28th October 2015
Hello there! October is officially Halloween month and if, like me, you love to celebrate in style, then stay tuned. Last year, I foolishly forgot to purchase a costume for a Halloween party and embarrassingly ended up going as a ‘nudist on strike’ – a pathetic last minute attempt to cover up the fact that I’d forgotten. However, this year I am a changed man and wanted to get ahead of the game. I therefore embarked on a hunt for the cheapest, most effectively minimal effort Halloween costume, and I believe I’ve found it. The idea of the costume is to be a zombie of some description, while keeping the bloodiness contained to one particular spot. A zip acts as the main feature, which looks as though your face has been zipped open to create a creepy and realistic-looking effect. I used this look for a party a few nights ago and it worked splendidly. Here is a brief tutorial of how to achieve the £1 Halloween costume in just 5 easy steps:
1. Make Your Purchase
When I began my expedition to find the best value-for-money Halloween costume, the first place I headed was Poundland (note: this is not sponsored post), and the money-saving store certainly did not disappoint. There, I found this brilliant kit which includes fake blood, spirit gum (for adhesion) and the all important zip. Yes, all for just £1! Now on to the application. Firstly, thoroughly wash and dry your face. I’d also recommend doing your hair beforehand, preferably moving it away from your face as this is where the zip will go. Eat dinner, brush your teeth and make your face completely ready before starting, as there’s no going back from this point onwards. Ready? Then let's go...
2. Pick your Outfit
Since the focus of your costume is predominantly centered on your face, you don’t want anything which will distract from it. Wear dark, neutral colours – I’d particularly recommend all black. I wore a black roll neck, as this makes the zip look even more effective, alongside a black bomber jacket for warmth and black jeans for general decency. Alternatively, you could opt for a suit, a shirt, an ordinary t-shirt or a dress – literally anything! I’d say definitely wear something you already own to remove the ‘cost’ from ‘costume’ – see what I did there?
3. Choose the Spot
The first obstacle to tackle is attaching the zip to your face. This is honestly the only part which requires much effort and you may benefit from asking someone else to help you apply it. Now decide where about you want the zip to actually go. I opted for around my left eye, because it meant my mouth was left free and away from the cosmetics. Alternatively, you could have the zip running down your face from your forehead, down your nose and opening up around the mouth. There’s quite a few variations you can try, just consider how long you’re planning to have it attached to your face and how much mobility you’ll need.
4. Attach your Zip
Pour the spirit gum into a small container (the Poundland kit comes with some plastic you can use as a palette) and apply it to the back of the zip. Spirit gum acts as a transparent adhesive, perfectly safe for using on your skin. Apply generously. Next, place the sticky side of the zip where you want it on your face and hold down for about a minute. Try not to move or talk – this part was very challenging for me – as the spirit gum dries quite quickly and you don’t want to dislodge it. Remember that you do get what you pay for and sometimes the spirit gum won’t be the best adhesive. I added small cuttings of skin-coloured plasters to help the zip stay stuck down which worked well and were hardly visible. They definitely don’t ruin the effect so nOBODY PANIC.
5. Get Bloody
Now for the fun bit. Get a sponge and apply the fake blood into the ‘unzipped’ section of your face. Be messy and don’t be afraid to make it uneven, as this makes it look more realistic. Splashes on the metallic part of the zip as well as blobs of the blood look great. Be careful around sensitive areas such as your eyes because you don’t want a real life horror. From experience, I can tell you that fake blood washes from your skin really easily, but just be careful around your clothing.
And that’s it! It’s literally as simple as that, so what are you waiting for? If you're willing to spend a bit more, you could add additional make-up or liquid latex. From the feedback I had, everyone said the zip looked really realistic and most people couldn’t believe it wasn’t a mask but was, in fact, stuck to my actual real life face. If you do choose to recreate this look, be sure to tweet me a photograph @jackbenedwards and tell me what you think! Have a really great Halloween and, whatever you do, stay safe. Until next time, goodbye!
By Jack Edwards