Lessons learned from a Film Noir/Grayscale Halloween

Posted on Posted in Life Skills, Uncategorized

Gray scale is a really fun way to make people on the street do a double take, and you can basically choose your favorite fashion era from between the 1920s and the 1950s to get the job done. We’re talking flappers up to I Love Lucy!  Jon and I were embarking on our first year dressing up together (well…except for this one time in Korea right after we began dating which doesn’t really count at all), and this is what we decided to go for! In the end we didn’t really have to buy much, as we had all the costume stuff on hand already. I did end up buying some satin gloves, and a charity shop vintage purse to suit the retro vibes, and other than that all we purchased was hairspray (black for him, white for me) and some face paint. Oh, and some suspenders for Jon too, which he couldn’t stop playing with all night. Fun!

It was hard to decide what to do with my blonde hair – if you do a quick Google search for gray scale costumes, you’ll see that nearly 100% of them involve women with already dark hair who dye it black, or the wearing of a black wig. But I didn’t want to! I did some 1930s style rolls in my hair, and the white spray made it look white/silvery, particularly in photos.

We used Snazzaroo paint, and I don’t know if we’d use it again – it was so hard to spread on, which is why Jon never got around to doing his hands. Oops! Maybe we needed more water or something? We used black mascara for his eyebrows and regular black eyeshadow and liner for both of us to define our eyes. I wore some false eyelashes to make sure my eyes didn’t completely disappear, and we ended up using a creamy black eyeshadow crayon for lipstick, after trying and failing to get eyeliner to work as lipstick. Ideally, I would have liked a gray lipstick, as the effect is less harsh and more useful for men specifically, but ah well. A learning experience! Black eyeshadow also served to do some light contouring/blush on both of us. The main thing is that black and white can quickly zoom into dead/zombie territory, and you’re really aiming for shades of gray.

If I did it again, I would have chosen a full updo to make the most out of the white hairspray. With long hair like mine, it ended up being super crunchy and thus not hanging very naturally, plus you could see the blondeness of it all. Either that or I would suck it up and throw on a black wig. I also would have ordered a gray or silver lipstick online beforehand (maybe Kat von D, as her lipsticks are lovely and very high quality and don’t taste gross on your lips like eyeshadow does!). It ended up being impossible to find any gray or black lipsticks in the shops in the week leading up to Halloween. Oh, and use a primer to make things last longer! grayscale halloween costume couple

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We had a really really fun night out with our friends, and even though the costumes didn’t work out perfectly, I feel good about what we made with very little in terms of props, and no dress rehearsal before the night of to figure out what we were doing. And surprisingly, our clothes didn’t get ruined or anything – with some run of the mill makeup remover and a couple of showers, we were back to our normal, pasty selves, the memories of our old timey Halloween only commemorated on the internet. Till next year!

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