Still No Costume? Try One of These Glow-in-the-Dark Makeup Looks for Halloween

You'll get as many compliments as the people who put in tons of time and effort, which will *really* irk them. Bwahaha.

Glow in the dark Halloween makeup
(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

This Halloween, we're getting in touch with our dark side a little differently. In the spirit of easy but totally mind-blowing last-minute costumes, we dreamed up three neon-happy day-to-night looks: a sugar skull, a mermaid, and the ultimate '80s chick.

All you need to recreate them is a tapered makeup brush, glow-in-the-dark face paint, and a steady hand. Oh, and maybe a black light for good measure.

The Sugar Skull

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Sugar Skull Makeup

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

Sugar Skull makeup glow

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

An intricate, eye-catching, and slightly sinister folk art symbol for Mexico's Dia de los Muertos, AKA Day of the Dead, it's no secret why the sugar skull has become a Halloween mainstay. (Though do remember—they *are* different holidays.) Fun fact: There's an entire storyline dedicated to the colorful celebration in the forthcoming James Bond filmSpectre. So it's not a bad icebreaker either.

For this look, makeup artist Jackie Seabrooke used Kroyolan UV DayGlow Face Paint, which looks bright and vivid in daylight, as well as amazing under black light. She painted the entire face white, then added purple circles around the eyes, an upside down heart on the nose, and lime green to the lips before painting on the details.

When styling this eye-popping look, we recommend topping things off with a flower crown or, like we did here, swiping some Dayglow paint through the hair with a mascara wand for cool streaks.

The Mermaid

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

The Mermaid makeup

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

The Mermaid makeup glow

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

Another folkloric favorite, this aquatic look boasts artfully painted scales, dotted eyebrow details, and eye-popping lips.

To bring this idea to life, Seabrooke began by painting on scallop detail, then added multi-colored dots on the brows, nose, and along the bottom of the lids to define the eyes. Last, but certainly not least, were the neon yellow lips, which you can swipe on using Stargazer's UV Neon Yellow Lipstick.

We love this look with an all-white outfit and a mermaid tail if you can manage it—platinum blonde hair doesn't hurt either.

The '80s Chick

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

The '80s Chick Makeup

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

The '80s Chick Makeup glow

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

If you don't want a face full of makeup, take a more IRL-friendly approach (relatively speaking, of course) and concentrate exclusively on the eyes and lips. If you were channeling any other decade, this would be a cardinal makeup sin, but since it's the more-is-more '80s, it's all good.

To create this look, Seabrooke focused on making an ultra-exaggerated cat eye, color blocking neon orange and green on the brows and extending it out for the "wings." For pops of color, she used a bright tangerine to achieve fringey upper and lower lashes, as well as a stamped-on pout. Of course, if you're going to go '80s you need an athleisure-inspired zip-up and big fluffy hair.

Makeup by Jackie Seabrooke. Photography by Kathryn Wirsing.

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I’m the associate web editor at Marie Claire. I love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. I firmly believe that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.