I had wanted to do a Black & White Halloween character and started to look into movie and TV personalities. Since the I Love Lucy show began in 1951 and was only broadcasted in B & W, I thought it would be a perfect costume. The trouble was trying to find out what makeup to use and how to apply…. if you are thinking of doing any B&W makeup you should checkout a “How to” video on YouTube. You can google “black & white makeup Starlet” or cut/paste. This was a lifesaver!!!
It is a time consuming process. I made 3-4 practice runs with the makeup and would make changes in the amount of base or lipstick and kept fine tuning it (my cheeks especially). By Halloween day I had it shorted down to 1 hour of applying and that is what you see in the photos. I would like to suggest wearing a black OR white scarf around your hair while doing your makeup. It gives you a sense of what your skin color will be with the wig. Take in mind that in the 50’s, women overdrew their lipstick. So making sure you go outside the lines is necessary. I also blew up photos of Lucille Ball and taped them to the mirror so I could get as close as possible to the real thing. I finished it off with a mix of grey powder with translucent finishing powder (this soften my features).
As for the costume, the dress was found at a consignment store for under $20. It is actually a 80’s style made dress. The expensive part was the two sets of crinoline I needed to make the skirt dress “flair”. Vintage crinoline ran me $50 for the pair. I also purchased a pair of grey hose so I didn’t have to makeup my legs. The small tea gloves were my grandmothers. Shoes were peep toe pumps that I wear to work.
I topped off the costume with a “I Love Lucy” red wig from a costume shop. It can be had for around $30 (I think). To get the hair the correct color I bought two cans of grey hair paint at the costume shop.
KEEP IN MIND, B&W TV IS SET MORE TO A GREY SCALE. IT IS NOT TRULY BLACK & WHITE
I used two cans and still had a little red peaking thru…so I baby powdered the wig the best I could. I added fake pearl necklace and earrings to finish the whole look off.
I was the Belle of the Ball (Lucille anyway) and everyone was just in awe of my costume! It was even more impressive when people took photos and viewed them later, how striking the B&W costume appeared against a color background. I also practiced her facial features by watching old episodes on YouTube.