13 Scary Halloween Makeup Looks That Give Us Nightmares

by Abby Gilman

13 Scary Halloween Makeup Looks That Give Us Nightmares

The ancient Celts believed Halloween was a night where the living encountered the dead as ghosts, demons, and fairies traveling into the otherworld. Today, Halloween is more about tricks and treats than spiritual rite. Keep the chilling tradition alive, and channel some of the eve’s creepier creatures with our 13 scary Halloween makeup ideas.





Ghost costumes get a bad rap in the Halloween arena, usually reserved as the oops-Halloween-is-tomorrow-and-I-only-have-a-white-sheet remedy. We believe a ghost deserves as much recognition as the next creature, and this tutorial is sure to take your ghost to the next level.


The Joker



It seemed everyone decided to be the Joker from “The Dark Knight” after the movie’s 2008 premier. Though it’s been six years since the film was released, we’re still as obsessed as ever with the insanely strange jester. Get the creepy look with this tutorial.


Creepy Clown



Clowns will forever be terrifying and for that reason will be a Halloween staple. Honestly, any clown—happy or sad—would make for a scary costume, but this makeup tutorial creates a whole new sinister vibe we won’t be able to get out of our nightmares.





A simpler option on the scale of Halloween makeup difficulty, this infected look is quick and easy to manipulate into any costume. Check out how to get the look here.





Jack-o’-lanterns are perhaps the most iconic of Halloween symbols, so why not go dressed as one this year? Simply Anastasia created this unnerving look with a bit of face paint and makeup. Follow her tutorial for the step-by-step.


Jigsaw Clown



We still have nightmares involving Jigsaw and his little tricycle, and it’s been years since we’ve seen “Saw.” If you’re looking to haunt this Hallow’s Eve, give Made Yew Look’s “Saw”-inspired clown makeup a try.


Teddy Bear



Turn everyone’s favorite cuddly creature into a nightmare with this half-killer-teddy-bear, half-girl look from Bonnie Corban SFX. This look requires a bit more crafting but is unique and sure to turn some heads. Check out the full tutorial here.


Coraline’s Other Mother



“Coraline” was a huge hit in 2009, even though the entire movie gave us a creepy feeling. With a lot of white paint, some precise brush skills and two buttons as eyes, you can follow this tutorial from Kat Sketch for a scary Halloween makeup look.


Shark Girl



Sharks are by far the scariest aspect of the ocean in our opinion. (Did you watch Megalodon?) Mermaids? Not scary. Shark Girls? Terrifying. Follow this tutorial from Kat Sketch for the full transformation.





It wouldn’t be Halloween without a little zombie action. Go all-out gory with bullet wounds, blood-soaked teeth, and glassy eyes. Follow the tutorial to get the look.


Weeping Nun



“American Horror Story” was an instant hit as one of the few horror series on television. With the newest installment premiering just in time to get us in the spooking mood—October 8!—we’re looking back to one of the more haunting visuals of the series: the weeping nun. Get the step-by-step here.


Murderous Masquerade Mask



Not all masquerades are pretty affairs. Give a night of elegance a spin with creepy face makeup. Finish the look with a tattered ball gown and mussed-up hair. Check out how to get the face makeup here, and watch her tutorial on how to DIY your own mask here.


Horror Doll



Dolls are hands down some of the creepiest toys, from the spider baby in “Toy Story” to the pile your grandma has stored in her basement. Cue this short horror flick/tutorial from Cindysold. Add an innocent and girly dress to finish the look.