David Bowie Halloween Costume


Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, face paint, halloween costume

If you were to ask me right now, “Grace, what is your dream job?” I would probably respond by saying I want to be a costume designer. Not only does putting together a costume require a lot of creativity (and oftentimes craftiness!), but there’s also something SO satisfying about recreating an iconic look. Today I present to you: David Bowie’s album cover of “Aladdin Sane.” Ok so, full disclosure, of the six people who have see this costume so far…none of them have known who I am. Am I the only one who recognizes this famous Ziggy Stardust look? My boyfriend saw the lighting bolt and thought I was Lightning McQueen, which honestly, I’ll take.

David Bowie, album cover, Aladdin Sane, face paint

Image Source

In all honesty, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t a *little* disappointed that nobody recognized my costume. BUT I know there will be some big Bowie fans out there who get me (or have just browsed last-minute Halloween costumes on Pinterest enough times to see this one pop up). Regardless, throwing on a costume should be a fun—I repeat, fun—way to take on a persona different from your own. Maybe nobody recognizes me, but dang-nabbit I sure had a good time painting my face! If you do like this Ziggy Stardust costume and want a few tips to recreate it, here ya’ go:

face paint, lightning bolt, Ziggy Stardust

What You Need

  • Shimmery orange face paint
    • I used the palette Paradise Makeup AQ, which I’ve used in the past and highly recommend.
    • It comes off easily with makeup remover.
    • The orange color was a little too bright for my liking, so I brushed some sparkly eyeshadow on over it.
  • Black face paint or liquid eyeliner
  • Sparkly turquoise face paint/eyeliner
  • Orange/purple eyeshadow
  • Hair spray
    • Used to poof up your hair (mine should have been much poofier).
    • To be most similar to the original album cover, you should temporarily dye your hair an orange/reddish color.
    • BUT if you’re just looking for a quick, cute costume, curling your hair would be a nice addition.
  • Silver lipstick
    • Optional.
    • I used the color metallic color “Flushed” by CoverGirl.
    • I only gently dabbed it onto my lips to add a little shimmer.

Halloween, costume ides, face paint, David Bowieselfies, Halloween, Aladdin Sane, 70s pop star

Useful Tips

  • With the Paradise face paint, a little water goes a long way. Adding too much will dull the color and make it less opaque.
  • Start with the orange paint first, and then do the black, and then add the turquoise last. After that, add any eyeshadow you deem necessary and throw on some mascara!
  • Consider which side you want the lightning bolt to be on. If you want to look just like Bowie, start on the top left of your face and go to the bottom right of your face. But if you plan on taking a ton of selfies because you couldn’t guilt anyone into taking photos of you (who, me?), then you’ll have to paint it opposite so it shows up correctly in the auto-flipped selfie photos.
  • Pluck your eyebrows first! I had a bit of a unibrow growing in which did not bode well for the face paint, hehe.
  • In hindsight, I would use masking tape (yes, on my face) to create clean lines. I didn’t think of this until it was too late, so I had to free draw the lines. As you can imagine, they are a little crooked in places.

David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, costume

What to Wear

Technically on the album cover, David Bowie is shirtless. But if you don’t want to be charged with nudity this Halloween, I recommend any combination of the following clothing options:

  • A faux fur vest or jacket in a fun color
  • Any sparkly or shiny clothing
  • A holographic jumpsuit, if you’re really going all-out
  • A cute whimsical dress, like myself (the bottom has tulle)
  • Basics, like a tank top and skinny jeans
  • Pointy booties or studded heels

face paint, Halloween, costume idea

A Friendly Reminder

This is more a reminder to myself than to all of you, but make sure not to take it personally if someone doesn’t recognize your Halloween costume. I know it can sting, especially if you’ve spent hours creating the look (trust me, I really know). But before you ask someone if they recognize who you are, consider how you would feel if someone asked YOU that question—it’s awkward! It’s uncomfortable knowing that you might not recognize someone’s hard work or that you’ll mistake the costume for something else. Even worse, by asking people that question, you put them in a position to feel bad about themselves; they don’t want to disappoint you! Ultimately, try to remember that Halloween costumes are just for fun and should make YOU feel excited, even if nobody else understands them. So to those 6 of you out there, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry if I shamed you for not recognizing this obscure album cover from 1973!

Ziggy Stardust collage, David Bowie Halloween costume

Do you already know what you’re dressing up as for Halloween?? Leave me a comment below, I would love to know. I still have a few costumes up my sleeve but also need a few more!

Have a fantastic Thursday and weekend.


Miles of smiles,


6 comments on “David Bowie Halloween Costume”

Leave a Reply