A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Like Anna, I really love Halloween as a celebration of all things autumnal (pumpkins, candles on dark nights) and for its more creepy side as a time of year when the living and the dead are thought to be closer… Plus, there are very few things I enjoy more than costumes, so even with my busy uni schedule I was determined to create something good. Being skint (broke, low on cash), I decided to cut, sew, glue and paint my way to a spooky costume. I saved on time, money and effort by taking a basic idea – skeleton – and altering it for the three Halloweeny parties I went to.
The first skeleton outing was not strictly for Halloween, but rather in celebration of a friend’s birthday. The theme was Day of the Dead, so a black dress and flowers in my hair framed my decorated skull face. There are loads of websites dedicated to makeup ideas for Day of the Dead parties, so if you’re inspired, check them out and have a go!
The second was the real deal- Halloween party at Einstein’s on Wednesday 31st October. It being mid-week, and me having left my costume until the last minute, I spent some hurried time in the afternoon cutting up an old white t-shirt and stitching it to black leggings to make skeleton legs. Again, there are lots of websites with DIY tips and bone templates, although I did briefly wonder whether the skeleton template I used was male or female (any medical students out there who can hazard a guess based on the photos?) A very speedy ribcage later and my outfit was done. After an evening of mulled wine and chocolate and pumpkin cake, I painted my face a little timidly. I suddenly had visions of me striding into Einstein’s to find a sea of very non-spooky faces staring amusedly. I needn’t have worried though, because the costumes were amazing! Seriously! People, you were all really creepy.
Finally, I spent last night at a friend’s Halloween house party. This time I re-used my skeleton outfit from Wednesday, teamed it with a black veil and made a back story of a bride jilted on her wedding day who had died of a broken heart. It being my skeleton finale, I used this makeup idea to go for a full-on skeleton face. I have to say that I freaked myself out a bit on the way to my friend’s house when I kept catching glimpses of my bony face in dark shop windows…
So there you are, how to make one idea last through a few parties. A few tips for potential skeletonees: you can pay a lot for face paint at one of the many costume shops in Leiden, but you can also get small cheap packs from the toy store Bart Smit in the Haarlemmerstraat. Talc powder over top of the face paint (even on the black bits) helps keep the makeup in place and stop it being too shiny. Cheap black eyeliner from Hema is great for drawing eye sockets and teeth. Hope to see some more skeleton faces at the next costume party!