If you're like us, you concentrate most of your Halloween efforts on your makeup look. It's not that we don't like costumes—we just prefer channeling our favourite pop culture icons through creative beauty looks made with cosmetics we already have on hand. Take your basic black eyeliner, for example. It can double as face paint to draw on cat whiskers, a jack o' lantern grin, or Night of the Living Dead–style zombie skin. Our strategy saves us time and money, and best of all, it makes for beauty looks that are a bit more original. One thing we've found over the years? Some of the best Halloween makeup looks have to do with the eyes, and the eyes alone. Whether you're trying to channel a specific time period or person, keep scrolling to see 15 hauntingly gorgeous Halloween eye makeup looks you'll be dying to wear come October 31.
"Glitter Queen" Eyes
Adele's eye shape was exaggerated with sharp black eyeliner before being completely surrounded with chunky silver-and-gold glitter. The makeup artist behind this "glitter queen" look? Anthony H. Nguyen. Add a vampy wine-coloured lip for extra detail, as he did, or leave it as is to let the glittery eyes do the talking. Either way, it's like the makeup equivalent of an ornate masquerade mask.
'60s Pop Art Eyes
'70s Disco Eyes
Nguyen was also the expert behind Kaia Gerber's '70s disco-queen costume. The shiny wig and sequin top are pretty spectacular, but the most important detail (in our humble opinion) is her starry silver eye makeup. If you look closely, you can see the individual silver star sequins glued to the inner corners.
Kim Kardashian West's 2017 Halloween costume was inspired by Cher, and it was one of the most-talked-about celeb costumes that year. It's super easy to replicate, too. All you need is a pair of dramatic upper and lower faux lashes, white liner to line your waterline with, and a bit of rosy-brown shadow to shade into your crease. As for the lashes, we like Make Up For Ever's Lash Show Artistic False Lashes (£16).
Dramatic '80s Eyes
Kaia Gerber makes the list again, and for good reason. This time it's for the ultra-'80s purple eye shadow she wore on the Anna Sui runway. All you need to achieve this look for yourself is some pigmented plum shadow like the one found in the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Bling Boss Eyeshadow Palette (£14).
Early 2000's Eyes
Remember Kylie Jenner's Christina Aguilera costume? We do. Her filled-in brows and nude lip were pretty standard, although her eye makeup was unique in being perfectly early 00s-esque. The key is to use a monochromatic blend of charcoal and black shadows, making sure the colour stays the most concentrated along the lash line.
If it's a group costume you're looking for, do as Little Mix did and adorn your face with black face paint and dark lipstick to channel the famed '80s band Kiss. Depending on which band member you become, you only need a single shade of face paint (okay, and maybe a stencil).
Fire and Ice Eyes
In the spirit of best-friend costumes (because yes, those are a very real possibility for Halloween), we thought we'd include another Kylie Jenner gem. This costume was completed with her BFF, Jordyn Woods. The two wore "fire and ice" eye makeup. Woods opted for a devilish red smoky eye, while Jenner chose icy white mascara in lieu of traditional black.
Skeleton Smoky Eye
If you're looking for a more traditional take on Halloween eye makeup, do as Lily Aldridge did and apply dark gray shadow under the brow bone in the hollow of the eyes. It's the easiest way to achieve that spooky living-dead look we all know and love.
In that same vein of traditional Halloween looks, we have spiderweb eyeliner. It only requires one product to achieve, which is nice considering you probably already have an inky liquid liner at your disposal. Be sure to check out four other eyeliner-only Halloween makeup looks.
Minimalist Orange Eyes
If you want to channel the Halloween spirit but you're not into dramatic eye makeup looks, take inspo from Katie Jane Hughes, who's pictured here wearing a minimal orange eye. It can be worn year-round, but it's especially apt for October, no? We'll never say no to a statement colour or a sharp outer flick.
The only term we could think of to describe this look (also by Katie Jane Hughes) was "wildflower eyes." The shadow is bright, springy and varied, just like a hillside covered in wildflowers. Is this making anyone want to dress up as a flower this year?
Vampire Diva Eye Makeup
This fierce look from Katy Perry is equal parts vampire and '80s diva, and it has majorly inspired our Halloween plans. The shoulder pads, the slicked-back, side-parted hair, the graphic black shadow—all of it.
Yes, Pat McGrath did it again. She created an otherworldly makeup look by winging out dramatic metallic red eyeliner and adding silver sequins throughout.
Mardi Gras Eyes
This last look's another one from McGrath. The rich gold, purple, and emerald eye shadow reminds us of Mardi Gras celebrations in the best way. Pair with bold metallic accessories and a velvety matte complexion to give it a rock 'n' roll vibe.