These days, Halloween barely gets a look in. Sandwiched between the end of summer and the start of the Christmas season, you only have a few short weeks to get your spooky and kooky looks in order before the big day - unless you're a Halloween super fan. 

Pulling together a last-minute costume is rarely fun, and not to mention expensive: once you start buying fake blood, contact lenses and whatever makeup products a tutorial said you needed, the receipts stack up. 

But you don't need cash out for a dazzling costume. Chances are you have everything you need for a stunning - or creepy, if that's your style - Halloween look right in your makeup bag. And if you're trying to be more sustainable with your shopping, there's the added bonus of using up what you have first! 

Not counting your usual staples of foundation, mascara or eyebrow products, here are our pick of the makeup bag essentials you need to create a range of spooky, ooky and kooky Halloween looks!

1. Black eyeliner

No Halloween makeup look would be complete without black eyeliner, one of the most versatile beauty products out there. Whether used for defining the eyes, smoking them out, drawing shapes like a skull face or cheetah spots or simply adding small details to another look, this is essential. 

Rather than a liquid liner, choose a rich kohl pencil in the deepest black you can find. This way, it could be smudged out to create a sultry smoky eye, as an eyeshadow base, or buffed out to create the illusion of eye bags. 

  • Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Eyeliner Pencil, €25, Arnotts
  • Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Liner, €5.49, Boots
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, €20.50, Debenhams

2. Liquid red lipstick

Another staple - I myself have at least 15 different reds - but it's all about formula when it comes to Halloween looks. A highly pigmented liquid lipstick will go a long way in building a last-minute makeup look, and hey, Christmas is just around the corner so it won't go to waste. 

Choose one with a creamy texture to avoid drying out lips. In a pinch, a dap applied to the back of your hand and buffed into the cheeks with a blush brush can make for longer-lasting rosy cheeks, while for some festive gore you can paint scratches and wounds with a small brush. 

  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Burgundy Mix, €22, Marks & Spencer
  • Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick in Messy and Fierce, €4.99, Boots
  • Maybelline New York Superstay Matte Ink in Pioneer, €14.99, Boots

3. Glitter


I mean, come on. 

Halloween is the one night a year when it's absolutely socially acceptable to walk the streets with as much glitter as you can fit on your person, so don't miss this opportunity. Whether you imagine yourself as a glam skeleton, a mermaid, a fairy or even Taylor Swift circa 2019, glitter is your friend here. 

If possible, choosing a bio-degradable glitter is even better, ensuring your Halloween look doesn't cost the earth in another way!

No highlighter? No problem. If you're using a fine glitter, consider dusting some on the tops of your cheekbones and cupid's bow for a dazzling glow, or to draw attention to a particular part of your face. 

  • Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Diamond Dust, €29, Marks & Spencer
  • Lemonhead LA Highlite Spacepaste in Adult Film (KJH approved), €23.20, Cult Beauty
  • Sleek Glitterfest Biodegradable Glitter, €6.45, Look Fantastic

4. Standard eyeshadow palette 

If you want to add some colour to your Halloween makeup, there's no need to rush out and buy a specific palette. Any eyeshadow palette you have lying around can be the basis of a look, whether it's David Bowie's iconic red-and-blue lightning bolt, Jessica Rabbit's exaggerated purple eyeshadow or a pastel-hued fairy.

Event the most neutral eyeshadow palette can add oomph to your look: try contouring with a deep brown, or playing with skin tone shades to create optical illusions. 

  • Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, €14.99, Boots
  • Huda Beauty Sapphire Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, €28, Brown Thomas
  • Sleek Makeup Major Morphosis Eyeshadow Palette, €15.99, Boots

5. White face paint

Okay, so this is hardly a makeup bag essential but if you've ever dressed up for Halloween or have children who have, the chances are you have this lying around. If not, it's surprisingly affordable and there are many versions available so you can choose which kind best suits your costume. 

If you're planning a classic skull makeup look, white face paint is essential, but it can also be used to add definition to other looks. For smaller touch ups, such as on the eyes, the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil is a great bargain buy that you'll use again. 

  • Mehron Clown White Face Paint, £8.10, Amazon
  • Snazaroo Face White Paint Clown, £4.73, Amazon
  • NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencil, €7, Boots