Beauty and the Geek: Halloween Homemade Masquerade and Make-Up Tutorial

Around here we’re talking a lot about Halloween costumes. Halloween has become a fun and interactive holiday that goes beyond just trick or treating as homemade costumes are shared across social media. I can’t sew (yet), but I can do my makeup decently, and I can learn how to put various costume pieces together in one coherent outfit. So for this month’s Beauty and the Geek, I did a make-up tutorial and decided to get a couple of costume pieces together and try to create a non-homemade homemade costume for Halloween.

Every time I write this column, my respect for Makeup Artists (or MAUs) and beauty bloggers goes way, way up. This is such a long process, but the final results are so worth it.

Eyes, Lips, Face:

First have some fresh faced, no makeup me! Then, some foundation and concealer me!


Okay, so you can’t completely see in my no makeup picture, but I actually had a couple red marks and blemishes on my cheeks and chin. I also had some pretty serious under eye bags because working, college, and freelancing are not sleep friendly.

So my full-face routine is as follows:

  1. Primer: All over the face, recommended product Rimmel’s Stay Matte 003
  2. Concealer 1: Under the eyes, outlining the eyebrows, at the corners of the mouth, and above the cupid bow. Recommended product: Maybelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer in NudeBeauty and the Geek Tip: Draw a triangle under your eye to better hide dark circles (pictured in middle).
  3. Concealer 2: Cover up any blemishes, pimples, red marks. Recommended Product: Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer
  4. Foundation: Using a beauty sponge, I blend my chosen foundation and concealer together all over my face. Beauty and the Geek Tip: Make sure your beauty sponge is just a bit damp. Not wet. Just damp enough to help spread the product. Then I use a stippling brush to get into any kooks and crevices on my face such as around the nose and under the eyes. Recommended products: ELF’s Studio Stippling Brush, Real Technique’s Miracle Complexion Sponge, and Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Beige.

If I’m just going to class, or out shopping, I don’t wear foundation. I usually wear just primer and moisturizer to keep my combination skin in check. It’s not good for your face to wear heavy makeup and foundation every day. Your skin needs to breath and recover. Anytime I wear foundation, I change up my cleansing routine for my face to compensate.

Next is the eyes, and they’re the longest part of every makeup design I ever do it seems, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It’s important to know your eye shape to better adapt your eye makeup to it. The problem I found, however, is that most eye shape charts only include white-centric eye shapes. My eyes are very round, wide, with moderately hooded lids. My father tells me I get my eyes from my Filipino grandfather and great-grand father. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Pinterest tutorials that feature that eye-shape as many tutorials only consider monolids as “Asian,” but I digress.

Either way, I’m slowly getting a handle on how to create an eye makeup look that works for my eye shape:

1. Draw an outline in white eyeshadow around your eyelid and fill in the outline. Products used: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk and ELF’s eyeliner brush.


2. Cover the crease and eyelid outline with black eyeshadow.

3. Fill in the rest of the lid with silver shadow. Products used: Wet ‘n Wild palette in Spoiled Brat, ELF Eyeshadow Brush, and ELF Blending Brush.

Beauty and the Geek Tip: Wet your eyeshadow brush until it’s damp to increase dry eyeshadow intensity (left dry, right damp).
4. Go over the outer line of the eye makeup with a thicker cream eyeshadow to define the outer shape a bit more.

5. Color under the arch of the eyebrows with a sparkly nude highlight. Products used: NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Sparkle Nude, and ELF Eye Defining Brush.


6. Finally, create a sharp cat eye flick with liquid liner and top it all off with mascara. Don’t forget to use tape so your eyeliner stays sharp and defined. Products used: Revlon Colorstay Skinny Liquid Liner in Black and ELF’s Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush.

Beauty and the Geek Tip: Wet your eyeshadow brush until it’s damp to increase dry eyeshadow intensity.



Outline lips either with a concealer pencil or a lip liner of a matching color. I’m using a nice fall color for my lipstick for this tutorial. Unfortunately, I don’t have a darker lip liner so I just use a concealer pencil to line my lips. Then I fill in with my chosen color using a lip brush. Products used: NYX’s Wonder Pencil in Light and NYX Soft Matte Cream in Copenhagen. I noticed, however, that the NYX soft matte cream went on a little streaky, so I had to be really careful when applying. It dries matte, which was nice, and I liked the ending color (it’s a bit more red when first applied), but the streaky application was really bothersome.


Beauty and the Geek Tip: Lining your lips helps create better definition on your lips and prevents bleeding of the color.


The Outfit

So now that I have my makeup finished, it’s time to work on my “costume” look. I don’t own many costume pieces, but I believe you can create a great costume-esque look with a couple of nice single pieces. I have a corset I bought a couple years ago at a convention that I wore once to Collective Con here in Jacksonville. I have long, thick leggings in black, some nude heels, and a loose black top that’s small enough to fit underneath my underbust corset. I also recently bought a masquerade mask from Three Muses Clothing that ties the whole look together really well.

So the corset is really the second big piece to this costume. If you’re new to corsets, they’re not as scary as you might think. There’s a couple different kinds and cuts; the most commonly known ones are overbusts and underbusts. Then there are waspies, which are the smallest corsets out there, almost like a corset belt. Then there’s cincher corsets that are similar to the underbust corsets, except they don’t curve under the bust or over the legs; instead they follow more of a straight line across the upper and lower waist. I own an underbust corset (though I really want a cincher!) that I can pull in about two inches around my waist, which is pretty normal if you’re a newbie and haven’t waist trained.

Pictured: My waist with and without the corset.
There are plenty of places to get a good corset, and by good corset I mean one for waist training that’s steel boned. There are corsets that are much cheaper than steel boned corsets, made from acrylic or plastic, but they don’t tighten as much and don’t last near as long. I’ve heard good things about Corset StoryOrchard Corset, Timeless Trends, and Three Muses Clothing. Also the pesky rumor that corsets are only for skinny people (or just cis women) is not true! Anyone can wear a corset, there’s plenty of good, quality places that carry plus size corsets, and any person can wear one if they want, too. Corsets are awesome! I love wearing mine; I just don’t have many excuses to wear it.


I think the costume would actually look great with some lace gloves and a different top, but you have to work with what you have right? The corset is a really great piece to this costume/outfit, but my favorite part—and what I believe really makes the costume work – is the masquerade mask.


The mask wasn’t easy to find. One, it’s difficult finding a mask that fits my eye shape, and two, I was wearing my glasses and I’m legally blind without them. You can probably see where this story is going. Fortunately, I was able to find a mask that looked great and suited both my eye shape and face shape pretty well. Plus it’s super cute! I love these thin metal masks, which I thought would be really stiff but are actually really pliable, which makes them comfortable to wear. This style of masks is perfect for costuming whether it’s informally like me or in a more cosplay or professional fashion.

This was a really fun—but long!—tutorial to do this month. I love costuming, and any excuse to dress up like Halloween is enough for me! Now strike a pose and share your homemade costumes with us!


Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez is currently majoring in Converged Communications. She's a writer, geek girl, and proud queer mestiza woman. Desiree is an entertainment writer for The Tempest, and contributor for Nerds of Color. Desiree has written for The Young Folks, The Feminist Wire, and Geeked Out Nation.