Lifestyle & Culture

DIY budget Halloween costumes: Student Edition

Nadene Budden shows the easiest ways to dress up this Halloween without breaking the bank.

Strapped for time, strapped for cash – or maybe a bit of both? Or maybe you just don’t want to end up twinning in an Adult Purple Rock Star (also known as Prince) costume with 20 other people in the room. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that happening no matter your budget and no matter the costume. All you gotta do is be a little more creative! Just a week ahead of Bar On the Hill‘s annual Halloween Party, here are some quick and easy ways to get spooky.

For the looks shown below, the only things bought that weren’t already owned by participants were:

  • 1 x small tub of Global Colours white face paint ($7.49)
  • 1 x small tub of Global Colours black face paint ($7.49)
  • 1 x little tube of fake blood ($3.99)

Grand total for the year: $18.97

There are other types, brands and price points for all three of these products so there is plenty of room to spend more or less depending on your budget. Although it is often worth spending a little more money for the better known brands of makeup, it is always possible to share and reuse whatever is left for more people and different costumes.



Image via Nadene Budden.

So classic. So timeless. So freakin’ easy. We used some black and white face paint for the basic skull outline, painting the entire face white and then adding more and more details with the black following the actual bone structure of the face.

The downside to this look is that the more detail you want to include, the longer the whole process will take. The upside? You can add character to your…err, character, with whatever else you decide to put on your body. Wear normal or black clothes for a simple yet spooky look. Maybe fashion a long black cloak out of some sort of fabric lying around the house and become the grim reaper (you can check out your local dollar store for a cheap fake scythe). The dim lighting of the dance floor, wherever you end up celebrating this year, makes this simple black and white look so striking it’ll end up looking fierce no matter what you decide to do with it.

SECOND LOOK: The Vampire

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Image via Nadene Budden.

This look is perfect for those who own makeup (or know someone who’ll let them borrow theirs) and is perfect for those who have left it until literally the last 30 minutes before heading out the door.

This vampy look requires half a face of concealer or foundation lighter than your skin tone and very arched and pronounced dark brows and super vampy lips. Go HAM on the smoky eye look and add some warmer, reddish tones to give some tiredness to the eyes. If you don’t have any red eyeshadow, you can also improvise by applying some of the lipstick used for lips to the back of your hand and swirling a makeup brush on the swatch to pick up the pigment. The veins were also drawn on with that lipstick; however the level of scary you end up wearing is totally up to you. Add some fake blood for your desired level of gore and decide whether your vampire is a real scare-fest or one of those new-age sexy bloodsuckers – whatever you decide, just be careful the fake blood doesn’t drip onto your clothes if you want to wear them outside of Halloween.

Note: be careful and hygienic when sharing makeup – no one needs an actual infection on Halloween night!

THIRD LOOK: The victim


Image via Student Central.

Depending on your effort, this look can go all out or simply be a bloody mess. In fact, all you really need besides a shirt that’s ok to be bloodied up along with some normal clothes is a heap of blood.

For this look, all we did was take a white t-shirt and splatter blood all over it. The beauty of this is that every costume can turn out differently, so it truly is unique. Pick where your wound came from – stomach? Neck? Shoulder? The concept can call for many a character, from someone being stabbed in the back to you dressing up as an actual, full blown character and making them look a little more dead. Use what you have around you to create a look unique to you! Sometimes it’s as easy as picking some clothes and adding blood.

Just try and wait for the blood to dry before going out unless you’re cool with potentially getting it on everything you touch.

These are, of course, only suggestions. Whether you want to go all out with prosthetics and gore or would rather stick to something a little less scary like a pun or Britney Spears, do not forget the potential of your very own closet.

Feature Image: Nadene Budden.

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