As great as your Halloween costume probably is, it is your makeup that takes things to the next level. Just think about what a Pop Art costume would be without the Ben-Day dot face paint or how less creepy a costume would be without that stitched mouth. Even a simple Halloween makeup look can make all the difference.
We focus a lot on finding the crazy makeup job we can pull off, but we don’t really stop to consider what applying all that face paint can do to our skin. Even if you don’t have a sensitive complexion, your face can get irritated when you have all that product on it. We asked dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Jessica J. Krant about Halloween makeup application and removal tips, and the types of products you should be avoiding. Read on for Dr. Krant’s Halloween makeup tips:
Q: What is the biggest mistake people make with Halloween makeup?
A: I think we all know or would guess that the biggest mistake people make with Halloween makeup is not taking it off before going to sleep!
Q: How long does face paint/typical costume makeup last once opened? Can you use this year’s makeup next year?
A: Unfortunately there is absolutely no regulation on this, so there is no way to know if last year’s makeup stays safe until the next year. There are many factors involved when it comes to expiration, including safety at formulation time, amount and type of preservatives, conditions it is stored in, and cleanliness when first used (i.e. Did multiple people touch it and share it? Were dirty brushes used in it?) Most makeup that looks and smells okay is probably fine, but to be on the safe side, throw away the cheap stuff and buy it again next year.
Q: What is the difference between regular makeup and Halloween makeup in terms of formulations?
A: Regular drugstore and department store makeup are generally from brands that want your loyalty and are watched more closely by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC handles cosmetic safety, FDA handles drug safety). Off-brand Halloween costume makeup brands know you won’t remember them next year, or what you previously used, so they have little incentive to spend extra money on quality or safety.
Q: What ingredients should you avoid if you have sensitive skin or you are prone to breakouts?
A: This is hard to answer because no one knows what will make you break out or have a rash just from one use, but if your skin is known to be sensitive, it can make sense to look for theater makeup rather than Halloween makeup, since it tends to be made for people that have to use it day in and day out for months at a time. Or, use your own everyday makeup in new and dramatic ways. Another good tip is to put a layer of your own gentle moisturizer on your face underneath any Halloween makeup, to give an extra layer of protection.
Q: What is the proper way to remove your Halloween makeup? Should you be doing anything different than you normal makeup removal routine?
A: I would say use your own gentle makeup removing routine, but just watch out not to be too rough on the skin trying to remove heavier makeup. If you need to but you normally avoid it, one washing with plain soap and water followed by some bland moisturizer won’t damage your skin too much.
Q: Are there any products you should apply before/after your makeup?
A: A layer or two of your own sensitive skin blend moisturizer under Halloween makeup can make or break your night and morning.
Q: How do you remove FX makeup, such as fake blood?
A: Look on the package for tips. Each formulation is different.
Q: Is there anyone who should avoid using temporary hair colors?
A: Other than light powders that do not really stick to hair, I would suggest anyone with hair already colored/highlighted should watch out for temporary color sprays or dyes, since the color can be a little tricky to get out with just one wash.
Q: How do you remove temporary hair color without damaging your hair?
A: It depends–carefully read the package and directions for the product you’re using. I would start with that.