While I know nothing about applying Halloween Makeup, I can teach you how to properly remove it!
I think I have been to three Halloween parties in my whole life – hosted by people much more avantgarde than I was back in my uni days (or am now). I can’t even remember what I dressed up as – Undead Cowgirl is the only thing that comes to mind, something I picked last minute because I had a plaid shirt and a hat at hand.
But even without it playing a huge part in my life, I do love watching Halloween Makeup Tutorials, especially the ones that include prosthetics and layers of green/blue/red.
I mean, just look at the masterpiece here, where Dorota (you can find her at Beauty Drama Queen or on Instagram) transformed from a glowy smokey eyed goddess into Mrs Joker. The Million Dollar Question though is:
How can I get away with wearing something like that without my skin greeting me with a nightmare of pimples the next day?
The answer is simple: With proper preparation and prover makeup removal! And that, my friend, is something I can teach you!
How to prepare your face for Halloween Makeup
Just to be clear here: when I say Halloween Makeup, I mean everything that is heavy and made to stay. It doesn’t have to be seasonal, same goes for stage makeup or even the heavy layers of foundation you use when filming! As someone that did acting all through their teenage acne years, I know that stage makeup can be your worst enemy.
If you have a regular exfoliating regime going, then just continue your regular routine until two days before the party. That way you will have the benefit of a smooth canvas for makeup application, but at the same time your skin won’t be irritated.
Should exfoliation be something you occasionally do, plan one session two days before and leave your skin be afterwards.
For those that don’t exfoliate, don’t start right now. Introducing new things always holds the risk of upsetting your skin, and you want your skin to be as zen as possible!
Yes, shaving your face sounds scary. No, your hairs won’t grow back thicker and black (trust me, I have been shaving my face for more than a year now).
But shaving your face provides a gentle physical exfoliation (yes, it counts as exfoliation step as mentioned above) for smooth makeup application and, even more important: It will save you from having to rip your moustache out with the bits of latex or jewelry you glued to your face!
Even if you usually skip the primer, don’t do it today. Anything that creates a barrier between your skin and the heavy makeup (or glitter or latex) will save you a lot of trouble afterwards.
If you don’t own a primer, use a thick layer of moisturizer instead, most of them are designed to form a barrier.
How to remove your Halloween Makeup properly
I am an advocat of cleansing s little as necessary (read here why), but today is the day to go all in! Start with applying some Cleansing Oil to a q-tip and gently rub it along the lash band if you are wearing falsies – the oil will help dissolve the glue and reduce the risk of you ripping out your own lashes when removing the fake ones.
1. First Cleanse
This first step is to break down the makeup, and the best you can reach for is either a Cleansing Oil or a Cleansing Balm. Don’t even think about reaching for wipes (in fact, never do!), pour some oil into the palms of your hands and give yourself a proper face massage. The oil is able to break down even makeup that is designed to last through sweating and touching, and the emulsifiers present in the formula will allow you to rinse it off.
But even if it rinses off, I recommend going in with a flannel or microfibre cloth or simply wash cloth afterwards and focus on the areas that are harder to reach: hair line, ears, sides of your nose. The cloth has a gentle exfoliating effect that might irritate your skin, so make sure you are gentle and don’t scrub your face with it, but it is amazing at getting rid of every last trace of makeup.
2. Second Cleanse
Now that the makeup is off, cleanse your skin. Depending on your skin type use a gel cleanser, a cream cleanser or a foaming cleanser (read here how to pick the best cleanser for our skin type), anything that will make sure your skin is cleansed, but hydrated. With a thick layer of makeup on top, barely any cleanser will be able to reach the skin in one go.
3. Third Cleanse
No, I do not want you to have another go at your face, at least not all of it. I want to to take a good look at your eyes and make sure that there are no traces of glue, makeup or, even worse, glitter left. Many Halloween Makeup looks include heavy color around the eyes, and the eyes are a part where scrubbing with a cloth is really not recommended. So soak some cotton pads in eye makeup remover, put them on your (closed) eyes and let them sit there for a bit, before you gently start wiping any traces of makeup away. This will prevent you from waking up with swollen and irritated eyes. (If you need some extra help there, try this eye cream!)
How to treat your skin after you removed your Halloween Makeup
I have one word for you: Hydration, hydration, hydration!
Chances are that a Halloween party does not only mean heavy makeup, but also booze, fatty foods and a late night – all things that will show on our skin eventually. The temptation is huge to reach for a chemical exfoliant that promises overnight glow, but with your skin already stressed through layers of paint and then a Double Cleanse, it is best to give it some rest. No actives (not even Vitamin C) for the next 48 hours, just face mists, Hyaluronic Acid serums and Glycerin rich moisturizers – your skin will thank you for that.