Monday, October 26, 2009

No Cover-Up Here

This past Saturday, my husband and I threw our annual family Halloween party. We had a lot of fun planning it, putting it together, and then actually hosting it. We played games, ate lots of food, socialized, and, of course, admired everyone's costumes. I think that might be my favorite part of the whole thing - dressing up and seeing what everyone else thinks of. This year, my husband I used Big Trouble in Little China as our inspiration - which leads to the subject of this post.

My husband dressed up as Kurt Russell's character, Jack Burton, while I dressed up as Kim Catrall when she's in geisha get-up at the end. Anyway, as part of my costume, I needed my face to be painted white, with pink makeup all around my eyes. As I was getting everything together, I suddenly remembered a children's cookbook I have that has a homemade face paint recipe in it. I decided to try it - it would cost less and I could post it on my frugal blog! Plus, it seemed like it would be more skin-friendly since it used cold cream.

I got my ingredients together. I had everything except the cold cream - I had to buy that at the store. It cost about five dollars for a six-ounce bottle. I thought, "That's kind of expensive, but you don't need much of it. If you buy halloween make-up, you only get a little bit for the same price. This is going to pay for itself..."

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold cream. You mix them together until well blended.

Then you mix it with a 1/4 cup of water. That's your face paint base. From there, you separate it into other containers and add food coloring. I spread the white paint on my cheek to test it out. It was moist, but it spread well. I was patting myself on the back - I'd just saved myself a bunch of money in the future. I was going to make our Halloween face paint like this every year, I decided.

I packed it, like the recipe said, into air-tight zipper bags. I was a little concerned that the paint on my face hadn't really dried, but I wiped it off and got back to working on the party.

A few hours later, when it was time to get ready, I got my face paint out. I put it on. It didn't work at all like I'd hoped. It was wet and gooey looking. I tried to powder it with cornstarch. That didn't work either. I should have posted a picture of myself on here. I looked completely ridiculous. It was as if I'd put a bunch of heavy lotion on my face and then smeared a handful of flour on it. Not only did my face look horrible, but my bathroom sink was coated too. Finally, I just had to wipe it all off and improvise with some pink eyeshadow mixed with water and using a make-up brush dusted with cornstarch as a powder. In the end, my make-up looked just right for my costume. But, I wasted money in the process. Live and learn.

Two lessons learned here: one, this recipe was a bust for Halloween. Maybe it's just meant for kids who want to play and paint their faces for fun. It comes right off and it doesn't dry. Lesson two: don't wait until the last minute to experiment with some new recipe. True on so many levels...

But wait! Here's something useful (*sniff* I was so sure mine would be...) for your Halloween preparations this week - a link to bunch of Halloween ideas on Parent Hacks. I'm pretty sure these have all been tested successfully.

One other note: Check out the poll on the sidebar. I thought it would be interesting to get your opinion on some of the frugal ideas and suggestions I've read and come across. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm the only one that thinks these ideas are waaaay out there. Other times, I wonder if I'm not being open-minded enough. Anyway, I voted that I'm on the fence on the washing and reusing zipper bag thing. I'd consider reusing them if they were only barely used and used for something dry (like bread or cookies). And even then, I may just get too lazy to wash it out. However, some people swear by running them through the dishwasher (I even read about someone running a bunch through their washing machine) and some even wash and reuse aluminum foil. Different strokes for different folks, I guess...

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