Enter your own Halloween makeup tutorials in this year's Halloween Contest, going on now!

There are few feelings as gratifying as having someone ask you, “Oh my goodness! Is that real?” after spending serious time applying serious makeup.

Here are some professional-looking makeup projects that will supplement or supplant your costume. By following the steps provided in the grisly, “I swear I saw this on AMC”-type projects, you can make a traditional Halloween costume into something that frightens even the bravest of neighborhood children into wetting themselves instead of gorging on your candy. Or you can add prosthetic body parts that turn you into an elf or vampire instead of just some weirdo making odd sartorial choices.

If the height of praise is concern for your physical well-being, these projects should help. If you’re going for cute or elven, these should definitely get you started. If you were looking to become a grievously injured elf (perhaps as a result of vampire attack), then you have hit the mother lode.

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Wade Wilgus