Lazy (busy) girl's guide: costumes (for the grownups)

by Amanda Bedgood

The no-fail way to rock the Halloween party on a dime (zero creativity required)

So, here's the thing about Halloween. When you're a kid, it's super fun what with the costumes and candy. As a young adult, it's super fun what with the sexy costumes you can get away with ... and the candy. And then you become an adult and need to wear something that's a little more respectable, but still fun. (Because nobody wants to be that mom at the kid's carnival in the sexy mouse (or cat or leopard or whatever scanty getup and ears you choose) costume. If you do want to be that mom, more power to ya. But, we will call you a cougar behind your back.)

So it is with this in mind that I offer what I think is the easiest costume to date. The sorceress or the evil queen. Inspired by fellow IND gal and friend Laura Ketteringham who rocked just such a sorceress costume a few years ago after being inspired by (of all people) Martha Stewart, it got my creative juices flowing.

Laura wore a long golden-taupy formal, wrapped herself in miles of tulle around the shoulders, donned shimmering dramatic makeup and carried a golden staff. She looked fabulous. And frankly, I don't care if it's Halloween or your wedding day, this IND styler just can't bear to ugly it up for any cause.

The sorceress costume is the perfect use for those old bridesmaid dresses those liar brides swore were "so versatile, you'll totally wear it again." (I actually did chop off a pepto pink such dress and went as a fairy about ten years ago.) Your dress can truly be any color. Then head over to JoAnn's Fabric and snag some tulle at a whopping $1.50 a yard and wrap around your shoulders (it can be messy). Paint a long stick gold as your wand and add some dramatic makeup. A few jewels stuck here and there on the face are a nice touch. And if you ask me a pair of long gloves always costume it up.

If your bridesmaid dress (or old formal) is a dark color, you can lean more toward the evil queen vibe. Try a lacy wrap instead of tulle or pick a Halloween-themed sheer fabric covered in spider webs or bats. The key for both looks are the beauty choices. And the good news is you probably need buy very little in the way of makeup.

Shadows in the wine family work well for these costumes, which means you can also use a dark lipstick instead of shadow. A glitter shadow would also be great trailed around the eyes. MAC has beautiful pigments that are sparklier than a drag queen. For the lips, a too dark shade is perfect for the evil queen. For a golden sorceress, try a pale gold color.

A pair of dramatic fake lashes are a must. Around this time of year there's a great variety of cooky lashes, but a regular old pair will do as well. Add loads of dramatic jewelry. And then the hair.

For the hair, I advise you choose an extreme. Either slicked back in a super flat tight ponytail or bun. Or (my personal fav) go big. For my hair at the Saints and Sinners Bash and Vampire's Ball last weekend, I chose big (really big). And yes, I did it myself. It's not that hard when it's okay to be a bit messy as it is in this case.

Start with dirty hair. Curl your hair with a curling iron. Spray a tremendous amount of dry shampoo all through the roots. Then tease. Now that you've teased your entire head ... go back and tease it again. (I mean, really tease it. Like your life depends on getting a call back for that White Snake video.) If you're feeling kind of wild Medusa this might be your last step. I twisted my hair in the back like a French twist and crammed in a few bobby pins then sprayed it with a ridiculous amount of Big Sexy Spray and Play. (If you care at all about having big hair you should own this hair spray.)

As the night goes on your hair may start to fall and your makeup may smudge, but it's Halloween. Start as the evil queen and wrap the night as the zombie prom queen.