Halloween Costumes For 2013!

Sugar Skulls are great costumes for both men and women and as couple’s costumes. This is actually my costume this year and I am really looking forward to it! This is something you shouldn’t go into half-assed though. Take the time and spend the money! The makeup can be as simple or as complicated as your skills will allow. Invest in a good quality corset, or gothic dress, or a really good suit with a silk tie. etc. Flowers in the ladies’ hair that matches the color theme of your makeup is nice as well as for guys a silk tie that matches the makeup. Here are some of the best pictures I have seen around the web this year and of course mine will be posted after Halloween this year.


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With the new TV series coming out soon, it may be a good time to re-visit this classic costume.  With the last few years or vampire mania you can easily add a modern twist to this iconic costume.  Get the red contacts, a nice suit etc.  This costume should be really polished to pull it off.


Witches, Werewolves and Zombies oh my!

Werewolves are the new vampires and witches are the new werewolves and don’t forget the zombies!

What a great past few years we horror and fantasy buffs have had in pop culture.  From vampire movies and shows galore to Teen Wolf, Hemlock Grove, to Kelly Armstrong’s Bitten, to Witches of East End.


Go as your favorite character from the show, or use the show as inspiration for your own unique costume that reflects your personality.

Popular Horror Movies from 2013

Whom among us horror buffs does not love Rob Zombie’s movies! Any of his characters always makes for a great Halloween costume.


Those of us who grew up with Evil Dead as our favorite movies just can’t resist dressing up as the characters from these movies.  Whether Bruce Campbell is Shticky enough for you, or if you’re like me you sat in the “Splatter Zone” at the musical, this story will always have a warm place in our hearts.  Embrace it, and either honor the original movies we fell in love with or give a nod to the modern version, these make for great costumes.  Also, you could do a party with an evil dead theme and have all of your guests come as characters from the movies mix old and new!


This is another oldie turned modern.  Just like the evil dead, you can choose wither the traditional costume or embrace the new one with fervor. Have fun with this one!


I’m not usually a pusher of stories in which the vampires, werewolves or witches are slaughtered but I really like this movie as an inspiration for costumes.


Not necessarily the best movie for the acting etc. but where would be in the world if we couldn’t laugh our asses off at bad horror movies?! Great costume ideas though.


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Other Ideas

Leprechaun Origins came out this year, as did Hatchet III, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, the new version of It, Silent Hill 3D and a lot of new versions of old classics like Frankenstein.  You can also hit the costume websites.  I’ve seen a lot of gothic Victorian dolls, and Black widow variations for ladies. A lot of zombies for men and strangely a “zombie pirate.”

zombiepirate black widow victorian doll

Of course I am a purist when it comes to Halloween costumes and only use pre-made costumes in emergencies.  But I am all for taking parts of these pre-made ones and making something completely unique.

Don’t forget about classic dark stories.  “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for example.  You can go as the horrid image that shows up in his painting after he has committed all of his travesties, or go as a two person costume, one with the perfect image of Dorian Gray and the other the grotesque image from the painting.  (There was a new version of the movie released in 2009, the book by Oscar Wilde was first published in 1891)

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Need some costume ideas?

Rule 1: no costume is impossible. With a little imagination any costume can come to life.

Medusa:  The pre-fab Medusa costumes generally suck.  Try to find a good head piece if you can’t make one, and do the rest of the costume yourself.  Here is my Medusa costume of 2007.



The Joker: From Batman Dark Knight this is a great new way to do the Joker!

My brother came as a grave digger for my wedding in 2006 and it’s a great costume that you can really make your own.


Other Ideas

Bruce Campbell from the Evil dead movies.  I saw the Evil Dead Musical, it was the most hilarious things I have ever seen in my whole life.  We sat in the “Splatter Zone” where we got drenched in blood! 

Other Movie ideas: Edward Scissor hands, Sweeny Todd, Jack the Ripper, Nightmare before Christmas characters, Grim Reaper, Trickster from Brainscan (see pic below), Give the classic jester costume an evil makeover, zombie doctor (think dead Dr. Giggles), The Ice Queen, From 28 days later (and it’s sequel) try a zombie with “rage,” anything dead, get creative: dead Barbie, dead rainbow brite, dead GI Joe, you get the picture.  The little dead girl from the grudge: you need a black wig with blunt bangs, an old white nightgown that looks ragged, white face and black rimmed eyes.


Movie Characters
Movie characters are probably the easiest and most popular costumes. They usually don’t take much more than a makeup kit from your favorite party store and some old clothes you already have in the house.

Michaels Myers from the Halloween Movies: This is very easy for even the most Halloween challenged individual. You need a white mask or makeup, black eyeliner, and a big knife. (A fake one please.) Dress in all black, paint your face totally white, line your eyes thickly in black, and carry your fake knife around.

Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm St. was a very popular costume. You need an old hat, a red and black striped sweater and black pants. You can find the glove he wore at costume stores and fake skin. (You can usually find a mask if you prefer) Spread the fake skin on your face, add red and pink makeup to make it look like burns. A little patience or money to buy the mask, and you’ll look good.

Another very easy costume is Jason from the Friday the 13th movies. You need dark baggy clothes and an old style goalie hockey mask.

You can buy fangs at novelty stores that cap your own teeth. They are much better than those cheep mouth pieces we wore as children. You need some white makeup, black clothes, blood red lips and some fake blood. Don’t forget lots of black eyeliner. You can get creative with your clothing. Just because Dracula had a cape doesn’t mean every vampire wears one. You can be hideous or sexy-scary depending on what you want. Try to go above and beyond what most people do for a vamp costume. Teeth marks dripping blood, open wounds oozing, etc. etc. etc.

You can find great costume looks from your favorite movies. Such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and any of the Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Damned etc.)

Ghouls, goblins, demons etc. are all in your imagination. What do you fear? Use your own nightmares to invent freakish creatures of the dark. You costume staples should include: fake blood, scary teeth, wounds, white face makeup, black eyeliner, black nail polish, black or red lips, bruises, sallow cheeks, dark hair, dark clothes, torn clothes, spiky jewelry, colored contacts etc.


Being a witch, I hate witch Halloween costumes. Witches never had ugly green skin with warts and straw-like hair. They never flew around on broomsticks either. However, pop culture has proven that witch costumes are still one of the most popular choices for Halloween. So I will give a few tips. 

A pale face is good with some glamour inspired makeup. A sexy dress or sharp looking suit can make you a perfect witch. Take a look at some of the pics for ideas. If you want to learn more about witchcraft and/or the history of Halloween click on history. You can also email me with your questions and comments.

Male witches are a little more difficult than female.  Sadly there haven’t been many movie characters that you can model your costume after.  My only suggestion, try to be as spooky and mysterious as you can.  Long black robes, sullen cheeks, colored eyes, black hair, pale face.  Use your imaginations.  If you have any pictures of really great male witch costumes,  please send them my way!!

Other Costume Ideas

Skeleton Costume


Gothic Fairy


Swamp creatures





Movie monster


Serial killer

Axe murderer


Insane person in a straight jacket




Costume Makeup Must Have’s

Standard Makeup Kit

My favorite places to buy

makeup are theatre prop stores, Value Village in Canada, dollar stores and drug stores.  Some things can be bought cheap and other things need investment, I will try to specify what I have personally discovered to be best.

Sponges and brushes and other applicators

Sponges can be purchased cheaply at dollar and drug stores.  You will probably need a lot.  Brushes should be an investment.  If you clean them properly with brush cleaner every time, you can use them for years to come.  Brushes can be bought at department and higher end drug stores as well as Beauty Supply stores.

Cleanser, Toner eye makeup remover and Moisturizer

As an esthetician and makeup artist I strongly recommend that you always start with a clean face.  Toner, which has little or no alcohol  (Do not use astringent unless you have oily skin) is a necessary follow up to cleansing.  Toner restores the Ph balance and acid mantle of skin preps the skin for moisturizer and smoothes the surface.


Moisturizer is important to re-hydrate the skin after cleansing it.  It also protects the skin from the makeup you are about to apply.  It insures that the makeup will go on smooth and not clog the pores.

Eye Makeup remover

Eye makeup remover is especially important because the eye area of the skin is more delicate than the rest of your face, so you need to gently remove the makeup around your eyes before  you take the rest of your makeup off.  This is especially true if you have used waterproof makeup.

Character Powder

This is a fine powder used to add effects to your hair. It comes all kinds of colors to help get dirty hair look, perfect for corpse costumes.  It is available at most theatrical supply companies.  


I use these to clean up makeup lines, add makeup that may be really difficult to get out my brushes (like waterproof makeup).

Cotton Pads or Balls

You will use both a lot, so it’s best to get a big bag of which ever you prefer to use.   I prefer cotton pads to balls, but you decide which you like best.  

Effects Gel

Available at theatre stores this is used to achieve the look of peeling or rotting skin. There is a very specific way to apply this substance to read the package instructions very carefully.  It tends to be expensive so you don’t want to waste any.

Nail Polish

You can use any brand, try to keep a bottle of black, red and white to start. You can add colors by buying after Halloween when everything is on sale.  Store nail polish bottles upright (otherwise they separate and get clumpy), for long term storage, put bottles in the fridge.


Don’t forget that hairspray also comes in different colors at Halloween.  I usually keep one regular bottle of spray, a blue and a red on hand.  You will use hair spray to mess up your hair, hold up spikes etc.

Liquid Latex

This is a very basic and very essential material, you will use it for a lot of things. Some people may have skin allergies to latex, so be sure to test it in a small area before you start covering your entire face with it or something. Warning: This not the same kind of latex that you make props out of…it is much thinner and easier to clean up.  It is available at theatrical supply companies.  

Make Up Cakes

There are two different types of professional quality make up. The most common type of the two are creams, which are oil based and have excellent durability and are the cheapest. The downside to these is that they have to be powdered and can be real difficult to get off. The second type is water based which although it would seem to be not be very durable, it actually holds up quite well. The water based is very easy to apply and you can hardly tell that you are wearing makeup once it is finally dry. The downside to the water based is that they are more expensive, aren’t quite as durable as the oil based, and may take more coats to get a good solid covering, which means letting it dry between coats. The basic colors to start off with that will cover most of your creations would be: black, white, red, blue, yellow and possibly green. You can create all other colors with these primaries.

Fake Skin Putty

This is the wonderful material that is used most of the time to create all kinds of effects. You can create a wound of nearly any size with enough of it from minor abrasions to full blown compound fractures. Need a wart, burn, scar, or other effects.

Sculpting or Modeling Tool

This is wooden tool typically used for sculpting clay or other artistic materials, they work well for applying skin putty, creating the wounds, texturing, and a lot of other things. Available at theatrical supply companies and art supply stores.  

Stage Blood

You can buy it or make it yourself.  My recipe for stage blood can be found here.


Halloween Makeup Tips

It is better to add thin layers a bit at a time and build gradually.  It’s really easy to add not remove.

Shade with light colors to highlight features and make them more pronounced.  Shade with dark colors to shadow o hide features.  This is important when you want facial bone to look protruding or sallow.

try to find pictures of the look you are trying to achieve and practice ahead of time.

Shop after the season to find things on sale.

Plan ahead so you know what you need, and don’t be shy to ask for tips when you buy stuff from a theatrical store.  The are usually very willing to give sound advice.

More Costume Ideas

Little Dead Riding Hood

Wear the usual Little Red Riding Hood costume and then use fake scars, wounds and blood to make it look like the Big Bad Wolf got you. Don’t forget your basket!

Half dead/half alive

Cut jeans and a t shirt in half and sew to it a half of a black suit and tie. Add a regular shoe and a dress shoe. Paint one half of your face to look dead and leave the other half to look alive.  (Think two-faced from Batman).

Maniac Butcher

Get a large white apron and a costume axe, cover yourself with blood, and get creative with your face, scars etc.

Fake Intestines

Take an old pair of pantyhose and cut of both legs. Use a sewing machine or glue gun to make a seam all the way up the middle of each leg (try to make the seam very uneven). Cut off unneeded halves, and turn the others inside out. Fill it with cotton or cut up cotton cloth. Twist this at random places and make a few stitches to make them look realistic. Soak in fake blood, and let them hang from a torn shirt for a slamming zombie costume!

With these disgusting, distinguishing designs, you will be sure to be on the minds of everyone for a very long time!

Insane Doctor

Get a lab coat or hospital scrubs, a stethoscope, glasses etc. cover yourself and weapon of choice in a lot of blood.


Don’t forget the awesome swamp monsters in the B rated horror movies of past.


Paint your face gray and use a chalky white powder over top.  use a lip brush or a small craft brush to paint on blue veins.  Use a charcoal eye shadow around the eyes and on the cheeks.  Use a dark blue or gray on the lips.  If your neck and chest are exposed, paint on a bloody autopsy scar in the shape of a “Y.”  Cut out a tag shape from thick card and write “John” or “Jane Doe” and put it on a string around your toe.  Don’t forget black nail polish.


Follow the same directions as the corpse but skip the tag and scar.  Instead, wear tattered clothes that look dusty (paint on dirt marks and use powder to dust clothes).  put some “dirt” on your arms to look like you just crawled out of a grave.  Think Night of the Living Dead.


You need a slinky black costume and those bra inserts from the lingerie stores.  find a black mullet wig and fluff it up so it’s big.  use a black and gray eye shadow and a set of false eyelashes.  Use a black liquid liner to create Elvira’s cat eye.  Paint your lips blood red and your nails black.  try to find a large ring with a big red stone in it.  wear skeleton or skull earrings.  don’t forget the black heels!

Queen of the Damned

This costume may set you back a couple of bucks if you want it to look good.  you need a silver or bronze corset and black pants or skirt.  You’ll need a long black wig and a crown adorned with jewels.  (You can make the crown by cutting out the shape in cardboard and then cover the cardboard in fabric and glue on jewels).  Create a thick cat eye like in the photo.  Think new-age Cleopatra.  Add false lashes and bronze eye shadow and lips.  Use a bronzing powder all over any exposed skin.  Don’t forget the fangs.  you can also buy green or gray vanity contacts for a more real look.

Creatures from the movie “The Descent”

Put on  bald cap and put the same makeup as your face all over the bald cap.  Play with that fake skin stuff to get a crepe appearance or the look of rotted flesh.  Paint your face with a mix of yellow and gray paint.    Wear clothes the same color you did your face and try to have them tight fitting.  Add fangs and try those “white out” vanity contacts.  Add some claws (from a Halloween store).

Puppet from the “Saw” movies

Put on a black suit with a white shirt.  Use a bald cap and paint everything white.  Using black shadow rim your eyes thickly.  Use red makeup to draw on cheeks and mouth.  Mix red and black to draw lines coming down your face on the sides of your chin.  (Follow the picture).  Use red vanity contacts to complete the look.