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Halloween Scene


You want your Halloween to be frightfully good, don’t you? Killer costume, a bloody good party and even a signature cocktail that will wake the dead. Yellow Scene is on the case. We’ve put together a bone-chilling plan for creating a haute Halloween—a hauntingly fantastic extravaganza that will put your pumpkin-carving, cider-sipping parties to shame. Here, costume and makeup experts, a haunted house guru and premier party planners give up the goods on their best tips for a Halloween that will leave you howling for more.

Really, there’s one way to make your Halloween exceptional: a killer costume. And to be quite frank, you can only rock the Sarah Palin thing so long. This year, we think you should ditch the last-minute, throw-together costume in lieu of something, well, awesome. Here, a few ideas as well as some tips for making a DIY Halloween makeover a snap.

Setting the Scene
From Tanya Owens, hair and makeup stylist
A little stage makeup can go a long way to turning that store-bought or home-made costume into something truly unique, special and super fierce. As seen in the photo on the left, the makeup for our Alice and her Hatter are key to achieving the looks. For Alice, a pastel white pressed powder and a pink pressed powder give the soft porcelain look associated with the film; it’s pretty and sweet and can enhance many feminine costumes. For the Hatter, white clown makeup is used as the base color for the face and purple cream color is added to highlight the cheeks, nose and eye area, with different bright colors for each eyelid and under the eyes. Two different sets of colored eyelashes and bushy brows complete the effect.

With at-home makeup applications, green, yellow and red undertones are often forgotten. You need to incorporate one other color besides gray, white and black to ensure your makeup looks believable.

As for an aged bruise, you need medium plum, dark burgundy, army green and midnight blue makeup. Clean skin before makeup application. Tap a small circle of dark burgundy on the skin. On the outside of the burgundy add your medium plum by tapping around the circle in bigger circles. Fill in between the medium plum spaces with the midnight blue by tapping the color in lightly. On the outside, add the army green in big strides. Once you have added all of the colors, blend. Began with the middle, move outward with light tapping; once you reach the green, smear outward. Once blended, add a little red to the center. Blend until you’re happy with the effect.

Tip: Remember to step back from your bruise to get the full effect; this will help you see any flaws. And don’t forget setting powder.

Pretty Princess Updo:
Make three ponytails on the top of your head. Braid each ponytail individually. Either
wrap the braids into one bun or pin them in individual circles.

Tip: Using pipe cleaners the color of your hair will allow you to get more volume, bendable style and support.

Scarring Effect:
Liquid latex is an advanced tool, but the benefits are worth it. Scarring and wrinkle liquid are easy ways to build your confidence with latex. The wrinkle latex can be applied on the forehead in small brush strokes. Once it is on, wrinkle the forehead and the latex helps create a wrinkled effect. It works for crow’s feet and smile lines.

The scarring latex is similar; instead of wrinkling, you build up the product. Apply a thin coating where you want a scar. Let that layer dry a bit and place another thin layer over top. Continue until your scar is built up to your liking. Once you are happy with the density, get a butter knife and make a slight incision in the middle of the scar, then pull the edges apart slightly.

Tip: Add drops of blood gel for a gory effect.

Coming up with a costume is always a challenge. Do you look to pop culture or current politics? Or do you turn to the classics? Do you commit to something grandiose? Or do you settle for something simple?

And you don’t even know what a Snooki is.

Experts can only hold your hand so long. But sometimes you gotta let the pros do their job. Deb Loss and Paul Stout from Fun Services Colorado in Westminster and Cindy Catanese from Disguises in Lakewood offered some advice on costumes this season.

“Steampunk is really big because people can accessorize however they want and be completely different,” Catanese told us.

Steampunk, above, mashes Victorian sensibilities with science fiction technology. Think of films like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West or even bits of the recent Sherlock Holmes.

Loss at Fun Services says she’s had an onslaught of requests for fame monster Lady Gaga and Snooki, the binge-drinking, fist-pumping Guidette from Jersey Shore.

Stout, also from Fun Services, says a ton of kids, especially boys, are getting geared up to be licensed characters like those in Star Wars, Spider-Man and the Dark Knight. Catanese agreed.

“We didn’t expect Woody from Toy Story would be so big,” she said. She also mentioned that the vampire craze has even reached the little ones.

Everyone suggested buying kids a costume a size too big so they can wear coats and other warm-weather gear underneath to prepare for that inevitable Halloween cold snap. Catanese also suggested using makeup instead of masks so kids can see better, and Loss recommends glow sticks and glow necklaces to help kids see—and be seen—while trick-or-treating.

On an unassuming street in the subdivision of Erie Village sits the Halloween House. Most of the year, it’s just a normal house, but the kids around this neighborhood all know that as soon as the air turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, the Halloween House also begins to transform into a scary, hand-made haunted house. Brad Beck has been converting his garage into a full-blown haunted house since he moved to Erie Village in 2002, and his attraction’s popularity speaks for itself. Every year, he scares the giggles out of more than 500 kids, and he agreed to share some of his tips for those wishing to create their own house of horrors.

Plan Ahead
Beck starts planning the theme of his haunted house nearly 12 months in advance, so he can be on the lookout for inexpensive props year-round. Closer to October, he meticulously plans out what the maze inside his garage will look like, so he has a clear vision when it comes time to build.

Have a Theme
A theme helps give the experience cohesion. He often goes with whatever’s hot that year, be it pirates, zombies or classic Halloween monsters. He also suggests carrying the theme out into the front yard, the house decorations and even the costumes you wear to welcome visitors.

Create Vignettes
Beck’s haunted house doesn’t employ actors to scream and jump out at the kiddies, but rather relies on little vignettes of props to create scary scenes in unexpected places. Anything can become a prop with a new coat of paint or a little imagination.

Incorporate Movement
Since his scares are technically inanimate, Beck uses anything he can find to incorporate movement or changes in light to make his vignettes appear to move. An old oscillating fan with the fan part removed makes a scary doll look your way, while a strobe light or puff of air can make ghosties flutter and come alive.

Use Misdirection
The key to Beck’s “maze” through his home is misdirection. As he designs it, he tries to imagine where people will expect the next scare to be—and then places the actual scare in the opposite direction. Keeping things dark and unexpected creates anticipation and makes everything more scary. The less people actually see, the better.

Be Safe and Have Fun
Beck tests all of his walls, vignettes and pathways thoroughly before the first trick-or-treater ever gets a glimpse. It’s important to keep pathways clear and keep walls or drapes stable so that scared kiddos don’t trip or knock things over. He also builds barricades around his vignettes so that curious fingers can’t reach the props.

The Corpse Reviver No. 4

By the beverage team at SALT Bistro

When it comes to cocktails, we love a twist. With the help of Salt Bistro, we present a prohibition-era drink with a modern touch. It is sure to raise the dead…or at least break your hangover fog.

A note: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is a lighter, sweeter style gin named after Old Tom, a black cat mounted on the wall at English Pubs. After depositing a coin, the cat would spit a bit of gin through a straw.

1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Aperol
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Hayman Old Tom Gin
1 drop Leopold Bros. Absinthe Verte
1 thinly sliced wheel of a blood orange

Build the drink in a mixing glass with no ice. Add ice into the mixing tin and shake. Strain. Garnish by sliding the blood orange wheel into the glass—
letting it bleed.

Hosting a Haute Halloween Soiree
We asked party planners Party Blueprints for tips on planning a ghoulishly glamorous fiesta. They suggested a wine and chocolate soiree, and who are we to turn down either? Host this adults-only, sophisticated fete on the eve of Halloween, which is Saturday night this year. Here, they offer tips for making the evening as haunting as it
is romantic.

1. Cabernet
Dark, rich red wine is, of course, the elixir of choice at this haute Halloween party. Have some fun and choose a Halloween-inspired wine or create your own vampire-inspired labels and affix to your cabernet of choice.

2. Chocolate
In the spirit of the “darkness” of the evening, create a decadent display of dark chocolate in all its sinful forms. This is certainly the most sophisticated way to enjoy “candy” on Halloween.

3. Candlelight
Pay tribute to the beloved vintage horror movies by using a multitude of candles—votives, vintage candelabras, pillar candles—to dimly illuminate your lair, tablescape and party area. And create shadows around every corner. Of course, dimming all lights is a must.

Builder’s Note:
Use black fabric as the basic foundation for your tablescape—search your closets and drawers for items made with black fabric (scarves, throws, pashminas, tablecloths, table runners, etc.) or purchase some inexpensive black fabric. This foundation provides the perfect contrast to the candlelight and dark chocolate. Add red flowers to the table. Drape remaining black fabric over your mirrors—vampires always avoid mirrors to conceal their identity.

The entire Partybluprints Chocolate Soiree Party Plan can be found in Partybluprints newly released book, Plan to Party.


Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family.Google