When I was a kid, I lived for Halloween. It seemed like pure magic: For an entire month, the whole world turned into an amusement park full of pumpkins and baked goods and spookyВ movies. It all leadВ up to a night when everyone on earth somehow agreed to live in thisВ alternate universe where kids gotВ to dress up, knock on strangers' doors, and take homeВ a pillowcase full of free candy. You have to admit, Halloween is pretty special.
That is, until you grow up and realize Halloween is just another social function that forces you to spend way too much money on a junkВ you'll never use or wear again. Don't get me wrong-I still love to dress up and eat half my weight in Skittles. I just don't love theВ inconvenience of having to figure out and pay for a costume every year. (For example, last HalloweenВ I spentВ $45 to dress up as a slice of pizza, and I feel stupid every time I think about it too hard.)
So this year, I thought it was time toВ try something different. What if there were a way to preserve the larger-than-lifeВ fantasyВ of Halloween without having to stress (and spend half your paycheck) to do it?
As it turns out, this is totally possible. I did a little experimenting and came up with three completely awesome Halloween costumeВ ideasВ that are freakishly easy to execute and-wait for it-require nothing but drugstore makeup. These pop culture-relevant looksВ are guaranteed to yield all-night compliments. ButВ the best part is thatВ they are insanely simple (and cheap!) to doВ by yourself.
David BowiePaley Fairman
Pay tribute to the boundary-busting music legendВ with this three-product look.В Ziggy Stardust has everything I love in a Halloween costume: It's simple, flattering, and universally recognizable (so you don't have to spend the whole night explaining whoВ you are). Not to mention it honors a hero.
To execute this look, all you'll need is some scotch tape, a red lip crayon, a stick of black eyeliner, and a stick of turquoise eyeliner.В The scotch tape will help keep your lines nice and straight. I placedВ strips of tape on my faceВ one by one asВ I went along, which gave me more freedomВ thanВ placing all four on my face at once.
To make this as easy as possible,В I recommend choosingВ a chubby lip crayon for theВ red lightning bolt, which makes drawing and filling in your lines quick and easy. I used NYX's Simply Red Lip Cream in Russian RouletteВ ($5). For the black stripe, I used the pointed end of Rimmel's Magnify'eyes Double Ended Shadow + LinerВ in Back to BlacksВ ($14), and for the blue, NYX'sВ Slide On Eye Pencil in AzureВ ($8). (Optional: If you're planning to stay out late, I recommend gently setting the makeupВ with a powder, like Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4), so it doesn't smear.)
To complete the look, I teased my hair in homage to Ziggy.В IВ paired it all with a fun metallic top (a fur coat or velvet dress would also work great).
The Snapchat DogPaley Fairman
Looking for something a little cheekier?В Everyone's favorite filter takes a little more effort and a few more products, but the good news is that if I can do it, I promise you can too. Plus, you probably already own most of the makeupВ required.
To create theВ cute puppy snout, you'll need four shades of eyeliner (light brown, dark brown, black, and white), asВ well as three shades of powder eye shadow (light brown, dark brown, andВ a nude or off-white color). For the white and brown liners, I recommend Rimmel's ScandalEyes Eyeshadow SticksВ ($9), because theyВ are the perfect size and creamy consistency for shading.
Start by using your light brown shadow stick or liner to create the jowls; then, draw on your nose withВ dark brown. Use a smallВ black eyeliner pencil to colorВ around your nostrils, makingВ themВ look larger. Then, shade in the noseВ withВ your dark brown eyeshadow, and shade in the jowls with your lighter powders. Highlight the tip of the nose with your white eye shadowВ and liner. And finally, draw a few black dots on either jowl.
To watch a video tutorial of this look, head over to YouTube, where makeup guru Jessica Harlow breaks it down SO easy.
I matchedВ my snout with some copper eye shadow, plusВ the Rimmel liner from David Bowie. A brown lip and some DIY dog ears completed theВ look. (If you're curious, one of myВ coworkers Macgyver'd them out of a strip of leather and some cat ears from the craft storeвЂ¦ genius.)
Have your phone at the ready-your fellow Halloween party guests will want to takeВ allВ the snaps with you.
Eleven from Stranger ThingsPaley Fairman
If all else fails, go withВ the ultimate pop cultureВ Halloween look: Eleven from Stranger Things. She may be just a kid, but Eleven hasВ already become a beauty icon in her own rightВ (and is singlehandedly bringing back the lady buzzcut).
This look is awesome because it requires neitherВ patience nor skill. To channel Eleven, start byВ slicking your hair back into a bunВ and forgoing concealer so your eye bags look as pronounced as possible. Emphasize the sunken-in look by lining your upper and lower lash lines with a purply-brown eye shadow or blush, like L'OrГ©al'sВ True Match Super Blendable Blush in Spiced PlumВ ($12).
Next, splatter brunetteВ brow pomade all over your face with your fingers until youВ look dirty and neglected (you could even blend it a little with the blush for a bruise-like appearance). Then, use a dark red liquid lip product, like Maybelline's LipStudio Color Jolt Intense Lip PaintВ ($10) for Eleven's bloody nose and ear. (I dabbedВ some of Maybelline's Shine Shot Lip TopcoatВ ($6) over the "blood" to make it glisten even more.)
Layer a pink dress over a white button-down, throw on a blue bomber jacket, and prepare to get fangirled over all night long. For bonus points, bring alongВ a box ofВ Eggos ($3).