallest trick or treaters!

kids wearing different halloween face paint, two boys painted to look like a werewolf, and a dragon, and a little girl, wearing witch face paint

slim young girl, dressed in a black tank top, half of her face is painted to look like a skull, while the other half is left bare

Pretty skull Halloween face paint…

eyeliner in black, worn by a young woman, the lower half of her face is painted to look like a skull, her shoulders are covered in black and grey paint

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…VS. horrifying skull Halloween face paint!

person wearing a black hood, with a realistic skull face paint, done with white and black paint

smartly dressed man, wearing an angry skull face paint, done with red and black colors, halloween costumes idea

Terrifying!

evil clown makeup, worn by a blonde woman, with wavy shoulder length hair, seen from two angles

heart shape and floral motifs, decorating a sugar skull face paint, in white and black, pink and violet, on the face of a brunette woman

More gorgeous ideas inspired by Dia de los Muertos

side by side images of two women, wearing sugar skull face paint, red roses in their hair, floral motifs and various flourishes on their faces

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big smile painted in black, on the face of a young woman, wearing black and pale blue harlequin makeup, seen from two angles

purple eye shadow, with black and blue details, black lipstick and a red nose, clown face paint, worn by a blonde woman

Oh God, please no

bad clown face paint, with a big evil smile, yellow teeth and a red nose, lots of wrinkles and pale blue eyes, worn by a brunette woman

teenage girrl with dark hair, wearing skeleton face paint on one half of her face, the other half is left bare

harlequin makeup in black, worn by a woman with dark red lipstick, wearing a plaid shirt, and a fake red flower in her blue hair

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Some cool (and very handsome) Halloween face paint ideas for gents

guys wearing two different versions, of the sugar skull makeup, face paint inspired by dia de los muertos, black and white and blue, and white and black with roses

broken doll, frankenstein's monster, and frankenstein's bride face paint, worn by three different women

Halloween face paint can be cute too

leopard face paint, decorating one half of a woman's face, next image shows a pale young woman, with red lipstick, hand-painted cat whiskers, and a cat nose

diy skull face paint, in black and white and grey, worn by a young woman, seen from two different angles

several fake red flowers, decorating the red hair, of a young woman, wearing a sugar skull face paint, in black and blue, red and green

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Another reinterpretation of the deeply unsettling Pennywise

pennywise clown face paint, inspired by the film it, worn by a young woman, with dark hair and green eyes

half skeleton face paint, worn by a young woman, with long brunette hair, wearing fake lashes, and black eyeliner

A look inspired by Roy Lichtenstein and a creepy half skull

turquoise and blue haired woman, wearing a roy lichtenstein inspired face paint, next image shows a woman, with half of her face painted, to look like a skeleton

Ahhhh!!!

monster and witch face paint, red haired woman, with a drawing of a big open mouth, with sharp teeth and an eye, on the lower part of her face, next image shows a woman, with face painted to look like its melting

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