Budget Halloween Costumes

Don't spend tons of cash on a store-bought Halloween costume. Check out some of my budget costume ideas!


Lady GaGa’s out there style makes for a
great (cheap) costume
Photo: © Florian Seefried/Getty Images

Over the weekend a few of my girlfriends and I were hanging out and discussing Halloween costume ideas. We love to go all out, but with our budgets a little tighter this year than normal, we didn’t have the cash to spend on elaborate costumes. One friend mentioned that she had her eye on a cute bumblebee costume from a Halloween store so we took a look at it online and the first thing I saw was the $70 price tag.

I’m sorry but $70 for an outfit you’ll only wear once? No way! There are tons of great costumes you can create on your own without spending a fortune on a store-bought outfit. Here are some ideas we brainstormed:

Lady GaGa
This one’s easy, just find yourself a leotard and throw something shiny (may I suggest an aluminum foil corset?) on top and you’ve got the outfit down pat. Get the pants-less one’s beauty look by keeping your skin matte and using a mauve blush to contour your cheeks. Eyes should be shimmery and heavily lined with a row of faux lashes on top and bottom and some retro sunglasses on top. Throw some matte, bubblegum pink lipstick on, then tease and crimp a platinum blonde, bobbed wig into a huge hair helmet and that’s all there is to it!

The Four Seasons
Get together 3 of your girlfriends and you can be the four seasons: summer, winter, fall and spring. Pick seasonally appropriate gear from your closet (winter white cozy clothes, autumnal red and gold layers, an umbrella and flowery dress for spring and boldly colored shorts and tanks for summer) and then create a makeup look to correspond with it.

Use icy shades of shadow on your lids and frosted highlighter on your lips and cheeks to recreate winter’s chill. Apply warm, metallic bronzes and red-browns on your eyes, lips and cheeks and place a few carefully selected leaves in your hair for a crisp fall look. Spring is all about soft and pretty pastels so use shades of lilac, pink, sky blue and leaf green, then pull your hair into a curly updo and place a fake flower in the back. Go bronze for summer with lots of powder bronzer and warm shades of brown and gold. Or fake a sunburn by layering on a deep pink blush over your cheeks and nose.

True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse
My friends and I are OBSESSED with True Blood so we were all about the Sookie look. The easiest look of her’s to pull off is the Merlotte’s waitress uniform. Grab a pair of short shorts some sneakers and some knee high soccer socks, then take a plain white tee and use a green Sharpie (I’m all about the Sharpies) to recreate the Merlotte’s logo on the front. Layer on the bronzer and blush so your skin looks flushed and natural, a stark contrast to all that undead paleness. Put on some shimmery shadow, lots of mascara and a pink gloss, then pull your hair into a tight, high ponytail and you’re set! Now go find yourself a Bill. For more vampire beauty, check out our interview with True Blood makeup artist Brigette Ellis for tips on how to get the look.

Rock of Love Girls
There’s nothing better than trashy reality TV and the Rock of Love series takes the cake on trash. Get together a few of your girls and find yourself a token male. Dress him up in tight jeans, a long blonde wig and a bandanna to approximate the Bret Michaels mystique. Then find your trampiest clothes and go wild. Short skirts, corset tops, bikini tops, you name it. Layer on the blue eyeshadow, the fake lashes and the hot pink lips, then tease your hair as high as it will go. Throughout the night, find an excuse to start a fake brawl with the other girls (extra points for hair pulling) while your “Bret” stands smugly by watching the drama unfold.

Those are just a few of the ones we came up with. What are your best budget Halloween costume ideas?

Need more Halloween costume ideas? Check out:

How To Create Halloween Hair from In His Beauty Universe

Vampire Chic from Positively Beautiful

Get A Virtual Vampire Makeover!

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