Choosing the Perfect Halloween Costume

Halloween is just around the corner and I’ve turned my focus to finding the perfect costume. There are so many considerations and time is of the essence. I don’t want to be the one person with a hastily thrown-together outfit or the one miserable from the cold (which is no picnic!)

Since Halloween is sort of my thing (who’d have guessed?), I thought I’d share some guidelines to help my lovely readers decide the right costume for parties, the weather, and their personalities.

The Party

The first thing you consider is what kind of party you’ll be attending. Oftentimes, you’ll have a theme. Arriving at a superhero party dressed up as Dorothy is a bummer (though you might be able to sell the ruby slippers as a superpower.) You can get creative with themes easily. If you’re attending a zombie party, try a zombie mermaid. If the theme is historical figures, make your Cleopatra steampunk.

Zombie Ariel & Princess Aurora ©Lolanova

Zombie Ariel & Princess Aurora
©Lolanova

Take into account who will be at the party. Skimpy outfits aren’t appropriate for work or family functions. If your friends are fans of horror, a Freddy Kruger outfit will delight them. However, if your five year old niece is present, Freddy will be less delightful than distressing. If you’re not sure who will show up, I suggest better safe than sorry. An edgy rock princess will fit in with your friends just fine and won’t scare the pants off of some poor child.

The Venue

If you’re going to spend any amount of time outside, make sure you have attire for the weather. In most places, Halloween is bitter cold. Some costumes, like Trigun’s Vash, come with a coat of their own. Otherwise, you might end up with a parka over your belly dancer outfit. It might feel like it kills the illusion to put a jacket over a costume, but think about safety first. Bundle up outdoors and show off the costume inside. Alternatively, if your party is during summer or in a poorly ventilated space, don’t forget to account for heat.

Vash ©Elffi

Vash
©Elffi

Make sure you drink water and take off pieces of your ensemble if you start to overheat.
A mask can be stifling if you wear it for long periods and tight corsets and heavy props become a drag, so be aware of how long you’ll be out and where you can stash your things. Also, high-heels can look fantastic, but if you’re walking or standing for hours, they will also inevitably cause you fantastic amounts of pain. Dress for comfort.

The Person

When you dress up, you can become someone else for a night. For a lot of people, this means emulating a hero they admire from a movie or comic book. If you aspire to be like Indiana Jones, go as Indiana Jones! For some, it means a chance to step into someone else’s shoes. If you’re known as a tough cookie, surprise everyone by being something whimsical like a unicorn or fairy. If you’re soft spoken by nature, no one will see your Ruby Rhod impression coming!

Gambit and Rogue ©ApertureAshley

Gambit and Rogue
©ApertureAshley

Couples’ costumes are always fun. Is she the Rogue to your Gambit? Is he the cop to your robber? Siblings and groups can coordinate, too, and have fun representing their dynamic. One of the most adorable pairs ever is when a mom or dad is Robin to their little Batman. If you’re the boss at a work party, mosey around as sheriff for a few good laughs. Your role among your peers can be just as fun to play with as your personal ambitions.

Making a Costume Perfect

While some are fastidious about costume accuracy, don’t relegate yourself to what you have the gear or gender for. A girl can go as Mike Meyers and a guy can dress up as Sailor Moon. If you want a male or female version of a character (I’ve been Han Solo), go for it! Having the exact equipment isn’t a big deal, either. Whether you can’t afford or find the perfect mask for your Bane or your Spartan armor is made of cardboard, rock the part and it won’t matter.

Mens Greek Spartan Warrior Costume

Spartan, decidedly not cardboard.

The “perfect” costume is a nebulous concept. If you make a mistake or run out of time, don’t fret. There’s always next year! If you feel good in what you’re wearing and the part you’re playing, you’ll be a smash success. The perfect costume is the one you’ll have fun in.

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Hercules: Legendary Movie Armor

The upcoming Hercules movie, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, looks like it could be one of those rare sword-and-armor flicks worth a watch. Don’t get your hopes up, history geeks- it looks about as historically accurate as most of its predecessors (which is to say, not at all).

But the epic nature of these stories, often filled with emperors and gods, is hard to resist. And the armor that encases our protagonists is a large part of their mystique.

hercules_2014_wallpaper_1920x1080_by_sachso74-d7lcntd

The costuming of armor has been serious business for generations of movie makers. Back to Richard Burton’s 1963 Marc Antony in Cleopatra and Harry Hamlin’s 1981 Perseus in Clash of the Titans, armor has made ancient heroes just that little bit more heroic.

On one end of the spectrum is Gladiator, which dominates our hearts when it comes to heroes in Roman armor. It’s easy to brush off any historical inaccuracies in a movie that’s already full of impeccable (and ambitious) costuming. So impressive was the portfolio of costumes that the film (and the designer, Janty Yates) won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design that year.

 Gladiator_8L

Notably, this movie saw some of the most accurate portrayals of Roman armor in big-budget films to date. The appearance of the Lorica segmentata, Lorica hamata, and Lorica squamata- traditional Roman styles of armor- gave the film a sense of legitimacy that previously attempted films had lacked.

To less success, Troy brought very little historical accuracy to the Greek side of armor costume. Brad Pitt and Eric Bana certainly pull off their armor dashingly, sure, but the appearance of iron-looking or thick leather armor is incorrect. (Bronze age, bronze armor!) Given that Hercules shows Dwayne Johnson sporting similarly shiny iron-esque armor, and given that Hercules would have lived long before the time of Achilles, it’s safe to assume that scholarly precision is not the film makers’ foremost goal.

 brad_pitt_troy

Of course, The Legend of Hercules, starring Kellan Lutz, was released this January to truly abominable reviews (3% on Rotten Tomatoes). The stylized armor used for Lutz’s Hercules was beautiful and iconic, but also incredibly bland. It’s crafted marvelously and says precisely nothing about the character. (Though, given what those screenwriters did to the actual legend of Hercules, that might be for the best.)

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Credit where it’s due, neither of this year’s Herculean efforts skimp on the most important piece of Hercules’ armor- the lion skin. This is the trophy that he earns himself after completing the first of his labors of atonement, slaying the Nemean lion. In both iterations, it’s dutifully draped across his shoulders for the movie posters, implying that he has either completed the labors by the time of the film or will do so.

By comparison to many of the ornate, beautifully costumed movies that draw on Greco-Roman inspiration, this upcoming Hercules looks to be favoring gritty realism. We’ll see if the plain and unpolished steel of his armor, dinged and scratched, will reflect the tone of the film. With any luck, it will respect its legendary source material of myths, if not its historical roots.

Hercules releases this week, July 25th.

 

 

 

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Magnificent Maleficent

The first Disney movie to feature a “wicked” character is coming to theaters in the next two weeks, and I am THRILLED!!! I really think that this in depth, yet relatively simple costume will be a huge hit this Halloween. So, here are some makeup tips, some photos, and of course some costumes to help!

TIP 1: The Costume

The costume can be a tight black outfit, or even a black dress, as sexy or modest as you so choose. The most important component, however, is the head piece. Make sure that your head peice is meant for this costume, the small cost will be worth it.

OOOOOOH and do not forget the colorful Maleficent staff!

Head piece, and dress

Head piece, and dress

 

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Now that you’re costume is on point, time for the face!

 

TIP 2: The Eyes

The eyes are a beautiful aspect to this costume. Sure, simply having brown eyes may make the costume look semi-evil, however, with the contacts that were chosen for this costume they are alluring, evil, and yet still beautiful.

Look at those eyes!

The best thing about beautiful contacts is that they really brin gout the paleness of the face- making your skin look flawless, and yet wicked, and also those wonderful red lips!

TIP 3: The Makeup

I watched like 50 videos to decide which was the best for this costume/ post.

Contoured Malificent, Angelina, Animation

Contoured Malificent, Angelina, Animation

There are many different ways to do the makeup, and contouring. The makeup can be smoky, super purple, matte (there really are many options). But the most important aspect to the makeup is the contouring. If you look at Angelina Joli’s face you will see that the contouring really brings out the wicked look.

As you can see the difference between Angelina’s face in the normal photo (although, she naturally has awesome cheek bones), and in the contoured Maleficent look really makes her face look similar to the animation character. It really is amazing what makeup can do!

Speaking of amazing makeup- here is a video of the Magnificent Maleficent makeup. As I said before, there are plenty to choose from, I just liked this best.

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DIY Costumes and Tutorials

Weeping Angel

A tutorial on how to make a weeping angel costume based on the terrifying creatures from Doctor Who. Don’t blink!weeping

Baby Hobo

This adorable kid’s costume is easy to make and always gets a lot of laughs

baby hobo

I’d give him candy, wouldn’t you?

Fake Wounds

Here is a tutorial on how to make horrifying fake wounds. These are great for zombie runs, Halloween, or cosplay.

wound

They’re actually made out of white glue, red ink, and a lot of technique and patience, go check it out through the link above!

Cardboard Helmet

When I read “cardboard” anything in relation to costumes my mind automatically jumps to horrible homemade costumes cobbled together with duct tape and old boxes, so imagine my surprise when I came across this!

 helmet

If you check out the link you’ll see a whole picture tutorial on how it’s made!

Toy Soldier

I found this awesome tutorial that someone made for their kid here, but this would be just as easy to make in an adult size and can make an excellent Cosplay or Halloween costume.

gi joe

Matryoshka Doll Costume

This Matryoshka doll costume is surprisingly lightweight and relatively friendly in terms of cost. Check out the tutorial on how to build it here!

metryoshka

Especially cute for moms and kids with matching matryoshka costumes!

Cookie Monster Slayer

Unfortunately this amazing DIY cookie monster slayer didn’t post a tutorial, but it still definitely deserves to be on this list. Note the cookie monster fur boots.

cookie monster

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Themed Parties for the Whole Family

A true nerd never grows up, not really. You may get more responsible and you may have less spare time, but the imagination stays strong. One of the greatest blessings in life is to be able to coerce the next generation into sharing in that imagination. And my favorite method of doing that is to host a costume party for the wee ones. A themed party with food, costumes, and entertainment is a fun way to impart love of geekdom to posterity.

The Concept

It’s all too easy to bowl over kids with our own childhood fandoms. I know from experience that even toddlers can get overloaded on Boba Fett. Instead of presenting a theme to the kids flat out, sit down and see what they’d like to do. Depending on the age of the kids in question, you could set out a couple of options for them to choose from so you don’t have a gummy-snack themed party (though that could work out, I bet).

Invite your kids’ friends and your own, too. Being playful as an adult helps you stay young at heart and your involvement will mean a lot to your kids. Nothing kills the ambience of pretending to be on the USS Enterprise like a back wall of bored adults checking their smartphones. Especially when dealing with shy children, one dismissive word can really take the fun out of it. So get excited!

Once the family has peaceably decided on a theme everyone’s happy with, you can start the planning.

Costumes

Some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen are those that a family plans and wears together. If you’re a Dr. Who fan, the parents can dress up as Rory and Amy and the wee one can dress up as The Doctor (tiny fez!) A miniature Batman with a trusty Dad-turned-Robin is a real crowd-pleaser.

Keep in mind what activities you have in store for the day. If you plan on running around the yard, pouring time and money into a perfect Merida costume might not be the best plan. Altering the costumes to suit the activities is perfectly fine! And don’t forget to encourage the kids to spend some time in-character for added entertainment.

Decorations

If you want to get fancy, dress up the area as well as the kids. Making a room or yard feel like Hogwarts, the TARDIS, or Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters doesn’t need to be a Herculean labor. A few small touches here and there should be enough. For example, if you’ve got a Lord of the Rings kind of family, turn the yard into the Shire with a round door made of cardboard onto the veranda, the kitchen into Rivendell with a small fountain or two, and the basement into Mordor with a foam Eye of Sauron. These little things can really help set the tone. Inspired minds will take it from there.

Food

There are some obvious choices when planning a themed party. For beverages, Star Wars necessitates Aunt Beru’s blue milk while a Roald Dahl party needs frobscottle (note: little boys love fart jokes). One of my favorite parties ever was Harry Potter themed, where we mixed fruit juices and Mio drops in vials as potions.

Food can be as healthy or unhealthy as you like. The Tenth Doctor loved bananas and the Eleventh loved fish sticks. Willy Wonka is obviously a candy bonanza and Avengers can have a wink and a nod to shawarma. When I was young, I attended a Lion King party where there were gummy worms and candy necklace caterpillars like Simba ate with Timon and Pumba. Even serving pizza in a Pizza Planet box for a Pixar party can really make the food special. It can be a lot of fun to brainstorm as a family, so make sure to listen to each other’s ideas.

Games

Often times, any old party game will do- all you have to do is put a geeky twist in. Harry Potter freeze tag is ridiculously fun: tap your target on the shoulder with a foam wand and shout “Immobulus!” Princess and the Frog leapfrog, Doctor Who Weeping Angels’ red-light-green-light, and Monsters Inc. hide and scare are all fun ways to spin a regular party into a themed delight. Also, Finding Nemo pool parties are absolutely awesome for summertime.

For younger kids, once they’re worn out, put on a related movie or show for them to nod off to. If you’re dealing with older kids, of course, introducing them to things like Dungeons and Dragons or trivia games can hone their creativity and geek knowledge.

Your themed party can really stand out as a childhood memory. If you’re lucky, your kids will catch the bug and become fans, too, so you can form a lifelong bond over your favorite daydreams. Don’t forget to take pictures! They’ll serve as a treasured reminder about your adventure and also as a great tool later in your kids’ lives. When they get older, showing their friends pictures of them dressed as Batman will either embarrass them horribly or, more likely, make them the coolest kid in town. Either way, you win.

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Madame LaLaurie’s House of Horrors

Mardi Gras falls on March 4th this year, and my husband and I are planning a fabulous trip to New Orleans to celebrate. While we’ll be enjoying all the customary Mardi Gras festivities – donning masks and costumes, watching parades, eating King Cake, etc. – it just wouldn’t be right to vacation in N’awlins and not explore it’s dark, haunted past.

I’ve planned out a three day itinerary of spooky sites to see for our haunted Mardi Gras, but there is one in particular that I’m crazy excited to visit – The LaLaurie House.

The latest season of American Horror Story featured a highly fictionalized version of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and although the real LaLaurie didn’t use the blood of slaves as a beauty tincture, reality isn’t far enough from fiction for anyone to rest easy.

Delphine LaLaurie

Madame Delphine LaLaurie

A History of Horror

In 1832, Delphine LaLaurie and her husband, physician Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie, moved into their three-story mansion at 1140 Royal Street. It didn’t take long for rumors to surface that the LaLauries were mistreating their slaves.

During her 1836 visit, Harriet Martineau recorded the horrifying stories recounted to her by New Orleans residents. While most seemed to be nothing more than secondhand gossip, one story could not be refuted. One of LaLaurie’s neighbors told Martineau of the death of a twelve-year-old slave girl named Lia, who fell from the roof of the house while fleeing from a whip-wielding Delphine. The girl’s body was hurriedly buried under the cypress trees on the mansion grounds.

The incident led to an investigation of the family, and they were found guilty of illegal cruelty. The Lalaurie’s slaves were seized and sold at auction, but later returned to the mansion after Madame Lalaurie convinced relatives to buy and sell them back to her in secret.

On April 10, 1834, the truth came to light when a fire broke out in the mansion. Upon their arrival the police and fire marshals found the cook chained to the stove by her ankle. She confessed that her fear of LaLaurie was so severe that she had set the fire as a suicide attempt. She claimed any slave taken in punishment to the uppermost room of the mansion never came back.

Bystanders attempted to enter the slave quarters to confirm that everyone had been evacuated – but had to break down the doors after being refused the keys by the LaLauries. What lay inside was bone-chilling.

Reports stated, “Several slaves more or less horribly mutilated, were seen suspended from the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other.”

The following day, the editor of The Advertiser wrote:

“The sight was so horrible that we could scarce look upon it. The most savage heart could not have witnessed the spectacle unmoved. He had a large hole in his head; his body from head to foot was covered with scars and filled with worms. The sight inspired us with so much horror that even at the moment of writing this article we shudder from its effects. Those who have seen the others represent them to be in a similar condition.”

Out of the nine reported slaves, only seven were found. But where were the other two? According to the book Strange True Stories of Louisiana, “A little digging brought their skeletons to light – an adult’s out of the soil and the little child’s out of the ‘condemned well’.”

When news of the tortured slaves spread, a mob of citizens attacked the LaLaurie residence and destroyed the house, leaving “scarcely any thing [remaining] but the walls.” Fearing for their lives, the LaLauries fled their mansion, eventually settling in Paris. They never received justice for their crimes.

The LaLaurie Mansion

The LaLaurie Mansion

A Haunting on Royal Street

In the years since its turn as the LaLaurie’s grisly abode, the mansion has seen many incarnations. It’s been a girl’s school, music conservatory, apartment building, furniture store, and saloon. One thing that never changes is the persistent claims that the mansion is all kinds of haunted.

During the house’s time as a furniture store, the owner was plagued by the strange destruction of his merchandise. He first suspected vandals when the furniture was found covered in a dark, stinking liquid. After spending an entire night in the store hoping to catch the vandals, the owner found the furniture ruined again in the morning – even though no one had entered the building

As for the mansion’s time as apartment buildings, stories range from disembodied screams and agonized wails to full body apparitions. At the turn of the 20th century, one resident claimed he was attacked on the stairwell by a black man in chains – who then promptly disappeared. Around the same time, a woman reported seeing Delphine herself hovering over her infant.

Whatever may or may not be lingering in the LaLaurie mansion today, its past will always remain appallingly ghoulish.

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The Dragon of the Chinese New Year

After a long hiatus, I’m so pleased to return to my beloved Halloween blog! Thank you so much to my friends and family for encouraging me to pick the mantle back up and continue doing what I love. Extra special thanks, too, to my online friends for their patience and support.

To kick off my return, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite traditional costumes in the whole world.

Chinese New Year

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese New Year 

The Chinese New Year falls on January 31st this year, though its celebrations technically last for over two weeks. It’s a celebration of the first day of the traditional Chinese calendar, also known as the Spring Festival.

If you’re lucky enough to be around people who actively celebrate this ancient holiday, you’ll likely see fireworks, the exchange of red envelopes of money, lanterns, and of course…

The Dragon

dragon

 

 

 

 

 

The dragon is an important figure in Chinese culture. It wields huge power over the elements and represents strength and good luck. Its appearance at the New Years’ celebrations signifies good luck for the community at large.

A traditional Chinese dragon isn’t quite like Smaug from The Hobbit or Draco from Dragonheart. The Chinese dragon is much more serpent-like with a crest running down its spine and two long whiskers.

dragon2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Costume

A traditional Chinese dragon costume is constructed out of an array of beautifully colorful papers, forming the head and snakelike body. Depending on the size of the celebration (and the size of the dragon), any number of people can be underneath the dragon costume, making it undulate and dance down the street.

The dancers control the dragon’s movement with carefully coordinated steps and handles attached to the underside of the structure.

Some dragons aren’t really costumes at all, but more puppets that are streams of cloth manipulated with poles. Dancers can also wear individual dragon costumes for dances and plays.

 dragon3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely love seeing the dragon snaking along with a parade, colorful and terrifying. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend attending a celebration to see the dragon dance. If your little ones get spooked, explain to them that the dragon is often seen as a protector- so much so that it became a figure associated with the Emperor.

The magic of such a powerful figure brought to life, up close and personal, is one of the biggest reasons I love costumes as much as I do. They transport us away from the usual and into the whimsical (or scary).

This will be the year of the Horse, so those of you turning 96, 84, 72, 60, 48, 36, 24, or 12 this year should party it up. Learn all about Chinese New Year traditions and head out to the nearest parade!

Have a safe and joyous Chinese New Year, everyone! Xīn Nián Hǎo Ya!

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Spooky St. Patrick’s Party

You all know I love Halloween, but I do enjoy holidays and reasons to celebrate in general. And since Valentine’s is often a small, personal occasion, by the time St. Patrick’s day has rolled around, it’s been over 3 months since my last big party (New Year’s).

This year I decided to go all out for my St. Patrick’s Day party by taking a rather different approach. I’ll be throwing a Spooky St. Patty’s Party. Of course. Because once a year is not enough for Halloween to come around.

The first things that come to mind when it comes to March 17th are smiling leprachauns, the color green, and possibly raucous crowds over-indulging a bit much. I want to bring out the dark (but still fun) side of the holiday. Here’s how I plan to do it.

Theme

Since St. Patrick’s day is such a jovial holiday, I felt like “Scary St. Patty’s Party” might not offer enough direction for some of my guests. So when I sent out the invitations, I made a couple of things clear. First of all, this is a costume party. Guests are welcome to come dressed as their favorite spooky creature from Irish folklore. Just in case they had trouble thinking of some, I listed a few.

  • Leprechauns-Those guys can be downright creepy tricksters if you think about it. In some myths, they use telekinesis to make people’s hearts explode!
  • Dark Faeries- From the Fairy Queen to Mischievous Pixies, Faeries can offer a lot of spooky inspiration.
  • Selkies- These part seal creatures can shed their skins to take on the form of beautiful humans. Though not particularly threatening, their beauty can be quite off-putting.
  • Kelpies-Appearing as beautiful horses, Kelpies attract innocent children with the intention of drowning them. This could be a great costume for a couple!
  • Banshees- Though Banshees do not kill, they appear before death, and so are creepy in much the same way as the grim reaper. They also utter an unearthly moaning that is worthy of any Halloween ghoul.

After arming my guests with these ideas, I encouraged them to dress up by offering a prize for best costume. It will just be a nice gift basket with some St. Patrick’s themed snacks and a copy of “Leprechaun” the cheesy-scary film from the 90s.

Snacks

Speaking of snacks, the food for my party will go a long way in establishing the theme. Though corned beef and cabbage can be scary, I’m going for a more literal approach. I have a Bailey’s crème chocolate cheesecake that I am decorating with a leprechaun stalking a pot of gold. I’m taking inspiration from the Kelpie and putting little lego figurines (sanitized, of course) in the bottom of my drink glasses.

I’m also utilizing the holiday granted color-scheme and adding some green food coloring to white chocolate for a salty-sweet popcorn snack. I may even try to shape the popcorn balls like clovers, but we’ll see how ambitious I get.

Decorations

My house will be dim for the event, with green accent lighting and forest décor. Irish folklore is all about the dangers of nature, so that is at the heart of my design. I have a few threatening-looking tree figurines that will be prominently displayed.

Activities

This will mostly be a social activity so that I can catch up with some friends who love celebrations as much as I do. Besides the costume contest, I will not have any planned “activities” for the night. I will be playing Celtic music in the background and have some of my Irish poetry and folklore sitting around so that people have something to thumb through during the night.

I’m hoping my take on a Spooky St. Patrick’s Day will be a success. Do you have any plans for this Irish Celebration? Do you ever try to mix holidays like I’m doing with this Halloween/St. Patty’s mash-up?

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Set the Tone with Dias de los Muertos

Set the Tone with Dias de los Muertos

Thinking forward to this year’s Halloween costume? I am…

This is a prize winning costume I am sharing with you so that you no longer need to wrack your brain to figure something out! I must say, this turned out pretty amazing…

This gal decided that “The Day of the Dead” was perfectly fitting for her theme this last year, but just the tone of “Dias de los Muertos” makes it sound all the more eerie, spooky even. So how did she pull this one off?

This costume will probably take you about three hours to complete. Here are the parts and pieces:

  •  The dress was a period style zombie wedding gown.
  • The scarf/shawl  can be found at a local Walgreens store. That is a small drugstore, if you don’t have one.
  • Made the headdress using a plastic headband and six big roses, all hot glued onto the headband.
  • White face paint
  • Baby Powder
  • White eyeliner
  • Black eyeliner
  • A palette of several shades and colors of eye shadow
  • Faceted decorative jewels
  • Black nail polish
  • False eyelashes
  • Eyelash adhesive
  • Various eye shadow brushes

 

This gal got up at 4:30am to be able to make it to work by 7:00am. She was 30 minutes late. Plan accordingly! The tutorial used to paint herself up only lasted eight minutes so she thought an hour was plenty of time! It was not.

Dress after you shower and brush your teeth before applying makeup. Be certain you are starting with a clean face. Use a headband to hold your hair away from your face.

Here is the tutorial this gal followed. It is a great one. And yes, she did the makeup all by herself. It was pretty easy! If you don’t have things like stage makeup and fancy brushes, you can make do with clown makeup, baby powder, and a few brushes. She bought a compact of shadows at Target. It was a smaller size. She didn’t use the feather eyelashes, she just accented with longer ones. She also did not put makeup on her lips, she used the white eye liner instead so it would last longer.

Once you finish your makeup, put the shawl over your head like a veil. Place the headdress of roses over the shawl to hold it in place. A pair of some old fashioned looking boots would top the whole thing off. Painting your nails the night before saves time in the morning and you can fix any errors before you start to run low on time in the morning.

The costume turned out amazing. It is a contest contender for certain! The thing about costumes is that many of them are uncomfortable and you want to just get out of it before the fun ever starts! This one wore very well, she touched up the liner once during the day, but everything else was perfectly comfortable. Give it a shot! You will be amazed at how simple it is!

Posted in Adult costumes, Halloween Costumes, Halloween Costumes For Women, Halloween makeup and accessories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Put a Little Gothic Vampire into your Valentine’s Day

 

 

 

When people talk about being Gothic, we picture the heavy black makeup, the solid black clothes, the raggedy black hair, chains, snakes, thick jewelry, and pale white skin. When we think of gothic side of the Victorian times, we think of handsome men killing others to drink their blood, fancy lacy gowns, dark castles of grey stone and gargoyles. What we have lost in translation over the years is how romantic the Victorian Gothic era really was. This year for Valentine’s Day, give it a try. Incorporate the very romantic gothic theme and see how you connect with your partner.

 

 

Invite Your Partner

  • Leave a special invitation for your partner asking them to join you for a night of romance as you embrace that primal, powerful side that we all possess. Be creative by writing on a lacy handkerchief, using lipstick on the mirror, or kissing a notecard and scrawling a note. Make it fun, alluring and even a little sexy!
  • Drop no hints before the evening and keep your shopping or ideas hidden.
  • Make it clear to your partner to arrive in character! Get in touch with that smooth, sensual vampiric side of yourselves!

 

Decide Your Color Scheme and Décor

  • The classic colors associated with the Gothic times are red, black, white, gray, and purple…The deep colors that are full of feeling. They strike emotions inside of you when they are grouped together.
  • A staple activity of Valentine’s Day is the ever romantic dinner for two. Decide whether or not you will decorate the bedroom and even the bath as well. However, the dinner adds something to the night. A time for flirting and dancing.
  • Black tapers in a candelabra, red candles in jars, and even tealights add to the drama of the evening. Burn your tapers ahead of time for a drippy effect. Lights should be out except for your candles or maybe even some rope lights for effect. Skin appears flawless and glowing in the candlelight. Be sure, though, that you can see where you are going. No one wants to trip and fall in the darkness.
  • A fog machine can lend a spooky feel to your night with a vampire. It doesn’t take much, mind you, so if you have a machine just turn it on for a few minutes to ensure you don’t smoke your partner out!
  • Feathers have that soft and timeless romance associated with them. Use red or black boas as décor or groups of feathers in floral arrangements with black or burgundy roses.
  • Items like solid tablecloths and bold patterned plates can be accented by metallic accessories such as keys.
  • Set the table formally. When was the last time you both had a fancy dinner out together?

  • Play music in the background. Classical pieces that prompt dancing are the best for the mood. Perhaps make a CD or a playlist of songs that relate to your relationship. Nostalgia is a powerful tool.

 

The Menu

  • The most romantic dinner to share with a partner is fondue. There are different kinds of fondue you can enjoy together, but the most common is cheese for dipping and breads, fruit, and meat to eat. For dessert, melted chocolate frosting makes a wonderful dip for fruit, angel food cake, and marshmallows.
  • Spontaneously feed your partner from your own fork. That can be a most romantic way to spend the evening together.
  • Choose a red drink, whether it is fruit juice or wine, to be the blood. It just sets the mood!

  • Prepare your meal ahead of time so you don’t have to spend all of your time in the kitchen. You can just grab and go.
  • Red Velvet cake is delicious and fits the theme very well. Perhaps tiny cupcakes to graze on later if you are doing fondue!

 

The Dress Code

  • Have fun with this! You can do a full vampire costume or something as simple as a corset and skirt. Men can wear a dress shirt and tie. Whatever you choose, feel beautiful in it! Let go of your inhibitions and surrender to your vampire.
  • Be functional, you will still need to move around and if you decide to go to a movie, you don’t want mothers to have to shield their children’s eyes from you.
  • Leave something to the imagination. There is usually more to come on the most romantic day of the year. Make your partner wonder a little…
  • Vampires are sensual, romantic, and possess powers to attract any being they choose. Play the part and cast your spell.

The Agenda

  • Decide ahead of time what you want to do. Stay at home and watch Dracula movies? Go out and see a romance? What about the soon to be released, “Warm Bodies”?
  • Perhaps a warm dip in a bubble bath is more your thing. Don’t spend that time rehashing your day. Spend it reminiscing about some awesome times you have shared. Big bubbles, music, and flickering candles will enhance the mood.
  • Before the night is over, be certain your partner doesn’t get away without a nibble on the neck!

 

There are so many possibilities in bringing a little Halloween into your home throughout the year! Step out of your normal routine and create a very special atmosphere with minimal effort.

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