Thinking Costume: The Vampire

Vampire makeup tutorials by AndreasChoice, BeautyLiciousInsider, Julia Graf, and AudFaced

Darlings, as you search for your Halloween costume this year, perhaps you’ve considered and rejected the vampire as a possibility. Indeed, vampires seem to be everywhere these days, popular to the point of over-saturation.  And yet, the vampire has existed as a monster in our collective consciousness since time out of mind, with historians documenting accounts of blood-drinking demons and deities since before the time of Christ. Evolving over time to the suave and alluring creature we know today, the vampire offers more than 2,000 years of costume opportunity. Take a look at these four different tutorials below to inspire your own personal take on that enduring fiend of legend and lore, the vampire.

With bruised eyes and a gore-streaked mouth, this ghoulish tutorial from Chelsea of BeautyLiciousInsider  hearkens to the gruesome vampires that plagued eastern Europe from the middle ages to the 18th century, with belief in vampires spiking in the 1700’s. Known as the “18th-Century Vampire Controversy,” widespread staking and disinterment to identify and kill suspected vampires raged across a large portion of Europe for most of a generation. These vampires were described in official historical accounts of vampire hunting as “ruddy, purplish, or dark in colour” with “blood…often seen seeping from the mouth and nose.”

Taking a glamorous, sexy spin on a similar palette, the tutorial below by Julia Graf of MissChievous ties the modern trend of vampires as compellingly attractive with the ancient concept of Lilith, known throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond as a creature sexually powerful but inherently dangerous…and with a taste for blood.

Recently re-popularized in vampire books and movies (you know the one), Cat from AudFaced creates a Victorian-inspired vampire in the tutorial below. This vampire, gaunt yet aristocratic and alluring, was ushered into our collective consciousness in the 19th century with John Polidori’s 1819 gothic horror story, The Vampyre. Fueled by the Victorian fad for occult and spiritualism and a wide-spread belief linking death by consumption (known today as tuberculosis and responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in England in 1815) with vampirism, fear and fascination with vampires reached a fever pitch by 1897 with the publication of Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula. Pair the heavy facial conturing and dark eyes of this fin de siecle fiend tutorial below with upswept hair and high necklines – the better to hide the still-livid bite marks inflicted by your maker.

At the start of the 20th century, the world was still mad for vampires, but the quintessential vampire had evolved for the modern era. The vamp of the 1910’s and 20’s was exotic, with dark, mysterious eyes evoking the sinister sexuality of the female vampire.  The tutorial below by Andrea captures a modern take on this vintage look, with dramatic eyes and soft facial contouring. If you need costume inspiration for this look (or prefer a more historically accurate turn-of-the century vamp makeup look), check out this vintage vamp makeup tutorial and photo gallery of legendary vamps such as Nita Naldi, Pola Negri, Musidora, and Theda Bara.

As undead creatures indifferent to time, these different makeup looks are suited to a variety of different costumes, from something you simply have in the closet (depending on your vampire, anything from everyday street clothes to dramatic, sexy evening attire), to costumes from eras past. Given the historical association, Victorian or Edwardian-inspired outfits are a fun choice – make use of the proliferation of steampunk to find pre-made costumes or easy DIY tutorials, like these for skirt, dress and accessories, and upswept hair or psyche knot. For more Victorian vampire inspiration, check out Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1872 (a full quarter century before Dracula), this Gothic horror novella tells the story of a young woman’s falling under the sway of Carmilla, a mysterious and bewitching female vampire.

If you prefer a more monstrous, Nosferatu-inspired look than the tutorials featured above, try this makeup look with twisted fangs and yellowing clawsplus a black robe or hoodie. For a simple couples costume, pair any of these costume looks with a bloody vampire bite.  You can find a standard neck puncture tutorial here, or a gory hand bite here. Costume blood can be purchased at any big box or Halloween store, or simply make your own in a few easy steps.

Happy haunting, and don’t forget to submit your Halloween costume pictures for our big 2013 Halloween Costume Contest!

Related Posts:

A Man, Tall and Thin, and Ghastly Pale: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Heartsick and Eyes Filled Up with Blue: Rotting True Blood Tutorial

- In Their Eyes, Oracular: 1920′s Vintage Vamp Makeup

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