Here Comes Halloween: Easy Costume Ideas

This year, I was feeling lazy. I went to a party as Helena Bonham Carter. This dress + £20 M&S sale 'corset' + this hat + the jacket I got for my circus ringleader costume in 2008 + a face that resembles HBC's, according to that drunk guy on a train one time = costume. My boyfriend wore a beret and a suit jacket and was Tim Burton. I tend to get Costume Block when faced with a Halloween to dress up for (that'll be every year then), so here are a few ideas, for my future reference, and your present need.


For many years, this was my favoured Halloween costume. I'd pile on the gothy clothes and top it all off with a pointy hat. Maybe I'd carry a broom, or a wand. It's still pretty easy - you can even buy a witch's hat and some stripy tights in the Co-Op. Your witch doesn't have to be traditional - check out my Glamorous Witches post for a variety of ideas. However, if you have some black fabric or old black clothing lying around, you can tear it up and paint a wart on your nose for the old-fashioned look.

Here is a 'sexy witch' green make-up tutorial by MissChevious, but if you want to go the glamorous route without also going green, search a combo of the following words on YouTube: dramatic, purple, witch, make-up. What? I always recommend purple.



I've done this one a few times as well. Let's face it, all you really need is a cat mask, which you can find pretty easily, or to grab an eyeliner pencil and draw whiskers on your cheeks and a triangle on the end of your nose. You can easily glam it up or go superhero and be Catwoman. You really don't need a tutorial, but if you want to vamp it up a notch, here's stephbusta:



There are two main options. You can use the old cut-eyes-out-of-a-sheet method, or put on foundation a couple of shades too pale and plenty of pressed powder, wear some torn clothes, and put so much talcum powder in your hair that it goes grey. A bit of hairspray should stop too much falling out.


I have never worn a vampire costume, apart from when I was in the vampire choir in my primary school production of Dracula! I've considered it several times, but I think that I'd need fangs, otherwise I'd just look like I was wearing my regular clothes. And supermarket fangs don't seem to fit me.

This is another excuse to dress like a big goth, therefore I love it. But I also like the fact that although blood-red lips are a must, you can do what you like with your eye makeup. This Pixiwoo tutorial is fabulous if you're going for the decadent vampire look, but if you want to look like a lost soul haunted by the ghosts of everyone you've eaten, give yourself some grey shadows underneath your eyes and make sure your backcombed hair is messy.



I think next year I might be a zombie flapper. What? It's too early to start thinking of next year's costume? Nonsense. It would give me a great excuse to do the unflattering authentic 1920's make-up, with a little extra green. As Jennine at The Coveted pointed out last year, you can zombify anything. I think that's why the zombie walks are so popular - you can wear your own clothes and just do the make-up.

Lauren Luke's zombie make-up tutorial:

Other ideas

There have been some great ideas posted on xojane this year. The creepy doll look is very easy, and Cleopatra requires a little more work, but looks great. If you're not concerned about the longevity of the outfit you can make cardboard accessories. I do have a toy snake, and I like thick eyeliner, so perhaps it's a potential rival to 'zombie flapper' for next year.

I also like the Evil Queen idea, but I'd happily dress like that every day. It's not really flamboyant enough for a Halloween costume, and so I've started daydreaming about a Maleficent or Ursula ensemble. 

If you don't want to dress as something spooky, check out Jennine's Halloween In My Closet series. I am clinging onto the idea that Halloween isn't just costume day and that it is supposed to be creepy, but you don't have to.


Here Comes Halloween: London Events

This Halloween is the best-scheduled so far! There are so many amazing events planned in London, many of them for free or at least low-priced, plus there is something to suit almost everyone. If you want to dress up and dance your spiked heels off, you can. If you want to go to a book reading, that's an option too. If you're in an educational mood, you can attend talks about horror films and other spooky things. If you just want to watch Beetlejuice and eat cupcakes - London is here for you!

I have selected the suggestions on this mini-list of events myself. For the most part, if I haven't visited a venue or attended a particular company's events in the past, then I know at least one person who has. However, there are a couple of events thrown in to the mix that I just think sound really cool...

Friday 26th October

Photo by mrskyce

I've been to several of the Society of Young Publishers' and the Society of Authors' events in the past and this one sounds like a great idea. The main acts are authors James Dawson, Cathi Unsworth, and Katy Darby, and there will be readings of gothic poems and short stories inbetween.

Music, talks (including one on 'Witchcraft through Fashion'!), films, and other activities. Did I mention that it's free?

Saturday 27th October
Photo by jamieanne

More literary spookiness with a multi-author discussion, including C J Daugherty, who wrote Night School (link goes to review on my book blog).
  • Cant Buy Me Love, 12:30-17:30, The Boogaloo, entrance free

If you'd rather shop, entry to the CBML vintage market and jumble sale is free.

Seven hours of movie-soundtrack tunes, with free popcorn, and Oscars awarded to the wearers of best costumes. If you get hungry you can visit the diner and if the music isn't enough, you can make your own in the karaoke rooms, or bowl, of course.
  •  THRILLER NIGHT!, 18:00-02:00, Drink Shop & Do, £5 with fancy dress/£8 without
House-party style Halloween with Thriller dancing. They also have pumpkin carving nights on the 29th and 31st, and Day of the Dead colouring-in on the 30th.

  • Or just go to Slimelight. They've got a very generous special offer on membership that night.

Wednesday 31st October 

Photo by Blyzz
I went to the St Paul's Beas of Bloomsbury for my birthday the year before last and can personally attest to the deliciousness of their cakes. If you don't have a sweet tooth, however, there will be plenty of American-style savoury food available too.

Film, performance, art, music, and blood-red cocktails. For £8 you can join a backstage torch-lit tour. There are other relevant entertainments this week at the Barbican too.

What are your plans for Halloween? How do you prefer to celebrate it? Will you be going to any of these events - or one I've missed? There are several amazing-sounding Halloween balls this week and next in London, but most of them are sold out and/or out of my current budget!


Here Comes Halloween: Introduction

If there is one thing that is likely to get me posting on this blog, it is Halloween. Let's be honest: it's Goth Christmas. Sure, giving presents isn't traditional on Halloween (YET!), but it has a much better aesthetic.

I realised yesterday that there's little over a week to go until the first day of Halloween. I personally celebrate 13 days of Halloween. 12 days of Christmas, 25 days of my birthday, and 13 days of Halloween. Plus there's all the stuff in the run up to it, which I class as the Halloween equivalent of Advent. Anyway, I haven't even started wearing my pumpkin-with-a-moustache badge yet, and it's already the 23rd! Dire.

Desperate times call for spooky measures, and I have decided to write a short series of posts all about the upcoming/already beginning festivities.

Hopefully I will write a post about the Halloween-related goods available in various shops, as soon as I get the chance to run around and check them out (Edit: sorry everybody, I tried but I was too late!). So far, however, it is looking like the best Halloween so far in terms of the available relevant merchandise. Tesco has glow-in-the-dark nail polish on sale and my boyfriend got me this awesomely tacky goblet from Poundland.

(And it's purple. Win)

I will do a quick round up of Halloween costume links. I am not very good at coming up with costume ideas on my own. However I am very good at Google and at remembering which blogs have offered excellent contributions in past years.

But first, I will put together a list of Halloween events in London. I already had a few ideas - I'm subscribed to plenty of venue mailing lists and follow even more on Facebook/Twitter - but I've been checking the Time Out website obsessively for the past few days and have finally been rewarded with their Halloween in London guide. I'll have a dig through and see if there's anything that looks particularly cool/cheap that I can add to the list I've been preparing, then it'll be good to go!

Are you excited by Halloween? Have you been preparing already?

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