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DIY Scary Makeup Tricks From A Halloween Haunt Pro

Soulla Lindo

Manager, Digital Marketing

With Halloween just around the corner, we asked Rachel Authors, a professional Beauty and Special Effects Makeup artist and 12-year Halloween Haunt veteran, for some DIY tips and tricks for recreating some of the creepy monster looks you see at the park.

Here’s what she had to say.

Q: What are some household items people can use to create monster looks for Halloween?

A: You can generally use everyday household items to create many different effects. Some common items include corn syrup, food colouring, cotton balls, tissue, paper towel and latex. Sometimes everyday beauty supply items including a black pencil, cream eyeliner, or eye shadow can work to add a base or contour if you were trying to achieve a vampire or ghost look.

Pro tip: To ensure your regular makeup brushes don’t get ruined with the Special FX looks, you can use dollar store art brushes or brushes from an art supply store.  

Q: Are there easy ways to create some of these looks:

A: Scars/Wounds: If you want to create an open wound/scar, you can use simple materials like tissue, paper towel or cotton, and then apply these materials to the skin dipped in latex. The latex will dry and help the materials adhere to the skin. While the latex is wet you can also sculpt to create more depth to the wound. When everything is dry, apply some cream based makeup around the wound, to blend into the skin, and then add the finishing touch - fake theatrical blood! I like to add the blood and let it drip naturally so it looks even more realistic! You can purchase the latex or fake blood at theatrical or Party Supply/Halloween stores. You can also make fake blood at home.

Blood: You create this with edible corn syrup and food colouring.

Sunken eyes and cheeks: Use cream-based makeup, or even black/dark eye shadows under the eyes and blend with a brush to create depth under the eye and/or hollow out the cheeks.

Different skin tones/corps looks: Use a lighter cream base or lighter foundation colour than your natural skin tone to create a ghostly or sickly look.

Sweaty look: Mix glycerin with water and spray onto skin.

Pro tip: There are a lot of fun makeup colours available in stores around Halloween. Brands such as NYX have fun colour palettes that allow you to get creative, especially for clown makeup, fantasy looks etc. You can also purchase some fun eye lashes around Halloween for fantasy-inspired looks. This tends to be cheaper than professional make-up and special effects stores.

Q: Are there any tricks to making makeup look scarier?

A: You can go the extra mile by adding tooth rot paint or blood capsules in your mouth to look extra scary (usually available from Halloween/theatrical stores). By adding fun items to your latex wound including plastic bugs or rice that looks like maggots, you can up the ante on your creepiness factor.

Q: Is there a must-have for creating a scary look?

A: Scary Halloween contact lenses can really add to the makeup and I’d say are a must if you want to add that extra scare. You can get them in prescription strength too if you usually wear contacts/glasses. They really complete the makeup and costume.

Q: What’s your favourite monster-look to create?

A: My favourite monster look would be one that allows me to work with the latex so that I can create and build 3D wounds. I blend with the airbrush and cream make-up and add lots of fake blood, which makes for a really scary, gory and realistic look!

Q) Are there any other professional tips you can offer readers?

A) Check out social media (ie. YouTube and Instagram) for inspiration – there are a lot of video tutorials that can help you achieve your desired looks for Halloween. Also, Halloween/Party Supply/Theatrical stores sell some realistic pieces you can glue on and use to enhance your makeup/costume.

Don’t forget, the final night of Halloween Haunt is Wednesday, October 31, but unfortunately costumes and face paint aren’t permitted at the park during Haunt so you’ll have to use these great tips for your other Halloween festivities!


Rachael Authors is a seasoned Professional Beauty and Special Effects Make-Up artist with experience ranging from events, private appointments, weddings, and local corporate productions to supporting major make-up brands, including the iconic Dior. Rachael has worked for 12 years as a Special Effects and Airbrush Make-up Artist for Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland and has seen this exciting event grow exponentially, where many guests have enjoyed seeing some of her character creations over the years. Rachael is currently teaching as a Professor at Durham College in their new Cosmetics Techniques and Management diploma program.

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Soulla Lindo

Manager, Digital Marketing

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