Fancy Dress – Doing it cheap with minimal ridiculousness

My brother loves a bit of fancy dress, so it was no surprise when he declared his 30th birthday has mandatory Disney fancy dress.

There are hundreds of ready made outfits that you can buy for £30-£40, but these always need more accessories so you end up spending about £50/£60…not me..

So first things first, you need to chose a character you like or have some kind of affinity for. I chose Ursula of Little Mermaid fame, as I get older I feel more villainous and with modern takes on stories for example Maleficent you start feeling more empathy for the baddies. Also Ursula was inspired by the epic drag queen, Divine and I simply love the art of drag!

So in creating a costume you need to think what are the details that make a character them. For Ursula the first iconic thing is her purple glow. I created the glow with my normal super pale foundation (MAC Studio Fix in NC15), powdered with a NYX eyeshadow in frosted lilac and surrounded by a combination of two snazaroo face paints (purple and white).

The second piece is the fierce make up. The lips were of course Ruby Woo by MAC as it is strong, matt and it stays put. I blacked my eyebrows and pumped them up, as well as adding a lot of black eyeliner and lashes! The beauty spot is always there, but I blacked that up too to make it pop. Finally on make up there was a lot of contouring (especially around the nose) to make the features sharper and a bit more naughty looking.

Hair is another key part of Ursula’s look, but I did not want to cut my hair or to wear a hot wig trawling around London’s bars. So I French plaited my hair so I could do a bit of a short illusion, then sprayed a whole can of white hair spray over it. Wow was my hair solid.

The outfit was a little simpler, a black bandeau dress, purple tights and a shell necklace (all from Amazon). These pieces reflected Ursula’s style and key colours without me needing to sew tentacles to myself!

Overall I spent about £30. The most expensive part of the outfit was the dress at £15 but really any black dress would do.

Fancy dress does not need to be literal and look exactly like a picture, have fun with it and be creative. As long as you’ve captured the key things that make the character then, you can’t go far wrong!

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