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Last-minute Halloween makeup ideas you can create on a budget

by Jamie Stone /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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If you don't want to shell out for an elaborate costume this Halloween, you can still have a winning look. In fact, these 32 Halloween makeup ideas just might give you the coolest look in town.

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Whether you're going for fright or delight, we've got you covered with ideas that include everything from zombies and deer to Marie Antoinette and Jem.

Happy painting!

1. A "Walking Dead"-inspired zombie

  Jamie Stone

You know you’re a fan, and you also know you have an old T-shirt, black eyeliner and red lip gloss. This step-by-zombie-step tutorial is on my own blog, Honestly Jamie.

2. Scarecrow

  Marie McGrath / The Joy of Fashion

A plaid shirt and some eyeliner is all you really need for this simple but festive scarecrow Halloween makeup.

3. Black-and-white film character

  Azusa Takano / TODAY

If you ever watched the movie "Pleasantville," then you know how cool this is ... and it's surprisingly easy with this how-to on TODAY.

4. Pop art

  Jody Duits / BuzzFeed

This looks complicated but, trust us, you can absolutely achieve this pop art, Warhol-inspired Halloween look.

5. Sugar skull


If you’re feeling particularly inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, this sugar skull look will kill at your Halloween party.

6. Vampire

  Maya Isabel / YouTube

Vampires are a Halloween classic for a reason, and we love this seductive vamp tutorial.

7. Katy Perry as Cleopatra in her “Dark Horse” video


Katy was inspired by the look of Cleopatra in her wildly popular video, and this tutorial will show you how to impress all the Katy Cats on Halloween.

8. American Horror Story white nun

  Em Michelle Phan / YouTube

The hit show is definitely a great source of inspiration for all things scary and Halloween, and we LOVE this AHS white nun tutorial.

9. Deer

If scary or bloody costumes aren’t your thing, you’ll love this sweet and sophisticated deer makeup look.

10. Fairy


There’s a million ways to make this more complicated and bling-y, but at a very basic level, this is a go-to fairy look that’s perfect for makeup newbies.

11. Witch

  Erica Davidson / Story by ModCloth

Even if you don’t have green face paint, a little green eyeshadow and red lipstick can go a long way with this simple witch Halloween makeup.

12. Cruella De Vil

  Brianna Fox / YouTube

I dressed up as Cruella a few years ago, but Kandee Johnson’s tutorial really takes the cake when it comes to all things Cruella.

13. Spider webs

  ZenaDramaticAddict / YouTube

If you just want to create a cool makeup look and wear all black, this spider webs tutorial is a great look to try.

14. Catwoman from Batman Returns

  ReeRee Phillips / YouTube

This Catwoman look reminds me of the Batman I watched growing up — it’s both classic and fairly easy to do.

15. Ghost


You’ve already got the outfit at home (a white sheet!) but this makeup look takes the basic ghost costume to a more elevated level.

16. No. 1 mom

I laughed out loud a little when I first saw this No. 1 mom makeup look. Just think: If you use a real face mask, your skin will look fab at the end of the night!

17. Snow queen

  DazzleDust08 / YouTube

Even though it’s still pretty warm in many parts of the country, this snow queen look is super chic and pretty.

18. Queen of hearts

  Julia Graf / YouTube

Speaking of queens, this classic character from "Alice in Wonderland" is a really fun Halloween makeup look that everyone will love.

19. Effie Trinket from "The Hunger Games"

  Stephania Stanley / TODAY

Similar to the fairy look, you could take this "Hunger Games"-inspired costume to all kinds of crazy levels ... but this simple Effie Trinket makeup is easy and fun!

20. Low-res photo

  Jesus Diaz / Gizmodo

How 2015, no? There’s nothing more frustrating than a low-resolution photo, so why not laugh about it and dress as one for Halloween?

21. "Black Swan"

  Kandee Johnson / YouTube

The movie has come and gone, but we can all agree that "Black Swan" makeup is absolutely gorgeous.

22. Cheshire cat

  Party Delights / YouTube

Another "Alice in Wonderland" classic! Who doesn’t love a cute cat?!

23. Creepy doll

  MakeupbyMandy24 / YouTube

This is so creepy that’s it’s almost actually cute? I love the simplicity of this look.

24. Creepy clown

  Melissa Bernard / YouTube

Speaking of creepy, this is the scariest look on this list! Clowns are the creepiest.

25. The porcelain doll

  Free People Blog

As someone who owned a few porcelain dolls during my childhood years, I can say this is terrifying ... in a good way.

26. Marie Antoinette

  Julia Graf

You can make this look as intricate or as simple as you like, and it’s sure to be a big party hit.

27. Skeleton

  Makeup For Life / Makeup For Life

Another Halloween classic — and you can create this look with just two products!

RELATED: 35 DIY Halloween costume ideas you can make now

28. Lady Frankenstein

  Carah Amelie / YouTube

This Lady Frankenstein Halloween look is a personal favorite, because how often do you have an excuse to paint your entire face green?

29. Ursula

  Poutbrush / YouTube

"The Little Mermaid" is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies, and Ursula is one of those super fun villains you definitely want to be for Halloween.

31. Twiggy /

A '60s icon, yes, and with the right outfit this is a super fun Halloween look.

31. Jem

  Universal Studios

If you were a child of the late '80s, you have nothing but the best memories of "Jem and the Holograms!"

This article was originally published on Oct. 30, 2015.

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