The Dangers of Halloween Novelty Makeup

Halloween makeup using Sally B's Skin Yummies' Seafoam Color Corrector and Charcoal B SmudgedThe typical mindset of the holidays is “I can indulge just this once,” and sometimes we agree (especially when it comes to Mom's pumpkin pie). However, not when it comes to novelty Halloween makeup.

Even more unregulated than the skin care industry is novelty makeup - the face paint you find masquerading as makeup on the Halloween aisle. In these makeups, it’s not uncommon to find a high concentration of heavy metal “impurities” like mercury, lead, cadmium, and tin. Because these contaminants are classified as “impurities” rather than “ingredients,” product manufacturers are not required to list them on their product packaging. Not only can these carcinogenic contaminants absorb into your skin and accumulate in your body, but they can also cause a number of instantly noticeable skin reactions as well.

On their website, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) offers lax guidelines about the use of novelty makeup, but does recommend restricting its use around the eye area. They do, however, have a stern warning about makeups containing non-approved color additives, especially those containing neon or luminescent colors. You can find the list of approved colors here.

Despite the FDA’s claim that good-smelling novelty makeup (as opposed to the bad smelling stuff, which they say could be an indicator that the makeup has gone bad) is fine for use, we believe in avoiding it at all costs. Especially when it comes to painting the faces of children. Here are some ways that you can paint your face for Halloween without clogging pores and exposing yourself to a myriad of unknown toxins:

  • Going as a vampire or zombie and need to lighten your skin? Try our Mineral Foundation in a couple shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Just start with a layer of any moisturizer, like our Carrot Facial Dream Cream, to help the makeup set and then apply a few all-over layers of Foundation until you reach your desired ghoulishness.
  • Need to add some sparkle to your fairy princess costume? We’ve got you covered with our Evening Shimmer. This mineral powder can easily be brushed on to face or body and will add instant sparkle to your skin.
  • Think you have to look elsewhere to find green makeup? Think again. Our Seafoam Color Corrector will add a healthy (or unhealthy if you prefer….muwhahaha) subtle tint of green to the skin, like in the picture above.
  • For black accents and details, pick up our Smokey Charcoal B Smudged. With a steady hand and makeup brush you can use B Smudged to create dramatic eyes, paint on whiskers, or make an old school Frankenstein scar. It even works on lips like in the pic above. B Smudged also comes in purple, blue, and brown, so get creative.
  • Looking for a dramatic lip? Try our Raisin Lip Skinny for a wine-stained look or our Deep Red Lip Skinny for red lips that stand out. To take your lips to the next level, cover up your color with a layer of our B Glossy Lip Gloss to give them some shine and gloss.

 Other healthy skin tips for Halloween:

  • Like with any unfamiliar makeup routine, it’s important that you perform a patch test on the underside of your arm so you can determine how your skin will react before layering it on your face.
  • Check expiration dates of all makeup. You may only use your “costume” makeup every once in awhile, so make sure your foundation, lip stick, and dramatic eye makeup hasn't gone bad.
  • Don’t forget to wash your makeup off at the end of the night with a gentle cleanser like our Tamanu Luxury Facial Cleanser. While we all might want Halloween to last all week, it’s scary to think about old makeup residue lingering on.

Not only are these tips and tricks good for you to follow, but they apply to the kid set, too. Kids have wild imaginations when it comes to face paint, so make sure that their impressionable skin and developing bodies aren’t exposed to unnecessary toxins. Now if only we had some sure fire ways to keep them (and us!) away from all the sweet treats!


  • vudgyirnlx

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

  • Sulay

    I cannot believe how much I look at labels and try to make the best choices for my family and myself and yet I was going to once again take for granted the safety of Halloween makeup. Not this year!
    Thank you Sally B’s!

  • Lauren

    Great post! I just tagged my favorite Sally B’s Skin Yummies products on Pinterest…it was hard to pick my favorites because all of your products are amazing! :)

  • Robin Norman

    I love this product I use for lips and cheeks its a must have u guys r great!!!!!!

  • I.M. Impartial

    Who is that angelic child?

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