Put on a little make-up, make-up; make sure they get your good side, good side
September 13, 2011 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Halloween costume: Need make-up source & materials help

For halloween, some friends & I will need some make-up for our costumes, including full face. (one of us will be doing a day of the dead skull face). I'm good with the design part but the materials part has me frustrated. From Halloweens past, I know that cheap, party store greasepaint pots and sticks are likely not going to give us the vibrant colors and crisp lines we'd like.
I would love recommendations for materials, brands, sources, & tools. Should we be looking at the cosmetics counter, costume store, or both?
We would especially like:
- a good base material for all over color (like matte white for skulls or clowns). Something that won't smear easily would be grand.
- materials for accent colors
- Glitter or special textures is a bonus but not required

We probably won't need to do fake wounds, fake noses, or moustaches/beards.
We are not on a tight budget but I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars.
posted by pointystick to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I was blown away by fake's skull in last year's Halloween thread. Apparently this was accomplished with an eyebrow pencil.
posted by phunniemee at 10:56 AM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: Professional clown makeup will give you the crispness you're looking for, and pots of Mehron go for about $5 a pop.
posted by LN at 11:22 AM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: Ben Nye brand, sold at most costume/Halloween chain stores, is an awesome brand that I use for very gristly effects. Make sure you use brushes and cosmetic sponges with makeup, not cotton pads or q-tips.
As for an all over color, if it needs to be rock solid and cover the entire body (a la entire body green for alien costume or something) I used Snazaroo brand face paint. It's watercolor based and used for kids face painting, but held up under an evening of frivolity and dancing with little wear.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:08 PM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: Oh: the good makeup, including the Ben Nye, will usually be held behind the cosmetics counter in the rear of Halloween store, where they keep the colored contact lenses and stuff like that. The crap that they sell in the regular aisles is the same stuff they sell at the CVS, and there is a significant difference. But again, if you are looking for crisp non-smudging lines, look into the Snazaroo stuff.
Also, they sell a fixative to spray on your face to set your grease-based makeup: it's basically hairspray. So put on your makeup, set it with a powder if possible, shut your eyes REALLY TIGHT and spray your face with hairspray.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:14 PM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: If you're anywhere near New York City Ricky's is the place to go!
posted by LZel at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2011

Best answer: I am also doing a day of the dead skull face for the first time this year! My inspiration is Sylvia Ji, her work is super dreamy.

Initially, I wanted a very white face with black eyes, two different colors around the eye sockets with scalloped edging, intricate filigree on the face and colorful accents – vibrant and crisp.

I bought the Ben Nye Clown White ($9 CDN), P-9 black creme foundation ($14), and the Lumiére creme wheel ($26) from a local costume shop (unfortunately I couldn’t get Ben Nye’s super white finishing powder in order to set the white paint). I also went to an artist’s shop and bought an economy pack of synthetic brushes ($8) as well as a 20/0 micro-brush for fine detail ($6). At the drugstore, I decided to try a couple of different black eyeliners for making lines on my face so I also bought Rimmel’s Exaggerate waterproof eye definer and Gosh’s extreme art eye liner. I also bought a NYC’s eye liner pencil in white, Urban Decay’s 24/7 glide-on shadow pencil in Clash and another Gosh extreme art eye liner in shimmery green (#05).

I used the white eye liner pencil to outline my eye sockets and my nose. Then I applied the Clown White cream, which was streaky and difficult to put on evenly with the sponge (note: I didn’t moisturize my face which may have affected results). It was very creamy and I didn’t have any translucent powder to set it (which I think further wrecked my results so I’m willing to try this product again). I used a synthetic brush to apply the black crème foundation to my eyes and nose. Then I tested three types of liners around my eyes: Gosh liquid liner, Rimmel definer and black crème foundation with a micro-brush. On top of the white paint, Gosh was sharp, Rimmel thick and smudgy and the creme was okay. Nothing really rocked my boat - I want a product that I don't have to re-line if I color outside the lines and doesn't goop. For accents I tried the Lumiére Cream wheel colors and the green and purple really stood out.

Overall, the look was okay though I thought it could be much better. Removing the makeup was difficult. The cream-based paint came off but the liquid liners took a lot of scrubbing. Not fun.

Here’s my new plan of attack:
  1. Before applying any makeup, using a glue stick to smooth down my eyebrows (don’t worry, this’ll wash off). My liquid liner kept catching on the ends of my eyebrow hairs and making goopy drops.
  2. Moisture my entire face with a light moisturizer.
  3. Outline my eye sockets and nose with white eyeliner and apply Clown White with a sponge outside of those two areas**. You don’t want white in those areas as your black (that you’ll have to apply over the white) won’t be as intense. If you've got a round face (like I do), experiment with shading in the hollows of your face.
  4. Set with Cinema Secrets Light Touch Colorless Powder.
  5. Outline the eye socket with Lise Watier’s Féline noir eyeliner HD ($18). This is an awesome product – nice, thin lines and washes off easily.
  6. Apply black crème inside my eye sockets with a synthetic brush and nose and set with Annabelle’s #58 black eye shadow. Pat the shadow on with a brush, don’t smear. Another eye socket option is to apply Urban Decay’s Eye shadow Primer Potion ($24) around my eye sockets and apply black eye shadow with a wet brush (the wet brush will intensify the color as will the primer potion).
  7. Apply the Urban Decay Clash liner on the outside of my eye sockets and then outline that with eyeliner.
  8. Outline the scallop edging with eyeliner and fill in the scallops with the Lumiére crème colors.
  9. Put filigree designs on my face, possibly attaching rhinestones with eyelash glue.
**If you don't really like the heavy white face (as I suspect that I might), another option is Manic Panic Goth White cream. Or FACE atelier's Zero Minus foundation. FYI, I haven't tried either but the FACE atelier looks really good to me.

Other thoughts:
  1. Check out clown or goth forums for tips on how to achieve the white face you want.
  2. Don't bother with sparkly eyeliner as it won't give you much intensity. Instead try a sparkly eye shadow with the primer.
  3. Try rhinestones applied with lash glue to make instense color spots on your face. I did see someone use laced trim as the scalloped edging around her eyes - she had glued them on with lash glue.
  4. Try to avoid making a round circle around your eyes - your eye sockets aren't perfect circles.
  5. Use a blank face chart to design your sugar skull so you can use it as a guide instead of going willy-nilly with your black eyeliner.
  6. Put some fake flowers in your hair. Hot glue a piece of floral styrofoam to a headband to arrange your flowers.
  7. Don't forget your neck and collar bones! Darken with black eyeshadow and apply a thin layer of white to indicate spinal cord bones.
These are a couple of my favorite photos:girl with highlighted eyes, rhinestone lady, two-pronged nose, and Calendula.

posted by KathyK at 8:33 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

I used to use eye shadow, comes in all sorts of colors, safe to use near your eyes. It stays on very well as long as you don't rub your face. I think I just used to smear the big parts on with my fingers and then use the little sponge applicators for details. Always do a test run and leave enough time to get different supplies if your first idea doesn't work. I thought the metalics looked best & cheap was fine for me but I don't have sensitive skin.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:51 PM on September 14, 2011

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