Halloween is observed in many countries around the world on October 31, the eve before All Saints’ Day. It has Christian and Celtic roots, was brought to North America in the 19th century and made its way back to many regions of continental Europe in the 1990s. Wearing scary costumes and going trick-or-treating has been a tradition in Ireland, Scotland and the U.S.A. and is getting more and more common in other parts of Europe, too. Typical costume themes are death, monsters and evil.
1. Go for scary, not cute.
Guess what? If you’re past kindergarten and elementary school age, you should be past any Halloween costumes that look remotely cute. Time to say good-bye to cute little pumpkin, superhero, princess and tooth fairy outfits. Come on—you’re supposed to frighten the evil spirits! OK, this is clearly my personal taste, but I’ve also seen enough of those “sexy nurses” and other shallow themes. Although some of those do look scary, what I really want to see is the dead and undead, all sorts of ghouls, monsters, skeletons, mummies, witches, vampires and company. Or if you go for pirates, scarecrows, wild animals or other characters, make sure to make them look mean.
Most costumes look best if you think beyond your clothing, hair and makeup. Choosing the perfect accessories will make your character look authentic. Jewelry, such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, can complement your look perfectly. The pictures on this page and some of those on our Pinterest page are great examples. Halloween earrings should enhance your costume. Studs or plugs in dark colors support a bold look. Big hoops are a must for fortune tellers, smaller ones for pirates. And dangle earrings, such as chandeliers, underline a more feminine appearance.
3. Spend little, be creative.
Ready-made, store-bought costumes might be an easy choice, but you can easily create your own outfits on a low budget. Just be creative. Focus on makeup and accessories. I love to use water-based face paint, especially for a ghostly white foundation. You can buy face paint at crafts or party supply stores. I apply it with a makeup sponge for larger areas and a brush for details. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can combine it with regular makeup, such as eyeliners, foundation, bronzer, blush, lipsticks and eye shadow. Once your face and hair are done, add accessories, such as jewelry, a hat or other decoration.