I just bought two new wigs, which can only mean one thing. It’s officially carnival season!
I have a serious, serious addiction to wigs and fortunately I live in the best city for costuming so there are many opportunities to wear them. Words can’t really describe the deep affinity I have for my hometown and everything associated with Mardi Gras. Even during my extended evacuation 3.5 year stint in Arizona I always took time off work for the most special day of the year.
Ya can’t really do Mardi Gras justice without a costume and ya can’t do a costume justice without a wig.
I take my costumes and my fun seriously so listen up for how to do it right.
A cheap wig will always look cheap but don’t be fooled by a high price tag either. Pick wigs that have a skin top (flesh colored plastic at the crown) and that are full, not thin to the point where your real hair shows through. Most synthetic wigs are made from kanekalon which has a realistic look. Unless your hair piece is of the human variety don’t attempt to heat style it! Anything besides a blow dryer on a low setting will melt the plastic fibers.
For idiot proof shopping Fifi Mahony’s in the French Quarter can’t be beat. Uptown Costume & Dancewear on Magazine St. and Napoleon has a wide variety but their quality varies. Never buy a wig from a drugstore, especially if we are blood related.
A hairpiece is much more presentable when it is styled. You probably aren’t going for a realistic look for a costume but little additions to your noggin will make the look more believable. Headbands, barrettes, scarves, and a strategically placed bobby pin can make a big difference. Even just two simple pigtails can really transform the piece.
A good wig will last you a long time with proper care. Gently brush your wig before and after use to maintain its shape and don’t just wad it up and throw it in the closet when you are done! I always store my wigs in a wig cap and/or the box they came in. If they get soiled or stinky you can wash them in warm water with a mild soap and let it air dry.
Make an outfit:
I typically think of a costume and then add the wig but you can certainly gain influence from the wig. If you have an outfit already picked out think about the style. Playing the part of a mermaid? Curly blue or green locks makes more sense than a fire engine red bob.
You don’t have don an entire costume but don’t just wear jeans and a t-shirt either. Make it a point to dress up a bit.
When you are trying on party wigs keep in mind that you can’t just throw one on and go! In order for it to really look good makeup is essential. Keep in mind you’ll want to wear more makeup than usual. Have a crazy colored eyeshadow? Now is a great time to test it out. I typically wear faux lashes for added oomph.
You can also get more wig and costume ideas by checking out the costumes tag in the sidebar.
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