For most of my life, I’ve been a tamad Halloween person.
I was not a fan of thinking up costumes and dressing for the occasion. The best part about Halloween, for me, was the candy and walking around the village with my friends, cousins and siblings. I also enjoyed seeing all the dressed up houses and other trick-or-treaters with their costumes.
But I was never one to step up and prepare for it.
As a kid, my idea of a passable Halloween costume would be a black dress with one of those witch hats with fake black and white plasticky hair. Year in and year out, I wore the same outfit until I got tired of the dressing up part and candy altogether. Then, I just stuck to preparing and handing out goodies to trick-or-treaters.
But then, a few years ago, I got invited to celebrate Halloween through this party organized by friends in the production and film industry. It’s a yearly thing that a lot of them look forward to and prep for.
I think it kind of goes unsaid that people in that particular industry go all out on Halloween. As if all our creative juices haven’t been used up yet with the daily grind and sleepless pa-morningan shoots.
Given my profession, I felt embarrassed to show up in a tamad Halloween costume. I do hair and makeup. I’m supposed to show up looking like I actually do hair and makeup for a living, right?
This pressure extends to those who fall under the general category of the Art Department. (Or maybe, it was just me and the pressure of being invited to attend for the first time.)
And so, prepare I did.
On my first year attending, I busted out horn appendages. Did a little bit of special effects and went as a she-devil with red hair and played up my eye makeup. I had little time to prep and just used whatever available clothes I had in my closet.
On my second year, I did a tribute to my favorite character from Jem and the Holograms, Stormer. (Because, “We are the Misfits, our songs are better.” And, yes, I was more a fan of the Misfits than Jem.) That time I actually went shopping to recreate the costume. I bought a cheap-o wig from Divisoria and somehow tripled its volume to get the look. Did a little bit of sewing and lots of gluing to pull it off.
Last year, which was my third, I came as one of the sisters from Kubo and the Two Strings. I think that was the most effort I ever put into a Halloween costume. I labored several days to complete the look. It’s the first time I actually lost sleep preparing a costume. I cut out little leaf-like shapes out of cloth and stuck them piece by piece until I had a full cape.
Whatever happened to being a tamad Halloween person, self? Apparently, that’s now a ghost of the past.
Now granted, not everybody can spare the time to prepare the way some of us do. So, what’s an easy, applicable to most costumes, Halloween look? A way to elevate the spooky vibe of a chosen costume? Something that shows others that you prepared for the event, but without too much effort?
Maybe a goth-inspired makeup look would do, which was what I did this year. Upon seeing my finished face, I realized that it’s one of those looks that can be worn not just for one night a year but can complement a lot of other nighttime outfits (like the ones in this issue’s Rank column). And that is why I’m sharing it with you today.
How to get the look
Step by step
1. Prep your face as usual. Cleanse, tone, moisturize, plus whatever else you usually apply. My typical routine includes essence, serum and eye cream.
2. Apply your base. I have oily/combination skin. Because the look needs to last me all night, I’ll put on primer that helps control oil as well. After the primer, layer on your foundation. Conceal blemishes if the foundation is not enough to offer coverage. Set with powder. If you have lighter shades available, use it. Halloween is the one day you can get away with a base lighter than your skin tone in public. A pale base creates more contrast for the other things you’ll be doing on your face.
3. Contour. Suck in those cheeks and apply contour to enhance the hollows. Choose a deep contouring shade. Add a bit of gray or black if you want to do deepen the contours. Don’t be wary that it looks unnatural or not blended out. It’s Halloween. You can get away with it. Opt for a nude shade of blush if you have it available. Apply contour along your jaw and down your nose line. Contour all other parts of your face that you feel like contouring. Add a little under your eyes for that extra tired, out of the graveyard, look.
4. Fill in those brows. Go for bold, arched brows to complement the heavy contour work. Go for darker shades to add contrast between these elements and the skin. You can even do extreme arches. My brows won’t let me do extreme arches though. I would have to hide them first and draw over them to achieve that look.
5. Heavy on the eyes. Go straight for the gray and black eyeshadow shades. Don’t worry about going overboard. The look calls for it. Apply eyeshadow on your eyelids, along the ball of your eyes and up until about a centimeter from your brow line. The trick is that when you open your eyes, the eyeshadow would still be visible. Apply eyeshadow under your eyes. Apply thick eyeliner on the top and the water line. Curl your lashes and add mascara to the top and bottom lashes. Use falsies if you have any available. It is halloween after all. Look as effortlessly unnatural as you want.
6. Lipstick. Pick a lipstick in a dark or unusual shade. Go for black if you have it. The greater the contrast with your skin, the better. Mix and match if you want to. I usually pick a shade I prefer and add a darker one until I get the color I want. For this look I went with MAC’s Midnight Troll lipstick.
7. Finishing Touches. Use a setting spray to set the look. If you want your face to last all night until early morning, primer and setting spray are trusty allies. Also, I found an old wig from Lynelle so I put it on for a change.
Finally, put on your resting bitch face and you’re all set.