Left: Photo by Mitchell Sims. Right: Photo by Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images

7 head-turning beauty looks to recreate for halloween

Look to the runways of Alexander McQueen and Maison Margiela for some weird and eerie beauty inspiration.

by Brittany Natale
29 October 2019, 4:10pm

Left: Photo by Mitchell Sims. Right: Photo by Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images

For those still searching for the perfect last-minute Halloween costume, look no further than the runway for a spooky look. We know it’s unlikely that you’ll be sewing a haute couture gown by the 31, but you can easily pick up some makeup for a full face of scary (or ethereal) at the drugstore.

From Maison Margiela’s Davide Bowie-inspired look to Alexander McQueen’s eerie facial accessories, there is plenty of weird and wild inspiration on the catwalk. We put together 7 of the most iconic runway beauty moments for you to recreate:

Alexander McQueen Fall 1996
Known for his deliciously unsettling designs and dramatic detailing, it is hard to put together a list of runway beauty looks to emulate this holiday without mentioning Alexander McQueen. Afterall, his runway beauty choices have utilized everything from unexpected materials to unnerving prosthetics (he famously once said that he finds beauty in the grotesque). However, a particular moment in his portfolio that stands out was when model Debra Shaw walked in McQueen’s Fall/Winter 1996 show in subdued makeup with an eerie face mask featuring Jesus on the cross. The facial accessory, which was equal parts strange and romantic, encapsulated the specific McQueen vibe that he became so well-known for. P.S. Not convinced McQueen was the king of Halloween? It was during this same runway show, aptly titled Dante, where he sat a human skeleton front row.

Jeremy Scott Fall/Winter 1998
Devon Aoki’s makeup from Jeremy Scott’s late-90s runway show, is perfect for those low on time this Halloween, as it is purposefully incomplete. The polychromatic look, which features half of Aoki’s face painted with a dark lip and one smoldering eye and the other half left totally bare, is a costume all in itself.

Photo by Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty Images

Christian Dior Fall 2011 Couture
Christian Dior’s fall 2011 couture show featured no shortage of exaggerated hair accessories, unexpected patterns, and pastel bottoms. However, one of its most show-stopping looks was one that incorporated celestial beauty by makeup artist Pat McGrath and a custom headpiece by London-based milliner, Stephen Jones. McGrath created the cosmic moment by carefully arranging crystals and sequins to the model’s eyelids and pairing it with a deep red lip. Both striking and timeless, the look is reminiscent of Hedy Lamarr’s glitter-encrusted character in the 1941 musical film Ziegfeld Girl.

Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images

Vivienne Westwood Spring Summer 2014
For Vivienne Westwood’s spring/summer 2014 runway collection, the British designer brought couture corpses to life. Models not only captured attention by wearing the fashion brand’s draped satin pieces and traditional floral sets, but also turned heads for another reason — their makeup. Each model was done up in light grey foundation layered and blended with hints of black, red, and pink to create an elevated zombie bride persona. This was the same fashion show where Westwood not only had strong makeup, but also made a strong political statement — several models were dressed in shirts and hats emblazoned with words such as “Climate Revolution,” which acted as a commentary on the world’s ongoing climate crisis.

Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images

Maison Margiela Spring 2016 Couture
Pat McGrath drew inspiration from none other than the Starman himself, David Bowie, when creating the beauty looks for Maison Margiela’s spring 2016 couture show during Paris Fashion Week. The makeup and hair — which centered around sequined eye designs and a dual color lip, paired with fiery-orange dyed tresses — was an homage to the British musician who had passed away just months prior. Maison Margiela’s creative director, the ever-exuberant John Galliano, created the bold pieces for the collection — ones that straddled the line between reality and fantasy in true Galliano fashion.

Rodarte Fall Winter 2019
For its fall/winter 2019 show, Rodarte took over Huntington Library’s garden court and transformed it into a floral oasis where celebrities including Rowan Blanchard, Diane Keaton, and HAIM were all in attendance. Models walked the runway in brightly painted makeup paired with layers of signature Rodarte tulle, chiffon, and lace. One of our favorite makeup looks from the season features richly pigmented fuchsia eye shadow topped with glitter and a matching pink lip. If you really feel like committing, you could even incorporate some flora and fauna into your hairstyle to capture the whole mood.

Photo by Mitchell Sams

Gypsy Sport Spring Summer 2020
New York City-based brand Gypsy Sport brought intergalactic glamour to the runway when they showed a number of models drenched in beautiful shades of Bioglitz, a biodegradable glitter that comes with an algae-based glue that makes application both easy and eco-friendly. This particular composition features head-to-toe turquoise sparkles worn with orange hair styled in loose finger waves. In fact, staying true to Gypsy Sport’s mission which centers around sustainability, designer Rio Uribe matched the model’s makeup to an outfit created entirely from recycled plastic. If you are looking for simple, yet statement-making, Halloween makeup we recommend you pick up a tub of Bioglitz and get busy.

pat mcgrath