My Ultimate Halloween Makeup Tips and Critiques

Halloween is nearly here, and while everyone else is dishing up tutorials to transform your face into sexy versions of whatever, I’m here to dish out some truth. I’m not going to show you how to do your makeup this Halloween, I’m going to show you how not to do it. Learn from these mistakes from a beauty expert. That’s me, it’s my blog, so I’m the expert right now. Watch me as I skilfully dissect some so-called iconic looks to give praise where it is due, but most importantly, to point out so big mistakes so you don’t fall into the same trap…

Captain “Pazuzu” Howdy, The Exorcist

I think it’s great that even as a Captain, Pazuzu is not afraid to experiment with some fierce looks. All I’m saying is that using eyeshadow to define your teeth is a bit too much even for the evening. But that contouring is really really good.

For you, I recommend: Colgate toothpaste, to keep those teeth shining pearly white.

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Netflix Picks for A Spooky Halloween!

If you’re hoping for a spooky weekend of frights, you could either head out for a ghost hunting session at your local haunted house, or stay inside and watch Netflix instead. If you’ve decided to go for the latter, then check out my top picks! I’m a bit of a horror aficionado, and all of these titles are ones I’ve enjoyed and enthusiastically recommended in the past! I have two categories here – TV shows and movies. Let me know if you have recommendations of your own in the comments!

(All of these are live on UK Netflix at the time of writing.)

TV shows

There’s one huge, high-profile show that everyone’s going to be talking about this Halloween, and that’s Stranger Things 2. It’s so huge that it even has its own Topshop collaboration. Set in ’80s America, it’s a huge nostalgia trip for anyone who grew up on a diet of movies like Stand By Me, ET, and The Goonies. It takes those ingredients and adds a major creep factor with a parallel world inhabited by monsters, ala Silent Hill, and even throws in some real world conspiracy theories that turned out to be true… That’s right, MK Ultra was a real thing, and so was the US government experimenting with psychics for use in warfare. If that doesn’t creep you out I don’t know what will…

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Halloween Style 2016

The run-up to Halloween is in full swing, and if there’s one place you need to go for cute yet sophisticated Halloween goodies, it’s Fortnum and Mason. Every year they produce a range of fearsome snacks, sweets and treats, and even if you’re not buying, heading for a browse is a must-do in October. (And please, don’t forget to visit for Christmas too!)

You can also check out their range online here. I think I’d die and go to heaven if I ever got my hands on one of their incredible Halloween hampers, especially this nifty black and orange version!

Closer to home, the great pumpkin purchasing has begun – I always buy way too many pumpkins, because I love making displays of them, cooking with them, and carving them! Locally, the best place to go for pumpkins is either the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, or Pickwell Farm.

I went with my parents earlier in the month and managed to spend £27 on pumpkins… Yes, I bought A LOT of them.

But, how could you resist when they’re so cute and adorable? I picked up a dozen mini orange ones, and a dozen more white ones, which will be perfect to mark place settings on my table at Thanksgiving too!

When it comes to edible pumpkins, you have to try Crown Prince. In my opinion, this is the absolute finest culinary pumpkin, pictured above – and what’s better, it’s easy to spot! It has a beautiful duck-egg blue skin, so you’ll always be able to find it without confusing it with other types. And, if you see the Gem squash on sale, nab some of those, too. Cut off the tops, and fill them with cream, cheese, garlic and a sprig of thyme. Bake in the oven and serve for a hearty lunch or starter. These are a speciality of my mum’s and everyone loves them!

London’s bakeries are getting into the spirit of Halloween with loads of wicked treats! You can make a similar biscuit at home with your favourite sugar cookie or shortbread dough – just form them into fingers and add a blanched almond ‘fingernail’ at the top, and smear liberally with jam!

If you want some more Halloween inspiration, make sure you check out my post about Lancaster London’s Halloween ARTea experience – it was amazing, and the food was utterly, utterly divine. (Still thinking about those chorizo tarts!)

Charlotte Olympia’s window is looking very on trend right now with its spider web logo – and I have to say, I love wearing my kitty flats this time of year because not only are they utterly gorgeous, but they’re also very Halloween-ish!


I also really, really wish I could get a pair of their cool spider web logo earrings, here, but I’m trying very hard to be good with my spending at the moment… Hmm.

Another great Halloween idea for biscuits – ice dark chocolate gingerbread men to look like skeletons! Don’t you just love their cute little skulls?!

So, there’s my round up of some cool Halloween style I’ve spotted recently – how are you going to celebrate this year?! Share your tips in the comments!

Let’s play Halloween dress-up: high/low fashion picks

October is my favourite month of the year – the start of autumn, time for cosy coats, toffee apples, crunchy leaves, Halloween, and, of course, my birthday! This year, I’ve been looking at loads of cool items on the market for celebrating Halloween (as it’s on a Saturday again, whoooooo). I found two gorgeous pairs of spider-inspired shoes – can you guess which ones cost £575 and which cost £45?

3 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Hopscotch

3 Dec Hopscotch Text

You are now witness to my confession – I actually broke this colour out in October for Halloween, before I bought some full sized orange nail varnish. I regret nothing! Ciate’s site describes it as: “As refreshing as a tall glass of fizzy orange soda with a swirly straw, this delicious bright pop shade is colour blocking heaven and a huge dose of colour for happy fingers and toes.” You can purchase a bottle here.

3 Dec Hopscotch Opening

Hopscotch is the perfect Halloween orange – cheery, bright and peppy! I also love it with a matte top coat too!

3 Dec Hopscotch montage

You probably can’t quite see in the image, but on the lower left I have left the tips with a shiny finish… A bit subtle for my iPhone camera! I really like the simple matte look of this colour – I think it really highlights the beauty of this orange shade.

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Spooky Swampy Green Thai Curry Recipe for Halloween

If you have some guests coming over for Halloween and you want to serve something in the spirit of the celebration, then have I got a recipe for you! There are loads of foods themed for children, but this is a slightly more subtle recipe that takes an old classic and gives it a little tweak to make it suitable for All Hallow’s Eve!

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Spooky Swampy Green Thai Curry Recipe

This recipe makes enough for 10-12 people, when served with rice.

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Ingredients text

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 6lb pork shoulder, diced
  • 4 tbsp green Thai curry paste
  • 3 cans light coconut milk (400ml each)
  • 3 cans full fat coconut milk (400ml each)
  • 2 sticks lemongrass
  • 40 dried lime leaves
  • 60ml fish sauce
  • 6 tsp sugar
  • 200g frozen chopped spinach
  • 2tsp green food colouring
  • 1kg frozen broccoli
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Rice to serve

Spooky Green Thai Curry

Method text

  • Fry the pork in batches until browned, and set to one side.
  • With your last batch of pork, add in your curry paste and cook for a minute.
  • Add a splash of water to the pan to bring up any juices stuck to the base.
  • Gradually add in your coconut milk, stirring well to remove lumps.
  • Add in the lime leaves and lemongrass, and return the pork to the pan.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is cooked.
  • Add in the fish sauce and sugar.
  • Add in your spinach and food colouring, then test for seasoning.
  • Now, if you’re making this overnight, allow to cool and place in the fridge, so you can remove excess coconut oil when it has solidified. Or, you can skim the oil from the surface with a ladle.
  • Around 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the frozen broccoli, and then cook until piping hot. Alternatively, to keep the broccoli’s colour, parboil, then refresh under cold running water, then run it under boiling water and add to the pan at the last minute.

Spooky Green Thai CurryYou can also read more about other Halloween food from past years here!

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Halloween at Fortnum and Mason

F&M have really knocked it out of the park with their seasonal selections this year. At the beginning of the month, I headed to London with my husband for my birthday and had a blast taking a look at both the Halloween and Christmas displays at the department store. I’ll save the Christmas pics for now, but I thought I’d share these spooky visual treats with you in celebration of Halloween tomorrow!

Fortnum Mason Montage 1

There will definitely be some lucky trick or treaters in London tomorrow if these goodies are anything to go by! You can order online at http://www.fortnumandmason.com/, or pop into the store at 181 Piccadilly. If you’ve never been, you really should visit this most beautiful and historic department store – and if you’re already a regular, I hope I’ve induced you to pop in again to see their amazing seasonal displays!

Personally, I am lusting over that lollipop, those skulls, and those darling little hampers. I’ve always wanted a F&M hamper, and those ones with the orange ribbons are just too adorable!

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Halloween Snakeskin Nail Art Tutorial

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I’m really getting into the Halloween spirit here, and this is my third and final Halloween nail tutorial. (You can see my post about a pretty starry night tutorial here, and a pumpkin confetti tutorial here.)

As I’m going to be dressing as Medusa this Halloween, I thought a snakeskin mani was the only appropriate choice for nail art! Luckily, it’s pretty easy to replicate this.

Snakeskin Montage 1Indigo Skull Scarf, Alexander McQueen

All you need is are two contrasting colours, some lace, and a makeup sponge. I’ve found that this effect works best if you use a dark colour underneath and a lighter colour on top. My tools are in the top left, and my first attempt is on the top right. Bottom left shows you how to place the lace over your varnished nail: basically, paint your nails as usual with your base and colour, then stretch over the lace and sponge the lighter top coat over the top, very sparingly. You then end up with the effect on the right! I used Ruby & Millie in Green, and topped with Revlon’s Gold Coin. Then, a slick of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, if you’re happy with the look. But me, I’m NEVER happy…

Snakeskin Montage 2Snake Finger Tip Ring, ASOS / Grey Snakeskin Bag, Primark / Snake Bracelet, ASOS / Snake Necklace, eBay / Grey Skull Bracelet, Links of London

The top two images are the plain snakeskin mani, but if your base colour is very opaque, you can paint that over the top again, and get a really subtle snakeskin look, especially if you use a metallic glitter like I did…

But wait! There’s more!

Matte montageEmerald Ring, Primark

If you’re going the whole hog, you may as well add some OPI Matte Top Coat, too! I found it really makes the snakeskin effect pop through the opaque layer…

Matte nails 2

Any plans for fancy nails this Halloween? Is anyone going to try out these tutorials? Let me know below!

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Halloween Confetti: Pumpkin Manicure

Halloween confetti text 1

Another manicure inspired by Pinterest (specifically this one), this is pretty much a copy, except it’s matte. So, in essence, it’s a completely original idea I had all by myself. Hooray!

I’ve been totally obsessed with matte nails for ages, and it’s fascinating what a difference it can make to the overall look just to take off the shine. Somehow it looks more… I’m trying to think of a word other than polished, but I can’t. Holy contradiction, Batman!

Halloween confetti mosiac

At my local Boots, I found a grand total of three different orange polishes and ended up plumping for Maybelline Orange Attack, as it was the most vibrant. I always use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus on my nails, as they are very weak and need all the help they can get. After that, a couple of coats of Orange Attack, then a couple of L’Oreal Confetti Top Coat, then one of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Then, the finishing touch – a swipe of OPI’s Matte Top Coat to finish.

Halloween confetti text 2

An easy, effective Halloween manicure that looks much more complex than it actually is. One word of caution – the Confetti Top Coat is incredibly difficult to remove! You have been warned… WHOOOOO! (Insert spooky sound effect.)

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Halloween Accessories: The Medusa Edition

Halloween is fast approaching, and if you don’t want to go the whole hog with your costume, you can add some bold accessories to a simple black outfit to create a stylish and spooky look for any party! This year, I’m going as Medusa, and while my costume is nothing to speak of, I’ve been having a great time looking through the many accessories on offer from http://www.asos.com. Here are some of my favourites!

Medusa Style

 
(Just click on the graphic to be taken to Polyvore, where you can find individual links to all of these items.)

There are literally dozens of options for rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets on the site, and the good thing is, you can wear these items year round! Don’t just save the snake motif for Halloween… I’d like to know what you’re planning for Halloween! Let me know what costume you’re thinking of unleashing this 31st!
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