One of the best things about Halloween is seeing the various costumes and looks that people have been planning (or threw together last minute).

For die-hard fans of the holiday, it’s easy to want to go above and beyond the have the most impressive costume, but not being careful when doing it can lead to some nightmarish consequences:

1.) Wearing incorrect contact lenses –

Contact lenses can be a fun way to tie your costume together and up the intensity of it, whether you’re going for a mythical mermaid or creepy monster. However, you shouldn’t forget that these are mainly medical items, not cosmetic ones. Never order cheap contacts online or purchase something out of a Halloween store (which shouldn’t be too hard, because it’s illegal to sell them without a prescription). Everyone’s eyes are shaped differently and aside from shape and size of the iris, other issues such as curvature come into play. If that’s not scary enough, they are not always FDA regulated and could lead to nasty side effects, such as corneal scratches, corneal ulcers or sores, and even blindness. It’s important to see a doctor beforehand in order to get your prescription, eye measurements, and proper methods for caring for your lenses (these things do have expiration dates). Remember to never purchase them if the seller does not ask for your doctor’s name or a prescription, and always do extensive research on the company you’re purchasing from.

Here’s makeup artist Mykie_ using contact lenses that she obtained safely:


Image from Mykie_'s Instagram account at
Image from Mykie_’s Instagram account at

2.) Not patch testing EVERY product you plan to use:

If you were to read the ingredients list on your Halloween makeup, how much of it would you understand? Most of us have no idea what’s going into these products, which makes it impossible for us to know if we’re going to be allergic to it or not. Never lather yourself in paint, adhesive, or any product you’re unfamiliar with without patch testing it first. To do this, just take a small amount of whatever you’re using and apply it to your wrist. If you do have a reaction, you’ll be able to quickly remove it and have a better chance of keeping it isolated to that one area. The shortest amount of time a patch test is recommended for is at least one hour.

THIS is patch testing:

3.) Using regular glitter versus cosmetic glitter:

Some companies, such as Sugarpill Cosmetics, make special glitter that is safe to use around the eyes.

Thinking that you might save a little money by buying craft glitter over cosmetic glitter? You may want to reconsider, especially if you plan on using it around your eyes. The difference isn’t visible, but each spec of cosmetic glitter has specially rounded ends to reduce damage in the case of it getting into your eyes. Using regular glitter puts you at risk for getting corneal scratches which could lead to eye infections.

4.) Not using the correct type of paint:

Grease, water, and alcohol, what does it all mean? There are lots of different paints out there to use which can make things confusing when Halloween rolls around. Each type of paint has its own set of rules, so be sure to know some of the basics about each before purchasing, some can only be activated and made usable with certain products, and others should avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes. The number one thing to remember is to always use body paint as opposed to other types, such as acrylic, because even though it’s cheaper, it can lead to issues like bumps, irritation, and chemical burns.

No bumps, irritation, or chemical burns on this gal:


5.) Not reading the warning labels and directions on products such as spirit gum and liquid latex:

Spirit gum is a popular way to adhere different special effects prosthetics to the face, and can be found easily in any Halloween or party store. It’s not as easy as applying it and being done, though. Products such as this need to be tapped once applied in order to become sticky, and, more importantly, need a special remover to be taken off properly. The popular “zipper” Halloween makeup using products such as spirit gum to adhere the actual zipper onto the face.
The popular “zipper” Halloween makeup uses products like spirit gum to adhere the actual zipper onto the face.

Liquid latex does not need to be tapped, but rather “layered up” to get the intended look. It will, however, act similarly to wax if applied over body hair without taking the proper measures to cover the area up. If you do happen to get some on hair that you’d like to keep, oils can be a useful way to break down small amounts of the product, but only as a last resort.