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Black Widow Makeup

Martha's transformation was inspired by the Queen of the Spiders in Italian makeup artist Stefano Anselmo's book "Il Trucco e la Maschera."

Source: Halloween 2000, Volume 2000 Special Issue 2000


The face gazing back at you in the mirror is drawn and pale. Your eyes are lost in ominous shadows and your lips are the color of blood. You look perfect. Every year on Halloween, beauty takes on a different meaning -- and you become someone new. Unlike a mask, which simply disguises your identity, makeup works an eerie magic: It can turn you into a more frightful, or more fantastical, version of yourself.

Before using any product, be sure you have the appropriate remover. Some substances can be washed off with soap and water; others, such as spirit gum, call for special solvents. Always apply makeup to a clean face for smooth, even application. Use a light touch. "Stop before you think you've done enough," Considine advises. "You can always go back and apply more, but you'll have a lot more work removing makeup and starting over." Whatever look you decide upon, never use any adhesive on your skin that isn't made for that purpose -- or you may be, quite literally, stuck with your new face. Once your makeup is complete, you may find yourself under its spell -- taking on the traits of your chosen character. Enjoy the transformation. At the end of the night, wash your face and be you again, at least for another year.



  • Eyebrow plastic

  • White cream makeup

  • Sponge

  • Black cream makeup

  • Small makeup brush

  • Dark-green frosting powder

  • Eyelash adhesive

  • False eyelashes

  • Tiny makeup brush

  • Eyeliner brush

  • Red lip liner

  • Red lipstick

  • Fan-shaped brush

  • Powder blush

  • Paper

  • Hair gel

  • Black wig

  • Plastic spiders

  • Cotton swab

  • Long black fingernails


  1. Cover eyebrows: Soften a small amount of eyebrow plastic between fingers, then spread over the brow in the direction of hair growth. Cover with white cream makeup. With a sponge, apply a sheer layer of white cream makeup to face and neck; powder to set.

  2. Using black cream makeup, paint high, arching brows with a small makeup brush; extend color up, at an angle, from inside corner of eyebrow, dramatically shading above brows. Add dark-green frosting powder for contouring; blend with sponge. (In applying shadow, it can be helpful to use a paper template, as shown in step 6, to ensure that shading is even and shape is symmetrical.)

  3. Using a tiny makeup brush, apply a thin line of eyelash adhesive to back of false eyelashes, and carefully press into place along lash line of each eye.

  4. Using black cream makeup and an eyeliner brush, line each eye on top and bottom, extending liner outward at outer corner of eye.

  5. Using red lip liner, outline lips, shaping top lip into a sharp V in the center; fill lips with red lipstick.

  6. Using a fan-shaped brush, sweep powder blush out and down from corner of eye. Hold a piece of paper cut in a curved shape against the face when applying shadow to ensure a clean line.

  7. Use gel to slick back hair, then carefully fit black wig into place.

  8. Attach plastic spiders to face: Use a cotton swab to dab spirit gum to back of spider, let dry until tacky, then press onto skin, holding in place for a moment or two. Finish with long black fingernails.

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