How To Prep Your Skin For Halloween Makeup

We are not sure what’s worse: admitting Halloween is right around the corner or coming to terms with the fact that we’ll probably be doing our makeup for an Instagram selfie, instead of a party. Either way, we’re feeling pretty pumped for the occasion: 2020 will not be the year we wave goodbye to our ghoulish get up.

If you’re one of the wonderful people who goes all out on Halloween (hi, us), we know you’ll be putting in the work to achieve your desired look. Before you begin meticulously transforming your face into an evil masterpiece, you need to prep your skin for the occasion. Thinking of skipping this step? Don’t. Even if you are trying to get things done quickly, skin prep is an essential part of the process. Why? For starters, it helps your makeup stay on for longer – a serious selling point considering you’ve probably spent the last two hours plus perfecting it. Then there is the importance of shielding your complexion whilst keeping it hydrated beneath layers of heavy makeup. But don’t let us convince you, we spoke to pro MUA Hannah Martin to explain what you should do before picking up a makeup brush.

“Your skin needs to be hydrated before applying heavy Halloween makeup or face paint. It’s really important,” Hannah says. “Theatrical makeup tends to be that little bit heavier than your usual makeup, so if your skin isn’t well-prepped it can feel heavy and start to look cakey quickly.”

It goes without saying that the first step in any makeup routine is a clean canvas. “Make sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly. I love the Elemis Nourishing Omega Rich Cleansing Oil. Then you can start to layer your skincare.”


Essences are often overlooked, but Hannah swears by them for boosting hydration. “I highly recommend starting with an essence like the Farsali Unicorn Essence to give you an instant hydration hit. Not only will this leave your skin soft and supple, it makes whatever moisturiser you apply next more efficacious.” Win-win. Face mists are also excellent thirst quenchers, especially when you’re on the go. A few sprites of By BEAUTY BAY Make It Rain Face Mist will perk up a parched face in seconds. 


“To keep the skin balanced with plenty of water and oil I’d recommend following with something like Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Day Cream” Hannah continues. “This helps your complexion maintain optimum hydration despite all the heavy makeup, which tends to dry out the skin. I like using a bit of Egyptian Magic when I know I’m going to get creative with my makeup. It delivers moisture deep into the skin whilst providing it with protection.”


The first thing you probably thought of when we said skin prep was a primer. Don’t worry, us too. Turns out, however, that Hannah has other ideas. “I don’t usually advocate primers, but if your skin is on the oilier side you’ll need one to ensure your party makeup stays put. Layering a mattifying formula like the Illamasqua Matte Primer on the t-zone after your moisturiser and before you apply any base makeup can help hold everything together and eliminate any unwanted shine.” 


Powders are a given, but they won’t get you far without a setting spray to seal the deal, as Hannah explains. “There are lots of skin-enhancing setting sprays on the market, but I’d recommend the Cover FX High-Performance Setting Spray. It cements your makeup, makes it waterproof, sweatproof and stops any smudging or smearing,” she says.


“Halloween is the time to really get creative, so make sure you have some glue to hand if you want to embellish your makeup with rhinestones or other accessories,” says Hannah. We recommend Duo Strip Lash Adhesive, which is safe to use anywhere on the skin.