Model wears Glitz Fix £16, Ciaté

Going gothic this Halloween doesn’t have  to be ghastly – instead bring a touch of glamour to bobbing for apples, says Rebecca Gonsalves

The good old days when Hallowe’en was simply child’s play are long gone, replaced by an ever-increasing expectation that all adults want to raid the dressing-up box to create a cool or clever costume. Luckily, the hardy perennials of the beauty world – smoky shadows and berry reds for lips and nails – are just the thing to create a look that’s glamorously gothic rather than ghastly.

There’s plenty of inspiration in the film world – from Hammer Horror star Hazel Court casting a spell over audiences to Anjelica Huston’s wicked blood-red smirk in The Addams Family. And it may be 20 years since Pulp Fiction’s motley crew of characters appeared on the big screen, but the appeal of Mia Wallace’s manicure has shown no signs of abating.

One thing to remember is that at Hallowe’en, the normal rules need not apply. So instead of playing up just your lips or eyes, think more is more and do both.

Whether you wear one shadow or three, the key to a modern smoky eye is softness, so make the blending brush your friend to avoid a stripy finish that’s frightful in all the wrong ways. Forget the fairy dust of the past; the larger pieces of glitter in Topshop’s affordable pots are perfect for individual application along the lash line or building up to a high-impact finish.


Complete the look with a berry stain. If you’re worried about dry lips or just aren’t used to wearing a dark shade, a bit of shimmer might help – just avoid anything too vinyl-shiny.

While reddish black is the ultimate in vampy nail colours, midnight blue or a black shot through with gold are equally bewitching and all will see you through the season in style.

Don’t be scared – you’ll still look good when the witching hour is over.