Halloween is fast approaching, and if you’re a Disney Fanatic in the mood to wear something Disney or Marvel-themed, it’s safe to say that there are some pretty dramatic costume options. We’ve got easier and lower-maintenance options for you too (like this one, this one, or this one!), but if you’re determined to wear a strong costume with lots of face makeup, then you’ll want to think about how to keep your skin happy underneath the face paint–and when it comes to keeping skin calm while wearing unnatural or irritating products for several hours, there’s no one better to look to for advice than Marvel or Disney actors who go through such transformations during film shoots. Nebula from Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies, Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent, and Cate Blanchett’s Wicked Stepmother from Cinderella are perfect examples!
Karen Gillan is a Scottish actress and fan favorite in the Marvel Avengers cast–and her transformation into Nebula, a blue and far-less-cheerful character, is a drastic one! Gillan spent hours being “turned into” the character, and a process like that requires lots of recovery afterwards for one’s skin. A cleanser with words like “cream” or “milk” can help cleanse the skin without stripping it of natural oils; Karen uses the Counterstart Cococream Cleanser by Beautycounter. She then continues to soothe her skin with simple products like Rejuvi’s H Skin Healing Gel; according to Karen, it “mainly consists of aloe vera gel”, which makes it “really healing and calming”. She actually mixes that with Rejuvi’s Q Flavonoid Complex, which “creates a barrier between your skin and all of the elements outside and also between your skin and makeup, which is something I really need”.
Cate Blanchett directly acknowledged the toll that heavy film makeup can take on her skin, and how she dealt with it while filming the 2015 live-action Cinderella movie. “For the role of Lady Tremaine, I was required to wear quite a bit of makeup, which can really dry my skin, so there were a few extra products I added to my normal routine to ensure my skin stayed hydrated and fresh,” she said to The Hollywood Reporter. “On top of using my usual routine of SK-II LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence, Serum and Moisturizer, I was also using SK-II Facial Treatment Masks almost daily,” she elaborated. The Australian actress also “applied the beauty brand’s Signs Eye Mask before starting each day so that the makeup would sit better on her eyes. To finish off her routine, she sprayed the Facial Treatment Essence over her makeup to keep her skin extra hydrated”. Cate is an ambassador for SK-II, hence her product choices, but there’s plenty of cheaper and effective alternatives to such an expensive brand. Compostable sheet masks like the ones below are a more eco-friendly way to soothe your skin, and any creamy masks containing chamomile, jasmine, wild mint, mugwort, aloe, snail mucin (which is cruelty-free; snails can only make it when they’re happy!), or honey could work well (see below for some suggestions). For your eyes, calm them down after a night of thick makeup by pouring green tea into an ice cube tray (or into an empty lipstick tube!), freezing it to make tea cubes or a lipstick roller, and then running those under your eyes for a while! This has the same calming and hydrating effect as eye masks, but it’s better for your wallet and the environment.
One thing that seems consistent as a suggestion is the use of primers before skin makeup. Primers are meant to form a buffer between your skin and the products on top, so they’re a big help if you have sensitive skin! Moisturizers can also be a great layer before makeup, and they’ll often help your makeup go on smoother. Something like the Weleda moisturizer below is usually a safe bet, and is popular on photo shoots! Just test out the primer or moisturizer beforehand to make sure that it’s one that your skin definitely likes–and keep in mind that your skin will react differently to products in different seasons. Something that works for you in the summer might not work in the winter–and that’s also something to keep in mind as we move on to another makeup-heavy character: Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie)!
M.A.C products were the ones that Toni G primarily used on Angelina as she got into character (M.A.C products were also used on Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora: specifically the M.A.C. yellow primer and green M.A.C base). According to Allure, “a combination of the brand’s beloved Russian Red Lipstick and clear Lipglass are used to create her bold, glossy red lip. As for the eyes, MAC’s Eye Shadows in Scene (a deep blue-gray) and Print (a slate gray with subtle shimmer) are used to achieve her smoky eyes and deep-set crease. And to amplify her lashes, a generous coat of Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara is applied, followed by the brand’s #36 Lash for maximum drama.” For Maleficent’s high cheekbones and ivory complexion, “the Powder Blush in Blunt (a muted golden brown), Studio Fix Sculpt & Shape Contour Palette, and Pro Longwear Concealer” were used to contour the face. Foundation was most likely M.A.C Face and Body, which is a very popular makeup product on movie sets. However, M.A.C is not cruelty-free, clean, or cheap, so we’ve listed some dupes below if you want to make Maleficent your Halloween costume of choice!
When it comes to removing your Maleficent makeup, take a page right out of Jolie’s makeup artist’s book. “The pieces on Jolie’s cheeks and nose were made of silicone that had to be glued on every day—and removed. And it was the removing part that was tricky,” according to Allure’s interview with the movie’s special-effects makeup artist Rick Baker and Jolie’s personal makeup artist Toni G. “Those stuff you use to dissolve the glue can irritate your skin if used all the time,” says Baker, and that’s exactly [what] happened. To keep Jolie’s skin safe, Toni used a mix of coconut oil and argan oil, which not only took off the prosthetics but was also good for the skin.” If your skin likes oils (and if you have oily skin, your skin can actually really benefit from using face oils) then try this! Just be cautious about using oils on your eyes; not everyone’s eyes can handle oils. Stick with a cream cleanser for your eyes, and use the coconut oil/argan oil mixture everywhere else.
Now that you know how to protect your face on Halloween, check out these tutorials for Nebula, Lady Tremaine, and Maleficent! Are you going to be any of these Disney or Marvel characters for Halloween?