Halloween DIY From the Girl Who Can’t Do Anything: "Breaking Bad" Edition

Seeing all the photos of fans donning orange jumpsuits and bags of (fake) blue meth filled me up with the warmest feelings one could possibly derive from a show about lying to your family, manufacturing an addictive drug and getting mixed up with the Mexican cartel.

Oct 2, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I find it almost therapeutic to be able to transform into someone or something for a night and just have non-judgey fun with your friends. Growing up, my parents always helped me have the best costume, either by building me felt butterfly wings and pom-pom antennae or spending a considerable amount of time helping me with my makeup.

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My mom was fully committed to making this happen. I couldn’t be more proud.

As I’m slowly nearing adulthood, though, I’ve realized two things. 1) I’m really bad at crafty things, even though I think they’re a lot a fun and 2) College and an apartment is expensive. But I think, like any other holiday, Halloween is all about spirit and enthusiasm, and I think a lot of great costumes can be whipped together even on a tight budget and little time.

After being blown away by these magical, magical photos (particularly children dressed up as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman because they either have the best parents or are the most culturally in-tune children on the planet), seeing all the photos of fans donning orange jumpsuits and bags of (fake) blue meth filled me up with the warmest feelings one could possibly derive from a show about lying to your family, manufacturing an addictive drug and getting mixed up with a Mexican cartel.

What’s great about "Breaking Bad" costumes is you can go as Walter, and get a knowing nod from the coolest of folks, or do a fun couple's costume as Walt and Jesse. If you can rally up enough fans (shouldn’t be too difficult), you can do an epic group costume and drunkenly shout out quotes and season five spoilers from the show all night long. (Example: if someone tries to snag one of the beers you brought to the party, just snatch it back, calmly say, “I am the one who knocks,” and knock that Sam Adams back yourself. If desired, add an, “I won,” when you’re finished.)

So, without further ado, here is my tutorial on how to whip together a quick 'n' cheap Walt and Jesse look from the show:

Walter White/Heisenberg

The main things you’ll definitely need to buy for this are a black, brimmed hat (I’m guessing most people don’t already own this) and tortoise shell glasses, if you don’t already sport them. Technically, he does wear sunglasses with the hat, but glasses seem like a better option for the evening. The nice thing about this is that the glasses and hat can still totally be worn after the festivities:

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I don’t know about you, but I like to inject a little Heisenberg flair into my everyday look.

I’m going to say buying actual facial hair is optional because that can get pricey, and, also, I’ll take any excuse to draw things on my face.

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I used a $2.99 Maybelline pencil in Mocha Mauve, purchased at Ricky’s, and a dab of concealer on the lips. Also, I think I got Bryan Cranston's wince-y stare pretty much down, don't you?

A simple light/medium brown eyeliner/eyebrow pencil will do (for removal, use Neutrogena Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads -- a great thing to own, regardless).

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Voila! Clothing-wise, unless you want to get the meth suit (if so, kudos to you!), Walt’s outfit is not too difficult to put together. All you need is a simple button-down shirt, preferably in light green or dark blue (can be borrowed from a male friend or gotten for cheap at a local thrift store), khakis or black pants (a worthy investment, thanks to job interviews!) and boat shoes/oxfords/possibly even moccasins. If you’re going alone and are worried that people won’t know who you are, just accessorize with a Ziploc bag of candy meth (see tutorial at the end), a small, one-eyed pink teddy bear, or a second cell phone!  

Jesse Pinkman

Ah, Jesse. That kid who seemed like a total trainwreck when we first met him and proved himself to be a vastly complex and compassionate character (not to mention a perfectly wonderful father figure).To start off with, you’ll need a black skull cap:

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I got this actually practical winter hat for only $4.80 at Forever 21, bitch!

Cover your entire head with the hat if you are neither bald or blonde. In order to not get confused with Eminem, you might want to draw on a fake bruise near the eye. (Starting with the pilot, Jesse got roughed up quite a bit.) If you’re as notoriously bad at applying makeup as I am, you can probably get by with a little dab of gray/blue/purple eye shadow.

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The outfit is perhaps a place you may need to invest a little more money. I think you can get away with a simple black T-shirt, if you don’t own an obnoxious graphic tee, and plain jeans as long as you have an absurdly baggy hoodie. If you’re buying one, aim for one with an eye-catching design, but a plain black one can do fine too and serve as a great lounging-around-the-house piece for the winter. Accessorize with candy meth (seriously, you’ll be the life of the party), a bag of Funyuns, or a cigarette.

Extra: Blue Meth Rock Candy Tutorial (Gone Horribly Wrong):

So, this is embarrassing. I found this excellent recipe for rock candy that looks JUST like Heisenberg’s formula from Sugar Hero, and was going to do a step-by-step guide:

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I threw the sugar, water, and light corn syrup together and it was all going so well.

And, despite this being a four-ingredient recipe and super-quick to make, I completely forgot that I’m entirely incompetent in the kitchen, and in between blowing my nose and watching the Disney marathon on ABC Family, I kind of burnt everything.

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I made demon caramel.

My takeaway? Watch the pot. The instructions say to not stir, which I equated with, “Oh, you can totally leave and make your fourth cup of tea as you focus on Mufasa’s death. It’s all good.” Yeah, don’t do that. Also, make sure to buy McCormick’s Neon Liquid Food Coloring, as I read through the comments and the regular kind turns the candy kind of green. If my mess-up scares you (it shouldn't!), you can always buy some from Economy Candy

So, that’s it! If you’re ridiculous like me, perhaps this was helpful. Happy Early Halloween: and remember, if I can’t do it, you can!

Added note: I’d like to dedicate this post to NYU professor Steve Cohen, who recently passed away. He was a writer and taught television writing classes at the Tisch School of the Arts. It is people like him who help create these brilliant shows and layered characters that people love enough to want to dress up as year in and year out. You’re always in my heart, Steve. Thank you for everything.

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