If you are bypassing the costume party and heading out to dinner Halloween night, you can still conjure up a bewitching edge.
Think Maleficent-meets-Holly-Go-Lightly. Start with a little black dress, add the color orange by any other name — pumpkin, coral, cayenne, tangelo — and stir the caldron of options.
There are more than 60 shades of orange on the Pantone color wheel (the color forecaster for both fashion and interior design), which adds hundreds of choices for turning up the volume on basic black. Be bold or demure.
Kay Fausset chose the former.
“I wore this to a Halloween party, and everyone wanted to buy it,” says Fausett, speaking of the bold shawl she plucked off a mannequin at her Judy’s boutique and wrapped around her shoulders to illustrate.
Not a Halloween symbol was spared with owls, spiders and even candy corn embroidered against a black background, the scalloped edges of the silky wrap rimmed with dangling beads.
“Actually, it’s a table runner,” said Fausett, offering practical proof that Halloween is a holiday where there are no rules.
One’s woman hundred-dollar table decoration is another’s festive stole. Dual-purpose items have endured since Scarlett O’Hara transformed velvet curtains into a respectable lady frock.
Walk through any boutique or department store, and the orange options are plentiful, from clutches and shoulder bags to scarves and even shoes. Halloween-themed jewelry starts as low as $5 and can be found everywhere from hobby shops to gift boutiques.
Savvy retailers know that a glittering, yet affordable, rhinestone spider necklace on display at the cash register is as tempting to a woman as Halloween candy displays at the grocery checkout are to children.
Add black cateye glasses, orange or slime-green nail polish (plus decals or nail art, if you wish), press-on sequinned tattoos of the witchy kind, vintage or costume hats, enchanting headbands, or fishnet stockings with a spider-web pattern, and you can turned an ordinary night out into an enchanted evening.
Moderation in all things is verboten on Halloween night, but if you prefer a look-at-me approach with a single focal point, consider getting out your makeup brushes.
“Screaming-orange eye shadow and brown eyeliner are perfect for blue eyes,” says makeup artist Robert Hudson — roberthudson-makeup.com — whose artistic resume includes behind-the-scenes special effects for the catwalks of Milan and New York.
“Orange complements blue eyes and makes them even bluer than they are,” he said. “You can add false eyelashes with particles of orange glitter or delicate rhinestones.”
But you don’t have to have Bette Davis blues to wear the look, and the steadier one’s hand, the better the results if you go for black liquid eyeliner.
“With a bold eye, go for a softer look for the mouth,” says Hudson. “Go for an orange gloss with micro-glitter.”
Most of these theatrical effects can be found in edgier cosmetic lines such as Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever and MAC. MAC created an entire Maleficient makeup collection. Angelina Jolie’s shade of choice for the film was the Lipglass in Anthurium.
Fashion bloggers also tout Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics line for its “lip tar” in a wide range of unexpected shimmering colors (including orange) and its cream-based pigments (the bright orange is called District) that can be worn on eyes, cheeks or lips.
Downright spooky, isn’t it, how Halloween style is just a series of magical tricks?