Halloween is just a few days away, but you've still got time to craft a wicked look that will blow your friends away. From Disney villains to galactic guardians, here are five Halloween how-tos inspired by some of this year's pop-culture heavyweights.
Guardians of the Galaxy We are Groot.
Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill): This is the easiest look of the group: Throw on a blue shirt, a maroon leather jacket, and black pants. Extra points if you've got an old cassette player laying around (or thrifted!), and remember the orange headphones.
Gamora: Getting Gamora's getup isn't too difficult if you've got some patience with a little thing called body paint. Before you start painting yourself all green, you'll need the base of the costume. Go for black pants or leggings, boots, a tank top, and a vest. Make Gamora's wrist braces by cutting the arms off an old black shirt... or cutting the hands off a pair of opera-length gloves. Last, throw on a red ombre wig.
Drax the Destroyer: Time for some more body paint. You'll want a combination of dark green and red painted over your whole head and torso (this is where your fellow guardians come in handy). Throw on some boots and pants -- maroon, black, even yellow -- and you're ready to destroy the costume competition.
Groot: Brown is the name of the game for this larger-than-life tree with a three-word vocabulary. Make a Groot mask out of cardboard, and you'll look
Rocket: Get creative with some furry ears, a raccoon tail, and a whole lot of orange.
Where to go: Savers or Ragstock for costume bases. Walmart for body paint
Continue onwards to for this year's ultimate Disney "villain"...
Well, well, well... You want to channel the most bad-ass of Disney's villains? No need to summon all the powers of hell; you'll just need some patience.
For Maleficent's costume base, it's a safe bet to go with all black, and she even wears some pants (practical!) during a fight scene in the new Angelina Jolie-packed movie. You'll definitely need the most integral part of Maleficent's clothing -- her cape -- to really make an entrance. (And if there's one thing she knows how to do, it's that.)
Next, Maleficent's face: You can achieve those Gaga-esque cheekbones in a pinch without any prostheses. Just work some magic with foundation, highlighter, bronzer, and a few makeup brushes. Then get your Instagram brow game going, swipe some ultra-red lipstick on, and you're almost ready.
Last, those horns. This is where you really need to get creative. Sure, you can buy some ready-made ones if you're feeling lazy, but the challenge is part of the fun of this costume. We recommend creating a pliable-but-light base for the horns out of aluminum foil or a combination of foam and wire, as you want to be able to get Maleficent's signature horn curl, but these still have to sit on your head all night. Next, attach your horns to a sturdy headband. Now you're ready to start winding some black ribbon (or even black electrical tape) around the foundation of your horns until you've got 'em covered.
Where to go: Ragstock or Jo-Ann Fabric for the costume base. Michaels or Target for the horns.
Continue onwards for some freaky circus costumes...
American Horror Story: Freak Show
This season is ripe with great costumes -- but don't take it overboard and don't get offensive.
Elsa Mars: Jessica Lange is the reigning queen of AHS. This season, she's the aging wannabe star/ringleader of a sideshow circus. To channel Lange's character at her campiest, pop on a platinum Marilyn-esque wig, draw on some tiny
Marlena Dietrich pencil-thin brows, and then go wild with some blue eye shadow. (Seriously, pile it on and then put some more on.) Props if you carry a microphone and sing "Life on Mars" at people in a vaguely German accent all night long.
Twisty the Clown: This one requires some handiwork with face paint and the ability to not scare yourself every time you catch a glimpse of your reflection. The base of this costume is pretty easy, as it's just a regular, over-sized clown get-up. The catch? It needs to be filthy, so find your inner child and roll that thing in the dirt to achieve the look. Finally, the scariest part of Twisty: his face. Make it easy on yourself, skip the mask, and just use face paint -- you'll want to be able to speak and drink without having to pull a mask on and off your mouth all night. Paint a huge smile on your face, teeth, gums, and lips pulled into a terrifying-looking maw. Note: There's been a spate of terrifying clowns running around in real life lately, so don't freak people out (too much).
Where to go: Party City for clown gear. Savers or Ragstock for killer pantsuits. Target for ultra-vibrant makeup and wigs.
Continue onwards for more Disney-inspired costumes...
We're not gonna let it go. (Mostly because we've still got that damn song in our heads.)
Elsa: For Elsa's ultra-glam look, it's time to find an old prom dress (in blue, duh). Sew a long swath of sparkly, transparent fabric onto the back of the dress for her flowing cape (or if you're not aces with a needle and thread, you can even use safety pins). Next, channel your inner ice queen and get crazy with some glittery makeup. No need to dye your locks platinum blonde or learn how to do Elsa's signature plait, as there are a bunch of already-braided wigs out there from Toys R Us and Target.
Anna: Get dolled up like Anna at her sister's coronation ceremony in a spring-colored green gown. Already got brown locks? You can spray a strand white and braid it into the rest of your hair for Anna's frozen look. (Otherwise just do two braids and pin them on top of your head for the perfect milkmaid-inspired 'do.)
Where to go: Sally Beauty Supply for Anna and Elsa's makeup. Ragstock or Savers for old prom gowns. Jo-Ann Fabric for Elsa's cape.
Continue onwards for the coolest superhero this year...
This is the ultimate cool superhero costume of the year. Sure, this isn't a superhero movie per se, but damn does Birdman look amazing. (So does the film itself.)
Get some feathered wings -- even pre-fab angel wings will work -- and spray paint them a combo of dark blue and black. Next, your costume base can be as easy as re-purposing an old Batman costume -- armor and all -- and spray painting it navy. (If you don't want to have to smell like walking graffiti, then pick up some blue spandex instead.) Put on a red belt, and make a B-shaped buckle out of felt or cardboard. Birdman's mask can also be re-purposed from some old Batman gear (just remember to take off those bat ears) or a Captain America mask. Paint that mask a golden yellow and add a black beak down the middle. Finally, pull on some yellow boots and yellow gloves. Now you're ready to fly.
Better yet -- take the opportunity to make this a team costume. Get a friend to dress up as Riggan Thomson and follow him (or her!) around. For Riggan, you can rock some pretty ordinary clothes, a khaki trench coat, and some serious facial scruff. Pro-tip: Channel Michael Keaton.
Where to go: Target for superhero stuff. Or American Apparel for spandex.