This is Halloween: Costumes and Makeup

This October Between the Lines will help you to prepare for our favourite autumn event: Halloween! Today we’re showcasing some Hair and Beauty resources to help you plan the perfect party costume. Read on…if you’re brave enough.


Media Make-up students will be familiar with prosthetic techniques- everyone else can check out the books in our library.

There are thousands of beauty tutorials on YouTube, but it can be hard to hit ‘pause’ or ‘play’ while you’re trying to hold your hair in place, or apply elaborate make-up. A book can be propped up on a table or held open with a bookmark, so you can practise at your own pace. We’ve scanned our huge collection of hair and beauty manuals, photobooks and magazines to help with your creepy creations. Stage Makeup Step by Step by Rosemarie Swinfield (BOOK ZONE 792.027 SWI) utilises photographs instead of technical language. It includes classic theatre characters like Snow White’s Wicked Stepmother, but is mainly focussed on how to mask actors in subtler ways. Techniques like contouring are used to alter the shape of an actor’s face, before wrinkles and scars are applied with specialist make-up. Stage make-up has to be visible under heavy lights, so every design has an impact. Kit Spencer’s Period Hairstyles for Studio, Stage and Screen (BOOK ZONE 391.5 SPE) can help you complete your costume with a 1920s Marcel wave, a 1950s pompadour or complex Marie Antoinette-inspired “toque”. Historical accuracy comes second to Hollywood flair, so you can achieve famous looks quickly and without any specialised or expensive equipment. If you prefer sci-fi and fantasy movies to historical epics, check out FX Faces by face paint manufacturers Snazaroo (BOOK ZONE 649.51) This manual shows you how to create scars, bullet holes and gaping wounds with ingredients you can buy on the high street. Halloween staples like witches, vampires and the Bride of Frankenstein are brought to life with just a few colours, which is great if you’re out of money or short on time.


Face paint isn’t just for children! Practise creating a look with two or three colours

We bet you’ll run into a dozen Harley Quinns this year. Her look is easy and cheap to replicate, instantly recognisable, and indisputably badass- but not everyone wants to wear hotpants in October (or ever, for that matter!) Costume-makers continue to market “sexy” costumes for women and girls that tend to look ridiculous (sexy corn on the cob) or creepy (sexy Minions, anyone?) Take Back Halloween is a campaign that inspires women to dress as notably stylish figures from history. Some like Frida Kahlo are easy to identify, but there are plenty of obscure characters (Hypatia, Liliuokalani, and Marie Laveau) who deserve more recognition! You could spend months constructing a ruff and wig as worn by Queen Elizabeth, trawl vintage shops for a classic Audrey Hepburn dress, or cut three holes in a bedsheet and go as Joan-of-Arc-at-the-stake: the website features looks for any timeframe, budget or level of expertise. You could also check out A Chronicle of Western Costume by John Peacock (BOOK ZONE 746.92 PEA), which charts male and female fashion trends from the past 4000 years, or the 20th Century Fashion series (BOOK ZONE 646.30941) which covers popular subcultures (like Goths, Rockers, Mods and New Romantics) as well as children’s fashion and designer brands.


Do you already have a ‘vintage’ wardrobe? This Rosie the Riveter costume is based on fashions from the 1940s

Brave the blog next week for more of our Halloween tips, tricks and treats.


de Sousa, F (2009) 237 zombie shuffle 2009 Available at: https://flic.kr/p/6pmESW (Accessed: 14/09/2016)

niXerKG (2014) Halloween at the Beehive Available at: https://flic.kr/p/pTkCeg (Accessed: 14/09/2016)

Quirk, J (2011) Homemade Halloween: Rosie the Riveter Costume on What I Wore Available at: https://flic.kr/p/aruLy4 (Accessed: 14/09/2016)


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