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Transformers Unite!


Take costuming up a few notches this Halloween with the help of local experts.

shoptalkOct2015When you live in New Orleans, you costume for sport. There is not a month that passes when we do not have an opportune time to bedazzle ourselves in all our glory. Our social gatherings have a theme, and our invites, evites and announcements state “costume optional.” We are a city that takes costuming to the next level, and, with inspiring Web sites like Pinterest, You Tube, and Etsy our ensembles can easily rival costume designers on major movie sets. One does not have to be skilled in the art of makeup nor a professional seamstress anymore to craft grandiose characters; simply combine a little ingenuity, some spray adhesive and an industrial-strength hot glue gun, and you might have all the instruments you need. Nonetheless, proceeded with caution, because, like me, you may end up with third-degree burns and covered in glitter for months. Yet the end result and Instagram pictures will be well worth the blood, sweat and tears.

Mad Skills
The fashion and beauty industry have a symbiotic relationship. We are fortunate to work with some skilled, licensed makeup artists. These artists specialize in enhancing your dream costume and can assist in fashioning a character that’s unique to you. For those who like to keep costuming a low-maintenance affair, setting up an appointment with a makeup artist is a far better investment than purchasing a store-bought, flammable “naughty” insert character du jour — nurse, cat, superhero, police officer.

Not everyone has the time to prepare weeks in advance for their Halloween costume and events. Many women wait to book an appointment at the last minute and have no idea where to start. “Women may arrive in a simple black body suit or dress, and I can turn them into a wild variety of looks,” says Blane Clayton, owner and makeup artist at B Boutique. The makeup alone converts you into your character. “A plain black outfit with a few accessories and detailed face-painting can transform you into a jungle cheetah or a sugar skull for Dia de los Muertos,” she adds.

With all of the Halloween-esque events in October, you can experiment with many different looks. Clayton recommends that clients do a bit of research ahead of time, and then send her some inspirational images of the face or costumes they are seeking to accomplish; similar to how they would choose a haircut with a hair stylist. Clayton loves working with unique pieces, such as feather eyelashes, lace appliqués and masks with depth, dimension and uniqueness to really add to the costume. Everyone and anyone can be a sexy kitten, but an excellent makeup artist can make you the sultriest cat ready for a Broadway stage. B Boutique, (504) 481-7199, bboutiqueandbeauty.com, sessions start at $75

Dark Magic Master
Make Me Up! has had its location in Uptown New Orleans for close to 10 years. These girls are the grand masters of makeup application. Not only do they excel in making up faces, but their retail store carries incredible tools, costume accessories and makeup to meet the needs of everyone from bargain shoppers to those who prefer luxe looks.
Co-owner of Make Me Up! Celeste Simone Houser revels in the over-the-top costumes she and her clients concoct. “In New Orleans, no costume is too elaborate,” Houser says. “The more dramatic, the better.” The team at Make Me Up! aids in creating in-depth and original characters. With a few adornments like eyelashes, adhesive masks and face painting, an inspiration from your Pinterest board becomes a multidimensional mystical creature. Face artistry is continually evolving with new concepts and products. “A big trend this season is glow-in-the dark makeup.” Houser says. “In the light, you can have one look, yet in the dark, you become something completely different.” Make Me Up!, (504) 891-9688, makemeupnola.com, sessions start at $75

Something Wicked This Way Comes

October warrants abundant opportunities to dress your inner evil, scary or naughty alter ego. You don’t even have to invest that much money into your ensemble; with the assistance of make-up artists and a bit of creative genius, you can devise many interesting looks on a whim. We recommend visiting a few local thrift and craft stores to finish off your costume with flair. Here are a few of our favorites.

Buffalo Exchange, 3312 Magazine St., (504) 891-7443, buffaloexchange.com
Fifi Mahoney’s, 934 Royal St., (504) 525-4343, fifimahoneys.com
Funky Monkey, 3127 Magazine St., (504) 899-5587
Jefferson Variety Stores Inc., 239 Iris Ave., Jefferson, (504) 834-5222, jeffersonvariety.com
Magpie Vintage, 4529 Magazine St., (504) 891-1333
Vieux Carre Hair Shop, 8224 Maple St., (504) 862-6936, vieuxcarrehairshop.com

Happy costuming!
–Aimée Gowland and Corrie Pellerin, ALG Style