MUAs shine as line between costume, regular makeup thins


From creepy clown makeup to hyper-realistic adaptations of your favorite characters, makeup artists (MUAs) are constantly raising the bar with their cosplay and cosmetic artistry, and Halloween is a time for them to show off their unique talents. 

Makeup is one of the best accessories to any outfit, and can sometimes express things that words or clothes can’t. Sometimes, a beaten face and a simple outfit can create a Halloween costume from your closet. 

This is what any lover of MUAs can expect on their timeline during the week of Halloween. For example, the MUA James Charles pulled off an exceptionally realistic Harry Potter look over the weekend, wearing simple Gryffindor robes. What really separates this costume from others was his use of makeup to detail Harry’s lightning bolt scar. 

As for the basics of “costume makeup,” the only rule is that there is no rule. MUAs are rightfully titled artists because their innovation and love for the art make the realm of makeup a very dynamic medium. 

Although essential to Halloween, the idea of costume makeup has definitely taken a sharp turn. People unfamiliar with MUAs may think that costume makeup refers to what is now commonly called “special effects makeup” (SFX makeup), which involves using materials outside the mundane eyeshadow and bronzer to make eerie looks

With the rise of beauty blogger culture, YouTube tutorials and other forms of social media, it’s become a lot easier for beauty hacks to become common knowledge. That deer-inspired makeup look that seemed unattainable on Pinterest three years ago? That was on my timeline last week, just because the MUA felt like doing that look. 

The point is, the line between “costume makeup” and “everyday” makeup is becoming increasingly thinner. This mainly comes from turning the concept of makeup as something used to demean women into a celebration of expression that anyone can participate in. 

One of the best examples of this culture is Instagram user @snitchery, an unproblematic influencer I’ve been happy to repost since 2012. Although she had her start like most beauty bloggers do, by posting pictures of winged eyeliner and using Urban Decay’s “Naked” palettes, she has now amassed an empire of followers. 

Snitchery posts new cosplay at least three times a week. She is always changing her looks, drastically switching up makeup, clothing and wigs to suit the character she’s impersonating. 

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, @snitchery’s followers can always expect a dash of Halloween on their timeline due to how much she dresses up. 

That doesn’t mean that beauty influencers neglect Halloween. Although every day may seem like a good one to inspire a dramatic makeup look, you can always expect MUAs to bring their all for extra spooky and fun looks that you’ll definitely want to try again next year. 


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