MARCH 19, 2012 11:21PM

My Adventures in Cosmetic Ghoulery

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It's been a while since I last posted on OS (about four years, actually; quite a sabbatical), but I've missed the writing so I'm taking another stab at it. This week's episode brought to you by: slathering your face with liquid latex to scare strangers.

So, it was the summer of 2010 and my friend Erica and I, like the rational twenty-something-year-old adults we were, were arguing about what we wanted to be for Halloween that year. After much careful deliberation, we decided to do what any rational twenty-something-year-old adults would be wont to do: we would dress up like our favorite Batman villains for a night on the town.

Erica eventually opted for a black-leather-clad Catwoman, but I knew in my heart of hearts that there was really only one choice for me: Two-Face. Out of the entire pantheon of Batman villainry, Harvey "Two-face" Dent had always captured my imagination above the rest; Joker was an obvious classic but overplayed in the wake of Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight, and other staples like Scarecrow and Killer Croc, while tempting, still seemed to lack that certain something. But Two-Face, with his mangled suits, his trusty coin, and, of course, that trademark acid-kissed visage, had always appealed to me, so it was with great enthusiasm that I began to plan the particulars of my costume.

This proved more difficult than I at first anticipated. Finding (and burning) an old suit from the local Valley Thrift was easy enough, and I was even able to track down a replica of the defective 1922 silver dollar used in the movie. (Quick side note: should you feel the need to burn your clothing, please consider that your average BBQ butane lighter, though easy enough to find at your local supermarket, can be a very time-consuming way to go about the job). However, the key component of the whole getup, the face, was much harder to pull off.

So I began doing some research. I Googled and YouTubed every possible resource I could get my double-clicking fingers on and steadily acquired a cache of liquid latex, cosmetic wax, grease paint, and spirit gum. Then came the experimentation.

I was actually pretty happy with my initial results. I started small, applying a little bit of latex and crumpled toilet paper for a "this-is-what-you-get-when-you-fall-asleep-on-the-stove-top" kind of look.

  Step 1

Step 1 (note the creepy cataract contact for added effect)

Step 2

 Finished product.

Step 3

 Aaaaand a close-up.


So far so good.

That initial hurdle conquered, I decided to get more ambitious. What came next can only be compared to the Resident Evil movie franchise: well-intentioned, perhaps, but ultimately over-the-top and badly executed.

Gee, that's a lotta face-holes

Gee, that's a lotta face holes...

Photo 82

Well, at least now he's got the suit and looks half-way respectable

Photo 72

Good god, he's gone crazy! Someone take that stuff away from him before the fumes do some real damage!


I'll spare you the details of the trial and error that followed. Suffice it to say that ultimately I decided to go with a more realistic, burn-victim interpretation of the character, and this was the end result:









The pictures don't quite do it justice (the flash distorts the makeup job in some of the pictures) but all in all I feel it was a valliant first attempt. I certainly had a fun time scaring my customers and coworkers at my job that year (I was able to convince several people I was an actual burn victim, which was funny to me) and Halloween karaoke was definitely a unique experience.

I'm not sure if the costume screams "Two-Face," but in the end I was pretty happy with how things turned out.


This last Halloween, I decided to build on my experience and do a zombie. I went to a special effects shop in Hollywood and gathered up as many prosthetics and supplies as my bank balance could support and got to work. Yada yada yada...and here's what I ended up with:







I probably could've used a bit more white grease paint to distinguish between the recently Undead and the Merely-maimed-by-a-weedwhacker, but again...progress. And I scared many little children. Mission accomplished by any standard, I say.


So that's where my little  experiment stands thus far. Who knows what next year will bring...


Thanks for reading,





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fashion, halloween, cosplay, costumes

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