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Halloween costume ideas: six quick fixes

Horrifying hair

Near a Hershesons blow-dry bar? For £15 they’ll give you a thick, voluminous, dragged-through-a-hedge hairdo using dry shampoo. It usually takes 15 minutes, but they’ll go more quickly if you’re pushed. Or you can try something similar yourself: spray your hair with dry shampoo, squish it around a bit with your fingers and don’t dust any of it out. The dusty white-grey streaks are perfect for that Bride of Frankenstein look.

Creepy clothes

Twin Peaks. Photograph: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

When it’s too late to order something polyester online and you’re nowhere near a fancy dress shop, the clothes in your wardrobe are your best Halloween option. Got a lumberjack shirt? You’re the opening of Twin Peaks. Already invested in leather or double denim? Why not be a mash-up of two, or more, members of the Village People? This season’s hit duster coat also looks pretty spooky. Or just wrap yourself in a bedsheet and be Paranormal Activity.

Menacing manicure

Frankenstein manicure by Wah nails Photograph: Wah nails

The experts at Wah nails reckon you can pull this one together in six minutes, plus drying time. It’s called the Frankenstein, and all it requires is a clear base coat, followed by a top coat applied with a nail art pen – yours for £7 in Boots – and a top coat. Depending on your skill levels, you’ll either look like a member of the undead whose nails have been stitched on (cool!) or like you have grubby nail beds. Both are Halloween-appropriate.

Wild war paint

A woman in full zombie war paint Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

For a professional scary look using standard makeup, try the Zombie, as prescribed by makeup artist Alexis Day.

You need: pale foundation; green, yellow, red, purple, grey and black eyeshadows; black eyeliner pencil; red lipstick; various red lipglosses; red lipliner. Optional extras: plain toilet paper, Duo eyelash glue, red food colouring.

1. Apply a paler-than-normal foundation all over your face and mouth.

2. Using a big powder brush, apply a light dusting of grey eyeshadow for an ashen, decayed look; red or purple for a bruised effect; or green and yellow for a gangrenous effect.

3. Outline your eyelids with black eyeliner, then smudge it outward using a cotton bud or brush. Use black eyeshadow to fill in the dark circles beneath the eyes and around the eyelids. Add purple or green eyeshadow around the edges of your circles and blend so there are no obvious lines.

4. Use red lipliner to line the inside rims of your eyes.

5. Using the grey or the black eyeshadow, apply some shadow into your cheek hollows (as if you were applying bronzer) to give a gaunt, emaciated effect.

6. Lightly brush grey shadow around your mouth crease and across your lips.

7. To make it more gory, apply some red lipstick onto your face using your fingers, and smear and pat it in random places on your face and neck. Add a couple of different coloured red lipglosses around some of these areas and the corners of your mouth for a wound effect.

8. To make it even more terrifying, layer little bits of toilet paper on to your face with eyelash glue before starting your zombie makeup. When finished, peel off parts of the tissue paper and apply red food colouring, smudged lipstick and gloss to to the peeling-off “skin”.

Dangerous details

HM bat clutch, £3.99 Photograph: PR

Got an HM in dashing distance? Then you have an abundance of cheap Halloween fun at your disposal, from cat ears to bat masks to skeleton-print T-shirts. Surely the chicest option, though, is this bat-shaped clutch.

Spine-chilling lipstick

Black Cherry Barry M lip paint, £4.49 Photograph: PR

Now here’s one for the non-committal. Run to Superdrug. Purchase black lipstick and/or a black eyeliner. Apply. Adopt menacing expression. Done.

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