You Asked: What Should I Be For Halloween?

How to pick the perfect costume for you (and your budget), plus a look back at some of my favorite Halloween looks.
Publish date:
October 17, 2013
costumes, halloween, advice, makeup, Fake Eyelashes, eyeliner, The Little Mermaid, Daria, scary dolls

Alle! I have to go to grown-up Halloween parties for the first time ever this year! What do I do for a costume? Slutty Kitten probably won’t be a hit with my boyfriend’s coworkers. What should I do? How do I come up with a costume that’s original and cool, but still cute and grown-up? PLEASE SOLVE MY PROBLEM, MY QUEEN. -- Court

First: Hello everyone, apparently I am now Queen Alle, Ruler of the Internet, Mother of Dragon... Girl lipstick.

Now let’s talk costumes! I will sit here in my crown (made of paper) and my robe (actual bathrobe) with my scepter (fluffy pink pen) and preside over my advice column.

I really love Halloween. You might have noticed! I spend a large portion of each year daydreaming about what I’m going to do for a costume when October 31st rolls around.

But you’re right: if you’re going to work parties, Sexy Tree Surgeon (wood-themed bikini and chainsaw) might not be the very best outfit idea--whereas that would be hilarious and awesome if you were out with your friends. Always keep your occasion in mind.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and be awesome. My best costumes have always come from thinking about stuff that I like, and one thing I really like is the internet (duh). A couple years ago I was Hipster Ariel, and my best friend Charlotte was Hipster Ursula. We looked amazing, and I loved the costumes. I still wear the green pants!

So what stuff do YOU like? What are your favourite movies? TV shows? Bands? Cartoons? How about historical figures? Animals? One year, I saw a dude who’d decorated a clear umbrella with lights and long strips of plastic. He was the coolest jellyfish I’d ever seen.

So now that you have some ideas, figure out your budget. If the sky is the limit, OK! For everyone else, don’t go into mad debt trying to recreate a costume you’ll probably only wear once! If you don’t have a bunch to spend, look at what you’ve already got in your wardrobe.

One year I dressed up as Daria--the costume was a huge hit, plus I was SUPER WARM and comfy in it--and the only thing I had to buy was an orange t-shirt.

If you’re into recreating something elaborate, make sure you have a good, clear reference. I’m doing my best to make a Morticia Addams outfit this year, but it’s hard because there aren’t many clear detail shots of her dresses. I did find a photo of one of her gowns that went up for sale on eBay, and working from that has been much easier.

So if you want to recreate, say, a fairly authentic Starfleet uniform from the original series, find some clear images. Look at the key components--say the shirt is blue. What KIND of blue? What kind of braid is used for the trim? Etc. It can be as exact as you want, but attention to detail often makes any costume better.

You can also get creative with makeup for not very much money. Use red lipstick instead of eyeshadow to make your eyes look positively vampiric. Cover up your brows entirely with glue--Mari shows you how to do it here--slick back your hair and use some silver shimmer all over your skin to be a glamourous alien. Cover your lips with concealer and draw on a new shape. Or, with the addition of some eyeliner stitches and big eyelashes, you’re a scary doll. Easy peasy!

If you’re going to a work party, or an event that definitely skews a little more on the “fancy grown-up” side, a nice outfit--dress if you wear them, good pants if you don’t--with a little mask over your eyes ALWAYS works.

In short: Be creative, work within your budget and HAVE FUN! If you're looking for some awesome inspiration, we’re basically turning into xoHalloween for the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for our awesome tricks and treats!

And as always, if you have a beauty question for me, let me know in the comments or on twitter.