Halloween Fright: A Ringleader & Her Lion

Emily Essentially | Fashion | Halloween Fright: A Ringleader & Her Lion 1

There is something about Halloween that brings me that feeling of sheer excitement and joy.  I'm still a sucker for all of that Halloween candy, and love seeing the innovative and cheeky costumes each and every year.  But for those of us who live in Metro Detroit, there is one event that gives the term "Halloween Party" a whole new meaning!  If you haven't heard of Theatre Bizarre, then you're truly missing out!  Held in Detroit's Masonic Temple each year, it is the world's largest masquerade spectacular; a visual and decadent display of morbid curiosity and ghoulish theatrics.  This is the second year I've attended the costume ball with my boyfriend, Andrew.  We didn't know what to expect last year, but after seeing how seriously the organizers take the decoration and preparation, and the wonderful time we had, we knew we needed to attend again.  

Theatre Bizarre attendees take their costumes VERY seriously, so I wanted to find a couple's costume that would be creepy but not cheesy.  I fell in love with a "ringleader" look that Jaclyn Hill wore for a costume party last year.  I felt that I could put my own twist on the look, and my boyfriend Andrew could be the manly, menacing lion that I was trying to tame.  It didn't take much to convince him this would look awesome, so I got his buy-in and we were off to the races.  Boy, did our final look come out great!  

The costumes were our first challenge to tackle.  For mine, I utilized a two-piece prom dress and a blazer I scored for a super deal on Poshmark.  The beading on the top of the prom dress felt very "liontamer-esque" and I knew the full tulle skirt could add some drama and be deconstructed to show a little skin.  The blazer served as a great blank canvas to receive a full ringleader makeover.  We didn't want to throw Andrew in some sort of cheap pre-made lion costume, so we opted for the tailored vest and pants that were shredded and bedazzled with cat-like stripes.  He scored these both at our local Salvation Army for under 20 bucks.  I thoroughly enjoyed decking out our costumes to the nines with glitter, appliques and fur.  A few accessories later and BOO! -  a ghoulish twist on a lion and his tamer!

The biggest undertaking on my part was determining what type of makeup would make our costumes believable and impressive. I drew inspiration from the look Jaclyn wore with her costume, and tweaked it a bit to really drive home the "ringleader" vibe. I pointed the peaks on either side of my eye, and gave them some pizzazz with rhinestones and glitter.  I also wanted a really outrageous hairstyle to add to the costume's mystery, so I opted for a frizzy, crimped hairdo with tons of volume. The hair held up all night and gave me the harlequin aesthetic I was going for.  

For Andrew, I knew his makeup would be the key to tying his look together.  I envisioned the makeup covering most of his exposed skin to make him look like a real (sexy) beast!  After watching a few werewolf, lion, and cat makeup tutorials, I mastered how to add fur-like detailing and how to accent his features with more cat-like cues (nose, whiskers and pointed eye shading).  I rounded out the look by covering his arms and chest with various shades of brown to mimic his costume.  After a few trial and error runs, the final look came out better than expected, and was surprisingly believable!

Check out our photos below - and a special thanks to Michelle at Enchanted Memories Photography & Exquisite Photography for perfectly capturing our costumes with these killer photos.  Her edits came out phenomenal.  Enjoy!

I hope you all have had a blast at Halloween parties this season, and I'm so excited to share my costume with you just in the nick of time!  Happy Halloween everyone! 

Emily Essentially