Expert Tips on the Perfect Vampire Costume

Halloween is quickly approaching and vampire costumes are one of the most popular costumes out there (yay vampires!). But why spend a fortune on that thick Halloween makeup kit when you can use items you already have at home?

Professional makeup designer Amanda French, with Pioneer Theatre Company, has been creating the perfect vampire look for the theater’s production of Dracula and she has some great tips for those of us dressing up as vamps this year.

Here are a couple of her tips:

  • You do not need to use harsh theater makeup to pull off the undead look; what you have at home should work.
  • Choose a shade 2 to 3 shades lighter than your own skin.
  • Use a dark eye shadow on your top lid and a slightly lighter color underneath your eyes. Otherwise, it will be too much and you’ll look like you just got punched in the face.
  • For men, the idea is the same, but a pencil is better for lining your eyes. Stick with the pencil since liquid liner is a mess, especially for beginners.
  • Do your vamped up eyebrows with a brown pencil first, and then a black. Brown makes it easier to erase mistakes.
  • Put your sexy lipstick on BEFORE you put on your fangs. It’s damn near impossible to keep lipstick off of your teeth.

Now here are some of my own personal makeup and costume tips:

  • If you don’t wear makeup often, you may want to have a test run before the big night. Some makeup dries your skin out pretty badly and you don’t want to spend the whole night scratching your face (trust me, I know this from personal experience). On that note: moisturize before you apply the makeup!
  • Be careful with those Halloween shop costumes. Many of them are over-priced, cheaply made and very thin (which is a huge problem if you live in the cold north like me). Some shops have excellent costumes though, so check out a few stores before making your choice.
  • Just because 99.9% of women pick slutty revealing costumes on Halloween doesn’t mean you have to! Wear what you feel most comfortable in. Personally, I prefer gorgeous Victorian gowns over mini skirts. The classic vampire look is much sexier than the modern trashy vampire look in my opinion.
  • Think about adding a cape to your costume. It may be a bit cliché, but like I said above, it’s freezing in some states, so a cape could come in handy – plus they look rad. As kids trick or treating in Michigan, my friends were always freezing so their parents made them wear their winter coats – which meant you couldn’t even see their costume. But I had a nice thick (and awesome) cape so I was perfectly warm and I didn’t ruin my costume.

What tips do you guys have?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


  1. Hey, I think vampires should be rosy Carmilla-like complexion like female vampires in book Dracula. I don´t know how to create that without old-fashioned Technicolor! p

    1. You can get that look without looking like a hooker clown ;) Just because you are undead, doesn’t mean you can’t look glam and classy.

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