Why Eyeliner Is All You Need For The Perfect Halloween Costume

Rachel Krause

There are two types of people: those who have their entire Halloween costumes planned by June, and those who find themselves scrambling for something passable at the last minute. We tend to fall into the latter category, which means we’re very well-acquainted with the panic that erupts when everyone starts talking Halloween plans and we slowly realize that we haven’t even started. Deep breaths.

To spare you some anxiety, we’ve compiled a list of eight Halloween costumes you can put together with eyeliner alone. That’s right—eight options. So you can just sit back and relax between now and October 31.


Don’t hate—just because a cat is pretty much the easiest Halloween costume to DIY doesn’t mean it’s not a solid choice. All it takes is a simple flick of liner (they call it a cat eye for a reason!) and some definition for the nose and mouth. Just add whiskers and go.


Spiderwebs are a traditional Halloween motif, so why not make your face into one? If you can draw a line—it doesn’t even have to be straight—you can manage this quick and easy “costume.” Don’t forget the spider, or you’ll just look like a net.


If you’re going for cute over scary this year, Betty Boop is your girl. Use black and white liners to create her strong-browed, wide-eyed look. A little red lipstick completes the cartoonish effect. We recommend adding a wig unless you already have curly black hair or don’t mind people asking what you are for Halloween.

MORE: Last Minute Halloween Ideas You Already Own


Sure, Black Swan hasn’t been in theaters since 2010, but Natalie Portman’s seriously spooky look has not been quick to disappear from public memory. Re-create the haunting makeup at home with strokes of black eyeliner offset by shimmery silver eye shadow—and steer clear of any mirrors. (Bonus: This look also passes as a sexy Batman.)


If all else fails, resort to your own anatomy. Whether you’re skilled with a brush or not much of an artist, you can sketch a super simple skull or go for a more advanced approach like this one.


Who doesn’t want to look like Cleopatra? To be fair, we don’t actually know what she looked like, but we do know that she was most famously portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor, which has to count for something. The queen’s style is well within reach, provided you have black eyeliner and a gold chain or two on hand.


A little on the twee side, yes, but so cute. Deer is the new cat—it’s just as simple but a little less obvious. For now.


Putting a sexy twist on Minnie Mouse may feel kind of sacrilegious, but what the hell. The key is to draw that widow’s peak. Then just use liner to define your eyes and add a button nose; finish off with a swipe of dark lipstick and the requisite ears.

MORE: Pretty Halloween Makeup Ideas You’ll Love