The 101 to throwing a Halloween party for grown-ups
27 October 2020

There’s little that’s subtle about Halloween, what with the over-the-top parties, gaudy costumes and spooky decorations that are often associated with it. Even its origins – which dates back over 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain – are deeply rooted in death and the supernatural. But this year, subtlety might be a prerequisite for those looking to still partake in holiday-related gatherings and celebrations. 

Even if the clubs won’t be throwing their annual soirees, Singapore’s most extravagant haunted house Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Singapore have been canceled, and people are likely to be more wary of trick-or-treaters, there are still ways you can turn up the spook (and fun) factor in the comfort of your own home. 

Get the look right

Before modern-day Halloween costumes heavily borrowed influences from Hollywood and popular culture, traditional Halloween costumes, drawing on the holiday’s pagan and Christian roots, were downright scary. After all, costumes were thought to be a way to ward off or fool evil spirits that roamed the earth on the 31st of October. 

But we know – it’s hard to want to get into elaborate costumes when you are having a Halloween gathering at home with a restricted number of friends. However, getting dressed up for Halloween is still probably one of the most traditional of Halloween practices you can partake in. This year, why not combine laziness and creativity and see which one of you and your friends can transform into the most recognisable characters, persons or things, while making the least amount of effort? 

Here are some thought starters

  1. Masks! Stock up on some Halloween-themed masks that you can add to your ever-growing collection of masks. There are some cool options here that will get you a backward glance or two while you’re out and about, and at the same time, won’t look out of place at a Halloween gathering. Or take inspiration from Lady Gaga’s quirky mask collection.

If the feel you’re after is more understated, the colourful, printed Masker.ade Reversible Face Masks from The Social Space (#01-03) may not be Halloween-themed, but are bound to jazz up any outfit you are wearing all the same.

2. Make Up! Channel your inner Joker ala Joaquin Phoenix’s version, where it’s said this look could be achieved in about 20 minutes. How to apply mime makeup you ask?

  • Have a clean and prepped face – wash your skin, pat it dry and moisturize. Men seeking this look should shave prior for a smoother application.
  • Apply white face paint all over the face, including the lips. This may require one or two coats. Note: apply only to the face and not down the neck!
  • Use a large fluffy brush or sponge to apply setting powder to lock the colour. Consider a white powder or a translucent version.
  • Draw eyebrows above your natural brows using black face paint, an eyebrow pencil or liquid eyeliner. You have creative license on the brows to be worn thick, thin or in any shape you like.
  • Use black eyeliner to add definition to the eyes. Layer on the mascara for a more dramatic look (optional).
  • The lips can be left white, outlined or designed with shapes. Use red lipstick with a lip brush for precise application.
  • Apply a dusting of setting powder to complete the makeup.

Source: Mime Make Up

3. Props! If masks and makeup aren’t quite your style, have fun creating props to illustrate your avatar from The Sims gameplay or simply go as yourself!

Get your furry friends to join in the fun too with outfits of their own. Granted, these are more cute than scary, but they are still bound to get you loads of Instagram likes.

Costumes not your cup of tea? Have Halloween-themed nail art instead – get some inspiration here, and bring the ideas to your manicurist. Pop into Nail Bliss (#B2-70) and consult your friendly manicurist for some spook-tacular nail art (rates vary with nail art selected).

Whatever you do, resist the urge to dress up as a virus, as tongue-in-cheek as you think it may be.

Spruce up the place

Whole pumpkins are essential for the Halloween prep and they are available at your nearest good supermarket, like Cold Storage (#B2-15/16). Pair these with some mesh fabric that you can drape around the table or sofa to mimic spider webbing. You can even throw in a couple of rubber spiders if there are no arachnophobes amongst you.

Pumpkin treatment doesn’t have to be jack-o’-lantern style, for a stylish take, have them in white and pink or slather gold with big eyes to boot. Or dressed in black paint for a glitzier version.

To spruce up empty walls, cut out bat shapes from black paper and stick them to the walls as a fuss-free and quirky nod to the holiday. This is also the time to light up the candles you’ve received as Christmas gifts over the years and place them around your house. There’s no quicker way to set the mood for some spook without going overboard than some gently flickering light. Bonus if these are pumpkin-scented candles. 

Insert small pins into the candles for the “tortured” look to up the creepy ante to the room.

Hang up some ghouls using ping-pong balls cover with cheese cloth. Mark out eyes with a black marker.

Find the right entertainment

There’s nothing as quintessentially Halloween as hosting a scary movie watch party. The trick to selecting a good Halloween flick however, is to steer clear of those that are actually scary and disturbing, and instead opt for those that inspire more laughs than screams. In other ways, it’s a big no-no to movies like “Hereditary”, but yes to “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and the original Scream franchise.

Some of our other campy favourites include “Urban Legend” (featuring a young, pre-Oscar-winning Jared Leto), “Cabin in the Woods” (with an ensemble cast including Chris Hemsworth) and “Zombieland” (zombies – what’s not to love?). These are all available for streaming on Netflix.

Alternatively, is there anything scarier than having to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets in a good old-fashioned game of Truth or Dare? 

Whet those appetites

Since there aren’t exactly any traditional Halloween grub, food and drink revolving around the holiday usually means something blood-themed. The easiest way to stay on point? Make your own red wine sangria, fill up a punch bowl and place it right in the middle of your table (next to the fake pumpkins) as an eye-catching centrepiece. For that extra oomph, fill a latex glove with water, tie the end firmly with string and pop it into the freezer for a day. Carefully cut and peel away the glove from the ice and have it embrace the sangria.

To stay in the spirit of things (pun fully intended), head to Starbucks (#B2-08) for their kitschy array of Halloween-themed cakes and a SPOOK-a-ccino Frappuccino or Pizza Express (#01-20) for an “Eensy Weensy Spider” classic pizza with an “Eyeballs” berry cooler for that eerily chilling experience.

And what’s Halloween without some candy? Treats galore from Cold Storage (#B2-15/16) for your selection or pop in at the fruit section and dress them up for Halloween. For the added challenge, make your own adult-appropriate, booze-filled candies instead? This recipe from Bon Appetit yields yummy brightly-coloured candy gems that pack a punch with Campari and Grand Marnier.