For a ghostly glow that does not block a child’s ability to see, makeup is safer than a mask. Face painting also adds to the fun of dressing up.

Following are tips from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for face painting and other ghoulish effects:

  • Read the label first, and only apply makeup where it is intended to be used. Makeup for nails or hair is probably not safe on skin. Makeup safe for skin may cause irritation if applied too close to the eyes.

  • Test makeup on a small area of the arm a few days before the big day to check for allergies prior to applying it to the face.

  • Check the FDA Web site to verify that the color additives in the makeup have been approved for use on the skin. Visit

  • False eyelashes can irritate eyes. Follow directions on the package for safe application and removal.

  • Remove makeup according to package instructions.

  • Decorative contact lenses are illegal, so never use or purchase lenses without a prescription. Cosmetic and non-correcting lenses can cause permanent eye injury and may lead to blindness if used improperly.

  • To complete the look in a scary but safe way, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Add reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags so kids are more visible to traffic.

  • Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.