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How to Prep Your Skin for Halloween and Special Effects Makeup

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Movies and costumes aren’t the only scary thing about this time of year. One of the scariest things about Halloween is the impact special effects makeup can have on our delicate skin.

Makeup from our favourite cosmetic brands is wildly different to the makeup from novelty stores that we often use on Halloween. When companies formulate special effects makeup, there is little consideration for skin health and how its use can impact our complexion. Costume makeup is typically heavy, thick, waxy and has a greasy texture with the purpose to be bold, pigmented and extremely durable. Perfect for completing our themed costumes, but less than perfect for our pores! Whilst this type of special effects makeup is ideal for lasting a day and night of celebrating and withstanding Halloween themed treats, it can wreak havoc on clear skin. So to ensure our complexion is not compromised, we have outlined a few tips and tricks to treat our skin on Halloween...



How to Prep Skin Before Applying Heavy Makeup

Before you apply your special effects Halloween makeup it is essential to start with a clean base. Begin by double cleansing your face to remove any excess oil or dirt from your face. If you are applying prosthetics, this is a particularly important step as a clean base will allow the glue to adhere to your skin without any embarrassing makeup mishaps! If you have an especially oily complexion, dabbing your skin with a small amount of salicylic acid or witch hazel can help remove any remaining surface oils. 

If you are not applying prosthetics and instead opting for a more simple Halloween makeup look, applying a primer after your double cleanse will create an even base and provide your skin with a protective barrier. Your facial primer will fill your pores and prevent them from being clogged with that thick and heavy Halloween makeup. 


Removing Halloween Makeup Safely

We all know the rule ‘never fall asleep in your makeup’, well this rule is especially important on Halloween night. At the end of the night it is very important to safely and effectively remove all makeup and cleanse your skin thoroughly to prevent irritation or damage. 

If you have prosthetics and latex glued to your face, the removers that often come with your Halloween makeup can cause even more irritation and damage than the makeup itself. For this reason we recommend instead using an oil-based, water-soluble cleanser to break down the glue safely. Oil-based cleansers will not damage your skin and will also tackle stubborn makeup and false eyelash glue too. A Vanity Fair article revealed that they used a combination of argan oil and coconut oil to remove Angelina Jolie’s costume makeup on the set of her movie, Maleficent. If it is good enough for Angie, it’s good enough for us!


Skincare After Removing Makeup

After the Halloween celebrations have passed for another year, you will want to treat your complexion to hydrating skincare products to prevent any scary surprises appearing on your skin the next day. After thoroughly cleansing your face and cleaning your pores with an oil-based cleanser, we recommend using a hydrating toner to replenish those natural oils and rehydrate your skin. 

If you were wearing particularly stubborn makeup, following this with a gentle exfoliation can also help remove any dead skin cells and stubborn makeup remnants, giving you a fresh glow once again. Finally, to ward off dry skin, apply a thoroughly hydrating moisturiser to treat your skin before bed. 

In the day following your Halloween celebrations, we also recommend topping your skincare routine off with a facial mask to bring your skin back to its optimal condition. After taking these skincare steps, the only evidence that you used Halloween makeup will be those fond photographs!

Latest update: 21/10/2020
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