Halloween Makeup On The Cheap & A Zombie Nails How-To

There's no limit to what you can do with a little money and a lot of creativity.
Publish date:
Social count:
There's no limit to what you can do with a little money and a lot of creativity.

Halloween is quickly approaching, and the longer you wait the more money you'll spend on some overpriced last-minute costume and makeup you'll never use again. I'm here to lend a hand (literally, swatches!) with the latter.

My advice? Don't just loiter in the "Halloween" aisle of your local drugstore or superstore. There are some great Halloween-and-beyond makeup offerings in the regular cosmetics aisle. 

Here are my best budget Halloween makeup buys, along with some costume inspiration and a very easy zombie nail how-to.  

For White Face Makeup Touch-Ups & More 

nyx jumbo eye pencil in milk

NYX Eye Shadow Stick in Milk

Layer this NYX Eye Shadow Stick in Milk ($4.49) under another eye shadow to make the color really pop. It can also be used to touch up white face makeup while you're out gallivanting on All Hallow's Eve. Or, use it for detail work on animal costume makeup and the like. 

For The Perfect Marilyn (Or Snow White) Red Lip 

Wet N Wild's $2 MegaLast Lip Colors are a makeup bag staple no matter what day of the year it is, but they're a no-brainer if you need a new shade just for your Halloween costume makeup (even though you'll probably end up wearing them again). 

The formula is highly pigmented and the matte finish lasts forever. The only con is that they often get messy in their packaging.

wet n wild megalast lip color swatches

Top to bottom: Stoplight Red, Cherry Bomb, Dollhouse Pink, Fergie Daily.

  • Stoplight Red is perfect for costumes that require a classic red lip, such as Marilyn Monroe, or a pin-up girl, or Snow White. 
  • Cherry Bomb is a great vampy shade for a witch or vampire costume. 
  • And Dollhouse Pink is the ideal bubblegum pink for a Barbie costume. 

Some people swear by Bare It All for a nude lip, but I prefer the Fergie Daily nude from their Fergie collection.

For Dramatic Liner Looks

Remember when I did this Edie Sedgwick tutorial? 

Remember when I did this Edie Sedgwick tutorial? 

If you pair the Fergie nude lipstick with black eyeliner, you'll have tons of striking costumes to choose from. I like Wet N Wild Mega Eyes Liquid Eyeliner Pen for its precision and staying power. (It's one of the few drugstore eyeliners that doesn't immediately dry up.) Here's how you can use it.  

  • To create a sultry Cleopatra cat-eye. 
  • For an elaborate cut-crease look like I did in my Edie Sedgwick tutorial
  • To draw on small details like moles, manly stubble, exaggerated brows, scars, stitches, an animal nose, a puppet's mouth...

For Cartoon Character & Whimsical Lip Color 

I'm dying to try all of these NYX Macaron Lippies out, but for now I have Citron and I love it. It's not hard to make it completely opaque, and if you layer it on top of the NYX Eye Shadow Stick in Milk it pops even more. 

nyx macaron lippie in citron

Left: On its own. Right: Layered over Milk.

There's also great aqua shade (Blue Velvet) that begs for a mermaid costume! Not to mention Chambord Black, which is the diva-est black lipstick you can imagine. 

For One-Night-Only Hair Color In A Bottle 

jerome russel b wild temp'ry hair color spray

I order a bottle or two of this stuff in the white shade every Halloween from Amazon (you can also find it at Walgreen's). You can get it in other colors, too, not just white. It's easy to use--just spray it on while shaking constantly--and it coats even the darkest hair. Warning: it has an overpowering scent and it's very messy. 

I've used it to be Cruella de Vil, an old man, and a black and white film star. One bottle coats my head, but I have a pixie cut.  

For Just About Any Eye Shadow Situation 

e.l.f. has so many colorful (and affordable) eye shadow palettes to choose from. This is just the one I have.

elf eye shadow palette

e.l.f. 32-piece Eye Shadow Palette. You can tell I’ve used it a lot.

I definitely suggest stopping by Target before Halloween to pick one of their giant palettes up if you haven't already. With all of these gorgeous pigments, the list of looks you can create is endless. Don't forget to check out their other Halloween offerings while you're there.

Just For Fun: A Bloody Zombie Nails How-To

I'll probably just be lazy and paint my nails black for Halloween, but you can easily take things to the next level with a little time, technique, and materials.


nail art products

Sinful Colors in Gogo Girl, Wet ‘n’ Wild Fast Dry in Ebony Hates Chris, Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pen in Red, and e.l.f. Eye Shadow Palette

Steps: It's so easy!

  1. Paint your nails with a deep black. I used Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Ebony Hates Chris. 
  2. Use a small eye shadow brush dipped in black shadow to cover your fingers to the knuckle. 
  3. Use blood-colored nail polish to create fake gore around your nail beds. I like Sinful Colors in Gogo Girl and Sally Hansen's I Heart Nail Art Pen in Red. 

The whole thing takes about five minutes to create. And the messier it is the better it looks. 

black halloween nails

I hope this helps you with your Halloween makeup inspiration and shopping! 

  • What budget beauty buys do you use during Halloween? 
  • Any products that are great jump-offs for costume inspiration? Share, please!