Eschew the scary and spooky for the gorgeous and glamorous with these Halloween makeup how-tos from MAC

Sure, there are a million and one things you could be for Halloween (there’s a “sexy” version of just about everything these days), but to inspire those wanting an especially timely look, we turned to the masters at MAC to weigh in on what the most popular makeup transformations will be. Will it be Gotye or Nicki Minaj? Marilyn Monroe or The Hunger Games? MAC senior artist Cynthia Rivas walks us through three of the looks they’re forecasting.

Marilyn Monroe:

If you didn’t pick up any of MAC’s Marilyn Monroe Collection, channel the Hollywood legend for Halloween. But getting Marilyn’s signature “bedroom eyes” and bright-red pout are essential to pulling off this look. “I love this look because it’s a classic,” notes Rivas. “Many celebrity looks are inspired by Marilyn.” First, prep skin with Strobe Cream, then apply Pro Longwear SPF 10 Foundation, covering any imperfections with Pro Longwear Concealer. Use Studio Fix Powder Foundation for a matte finish and full, flawless coverage.

MAC's face chart for Marilyn Monroe

MAC's face chart for Marilyn Monroe

Contoured cheeks are key for imitating Marilyn, so using a blunt brush, “highlight cheek bones with Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle and warm the apple of the cheek with Powder Blush in Peaches.” Next, prep “eyelids with a light dusting of Studio Fix Powder to neutralize the area. Use a flat brush and press Vanilla eyeshadow onto the entire eyelid. Contour the brow bone with Wedge eyeshadow and add depth in the outer corner of the crease with Brun eyeshadow (apply with a soft brush for a blended soft look).” Next, apply a liner. Rivas suggests using “Blacktrack Fluidline along the lash line and pull it out past the outer corner to create a ‘cat-shaped’ eyeliner,” finishing off top and bottom lashes with a coat of Zoom Fast Black Lash mascara. “Add #20 MAC lashes to the outer corners to really accentuate the eyes, and use Fascinating Eye Kohl to the waterline to give you a doll-like finish.”

Final steps include perfecting eyebrows with a brow pencil, shading underneath the natural brow hair with Cork eyeshadow and lining lips with Cherry Lip Pencil, filling in with MAC Red Lipstick and finishing off with “Love Alert Dazzleglass in the center of lips for a sexy and pouty lip.”

The Hunger Games “The Capitol”:

Elizabeth Banks transformed herself completely to become Effie Trinket in the summer blockbuster—one of Rivas’ favorite looks because “it was refreshing to see such a colorful character [on screen].” To get this colorful look at home, Rivas says to start with Studio Finish Concealer in

MAC's face chart for "The Hunger Games"

MAC's face chart for "The Hunger Games"

NW15 all over the face with a small sponge, setting it with Gesso eyeshadow. “Mix Pink Swoon and Dollymix blushes together and apply on the cheeks and connect it to the temples using a small powder brush, then highlight the cheekbones by dusting a little Copperplate eyeshadow.” Afterward, cover the entire eyelid with a thin layer of Dollymix Blush, then press Passionate eyeshadow on the eyelid with a flat brush and contour the brow bone with Vibrante Grape and Fig eyeshadows.

Line the entire eye with Purple Dash Technakohl Liner and set the liner with Passionate eyeshadow. For those electric lashes, mix Freshwater eyeshadow with Clear Brow setting gel and coat both top and bottom lashes in the bright blue. Finally, “lighten up brows by combing some concealer in them with a mascara wand.” For the finishing touch, apply Fascinating eye kohl all over the lips and shade in with Smoothblue Technakohl Pencil. Warm it up with a small amount of Up the Amp lipstick and set it with Like Venus Dazzleglass. Voila!

The Flapper:

Even though Baz Lurhmann’s The Greaty Gatsby has been postponed ’til summer, we can still channel Carey Mulligan, ahem, Daisy Buchanan, and her flapper-perfect makeup for the holiday. Aside from the upcoming flick, Rivas feels “the flapper look is another classic and is always great Halloween makeup. Plus, it’s an easy yet fun costume idea.” Start by applying Face and Body

foundation with a flat brush to even out skin tone, says Rivas, adding coverage where needed with Pro Longwear Concealer. Set that with Studio Fix Powder for a matte and opaque finish and warm the cheeks with Dame Blush.

MAC's face chart for "The Great Gatsby"

MAC's face chart for "The Great Gatsby"

Use the Soft Ochre Paint Pot over the entire eyelid and set by “pressing White Frost eyeshadow over the entire lid and on brow highlight.” You’ll want to contour the eyelid crease with Brown Down eyeshadow and add depth with Carbon eyeshadow on the outer/inner corners of the eyes “to give a mysterious hollow eye.” Next, line the top lash with Boot Black liquid eyeliner and apply a “healthy coat” of Plush Lash mascara in Black to top and bottom lashes. Finish with Fascinating Eye Kohl in the inner waterline. To complete the eye look, fake a flapper’s notoriously thin brow line. Lighten up thicker eyebrows by “simply taking some Pro Longwear concealer with a mascara wand and coating the hair. Then draw in a round and thin eyebrow by using the Spiked brow pencil and setting it with Wedge eyeshadow.” Create the perfect pout by using Prep + Prime Lip Primer then line the lips with Nightmoth lip pencil, filling the entire lip with Media Lipstick and finishing off with Clear Lipglass.


For more Halloween makeup inspiration from MAC, see their face charts for:

Nicki Minaj