From retro aesthetics to goblincore makeup or apple recipes: Pinterest unveils the inspiring ways Pinners are celebrating a more normal Halloween this year

Halloween 2021

Halloween looked very different last year. In 2020, Pinners discovered ideas for small at-home gatherings and decorations to celebrate at home. This year, with Halloween around the corner, Pinners are excited to get back to a (still safe) but more traditional celebration. 

Halloween is not only an excuse to dress up, go out with your friends and treat yourself with sweets. This is one of the moments of the year where Pinners turn to Pinterest the most for inspiration about costumes, decorations and recipes, among others. And this is reflected in searches. Searches containing “Halloween inspiration” were 3X greater in August this year versus last1Pinners started to plan much earlier and searches accelerated faster-- searches containing “Halloween” started rising as early as the second week of May (vs fourth week of May last year) and they increased 3.5X as fast compared to the same time last year.

But, what are all those searches about? Check out our 2021 Halloween Report to see this year’s top trending ideas2.

 

All about the aesthetics

This year’s Halloween theme is all about aesthetic fantasies expressed in metallics and vivid shades. Aesthetics that grew in popularity over the pandemic had a costume element to them that may take off this Halloween, similar to VSCO girl which took off as a costume last year.

Pinners are exploring Halloween looks such as fairycore makeup (such as wings drawn across eyes), goblincore makeup (elf ears and mushroom hair accessories), cottagecore makeup (nature and flowers painted across face) and mermaid core (shell crowns and aquatic inspired dresses). Some searches that have been increasing in the platform are:

Costumes3

  • fairy costume aesthetic  (76X)
  • cottagecore witch outfit  (11X)
  • clown core fashion (2x)
  • wood elf costume  (5X)
  • evil mermaid costume  (4X)

 

Makeup4

  • fairy makeup aesthetic  (31X)
  • goblincore makeup  (4X)
  • dark elf makeup  (2X)
  • mermaid makeup looks  (2X)
Image

Halloween should be a time for inspiration — not a time for insensitivity. That's why since 2016, we’ve prohibited advertisements with culturally inappropriate costumes, and make it possible for Pinners to report culturally-insensitive content right from Pins.

“As a platform for positivity, Pinterest always remembers that cultures aren't costumes. So, for that reason, we encourage Pinners to continue to find culturally-appropriate Halloween inspiration and bring awareness to the fact that costumes should never be opportunities to turn a person's identity into a stereotyped image. If we all work together, we can find a fun, uplifting way to celebrate this day.” David Murphy, co-chair of PIndigenous, the indigenous employee community at Pinterest.

 

New uses for pumpkins and a retro aesthetic to step up your decoration

Pumpkin decorations will be strong this year, but it includes more decorations made by pumpkins than the traditional pumpkin painting or carving. This introduces new and creative activities for the family, and there has been a growth in searches for new and creative ideas such as “yarn pumpkins DIY” (11x), “book pumpkin DIY” (3x) and “DIY pumpkin garland” (3x). 5

Another major theme we will see for Halloween decorations this year is a throwback style. “Retro Halloween aesthetic” is the top trending term related to Halloween-- searches have increased by 76x6. On the Shop tab, which is a shoppable feed of in-stock Product Pins, we are seeing searches for “vintage Halloween decor”  increased by 3x7. This will include classic decor such as ghosts, black cats, and witches and Frankensteins and posters or banners that look like they are from another time such as black and white images of Halloween parties from the 20’s.

Apples are replacing pumpkins on the Halloween menu

This year people are switching up their Halloween menu, and it seems that apples are the new pumpkins. There is an increase in interest for original recipes that include apples while pumpkin recipes, such as “pumpkin sheet cake,” are all trending down. 

Here are some insights on the apple trend8:

  • apple cider donut cake (4x)
  • country apple fritter bread (4x)
  • apple dumpling recipe (3x)
  • apple pie enchiladas (3x)

Playing the celebrations safe

Although restrictions were loosened in much of the world, people are still playing it safe with small gatherings or distant celebrations with masks. Searches for “diy halloween masks” have increased 64% and “Halloween outside” have increased 10x. Trending activities that can be done outdoors or with distance include “haunted house ideas scary” (9x) and “haunted trail ideas scary” (5x). Throwback style remains a strong theme with searches for “vintage Halloween party” increasing by 3x9.

 

Make the most out of Pinterest to start planning

Halloween is historically a popular time on Pinterest. Thanks to our great features such as collaboration and organisation tools, global Pinners are able to find inspiration for everything from DIY costumes, to kids’ activities to party planning and decor. This year, and knowing that some places around the world have opened again, it will drive IRL safe celebrations and gatherings, with people decorating their houses, cooking spooky things and preparing the most creative costumes.

Pinterest has served as a resource for Halloween inspiration for years, but thanks to new Shopping Features, like Shop from Search or Shop from Pins, when users search for Halloween items, like “Halloween decor”, they’ll be able to access 100% shoppable results. 

 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
 Pinterest internal data: Searches containing “Halloween” increased 57% from May ‘20 to June ‘20 and increased 200% from May ‘21 to June ‘21. Global.
 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
4 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
6  Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
7 Pinterest internal search data on the Shop Tab; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.
8 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 29, 2021 to August 29, 2021 vs July 29, 2020 to August 29, 2020.
9 Pinterest internal search data; Global; July 25, 2021 to August 25, 2021 vs July 25, 2020 to August 25, 2020.