The days of cheapie masks and plastic costumes for Halloween are over.
Now, it’s all about authentic costumes, whether you’re looking to be a vampire or a vixen. And makeup worthy of a Hollywood soundstage replaces the masks.
Though Halloween is the busiest time of year for Daydreams & Nightmares owner Dana Walters, there are other occasions that call for costumes and makeup. Recently, this has included law enforcement training scenarios, such as one conducted at Mae Hensley Junior High School in Ceres in September.
In prior years, actors portraying victims to whom something horrible has happened might have worn a sticker identifying the type of wound they have. Now, with broken animal bones, makeup and other tricks, they look like the real thing.
It brings the message home for the emergency responders working the scenario and the students playing the roles, Walters said.
And it’s good practice for the makeup artists, who this time of year are called upon to work their magic for partygoers and Halloween enthusiasts throughout the region.
Zombies are big this year, according to Walters and Kristy George, co-owner of Second Chance Consignments and Costume Corner, which also rents costumes.
“We’re selling a lot of makeup for that,” said George, whose store offers a line of Ben Nye theatrical makeup.
Also big this year: flappers and gangsters, George said. “A lot of people have seen (the movie) ‘The Great Gatsby,’” she said. “That’s been an influence.”
And there are the classics that are big every year: superheroes, witches. “A lot of people are going old school,” George said.
That’s if they’re wearing costumes at all. Some of the more bold among Walters’ customers go in for heavy makeup – and not much else.
“We had one woman get made up like a zebra,” Walters said. Her costume: a pair of panties. The rest was paint. We can’t print the photograph in a family newspaper, but the look was impressive.
Another customer walked out of the shop looking like a character from the movie “Avatar.”
“We do a lot of naked,” Walters said.
Other people like to use their imagination — both local stores rent full costumes to those who want them, but also sell lots of accessories for people who have something singular in mind.
“People like to create and do their own things,” George said.
Check it out: Nightmares & Dreamscapes, 1408 N. Carpenter Road, Suite 6, Modesto, (209) 575-0023; Second Chance Consignments, 3113 McHenry Ave., Modesto, (209) 523-1199.