Private jets, high-dollar swag bags, and maybe courtside seats — the list of things celebrities love more than Halloween is a very short one. Every year, an increasingly large crop of stars compete to be that year’s social media-crowned “Halloween queen”, fighting it out with elaborate home decor, cute Halloween nails, and custom-designed costumes. Over the past several years, the A-list isn’t content to just tease spooky season manicures and outfits — celebrity Halloween makeup is better (and far more intricate) than ever before. Whether applied as part of an overall costume or just to channel the holiday’s best scary-fun motifs, the inspiration is truly endless.
If you think about it, there is great celebrity divide over Halloween. Half of Hollywood views Halloween as a time to play dress-up in glamorous red lipstick, sultry eye makeup, and cool colored contacts, and the other half wants to put all of their time, money, and resources into looking as terrifying — realistically terrifying, at that — as possible. The best celebrity Halloween makeup falls somewhere in the middle — Cardi B’s elaborate Morticia Addams costume, Rihanna’s hot pink skeleton paint, and Kendall Jenner’s Mars Attacks! alien look are just a few examples. Below, all the best celebrity Halloween makeup inspiration to get you started — with just a few weeks to go, here’s no time to waste.
Vanessa Hudgen’s spiked eyeliner and blush overload are a prime example of IRL Halloween makeup wearability — no matter if you’re off to a party or a pumpkin patch, the edgy, goth-lite eye makeup works in any situation.
Trust Rihanna to nail the optimal blend of spooky-scary and stylish-sexy makeup with her glammed-up skeleton costume. While the colors really pop, it’s her siren-red lipstick and long, flowing waves that makes the Halloween makeup so effortlessly chic.
Even among Halloween-obsessed celebrities, Kourtney Kardashian stands out. She usually unveils anywhere from three to five custom costumes (and corresponding makeup looks) in any given spooky season, but her Nancy Spungen costume is one of her all-time best — that steely smoky eye can be worn on any night out, Halloween or otherwise.
Always a perfectionist, Beyoncé’s punny tribute to Toni Braxton (she’s Phoni Braxton!) is both wildly accurate and seriously sleek. To pair with Braxton’s signature pixie cut, Bey found a brick red lipstick and soft contour shade in spot-on matches to the originals.
Three Britney Spears homages, three days — Hailey Bieber filled her Halloweekend with an homage to the Princess of Pop herself. While each look is stellar in its own right, the smudgy, smoky eye makeup, a recreation of Spears’ “Slave 4 U” video, is a masterpiece.
Mars Attacks! is classic Halloween costume fare — it’s instantly recognizable while still being a somewhat obscure reference. For her latest Halloween look, Kendall Jenner channeled her inner alien with thin brows, a red latex-finish lips, and blue-toned black eye makeup.
You’d be forgiven if you thought these were stills from a million-dollar video shoot rather than photos of Cardi B’s excitingly elaborate Morticia Addams costume — they’re both highly detailed and seriously spooky. Committing to the bit, Cardi is covered in head-to-toe body makeup for a pallid, undead glow.
Lupita Nyong’o’s fabulous Clueless costume not making it on this list? As if. Nyong’o showed off her ‘90s-loving side with a full-on tribute to Dionne Davenport, complete with glossy red lips, matching nail polish, and green contact lenses.
Bella Hadid’s Halloween makeup is quite literally a work of art. Created by Sam Visser himself, the pop art-inspired makeup also serves to highlight her impressive bone structure.
Mindy Kaling showed off a complete series of Halloween costumes inspired by female comedy legends, including Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Veep’s Selina Meyer. To match each outfit, Kaling incorporated plenty of brilliant beauty touches like hot pink lipstick and a perfectly-combed bob wig.