Beauty girls love a theme and Halloween is an exciting one. In all the costumery and creativity, it's easy to go overboard with your Halloween beauty — we'll get to some product picks for the literal-minded in a minute. If you're interested in the lovely, subtle colors and scents the season affords, here are some festive choices that don't jump out and yell "Boo!"
I love using seasonal body washes in the shower, but hate anything inspired by candy or with a sickly sweet scent. Molton Brown has a fabulous fall color palette with sophisticated scents to match. Recharge Black Pepper, Warming Eucalyptus, Invigorating Suma Ginseng, the list goes on. The Global Heroes Limited Edition Travel Size Shower Gel Set, $45, is a great way to try a few different ones (and throw a few in your gift closet for the holidays) or you can buy regular sizes here for $30.
For something a little more Halloweeny that still won't make your bathroom look like a tween's, Lush Cosmetics always has something hand crafted for every holiday. There's Limited Edition Twilight Bath Bombs, $6.25, and Shower Gel, $9.95 – $27.95, featuring iridescent purple lavender lather and a scent that's "slightly sweet with the perfect herbal balance." The jack-o-lantern shaped Jacko Bath Fizzer, $5.95, Something Wicked This Way Comes soak, $6.25, and Pumpkin Soap, $6.95 all celebrate fall while bringing a luxurious bath experience at the same time.
Philosophy is another brand I've come to rely on for a grown-up take on fun holiday beauty. If you're looking for something a little more themed than their luxurious and delectable-smelling Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath multitaskers (Hot Buttered Rum, $16, anyone?) then they have a Trick or Treat Lip Shine Duo, $18 at Sephora, featuring a champagne shimmer Crispy Marshmallow Bars Lip Shine and a more dramatic sheer dark cherry Caramel Apple Lip Shine.
If all this subtlety is boring you, go all out and search for Halloween makeup on YouTube, or your favorite character plus the search term "makeup tutorial" and you'll get all the resources you need. The pro tip? Get anything too wacky from a cheapo brand at the drugstore, but choose one or two products you'll actually use again to treat yourself to a high end brand.
I'm dressing as a beat up derby girl (I know, very 2009 but it's cute and easy) and will have to create some bruises and a bloody lip. This Simple Special FX – Bruised Eye/Cut Lip makeup tutorial calls for greasepaint makeup. My immediate thought was, "Ooh! An excuse for a new Mac Greasepaint Stick!" They're kind of hard to find but are available on Amazon from $14.50 to $34.99. Since MAC is a professional brand and used by lots of makeup artists who do special effects beauty, they have an amazing selection of pigments and glitters.
It's also a great time to put the time into finding the perfect red lipstick for you — after all, you can use that for everything from a witch to Marilyn Monroe and keep it in your makeup collection year round.