Halloween is a time for creativity and innovation—and it doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.
Put together some fun and memorable Halloween ensembles with these quick tips from local Halloween experts:
“Great creative and start early,” said Liz Merritt, visual specialist assistant and Halloween costume expert at Goodwill of Orange County. “Take your time to pull together a DIY look that will stand out.”
For a mummy costume, you can use old sheets or long dresses torn into strips and pair them with messy hair and sandals. Does your kid love zombies? Distress some old shirts or sweaters and pair them with torn pants or ripped jeans. Add messy hair and dirty, old or broken shoes to complete the look, said Merritt. Another costume favorite, she said, is a superhero, which can be accomplished by pairing the same color long-sleeve with matching leggings, then adding contrasting color swim bottoms over them. Use a sheet for a cape and rain boots for superhero shoes.
“You can easily make your own mask too with felt and elastic,” said Merritt.
For a period look like ‘20s/flapper styles, most closets can provide the basic pieces to create it.
“For boys, search for button-down shirts, dress slacks, suspenders, bow ties, Panama hats, derby hats, fedora hats or newsboy-style hats,” said Merritt. “For girls, search for dresses with an empire waist and tiered ruffle skirt, tassel dresses, beaded or sequined dresses, pearl necklaces, feathery hair accessories, cavalier hats, berets, bobbed hats, gloves and beaded clutches.”
Regardless of the costume theme, Merritt recommends doing a dress rehearsal before Halloween to make sure everything fits well. Don’t be afraid to reuse old costume pieces or things around the house to create new, unique costumes. Also, don’t sacrifice comfort for style.
“Halloween is a long night, so make sure [your kid is] feeling good in [the] look for the long haul,” she said.
If you’re looking to give your kid a creepy ghost makeover, Angela Santori, Southern California FX makeup and hair artist, recommends white and black cream makeup. She said Ben Nye and Mehron are great brand options.
“They are easy to blend and kid-safe,” she said. “Also, any type of traditional makeup can be used. Eyeliners, eye shadows, lipsticks.”
She said to start with the lighter colors and then progress to the darker colors. Any tool can be used for blending.
“Do have fun and don’t share products with each other without sanitizing them first,” she said. “Spray them down with isopropyl alcohol.”
Santori said it’s important to let your child get creative, and incorporate his or her ideas.
“If they love their makeup then their character will come alive,” she said.
DIY Knott’s Scary Farm-Style
Parents looking to up their game and impress their kids even more, can take a lesson from Knott’s Scary Farm makeup artists.
Knott’s Berry Farm Make-up and Wardrobe Supervisor Bill Meier, Knott’s Scary Farm Make-up Artist Alma Griffin, Knott’s Scary Farm Make-up Artist Renee Ward and Knott’s Scary Farm Make-up Artist and Lead Denise Chavez offer up their tricks of the trade for putting together an inspired Halloween look.
Start by getting your kid’s input and follow that up with some online research, including Pinterest, for inspiration.
Buy a high-quality cream base, unscented baby powder (for setting the makeup), eye shadow palettes, makeup sponges and brushes, alcohol spray to disinfect makeup tools, and Q-tips and makeup wipes.
Always test the makeup on your child’s arm to make sure he or she isn’t allergic to the makeup products.
If there’s no sensitivity, use a makeup sponge to apply the cream base (in your color of choice, depending on the theme) all over the face.
If your theme is something like a pumpkin or scarecrow, fill in the eyes, brow areas and cheekbones with black makeup.
Apply the baby powder to set the makeup to make it matte. This will help make the makeup sweat-proof.
Finish up with details like makeup glitter or defining lines and crevices.
Avoid cheap Halloween makeup.
Don’t share brushes or makeup sponges, even amongst siblings. If you do, make sure to disinfect them in between by washing them with soap and water or with alcohol.
If your kid gets itchy, instruct him or her to tap instead of scratch.
Make the process fun and memorable for your kids.
By Jessica Peralta | Photography by Ralph Palumbo