You’re not one of those girls that slaps on a store-bought costume. You’re better than that. You’re worth more than Sexy Firefighter, Sexy Cowgirl, Sexy Donald Trump. But it can still be hard to come up with a good, solid Halloween costume. As the self-proclaimed Halloween Queen, I’m here to help.
A Kick-Ass Historical Figure
Sure, you could be Jackie O or Marilyn Monroe (guilty of that one myself), but why not pick someone from the past who truly rocks? Pictured above is Josephine Baker — a dancer, singer, actress, and Civil Rights activist. And admit it, her look is killer. Or how about Amelia Earhart? Once you get good and drunk you could make plane noises all night. Other options are Dorothy Parker, Queen Elizabeth, or Joan of Arc. Find the asskickers of history and do them proud.
A Creative Album Cover
I’m not here to argue whether going as a Taylor Swift album cover is basic. (It may be, but still.) I’m here to point out that the above costume is a great, easy idea, and something that could be a really great photo prop throughout the evening. Some other cool, recent options are the painted-face boy from Fall Out Boy’s “American Beauty, American Psycho”, glamorous touring Lana Del Rey from “Honeymoon”, or (if you’re brave) Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”.
An Animal (But Put Forth Some God Damn Effort)
If you put on a set of cat ears and a black leotard I will be so disappointed in you. Animals can be super fun but why keep it simple? The possibilities are endless: peacock! Owl! Spider monkey! This hinges a lot on face makeup but there are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest, check ’em out.
Go Glam With Face Paint
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Speaking of face makeup, if you don’t want to put a lot of effort into the dress part of the costume, it’s always an option to spice up a cocktail dress and beautiful hairdo with gorgeous cosmetic wizardry. You could go spooky like the skeleton above or fantastic, like a fairy or a wood nymph. Again, hit up Pinterest for inspiration.
Creepy True Crime Subject
This was my favorite Halloween costume to date. At the Halloween party I attended, I brought with me clipped-out news articles about the Black Dahlia (which were available on Google to print off) and taped them all around the house as the evening went on. It freaked people out and won me first prize. So do some research and find the most ghastly, gruesome women of the past — you can go to the opposite spectrum, as well, and be Aileen Wuernos or Elizabeth Bathory.
Twisted Fairy Tale
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The classics are fun and all but why not turn the tired old tropes on their heads? Big Bad Red Riding Hood, Frog Princess, Zombie Snow White. You can even go the witty route and be Sleeping Beauty If She Had Been A Normal Person — mussed hair, pajamas, smeared makeup. Bullshit you woke up like that, SB.
Zombie Apocalypse Survivor
This one’s easy and super-customizable. Combat clothing, weapon of choice, and a smear of walker blood for good measure. This is a good crew costume, too — assemble your apocalypse team! Just make sure your makeup and eyebrows are perfectly done, the way all the women on “The Walking Dead”‘s are.
Pick Something And Make It Dead
Speaking of the dead… This one might be a copout but you can take really any costume and put on some decaying makeup, boom, you’ve upped your game. Dead Flapper! Dead World War II Nurse! Dead Construction Worker!
Gender Bending Beauty
Just because a character is a dude doesn’t mean it’s off-limits. In fact, it’s an opportunity to make something cool even cooler. Put on the Joker’s iconic face paint and find your own curve-hugging vintage purple suit. Cute up Captain Hook with a Bedazzled hook for your hand. Try Link from “Legend Of Zelda” in a pair of (comfortable) green pumps. Make it as sultry or as simple as you like!
Completely Classic Horror
I suppose this also falls under the gender bend if you want to go as Freddy or Jason, but there’s plenty of female horror icons you can portray too. Carrie at the prom — or even Carrie’s mom, what an excuse to croon “They’re all gonna laugh at you” all night! — Annie Wilkes, or Samara from “The Ring”. At a college party, one of our roommate’s girlfriends came as Samara and spent the evening scaring the shit out of people by hiding in dark corners. Good times.