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Do Your Own Vampire Makeup

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Raye loved playing dress-up so much that she went on to study costume and makeup for her BA, then got an MFA in surface design.

So, you want to be a Vampire...?

Doing your own vampire makeup can be a five minute breeze, or a much more involved procedure, whichever is to your taste and talents. Some vampires look entirely human, some just have their fangs to give them away and some are fully-transformed, undead creatures of the night with glowing eyes.

The first and most important thing to do is deciding how simple or complex you want your vampire costume and makeup to be. The second thing to decide is how much money and time you want to invest in your look. Time might include having to make things or practice applying makeup.

If you watch vampire movies, you'll see lots of variation for how vampires look. There are some common beliefs to how vampires look and act, but you don't necessarily have to follow those. Vampires are often very pale as they avoid sunlight, but sometimes vampires are portrayed as able to go out during the day. Their eyes are frequently bold and dramatic to emphasize their hypnotic powers. Some have visible fangs but fangs are not required. Many people who dress as vampires have a tendency to accent their wardrobes with period clothing, and the color scheme tends towards the darker and deeper ends of the spectrum but you don't have to stick to that.

Deciding how you want to look ahead of time is a good way to save time and money when it comes time to put together your vampire costume. Once you decide what type of vampire you are, then you can move on to makeup and accessories...

How do you like your Vampires?

Types of Vampires

The popularity of the vampire image in modern culture has lead to a greater variety in how they look and act from when they first appeared during the 1800s. Back then, it was pretty universal that vampires were ugly and evil-looking, a far cry from the stylish and sophisticated image that we have today.

Seriously Undead - Some vampires are more akin to zombies, being more like the walking dead who are up and about for a snack. Discolored skin (bruises and decay), wounds (scratches and scars) and blood running down the chin is a good look for this type of nightcrawler.

Period clothing - Just how old IS your vampire character? Just about any historical period would be possible for a vampire costume. Corn-starch is good for making "dust" on outfits that are supposed to be very old or for vampires that just climbed out of their crypts. Don't use baby powder as it turns to paste when it gets moist.

Modern Gothic - Perhaps your vampire keeps up with a more modern style and is fashion-conscious. Club wear or fetish fashions could work for these characters. Long coats, shiny PVC and big boots go well with dark lipstick and fingernail polish.

Everyday Vampire - Does your vampire keep a low-profile? Are you a vampire still in high school? This type of vampire might just prefer to dress in dark but casual styles. Formal wear (tuxedos and long dresses) also works well for those of you vamping it up at costume parties.

Complete Makeup Kits

Vampire Makeup Guides

  • Halloween Face Painting
    A bit of face paint is one of the best ways to make a quick costume for Halloween. Here are some easy and low-cost costume ideas suitable for kids and adults. Be a skull, vampire or zombie.
  • Makeup for Vampire Beauty
    This is a popular look for Halloween. Could there be anything more frightening than bumping into a vampire on this particular night? Lets get you started on your transformation.

Making Vampires with Makeup

Making a Vampire with Prosthetics

Vampire Makeup Tips

Paleness - some people do white foundation makeup to get that "no sunlight" look, but I find that using a white face powder is often a lot easier to apply and less messy to remove. Use a powder puff or brush to dust the powder across your cleanly-washed and dried face. For non-Caucasian vampires, a face powder that is in the same color family as your skin but lighter is a good option. If you do want to use foundation makeup, you don't necessarily have to go white. One or two shades lighter than your regular skin tone will make you look much paler than usual.

Note: If you want to be a "Twilight" vampire, remember that you'll glitter in sunlight and make sure to get some body glitter or shimmer powder if you want to recreate that effect. However, if you do go the glitter route, it will sparkle if any light falls on you, not just sunlight.

Eyes - lining the eyes with a black or dark brown or dark gray eyeliner increases the focus and it can also be used to darken the eyebrows a bit. The lining can be subtle or heavy, as you wish. Those with a very generous budget might want to try special "vampire eyes" contact lenses. Just lining the outer half of the upper and lower lash lines can make the eyes appear less squinty than if you outline all the way around. Try both to see which way you like best.

Cheeks - most often no emphasis is put on the cheeks which keeps the focus on the eyes and mouth. For a more sinister look, using a dark gray eyeshadow, you can shade under the cheekbones and along the temples to make the face appear more gaunt.

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Lips - vampires can have very pale lips (just dust over with the powder) or they can be dramatic with lipstick. Favorites seem to be either blood red, deep burgundy or glossy black.

Fake blood - if you want to have some fake blood on your lips or dripping down your chin slightly, it's really easy to make some by mixing up a few tablespoons of corn syrup with a few drops of red food coloring. Add a single drop of blue to the mix to get the red to be less orange and more like real blood. This is cheaper than purchasing fake blood and is non-toxic and ok-tasting to have in your mouth. Watch out for dripping it on white clothes as the food coloring can stain.

Vampire Bites - comments and feedback

rcorcutt on November 03, 2013:

Those are some pretty cool tips. I have been told I look like a vampire anyway so adding something from your HUB might make me pretty convincing.

AGBOR BISONG on July 12, 2013:


cici on October 27, 2012:

thanks you rock

joana on October 27, 2012:

spooky stofe.

Tracie on October 25, 2012:

Awesome makeup tutorial, thank you! Going to use this on my daughter (she's 4!) but not go totally crazy. :)

louromano on March 24, 2012:

My favorite vampire. Thank you, even though I can't pull off even eye liner! haha

mitokomatsu on February 10, 2012:

Thanks for the marvelous posting ! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.

perla on January 11, 2012:

That roks really

... on November 04, 2011:


MrsCullen on November 01, 2011:

Hey so gr8! I wish i could do it tho!

Sophia on October 30, 2011:

I tried to do it at my house it was awesome!!!

I love what you do!!!!

ninja on October 29, 2011:

This is good no its awesome!

kayleigh on October 29, 2011:

well, i wanted to know.. because im off t o a halloween party tonight, with ym friend's and i wanna be a vampire, i have some make=up not that much... but how would we do it we are not creative lol

koolgirl123 on October 13, 2011:

cool way to put on make-up! :)

Leslie on October 04, 2011:

Woah, not bad at all.

Marylol from Dublin, Ireland on August 03, 2011:

A w e s o m e ! I have been looking for useful Hubs that would help me out planning this year's Halloween and yours is one of the best I've found. I will be the most vampirish vampire ever! Thanks for sharing =)

Bobbimarie123 on January 21, 2011:

wow this was a really great article@ i love vampires

Messi on October 31, 2010:

Thank u so much this was a great help to me

Random Anon on October 29, 2010:

I'm going as a vampire at Halloween but I didn't know what to do for makeup thanks a lot. =)

donkeyz1 on October 24, 2010:

Thank you, even though I can't pull off even eye liner! haha

Christine S from Australia on October 19, 2010:

This is the best vampire hub I have seen. You've really covered it all. I think its fabulous.

lender3212000 from Beverly Hills, CA on October 19, 2010:

The vampire look just seems to be one of those classics that never goes out of style. I will say that the costumes are getting much more sophisticated these days!

brandon on October 17, 2010:


Nadyaa on September 22, 2010:

im doing my guy friends and my boyfriend´s make up for halloween and this really helped cuz im not used to putting make up on guys lol thanks A LOT :)

henrykasan from UK on September 21, 2010:

Good Hub!!!

The hub regarding Vampire Makeup is useful. We often observe Some vampires look entirely human, some just have fangs to give them away and some transform into undead creatures of the night with glowing eyes. They are simply terrific to watch and stimulate the flow of adrenaline. Thanks a lot for sharing such an enjoyable text.

PinkieRiceGurl from Davao City, Philippines on September 10, 2010:

nice post... keep up the good work! I may do a vampire look for Halloween... this helps :)

Nashville from Nashville, Tennessee on August 31, 2010:

You did a great job on this. I like how you went over the different areas of the face and had the videos to help out. Really really great hub.

What's News on August 21, 2010:

Great attention to detail on the vampire makeup and application. This is what I'm going to go with for my Halloween party.

AuthorSteve from Hawaii on July 17, 2010:

I´ve bookmarked this hub for Halloween. Makes the decision very easy: I´ll go as an vampire.

outlawbybirth from Lycraville, Florida on July 04, 2010:

Where were you three years ago when I did the Vampire costume, awesome way to put make up on.

Alucard on May 21, 2010:

This was great, I'm getting ready to cosplay Alucard from Hellsing: the Dawn, and I had no idea that the makeup would be this complicated. I never even thought to use dark eyeshadow on my temples of all places. Definitely going to follow these guidelines, and the colored contacts are definitely making the to-buy list.

scaffolding tower from United Kingdom on February 18, 2010:

And I thought you just had to look really pale, having had no idea of the intricacies of this. Good info.

V*ire D*es's Diva from New York on December 01, 2009:

LOL... This is really cool!!

Good job ;D

very soon on November 19, 2009:

this is such a big thing right now with all those movies out. Those videos are funny.

WilfordSy from The Bahamas on November 12, 2009:

Haha. That was awesome. Haha

paulette perinelo from USA on October 30, 2009:

Once again, GREAT HUBS! You can see that you really know your subject matter and you have put a great amount of detail into them.

Thanks for the useful information.

Maybe I will use one of these ideas for Halloween. I need to hurry up, get off my behind and make a costume this year!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on October 28, 2009:

I wrote this Hub in 2007, so I can't recall exactly how long it took me to write. And it's been updated a bit here and there along the way.

sannyasinman on October 28, 2009:

I take my hat off to you. This is a fantastic hub, and the best example that I have seen so far of how to write and compose a hub. Masterful! (PS May I ask how long i took you to complete it)?

LazarDRod on October 27, 2009:

I remember when I was younger I dressed up as your typical dracula-looking vampire. Good times!

dogmother86 on October 26, 2009:

I love your hub very good i get a kick out of halloween and doing makeup!!!!!

Wish my hub was this awesome

Carolyn Blacknall from Houston, Texas on October 24, 2009:

Great hub! I never knew there was so much to a vampire costume or that you could even get special contact lenses! Vampires seem to be the popular thing now. I even wrote a hub on the Twilight New Moon movie. Thanks for writing this. - Carol

joey on October 18, 2009:

wow. this helps me a lot thx

Uriel from Lebanon on August 27, 2009:

ok this will be sure followed ....can't wait to try it .... let me go for a while and i'll check back and see how it goes:D

Maggie on August 04, 2009:

Cool! I'm writing the script to a vampire movie, and this has been useful!

blondepoet from australia on April 29, 2009:

This was just awesome I am going to bookmark this one for future reference.Loved it

J_Eds from Blackpool on November 25, 2008:

I wish I had seen this in time for Halloween.... gah, next year it is...

Jamster2759 on November 20, 2008:

Go watch twilight tomorrow at the theaters and turn off The Lost Boys ...ha ha.

Jack Bauer does have secret life, he sucks blood. Great hub none the less.

chermarie from Wisconsin on November 10, 2008:

This is an awesome Hub. I sent to my daughter who seems to be obsessed with a new Vampire coming out in 2 weeks called 'Twilight'.

naturesencore from Chicagoland on October 30, 2008:

Great Hub! My daughter was to be a gothic vampiress for Halloween, so this is very useful information.

GhostWoman on September 27, 2008:

is all a very good...

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on May 27, 2008:

What a fun hub.

I dressed up as a Vampire Vulcan for one Halloween :)

teeray from Canada on April 11, 2008:

I had to re-visit this hub again - great stuff. Anyone want to guess what I will plan to dress up as next hallowe'en? Muhahaha! Yipes - I'm gettin' outta here - now Bela is kinda spookin' me out!

Joanie Ruppel from Texas on April 04, 2008:

The only bad thing is that as I get older it seems to take less makeup to get the right effect!

facepaintingideas from Paisley, UK on March 07, 2008:

Excellent hub. Really scary results

teeray from Canada on January 26, 2008:

OMG that is a frightening Sutherland photo!

Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on November 04, 2007:

Oooh!! Now I've got more in-depth info on vampire makeup. Thanks!

Misha from DC Area on October 26, 2007:

LOL this is some serious fun! I love your hub :D

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