Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. Ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to dress up in my costume and gallivant through the neighborhood with my friends. I kid you not, me and my best friend Robyn partook in Halloween well into junior year of high school. We were those two big kids, who racked up on free candy at 17, in full costume. ZERO SHAME. But the older I get, I realize it wasn’t the candy that was the “treat”. Because you can definitely buy candy all year round and that never replaces Halloween. It was the opportunity to be a whole new person for the night. The planning and designing of the intricate details leading up to it. Or on some occasions, the lack thereof and resorting to last minute let-me-make-up-some-shit-to-wear costumes. Whatever you did, you made it work and you had a blast. Everyone knows it’s ALWAYS about the costume!
But here’s the depressing part- that whole dedication to Halloween goes out the window with age. I don’t know why, but I HATE IT! Perhaps you’re busy chasing your kids and their busy schedules. Maybe it’s because you feel you’ve outgrown the excitement of dressing up for Halloween. Or possibly you’re a procrastinator, like me, and wait till the last minute to concoct a presentable costume. Whatever it is- I don’t like it people! We need to get it together.
I’m 27 and I still want to dress up and actually go out or even just go trick or treating (Hey… let me borrow your kid) but I hear the same excuse every year- “I don’t have anything to wear.” Well, I’m not gonna let that be an excuse this year, y’all. I’m going to give you four costumes that will never fail you, no matter what year it is or how little you prepare. Most of these can be done with just makeup alone. Calm your nerves, if you’re not makeup savvy you can still find items to make these options work. Whether you’re a mom getting off at 5:00 PM taking your kids trick or treating, attending a work party you didn’t buy a costume for, or out on the town with Sus, milly rockin’ the night away, you won’t disappoint in any variation of one of these.
Baby I’m preying on you TONIGHT! I don’t just mean a cat, bunny, or a mouse (duh) and it doesn’t have to be super slutty either… unless of course you want it to. This is a broad category which means the possibilities are endless. Be creative and try a giraffe, panda, deer, penguin, angel fish, or even a peacock. Stop by the dollar store and pick up some animal ears or feathers, pick a solid color clothing to match- can’t go wrong with black- and paint on some whiskers, scales, and other facial details. Don’t have ears? No biggie! Put your hair in space buns or pigtails. Want to amp up the precision? Get a good black gel liner and make your animal features realistic with a small defining brush. There are hundreds of Youtube tutorials for simple, yet beautiful animal makeup. Whether you go all out and get matching clothes or just dour makeup, this is a simple go-to for Halloween that will ALWAYS be a win.
Left: @Dressyourface on Instagram, Tamanna Roashan Right: @thefashionfreak on Instagram, Melly Sanchez on Youtube
2. Retro Vibes
There are some styles we gravitate to no matter what era we’re in. Marilyn Monroe’s red lip and blonde hair, Audrey Hepburn’s elegant A-line dress, and Cleopatra’s delicious blue eye shadow and neck candy. Today we can appreciate timeless beauty and chances are we have incorporated some of these trends into our every day wardrobe. Why? Because it’s always a win! Here’s the advantage with this one- you don’t really have to look exactly like your character-choice. Just enough to channel their look. Google one of your favorite vintage characters and find something in your closet that closely resembles their attire. You’d be surprised how much you channel your favorite Hollywood Stars, without even trying to. Finding a short black dress, cat eye glasses, and pearls to be Audrey Hepburn, is a piece of cake for me. I have enough of those in my closet to dress 15 people.
If you have time to pick up something to embellish your outfit, then HELL YEAH! Walmart sells statement necklaces for under $10, that would make a perfect, last minute Cleopatra costume. Get one for your head (yes you can rock it as a headpiece) and one for your neck, finish it off with a dramatic eye, and you’re GAME!
Sandy from Grease is one of my absolute favorite characters of all time! Who doesn’t have leggings and a black leather jacket somewhere? Pair it with a bold red lip and some pumps and you’ll be Grease Lightening for night.
ABOVE: Statement Necklaces, Walmart.com ($9.55) BELOW: Jacket- Forever 21 $39.99, Lipstick- MAC, Ruby Woo $18, Leggings- Target.com ($6.99), Pumps- DSW, Lowis Platform Pump ($39.99)
4. Nature vs. Nurture
We owe mother nature more than just props for the beautiful scenery! Use her as your inspiration this year for Halloween. You could bring out your inner Fern Gully and be a fairy, a beautiful forrest goddess, or even just a flower child. Hit up your local Joann Fabric or Michaels and just bask in the endless variety of floral arrangements.
I recently started watching Moana (at least once a week, because you can’t just watch it once) and fell in love with the character, Te Fiti. Her selfless, compassionate demeanor and forgiving soul just remind me of the type of person I would love to be. Not to mention how gorgeous they created her. It reminded me of Circa 2010, when my friend had an ABC (anything but clothes) party. This was a last minute, Eve costume I put together (literally purchased everything 3 hours before the party) by safety-pinning floral garland all around a nude slip. It was so easy and I wish I would’ve kept it as I could’ve totally revamped it and used it again.
To make this look more Te Fiti, you could use the same idea, except painting your face and body green. An even simpler variation would be to get about a yard of floral garland and using it as a boa around your neck and pairing it with a floral headband. Don’t worry about being exact, there is no way you can go wrong on this. Nature has no rules and is uniquely beautiful in every way! My makeup dolls- you can go HAM with this costume. Use vibrant colors, jewels, glitter, and lots of highlighter to bring your artistry to life!
From Left to Right: @lunafortun on Instagram, @ellie35x on Instagram, Joann.com Blooming Holiday Poinsettia, Berry & Holly Leaves Chain Garland ($7.99), Blooming Autumn 66” Hydrangea Chain Garland ($4.80)
4. Dark Side
This is probably my favorite option and I will never tire of it. Give me all the skulls, special FX gashes, zombie madness, and deadly hallows! Halloween is a day to embrace your dark side and get scary. Whip out those acrylic paints and use your face and body as a canvas to create an unforgettable ensemble. Last year we saw a lot of gangster clowns, harlequin variations, vampires, and sugar skulls. I WAS LIVINGGGGG FOR IT! It’s STILL a bad-ass option and guaranteed to get heads turning.
Pictured: Zoenewlove.com has a beautiful step by step tutorial on how to achieve this look. Make sure to check it out!
This option may take you longer than the rest, depending on how intricate your vision is, as it is predominantly a makeup application. However, you do not need a lot of materials for this costume, which makes it an easy go to. Pick up some black/white paint and some black shadow for the definition and hallows of your face. There are a TON of Youtube videos out there with easy steps to achieve any look on the dark side. Bring out your inner villain and have fun with this one!
TOP LEFT: @Chrisspy on Instagram/Youtube (She gave me so much life last year for my half-skull look- checkout her youtube videos for shading and definition) Half-Skull Video, TOP RIGHT: @Iluvsarahii on Instagram/Youtube, BOTTOM LEFT: The @Nikkietutorials on Instagram/Youtube
Any of these options will make your Halloween sooo much more worth it. Whatever option you choose guys, make it YOU. There are some things you never outgrow, and Halloween SHOULD be one of them. Make sure to let me know which costume you go for and let me know if you need any help deciding.