Ah, Halloween: a tricky time of year for many women. Not because of all the dark magic flying around (we’re responsible for at least half of that), but because deciding what to ‘be’ is so bloody fraught.
Everybody knows that going as something straightforwardly ‘sexy’ is now technically passé, but are you exempt if you go as Amanda Seyfried-as-Karen-at-Halloween-in-Mean-Girls and spend the night saying “I’m a sexy mouse, duh!” with an ironic wink? Does going as a floral Mexican Day of the Dead mask count as cultural appropriation? And what if you’ve left it all to the last minute, as you do every year, and are now having an existential crisis because last time you checked it was still August?
If you’re still totally lacking in spooky fancy dress ideas, you can thank the good people at Pinterest. They’ve just shared this year’s six most-pinned Halloween make-up looks, and in doing so revealed the face paint you’re guaranteed to see absolutely everywhere this weekend.
Use the below as inspiration for your own costume, or as a handy cheat sheet for what to avoid if you can’t bear the idea of seeing another woman in an identical get-up. Everyone’s a winner.
Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad
Guaranteed to be almost as ubiquitous as the sexy cat at this year’s celebrations is Margot Robbie’s character in Suicide Squad.
For many, the baseball bat-toting, pigtail-wearing supervillain is the ideal Halloween costume: topical, kinda scary while still allowing you to look essentially good, and requiring a lot of fun messing around with make-up.
Pinned by Eleanor Sharp.
Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (and Maleficent)
Not quite as timely as Harley Quinn – the movie Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, came out a full two years ago – but still holding firm in the top six is Sleeping Beauty’s vengeful nemesis.
Done right, this look requires an impressive amount of effort (how are you going to make those horns, hmm?), while also having the potential to be genuinely terrifying. Eerie green contact lenses optional.
Pinned by Lucy South.
Personally, we think that the best way to do Zombie Bride is to go full Cady Heron: fake fangs, mouldering dress and all. But it’s also a strong option if you like to hold onto a little bit of glamour at Halloween, even while undead.
Pinned by Poppy Johnston.
A Roy Lichtenstein painting is hardly the stuff of nightmares, but then our attitude to Halloween costumes became Americanised (meaning, anything goes) long ago. Grab yourself a brightly-coloured wig and get ready to take the concept of ‘graphic eyeliner’ to a new level.
Pinned by Lara Soltan.
Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family
This is a good option for two kinds of women: those who like Goth chic and those who are lazy. We’re willing to bet that you already own the white shirt and black dress necessary to embody Wednesday, and make-up can be as simple as whacking on some eyeliner and putting your hair in plaits. Sorted.
Pinned by Nikita Kiceluk.
Ursula from The Little Mermaid
OK, if we see a girl dressed as Evil Ursula at a Halloween party we will buy her a drink, because that is incredible. Also, did you know that the character of Ursula in The Little Mermaid was inspired by Shakespearean actresses and a car saleswoman, and has been credited as a strong feminist character for teaching Ariel about power and womanhood? Now you do.
Pinned by Laura Crabb.