Eleven Ideas for Awesome Halloween Costumes

We’re so *~creative~*

Halloween is almost here, which means access to free candy, parties, and more candy—if you have a costume. Maybe you can’t think of one. Maybe you resent being told that you need one. Either way, it’s the one day of the year where you’re not encouraged to “be yourself,” because everybody always rolls their eyes when you try and pull that. Luckily, the Rookie staff has shared some of their most creative costume ideas to inspire you should you want to be edible, adorable, dangerous, or just plain dead come October 31.


By Leeann

This is me dressed up as Kuchisake-onna, aka the Slit-Mouthed Woman, a Japanese urban legend the gist of which is that a beautiful woman wearing a surgical mask approaches children on playgrounds and asks, “Am I beautiful?” If the child says yes, the woman rips off her mask, revealing her HORRIBLY MUTILATED face and says, “Am I beautiful NOW?!” She then produces a gigantic pair of scissors and proceeds to, um, cut up the poor moppet’s face, Joker-style. PRETTY AWESOME, RIGHT?!

I’m proud to say I did this makeup myself with no prior experience beyond watching Dawn of the Dead a million times, so I promise you don’t have to be some sort of special-effects genius to do this. You will need the following products, which I bought at a Halloween costume shop:

  • White cake makeup. I used Mehron StarBlend in Moonlight White, but any thick white makeup will work.
  • Liquid latex to create the wounds. Ben Nye’s is good—buy the smallest bottle, you won’t need much.
  • Bruise makeup. I love Ben Nye’s Master Bruise Wheel for the perfectly gross colors, and also the name. But you can get the same effect with cheapie zombie-makeup kits at CVS, or with lipstick you already own. The most important colors are deep red and purple.
  • Fake blood. Ben Nye’s Stage Blood is cheap, realistic, and comes in zesty mint flavor!
  • Black eyeliner—perfect for simulating dried, crusty blood (who knew?).
  • Stipple sponge. This is for the makeup application. You can make your own by snipping a bunch of little holes into a regular makeup sponge.
  • A toothpick

1. Make the wound. Paint a thin layer of liquid latex on either side of your mouth—this will be your scary smile, so make it big!

2. When the latex is mostly dry, take a toothpick and gently drag it through the middle of the latex to expose your real skin underneath. Then roll the inner edges of the latex back to make it look like it’s gaping (ewww):

3. OK, here’s the fun part: dressing the wound! Using black eyeliner, color the inner edges of the wound, where the blood is oldest. This will give your wound DEPTH and DIMENSION, like a beautiful sunset.

4. Using your stipple sponge, lightly dab your dark red (or purple) bruise makeup (or lipstick). Then DAB (don’t smear) the color on the outside of the wound—apply more color near the center, and less as you move toward your real skin. This should look REALLY CREEPY at this point:

5. Dip a toothpick into the fake blood, and apply it to the inner part of the wound. Don’t use too much, or the blood will trickle down your face all night in a realistic, but sticky and unpleasant, stream.

6. Use the stipple sponge to apply some sickly green or yellow to the outer edge of the wound for that “been walking around with this grievous flesh wound for a week now” look:

7. Use the cake makeup to paint your face and neck, and apply dark eye shadow under your eyes for that undead pallor. Grab a pair of big, old-timey shears (try to get the all-metal kind, because plastic isn’t terrifying), find a surgical mask somewhere, throw on a trench coat, and go give people nightmares. AM I BEAUTIFUL NOW?


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  • cicconeyouth October 11th, 2012 7:12 PM

    Marie, your pizza costume just melted my cold, dark heart.

  • umi October 11th, 2012 7:13 PM


    im actually not allowed to go out for halloween, i have never gone tricker-treating actually……but but but im just going to do this just for fun bc i love this so so much

    • NotReallyChristian October 11th, 2012 8:56 PM

      You don’t need to go trick-or-treating to dress up! Just hang out round the house in a cool costume – or have your friends over to watch scary movies :)

  • EmilyJn October 11th, 2012 7:13 PM

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I pressed “Next” and Bird Flu appeared…

  • jenaimarley October 11th, 2012 7:14 PM

    Aww these are so great!
    I was Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí last year and the year before that so I wanted to keep up the famous artist trend this year but I don’t think people would appreciate me frolicking around topless with chewed up gum “starifications” all over me declaring myself Hannah Wilke, the awesome 1970s feminist performance artist…

    • jayne12 October 11th, 2012 7:54 PM

      hahahaha! :) rookie should really have some more art/ art theory articles on here :)

      • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 12:39 AM

        I agree!
        I sent in an essay I wrote about 1970s feminist performance art a while back but I dunno…
        Anyway I’m obsessed! :)

    • Laia October 11th, 2012 7:57 PM


      • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 12:41 AM

        Awww :)
        There’s always Judy Chicago, Carolee Schneeman, Eleanor Antin etc etc
        Or we can be Hannah Wilke pieces together!

        • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 10:46 AM

          And Ana Mendieta!
          But oh Laia, I kind of stalked you because I was sort of like WOW COOL I LOVE ROOKIE AND LAIA LOVES HANNAH WILKE AND THAT’S JUST TOO AWESOME! Anyway, you’re in a band? Is there any way to listen to your music?
          (sorry if that’s creepy)

        • jayne12 October 12th, 2012 6:54 PM

          or a guerrilla girl!

        • madeleine9 October 14th, 2012 8:56 PM

          OH MY GOD i want to get a posse together to dress up as ‘Meat Joy’ now

    • bugaleeto October 11th, 2012 8:36 PM

      That’s really funny because I was thinking of going as Vincent Van Gogh post ear-cutting.

      • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 12:39 AM

        DO IT!

        • Caitlin H. October 12th, 2012 4:53 AM

          I want to be his severed ear.

      • Mary the freak October 12th, 2012 9:13 AM


  • molly mazahs October 11th, 2012 7:31 PM

    Loved this!! I’m planning on being Margaret from Twin Peaks ahhaha #halloween is the best~~~

    • Tara October 11th, 2012 7:48 PM

      The Log Lady?! DO IT! I thought of being Audrey Horne actually. TWIN PEAKS IS THE BEST.

      • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 12:34 AM

        Oh my gods that is such a great idea! :)
        There are so many good characters to be from Twin Peaks! <3

      • molly mazahs October 13th, 2012 2:58 PM

        I’m so pumped aha!!
        audrey’s my favorite character but she’s too cool for me.

  • I.ila October 11th, 2012 7:39 PM

    Marie, I love you, i have ever since the rookie reading because you are amazing. Almost better than pizza…

  • didja October 11th, 2012 7:44 PM

    I was waiting for this article…

  • lucycat October 11th, 2012 7:50 PM

    I absolutely adore Hannah’s costume!

  • lyssagrltx October 11th, 2012 7:52 PM

    I’m being Audrey Hepburn this year its gonna be so much fun especially with my friends all being zombies!!

  • I.ila October 11th, 2012 7:53 PM

    Also, tips for those Drama techies out there (i know there have to be some…): My school orders props and some costumes from various magazines. These magazines sell everything imaginable, from plastic swords, disappearing knives, and guns, to wigs, and hats, to all the colors of the rainbow makeup. So steal that and order from it, because you can get a rubber dagger for 1.50 and that is pretty cool.

  • Cassidy A. October 11th, 2012 7:57 PM

    I wanted to share this Tim Burton Corpse Bride Halloween makeup tutorial with everyone because it is just so awesome! Last year I was a cupcake and I sewed my own ‘tinfoil’ dress and made a cherry on top hat, I’ll link that too!

  • Abby October 11th, 2012 8:19 PM

    I used to think I was creative.

  • Tyknos93 October 11th, 2012 8:41 PM


    • Tyknos93 October 11th, 2012 8:42 PM

      Woops I meant this in response to Abby. When I was 6 I was Tina Turner though…

  • mdoodle13 October 11th, 2012 8:57 PM

    Marie as the bird flu? Love it. I went as the swine flu in 2009 (pig nose and all).

  • Josefina October 11th, 2012 8:59 PM

    I wish there was a god of pizza that could bless you and Rookie for that wonderful costume (or should we say allegory to the gloriousness of pizza). For now, I just wish you all lots and lots of pizza parties.
    I love your Sailor Venus costume! While it’s not intricate cosplay it isn’t tacky and doesn’t mean to look like it either. Very well done, and that’s coming from a “Moonie” that wears the Cosmic Heart Compact every day of her life!

  • NotReallyChristian October 11th, 2012 9:05 PM

    One year three friends and I went as Black Riders from LOTR … or specifically the two strongest were a horse, the smallest rode the horse, and I (being neither strong nor small) led the horse to stop it crashing into things. A couple of years ago I discovered that M&S (big british department-store chain, for those who don’t have access to the magic that is the M&S food section and its friends) stocks classic little-girl school dresses up to ‘Age 14′, which was just big enough for my generously-built 19-year-old self. So that year I went as ‘myself: aged 5′.

    (I totally recommend those dresses by the way! They are classic, adorable and come in loads of colours. Plus: only £11! John Lewis is also great because they sell school uniforms for a whole load of random private schools, so you can get great little pleated skirts and stuff there).

  • danzelbanzel October 11th, 2012 9:11 PM

    wow the angela costume is so cute

  • Lucy23 October 11th, 2012 9:13 PM

    These costumes are so cool! great inspiration for next year! I’m already going as Ziggy Stardust, it’s gonna be so much fun!

  • mar9ar3t October 11th, 2012 9:55 PM

    I looove Halloween!!! I might go as Suzy from moonrise kingdom… Or Margot tennenbaum!!

    • jenaimarley October 12th, 2012 12:36 AM

      I went as Margot once! Got candy cigarettes :)

  • Adrienne October 11th, 2012 9:57 PM

    Oh my god the Kuchisake-onna costume is so brilliant and creepy!

    I was considering going as either Sam or Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom. Or even Margot Tenenbaum.

  • Kaybird October 11th, 2012 10:14 PM

    Krista…I’m just admitting I have a ginormous crush on you. o-o Just throwing that out there. Even more so than David Bowie in Labrinyth. Ya make me hot. And I would be a zombie, ladies, but I’m super scared of them. (Makes no sense because my favorite TV show is The Walking Dead.) This year I’m going to be Mavis from Hotel Translyvania. I dyed my hair black as an experiment last month, and got bangs. But after reading about Lydia here (who I love) I wish I could be her. But it’d be too expensive :/

  • Blythe October 11th, 2012 10:17 PM

    I’m just re-using my Renaissance dress. Because I am the kind of person who has one of those.

  • Juli October 11th, 2012 10:38 PM

    These are all amazing in their own ways, but that bird flu one got me. That is some intense stuff, Marie.

  • MR October 11th, 2012 10:39 PM

    My sister was Angela Chase last year! Awesome idea!!
    One year I was Lupa (the she-wolf that raised Romulus and Remus from Roman mythology). I got a run-of-the-mill wolf mask and then carried around two naked baby-dolls with me.
    Last year I was the astronaut Sally Ride (who I LOVE!), but now that makes me sad, because she just died recently :(

  • caro nation October 11th, 2012 11:37 PM

    Marie you are a goddess.

    I was leaning towards Auntie Mame this year, but then I thought, “what about Patty Hearst?” And then “WHAT ABOUT BLACK DAHLIA.” Will someone weigh in on this?

    • Kaybird October 12th, 2012 2:50 PM

      I tried watching that stupid movie this week but my friend’s mom changed the channel to Dr. Phil. -_- Isn’t it a book, too? Anyway, do it. It will be epic. GET MEN TO BE THE SEXY DETECTIVES.

  • Aubrey October 12th, 2012 12:27 AM

    THE PIZZA COSTUME. Oh my god the pizza costume. I was WAITING for a costume article from Rookie. AHHH so good.

    I’m going as Buffy in Prophecy Girl and honestly I’m just jazzed to get to wear a long white dress while carrying a crossbow.


    - aubrey

  • hkma October 12th, 2012 1:01 AM

    A couple years back I was the house from the movie “Up,” complete with blue cloud covered stockings, and 25 helium balloons attached to my roof.

  • pocketmouse October 12th, 2012 3:18 AM

    amazing :) I love so many of these. I went as Sailor Venus when I was like 9

  • ivoire October 12th, 2012 5:32 AM

    if only halloween was more popular in australia ):
    i mean LOLLIES (not candy lul) UGH.

  • victoria October 12th, 2012 7:14 AM


  • Limey October 12th, 2012 7:38 AM

    Last year my friend and I were Rayanne and Angela and this year we’re being Pussy Riot woooo!

  • Miarele October 12th, 2012 8:33 AM

    LOVIN’ THE SAILOR VENUS!!! the poses are right on, even the pictures are purikura-style! you look absolutely gorgeous in it Leanna <333

    also Angela Chase, it reminds me of the Halloween episode of the actual show where Danielle dresses up as Angela LOL :DD

  • gnarlyelixir October 12th, 2012 10:50 AM

    OMGGGGG ANGELA CHASE!!! BEST ONE!! Gave me a great idea!!!!

  • violetlilies October 12th, 2012 4:42 PM

    i had this huge outfit planned for a friends halloween party- Janet from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but i just realised i have to go away with my grandparents….. that sucks. Love Marie’s pizza dress

  • mayaautumn October 12th, 2012 6:04 PM

    ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮ ✮

  • MissKnowItAll October 12th, 2012 8:46 PM

    I’m debating on whether I should be Finn the human, Lady Rainicorn, Marceline, or No Face from Spirited Away

    • Miarele October 13th, 2012 12:51 AM

      Marceline!!! Definitely Marceline! you get to have an axe bass, and what could be better than that? haha :D Lady Rainicorn also has some awesome potential, but perhaps you need to have a friend (or friends?) to be the body, the tail, etc. haha also you’ll have to learn to speak Korean too :D

    • Kaybird October 13th, 2012 4:14 PM

      Idk who Marceline is, but all your other ideas….are like my favorites. I love Lady Rainicorn with a passion- but Spirited Away is my favorite movie. And Finn is Finn. Cute blonde Finn. Good luck with the decision.

  • lilpod94 October 13th, 2012 11:03 AM

    Last time I went as an orphan (blue velvet dress, pigtails) my sister was an Elizabethan boy and my friend was Taylor Swift. we ROCKED.

  • alexmckelley October 15th, 2012 6:31 PM

    I went as Rayanne last year and it was a blast!! :)

  • ninamau5 October 21st, 2012 10:28 PM

    My friend Ashley is going to be Honey Boo Boo and I’m going to be Glitzy the Pig!!!!!!

    I came up with the idea myself. I’m quite proud of it.

  • Startrish October 24th, 2012 9:13 AM

    LOVELOVELOVE THESE COSTUMES!!!! So creative and cute!

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica November 2nd, 2012 4:37 PM


    My favorite was pizza. What a genius, wonderful, spectacular idea.

  • whyamidreamingwhenimstillawake November 1st, 2013 5:09 AM

    Jenny Zhang, wearing onesies before it was cool.