From creepy clowns to Stranger Things, there is no shortage of clever costume options this Halloween. John Stapleton, celebrity and senior makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, has long been inspired by the holiday, for the opportunity it offers to mix whimsy, beauty and horror into creative expression.
"My real fascination with makeup started because I wanted to know the secrets of horror films," says Stapleton, who has worked with Sienna Miller, Kelly Osbourne and Pamela Anderson. "I think Halloween is the perfect forum to overcome fears and dress as something that makes you uncomfortable. A thousand therapists may completely disagree with me."
Here the artist breaks down two looks that are more head-turning than haunting, but have enough drama to make for a unique Halloween-style statement all the same.
LOOK ONE: MARTINE GIRL
Photographer: Albert Sanchez / Model: Diana Georgie
Makeup artist and illustrator Martine, whose work brings life to the page the way Stapleton's brings life to the face, inspired this cartoon-like look.
"The key here is the paper-white skin," he says. "Try a clown white from your local costume shop."
Stapleton painted the skin white with MAC Cosmetics Acrylic Paint in Pure White, an opaque product that was applied with a brush. The sunglasses were mapped out with MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Cobalt and the highlights painted in with the same pure white acrylic paint. The collarbone was highlighted with the same cobalt eyeshadow and a violet color in MAC Cosmetics Parfait Armour Eyeshadow.
The eyes were lined with MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack and the glasses were created with MAC Cosmetics Penultimate Eye Liner, as were the lips.
On the lips, he applied MAC Cosmetics Lipmix in Orange, mixed with a Cherry Pencil, 6 Lash on top and 7 Lash on the lower lashline added extra impact.
"Use your eyeliners to create line work for the cartoon like look," Stapleton advises. "Colored wigs can help pull it off and the more plastic jewelry the better!"
Courtesy of John Stapleton
LOOK TWO: DOLL EYES
Photographer: Alexander LeKing / Model: Diana Georgie
During his guest appearances on the World of Wonder web series Transformations with James St. James, Stapleton was inspired to shift the "eyes" lower so they instead sat on the cheeks, thus completely altering the shape and size of the face. The results are a triple-take-inducing optical illusion that's all about well-drawn eyeballs and a serious wig that's a statement but will still allow you to see.
"If you can't draw the perfect eyeball, print one out and stick it to your cheekbones with some eyelash glue," Stapleton says. "Just be sure to wear a hat or wig low over your own eyes to bring the illusion to life."
Stapleton started by applying MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid and painting the lips with Cherry Pencil and MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Perfect Score.
"The placement of the eyes is where the illusion takes off," he says. To accomplish the trick, he blocked out two white ovals under the model's real eyes using MAC Cosmetics Pure White Acrylic Paint, and then used a colored eyeshadow to create a circle of color in the center and an eyeliner pen to create the iris.
Using MAC Cosmetics Liquid Eye Liner in Boot Black, he lined the entire eye for even more depth and added a lash underneath for more dimension.
With this look, the accessories are just as important as the makeup, Stapleton says. "Wearing a wig or a low hanging trucker cap to cover your natural eyes completes the mission. Just be sure you can see!"