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A Little Witchy

Scary costume choices for females are limited. There is not really much of a choice. Of course there is the classic witch, and maybe the Bride of Frankenstein. There are other monster costumes like a ghost or mummy that can be girlied up.

A witch is probably the one thing I've been so many times I lost count.

The first time dressed as a witch I was seven years old.

I think originally I wanted to be Gadget Hackwrench, but the costume was too complicated. My mom and I could not really figure out how to make it.

I would usually get costume ideas from things around me. That year my grandma bought me a witch hat. She was always buying something or another on sale for no reason other than it was on sale. It was not a plain hat either it had a crescent moon and stars on the front of it.

I had never dressed up as anything scary before for Halloween. I was usually dressed as occupations or characters.  Things like Twink from Rainbow Brite and a clown.

My mom made the costume. She made a pattern from a night shirt. She took me to the fabric store and I picked out a bat print material. She made the costume unique by sewing gross things to the front of the costume like spider rings and a big plastic bat. The hat really didn't match the rest of the costume, but I think I didn’t care.

I had a Paas face painting kit. I don’t think it was for a specific design. But some of the suggested designs were a witch and a jack-o-lantern face. That make up went on smoothly.

The school wanted the Halloween parade to be more “educational”, so they made it literary themed. I guess many things could be literary themed like Bugs Bunny he was like in comic books and stuff. I remember that I vowed to get a literary costume for the third grade. Well that never happened because I moved away at the end of second grade. I thought if anybody asked I was the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. 

I was really just dressed as a generic witch. It wasn't a good idea to give me a broom prop to hold. I kept hitting other kids with it by accident.

After the parade I washed my face and took off my costume. I think I gave it back to my mom. There was a just a sink in the classroom, so there was no mirror or anything. I think I was walking around the school with a green tinted face. I kept getting comments from the other kids about wearing a witch costume. 

When I was thirteen I attempted to dress as a witch again.

I was shopping with my parents at the Target, and there I saw it... blank, emotionless, and creepy.  I had to have it! I begged my parents to buy it. A Living Faces witch prosthetic make up kit.

I didn't want to look cute, beautiful or flirtatious. I wanted to look ugly!

I imagined myself wearing the prosthetic mask at a Halloween party or something I would be getting compliments about how good it looked. I even imagined people touching my face. Then I would proceed to eat in it. That was one of the selling points of the thing. You could eat and drink in it, but not smoke. The package said it was reusable.

It would never look that good.

One day my friend came to my house and I was showing him the kit. I hadn't opened it yet. He thought it was cool looking. When you are thirteen you think a lot of things are cool.

The problem was that I had to cut and paint the mask. It was like an extra homework assignment. It didn't even have eye or nose holes. I had to cut them myself. I had to trim down the forehead of the mask because I have a small face. The thing was very hard to paint. The brush they provided was very thick. The mask had a lot of detail work including the wrinkles and warts. I had to glue the eyebrows on it. The kit came with crepe hair to glue on. I didn't really know how to apply it, and it didn't stick on very well. I just left the witch brow-less. I thought it looked scarier that way. I had to paint over the liquid latex that I used to try and apply the crepe hair.

I was going to steal a Halloween costume idea I had gotten from watching an episode of “Newsradio”, and wear it to school; it was called “Man without socks”.  In the episode it was not considered a costume. The episode is pretty funny, but also sad when watched in hindsight. But I thought it was a dumb idea because none of my friends at school watched the show and would not get the reference.

I didn't want to wake up early in the morning to apply prosthetics to my face. I threw together a last minute Gwen Stefani costume, and it was pretty sloppy. According to my algebra teacher I looked like a “workout person”.

According to the price tag on the thing it cost $6.99 in 1997 which according to the inflation calculator would be about $10.38 in 2014.

They didn't stick very well. I was trying to use the included liquid latex in the kit. I was sitting there frustrated trying to attach a fake chin to my face. I never got to wear it for Halloween.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from a paint it yourself prosthetic kit from the Target.

What I ended up with.

A few years later I wanted to see what it really looked like on my face while I was goofing around. I attached it to my face with white school glue. It actually stuck even if it was brief. It looked pretty good for a prosthetic kit I left sitting around for a few years.

That prosthetic witch mask still haunts me. I don't know why I've kept it for all these years. I keep thinking I can do something with it. Recently I tried to turn it into a sock mask. It didn't work out very well.

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pikachulover Posted on Sep 16, 2014 at 03:38 AM

Back when I was 13 I thought spirit gum and liquid latex were like equivalent. I didn't know any better.

About the Gadget costume it's on my "things I want to dress up as, but haven't yet" list.

NLogan Posted on Sep 16, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Cha cha cha Chip 'n Dale. Rescue Rangers! When there's danger!

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Cool. Thanks for the info Hoju and NLogan. You would be right in assuming I was not a staple of school plays and the like. I was not. In fact, I can only remember being in one school play in elementary school, and I had to wear a ridiculous purple and gold "dutch boy" outfit, complete with giant buttons and crazy hat.

NLogan Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 11:46 PM

@Vaporman, spirit gum is as old as the hills. All the classic movie monsters i.e. Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man, Boris Karloff as the Mummy, etc. all used spirit gum, mortician's wax , and sometimes cotton built up with collidion. Spirit gum has been used in the theater since the 1890s.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM

pikachulover, too bad your Mom couldn't figure out the Gadget costume, that would have been pretty awesome. Cool that she put the custom Witch outfit together for you though.

Vaporman87, from your question I'm assuming you were not in any plays growing up. Spirit Gum is old school glue used in the theater to attach fake beards, mustaches and prosthetics to your face with. It's like rubber cement for your face, so it sticks really well and you have to use rubbing alcohol or a dissolving solution to get it off.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 09:27 PM

That's cool. I've never heard of this Spirit Gum. Is it a fairly new thing, or something that's been around a while?

NLogan Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 09:26 PM

I have used a living faces mask twice. I thought they were great for what I paid for. The first one was a skull mask that I used to become an undead WWII U.S. soldier. My brother was an undead Nazi soldier. Another year I used the same skull mask painted silver to be a Terminator. My brother and I split a mask each using half and a lot of liquid latex, nose wax, and fake blood. We even had light up eyes in the cyborg part of our faces.

NLogan Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 09:23 PM

Unless you have a lot of experience with liquid latex it can be hard to use to support the weight of the mask pieces. The best thing to do is buy Spirit Gum. It looks sort of like honey. You put it around the edges of the prosthetic and on your face where the prosthetic is supposed to go. Then you wait a few minutes before putting it on letting it get tacky. Using your finger you tap the area of Spirit Gum making it very sticky. Then you put on the prosthetic and hold it in place for a while. Then you apply liquid latex to cover up the edges of the prosthetic and blend into your face. You can do the same with the latex but it is harder having to build multiple layers. You can then grease paint right over the prosthetic and your exposed skin. Spirit gum works great for attaching crepe hair as well same process.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 06:19 PM

Perhaps if there were a way to apply the makeup to a prosthetic that was a full face cover, THEN apply the prosthetic AFTER it has been all touched up and painted, that might work alright.

pikachulover Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 06:16 PM

After the witch mask I learned my lesson. ;P

If I did ever decide to go back to prosthetics I'd try to get somebody else to apply them on me.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 05:18 PM

My luck with make-up, prosthetics, and other accessories for Halloween was not good at all.

Typically I ended up with something far different than what was pictured on the packaging. That was to be expected though, as the images on the packaging are done by teams of professionals. It's when a single person tries to replicate what a team of people achieved that the person realizes just how futile it is to even try.

It didn't take me long to realize that I was best sticking with standard masks and clothing.

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