DIY: Halloween Makeup

Happy Halloween! We
might be scared of ghosts, goblins and things that go boo in the night, but we
love taking in the wide array of costumes that come with this pseudo-holiday, especially those that display some
wit and artistry. And, boy, are we ready to indulge in the treats of the
While we all have an
inner geek or diva to tap for costume inspiration (and know how we want to dress our pets too) most of us aren’t trained
special effects makeup artists. Not to fear! We’ve found some tricks up our sleeves that are sure to earn you extra treats tonight. Check out these great
tutorials from the fourth floor and beyond:
Fake wounds:
Not for the faint of
heart. All you need is a little bit of flesh latex, fake blood, red, taupe,
brown and black makeup, a sponge, toothpicks and Q-tips to make an incredibly realistic
gash or laceration like the one below.
  1. Clean the area you want to build a wound on of dirt and oil.
  2. Apply flesh latex to the area and use Q-tips to create the shape of an open wound. Trick one: to add more detail/jagged edges wait until the latex is semi-dry and sticky, then use toothpicks to mould it. Trick two: to create the illusion of a deeper wound, use tissue paper with the latex to build up the outer area of the wound (note: this will require more drying time).
  3. Once the latex is dry, use the sponge to apply coloured makeup. Add shading that calls to mind bruising or putrid, rotting flesh.
  4. Add fake blood to the centre of the wound and smear some outside it.

Eye-popping alterations:

Are you channelling a cartoon character or starlet from Hollywood’s golden days this year? It doesn’t take much outside the standard makeup kit to make your peepers pop. If you don’t have these around you may want to pick up: false lashes, lash glue, black liquid liner and a white eye pencil. The more committed may want to pick up some eyebrow wax and sealer.
  1. Apply concealer and foundation to create a smooth skin finish.
  2. Apply eyeshadow as usual, using your character for inspiration to determine colour and intensity.
  3. Line the top of the upper lash line with a black liquid liner (again using your character’s look as a guide: for example, thicker for Betty Boop and thinner for Marilyn Monroe) and the inside of the lower lash with the white pencil.
  4. Fake lashes: Glue on your falsies. For the beginner, we recommend strips rather than singles. Before applying the lashes hold them up to the lashline you are applying them to – you may need to trim the length so they fit comfortably. If you’re using professional eyelash glue, apply it to the base of the fake lashes and wait for it to get tacky before pressing them on (most drugstore glue brands will be tacky right away). Position the falsies and wait a couple minutes for them to fully dry before applying mascara.
    *Tip: use a foaming face wash to remove the eyelashes. If you wash the glue off the base after removal and reform the falsies before leaving them to dry they can be used again.
  5. Brand new brows: Either use eye shadow and/or a brow pencil to fill the eyebrows in so that they have the distinctive linear quality of a cartoon character or cover the eyebrows and draw the preferred shape on with liner. Covering the eyebrows can be a tricky process that requires patience more than anything. First, use a professional eyebrow wax followed by a sealant or a glue stick to cover over the brows. The best bet if you’re using a glue stick (just make sure it is washable and water-based, you MacGyver) is to coat the brows in the direction of hair growth and allow the glue to set in several thin layers since they go on smoother and dry better. Once the brows are fully dry, cover them over with foundation and follow with a loose powder. Now you’re free to draw on new brows or even affix a feather or bit of lace. *Tip: don’t lose those real full brows trying to remove the makeup after. Press a warm, damp wash cloth to the area to loosen up the sealant before attempting to remove it with soap; you can add eye makeup remover to the mix as well. If you’re nervous it doesn’t hurt to test the product somewhere else first!

Remember this is a fun holiday – it’s not about perfection. For most of us the opportunity to go crazy with makeup only comes around once a year so we are itching to try something new. Here are a few more inspiring tutorials if you’re feeling ambitious:

City Living: Miracle Thieves

One of our favourite things about living in a big city like Toronto is finding those unique, magical spots that make you feel right at home the moment you walk in. Across from the northern edge of Trinity Bellwoods Park is a place just like that called Miracle Thieves.

Photo from Blog TO.

Miracle Thieves is the brainchild of Jennifer Maramba and Tiffany Naval and is best described as a ‘creative space’. On any given day, Miracle Thieves wears a number of different hats including that of a retail store, art gallery and community arts space. Their mandate is to “facilitate the growth of the individual’s creativity, while also serving as a platform for Toronto’s emerging creative economy.”

Since their opening in mid-July, Miracle Thieves has hosted a number of workshops open to the general public. They have varied from jewelry making to makeup application to visual branding. Inspired by all these creative endeavours, some of the girls from the fourth floor organized a pumpkin diorama workshop. On a sunny Sunday just before Halloween, we scooped out pumpkin guts, painted with glitter and channeled our creativity into pumpkin masterpieces. 

Our @bigail‘s pumpkin masterpiece.

The ladies at Miracle Thieves made the coordination of the workshop seamless and easy. We simply sent them our harebrained idea (“Here’s a craft! Now, how do we make it?”) and they created a custom workshop for us. If you just want to play around and connect with your inner child, Miracle Thieves also holds Open Studio on Wednesday evenings. At this pay-what-you-can craft night, activities range from creating greeting cards and collages to collaborative, interactive art projects. Stop by one night and find your inner craft.

Miracle Thieves is located at 249 Crawford St. Visit their website for more info or find them here on Twitter and Facebook

Fashion-able: The Halloween Mustache

It’s one of our favourite days of the year – the day when we can wear whatever we want and eat candy without judgement. 

We’re big fans of costumes, especially those that require a little brain power to come up with (costume puns are the best). But for those of you that have procrastinated and left the costume to the absolute last minute, here is a quick solution – the Hallowee’n ‘stache. Everyone loves a good mustache, right?

This is a super easy DIY project and, like Jen Loves Kev, you can use this party trick to make photos from any occasion a little more fun. All you will need is:

Black bristol board
Shish kabob sticks (you will need one for each mustache you make)
Pen or pencil

Start off the mustache-making by tracing a 1/2 inch curved swoosh (almost like an XL-sized Nike swoosh) on a pre-cut 3” x 2 ” piece of black bristol board. Cut the outline of the swoosh, and then fold into the remaining half of the bristol board piece. Trace the cut out pattern on to the bristol board, unfold the piece and cut out new traced part. 

This is where you would trace the swoosh on the other side of the bristol board, making it a full mustache. 

This will make both ends of the mustache even, like pictured above. Once you’ve traced your desired ‘stache pattern, keep using the first template to trace more mustaches and replicate them.

Next, take the shish kabob sticks, and attach them to the mustaches. Using small pieces of tape, attach the sticks to one side of the mustache. Stick placement is important – off to the side is best. 

Make sure you secure the shish kabob stick securely to prevent any accidents

As you can tell, we love a good ‘stache On The Fourth Floor. Have a very Happy Halloween!

C’est L’Halloween: the best costumes we saw

Who doesn’t love to dress up? It’s the one time of year where its perfectly acceptable to dress like a tart, pretend you are a superhero or feel like a kid again. Toronto always brings out some amazingly creative costumes. 

Here are some of the best costumes that we saw this past weekend, as well as some very cute ones.  

Eric from True Blood.
A Japanese schoolgirl and Day of the Dead (sort of the Mexican version of All Saint’s Day, celebrated today!). 
A Roy Lichtenstein character.

Joker and Scarecrow (complete with red eyes).  
Christina & friends: Snap, Crackle and Pop. 
Christina said: I loved this Halloween because it was like I was in high school again – a house party where we hung out in the kitchen, and had a full-on dance party. Way more fun than the bar (not to mention cheaper).

Trailer trash twins (Alana on the right).

Alana said: My sister Caleigh and I decided to go as ‘trailer trash twins’ – basically, something we could throw together in a few minutes, with minor cost. With a white ribbed tank top, some fake tattoos and a pregnant belly, this costume was easy to pull off, especially when you stay in character all night like we did. The best part? It cost under $10. 

Those are all great, but these lil’ guys definitely win:
Leo the lion, Oliver the groom, Mila the bride, Rachel as R2D2 and Nathan the cow.

Debra said: It was our daughter’s first Halloween trick or treating and she doesn’t really know what candy is yet, so we weren’t sure she’d be interested. It took about two minutes for her to figure out the routine. She’s too little to pronounce ‘Trick or Treat’, so it sounded a bit more like ‘tweet tweet’ and she would say ‘knock, knock’ out loud instead of knocking on doors. 

Oliver the cow.

Rachelle said: It was Oliver’s first Halloween, too. Even though he didn’t go trick or treating, he enjoyed the night. I don’t think he noticed wearing a costume – I think he thought it was a snowsuit. He made a sort of barking/mooing sound when you asked him what a cow says.

Yum, yum: the Pumpkin Patch

Throwing an adult Halloween party this weekend? Whip up a delicious, seasonal drink to serve to your guests. Or, drop by Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar and have them make it for you! 
Pumpkin Patch

1¼ oz. vanilla vodka
2 oz. orange juice
A dollop of canned sweetened pumpkin purée
A dash of nutmeg
Garnish: a small orange pumpkin candy
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vanilla vodka, orange juice, a dollop of canned sweetened pumpkin purée, and dash of nutmeg.
  • Shake well and strain into a Martini glass.
  • If you wish to add a garnish, take a tube of green icing and place a dab on the lip of the glass. “Glue” a small orange pumpkin candy to the icing.

Halloween costume inspiration

It’s never too early to start planning your Halloween costume. With the onset of October last week, we started swapping ideas about what to wear this year (no, we’re not too old for costumes. Are you crazy?). Here are the costumes that we think you’ll see most this October 31 – or that you might see us in. 

Debra’s pick:

Rob Ford

Christina’s pick:


Rachelle‘s pick:

Jersey Shore. Fist pump.

Lisa‘s pick:

Lady Gaga or….
For something a little more tame (for the vegetarians). 
Abby’s pick:
Coach Beiste and Coach Sue Sylvester from Glee. Strong ladies. 
 Michelle‘s pick: 
Serious costume for those with a political/environmental conscience: an oil-drenched bird.
A little more light-hearted: Twitter. I bet you can do a better costume than this, though.

Alana‘s pick:

Going classic: Zombie bride.

Hope this has helped stir your creative juices! Send us the best costume you see on Halloween, and we’ll feature it in a round-up on November 1. Don’t you wanna be on our blog?