Costume Tips To Make You The Life, Or Death, Of The Halloween Party

MTV News experiments on its interns with everyday items, expert help.

Has Halloween crept up on you again this year? You have no costume, you feel uninspired and the lines at the Halloween store make you want to punch the flaming gargoyle statue at the front entrance.

No need to fret. You can still be the life — or death — of the party without having to set foot in a Halloween shop. If you feel like dressing up as, say, Dog the Bounty Hunter, you can find a much cooler motorcycle jacket at a Salvation Army store than that cheap plastic one at your local costume shop.

Just think of your favorite monster or celebrity, find a picture on the Internet and head to the local thrift store or mall.

For the best makeup at the party, book an appointment now at the nearest MAC makeup counter. For $40 and up, they’ll create whatever design you want — from Marie Antoinette to the ghost from “The Grudge” — and you’ll feel pampered like a star too.

“It’s an easy way to get an easy Halloween look on a budget,” said Romero Jennings, senior artist at MAC Pro Team.

We dressed our MTV interns, Javier Rosario and Danielle Gallagher, as Davey Havok from AFI and the girl from “The Grudge,” respectively. It was a fun, creative process that involved a lot of digging for small items (tattoo sleeves are genius!) and getting the right accessories, like a creepy, longhaired Elvira-style wig for “Grudge” girl, which was so hairy it made us wonder if the Japanese ghost was lurking somewhere inside.

(Get creeped out with these photos from MTV News’ Halloween makeover.)

Most importantly, we used everyday materials like scissors, a black pencil or even baby powder, which can make your skin look dead.

Davey Havok:
Taking notes from the AFI video “Winter” (from their latest album, Decemberunderground), we knew we were going to have to get a wig and cut it to create Havok’s front flap of stick-straight hair.

The rocker wears a ton of makeup and punk-inspired clothing along with the tattoos up his arm, a lip ring and rubber black bracelets. We started at the legendary New York punk store Trash and Vaudeville with our picture in hand.

“Havok’s look is a good combination,” said buyer/manager Jimmy Webb. “It’s a little punk, and then he throws in a little goth and a twist of death metal. He stays androgynous and rock and roll, but all boy at the same time.”

Havok likes to wear ribbed shirts, suspenders and T-shirts with the names of bands like Skinny Puppy, :Wumpscut:, VNV Nation and Joy Division. We bought a skull-patterned ribbed shirt. Then we went to the Gap and purchased the Morrison jeans for $58.

For the makeup, Jennings piled on foundation, fake eyelashes and sparkling silver eye shadow, along with black fingernails. Rosario enjoyed the pampering.

“Guys should be girls and girls should be guys more often,” said Jennings. “I’m sure [Rosario is] going to look at girls in a different light now — like when his girlfriend is putting on her eyelashes, he’ll be patient and wait for her.”

Jennings describes Havok’s look as “goth Bowie,” and while Havok may make it seem easy, it’s the result of a long process of personal decisions and favorite finds collected over the years.

We added a ball-chain necklace with a heart pendant, a studded belt, a pair of Converse sneakers and tattooed arm sleeves. With a pair of scissors, we cut the wig to leave only the long hair flowing in front. Then we dyed a piece of hair with blond paint to give some highlights.

Rosario’s verdict: “I feel man-tastic!”

“Grudge” Girl:
The makeup is what transforms Gallagher into the dark monster. Jennings started out with some lash glue to give Gallagher a “sticky, yucky” look, then he worked on giving her big black eyes and circles with a fluid black pencil.

“It’s great coming to work and getting to dress up like death,” Gallagher joked. “It’s awesome. This is exactly what I want to be on Halloween.”

Jennings used white and metallic powder to give Gallagher that death look. “She’s metal and she’s death,” he said. “Together, she’s death metal.”

Gallagher couldn’t help going to the bathroom to take a look at her now-dead face, and she came back a little creeped-out.

“When Romero was doing my makeup, it felt weird because I couldn’t see it,” she said. “But then, when I looked in the mirror, I was like, ‘Wow.’ ”

She slipped into a white dress that we purchased at Le Château, painted her nails and toenails with black polish and put on the Elvira wig, which we got at a costume store (OK, so we broke one rule). The “Grudge” girl is barefoot, so no worries there.

At first, Gallagher was a little uncomfortable opening her mouth to create the scary face that the “Grudge” girl makes, but pretty soon, she felt more comfortable with it and was croaking away.

Outside in Times Square, she definitely scared off a few tourists, and one panhandler was convinced.

“Is it Halloween today?” he asked.

Where to go:
Grudge Girl costume:
White lace dress, Le Château; Elvira wig, Ricky’s NYC; black satin Rimmel lycra nail polish, Walgreens Makeup from MAC store counter

Davey Havok costume:
Sof Sole skull laces, Famous Footwear; Morrison jeans, the Gap; magnetic earrings, silver ring, black rubber bracelets and fingerless black gloves, St. Marks Place street vendor; black studded belt, silver-heart chain necklace and fishnet skull shirt, Trash and Vaudeville; black Converse All-Stars, Modell’s; black satin Rimmel lycra nail polish, Walgreens; magnetic lip ring, wig, tattoo sleeves and blond hair coloring, Halloween Adventure Makeup from MAC store counter