Skull Costume
September 27, 2010 2:10 AM   Subscribe

Halloween-filter: Am I too ambitious to go as a damien hirst skull? Leaving aside hirst-hate of course, I'm thinking of tying my hair back and sticking rhinestones all over my face. How can I pull this off? Esp around eyes and teeth...
posted by nvly to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Totally possible. You will need to check out a costume store where they have stage makeup supplies.

Step one, get a skullcap. This will cover your hair and make you look bald.

Step two, liquid latex. This is your magic face glue. It will enable you to stick just about anything to your face. Then get LOTS of tiny rhinestones. The best way to go about this might be to apply rhinestones with liquid latex, then dust your skin with a silver pigment powder to fill in the gaps. You can get this at a craft store fairly cheaply, and it's safe for skin as far as I know. You'll need a friend to help with the back of your head, probably.

Black makeup around the eyes and tip of the nose.

Teeth are hard, but here's a thought. They sell a product which can be used to color teeth black. It lasts for several hours. You could paint diamond shapes onto your teeth using this stuff. It would take a bit of doing, but it could look really neat.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:27 AM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

Teeth shouldn't be a problem... assuming you have them. They're real teeth
posted by missmagenta at 2:34 AM on September 27, 2010

Cool, yet extremely obscure, idea! (And I hate Hirst. This is maybe the first idea inspired by him that I really like.)

You could get a tight-fitting skin toned skullcap and encrust it with rhinestones, including your version of the big bindi thing on the original. Then, pin your hair down in small, flat curls and cover it with a wig cap (which you can find online or at any costume shop).

For the eyes, what about pulling off some faux perspective trick? I'm thinking of two ways you could do this, depending on visibility requirements. Both involve a pair of sunglasses.

If you have a pair of black lenses, glue rhinestones all over them, with much bigger ones on the edges, and much smaller ones toward the center, with slightly more black space between them. If you do this with care and precision, you should get the impression of depth in your eye sockets, you see?

If you can find a pair of pearlescent, rhinestone-esque mirror lenses, take black paint and instead paint the spaces where the rhinestones aren't supposed to be. Again, make the shiny spots bigger on the outside and smaller, wider apart towards the center. This should be easier to see out of, but you'll still be wearing shades presumably indoors or at night.

For the teeth, use the technique from Dia de los Muertos decorations. Paint your lips like teeth. This is harder to maintain if you're drinking and eating, so I suggest straws. But anyway, use black makeup pencil, heavy white foundation, and an ash-grey medium tone to contour each tooth. Cover the area with white, and powder it. Draw on the teeth with the black pencil, and powder. With a small brush, take your grey (you can cheat and use something like matte eyeshadow if you can't find a costume shop with good stage makeup) and delineate the edges of the black lines with grey. Powder! The more you powder, the longer it will all stay.

The more I look at the original skull, by the way, the more I'm thinking that it might be simpler for you to use a ski-mask or something similarly hoodlike and cover that with rhinestones, instead of trying to stick rhinestones to your skin. That way you can use proper glue, and take your time applying the things. I'd go with black cotton, if you can find it.
posted by Mizu at 2:34 AM on September 27, 2010

I think getting a really cheap skull mask and gluing on the stones would both give a better effect and be a lot easier on you the night-of.
posted by beerbajay at 5:42 AM on September 27, 2010

Gimp mask and bedazzler.
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:47 AM on September 27, 2010 [6 favorites]

Best answer: 2nding Liquid latex to apply the rhinestones to your face. Liquid latex is ridiculously easy to use, and truthfully, I'd venture to guess that your costume would be more intact at the end of the night going Showbiz_Liz's route, rather than using glue to apply the stones to fabric. (Also, the black makeup on eyes and nose, and her awesome tooth idea both sound perfect.)This seems like a pretty fun project. Good luck!
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2010

If you apply them to your face, you won't look like a skull, you'll look glam.
posted by mendel at 6:40 AM on September 27, 2010

I wouldn;t fancy putting liquid latex anywhere near my eyes. A better option for there would be Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy - I can't personally vouch for it but have heard good reports. It's basically a glue/foil for make-up.
posted by mippy at 6:51 AM on September 27, 2010

Why not find a rhinestone dress in a thrift store and glue the fabric onto a halloween skull mask? As mendel says, if you glue rhinestones onto your face, you'll still have the problem of normal looking nose, eyes, and mouth.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:24 AM on September 27, 2010

Two suggestions:
- Instead of loose rhinestones, pick up some rhinestone banding (or a plastic version). Less likely to fall off. I think you can find it at fabric or craft stores.
- Why not a classic Scream-style ghost mask, plus a fake diamond grill? It would be a nice holiday-themed twist.
posted by acidic at 8:12 AM on September 27, 2010

For glueing rhinestones around your eyes, I'd recommend eyelash glue (they stuff used to put on fake eyelashes)
posted by WeekendJen at 9:02 AM on September 27, 2010

Skull Mask -- I think it's a brilliant idea!
posted by amanda at 9:46 AM on September 27, 2010

Response by poster: I ended up buying sheets of self-adhesive rhinestones that are used to decorate cellphones from the Japanese $3 shop and stuck on the bigger gems on my forehead with eyelash glue! Couldn't move my face much unfortunately. Here's a picture.
posted by nvly at 5:57 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Woah that looks awesome, though more day-of-the-dead skull than hirst.
posted by beerbajay at 10:54 AM on November 7, 2010

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