This Halloween, There Is No Dana, Only Zuul

If you're answering the door dressed as a shimmery, possessed Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, maybe don't do the whole "Are you the key master?" bit to little trick-or-treaters.
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If you're answering the door dressed as a shimmery, possessed Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, maybe don't do the whole "Are you the key master?" bit to little trick-or-treaters.

I was five years old when Ghostbusters was released in theaters in 1984. It wasn’t until my next-door neighbors, the lovely Dambrauskas family, bought it on VHS the next year and invited me over, assuring me it wasn’t scary, that I watched it.

Well, I watched maybe the first 10 or 15 minutes, to be accurate. That’s because as soon as I saw the non-little-old-lady form of the library ghost, I was like, “Yep, see you guys later, thanks for the trauma,” and left.


I still hate this.

I don’t think I actually saw the whole thing until I was in my twenties, much to the dismay of every guy I dated up to that point. So many guys have told me that Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman was their hero--some dressed as a Ghostbuster for Halloween as a kid--or that Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett was their first crush.


Babe perm.

I wish I’d known that earlier in my life; I might have been more confident as a frizzy-haired brunette cellist. I can’t really call myself a cellist anymore--the only thing I can play from memory is “Canon in D,” poorly--but I’m definitely still a frizzy-haired brunette. (Granted, my hair is kind of auburn right now, but my overgrown roots are definitely brunette.)

And at no point in Ghostbusters is Sigourney’s hair more luxuriously frizzy than when she’s possessed by Zuul, Gatekeeper of Gozer.



Oh, but there’s so much more to being possessed by a Terror Dog than curls!

There’s sensually standing in a doorway in a shimmery orange dress in anticipation of Rick Moranis as Louis Tully who’s possessed by Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster.


If you're answering the door dressed as Zuul on Halloween, maybe don't do the sensual thing when giving candy to kids.

Then there’s the makeup. Sigourney, give us a good look at your makeup, please.



So I headed over to my friend Kristina’s apartment to give the look a whirl, partly for the better lighting, partly because she has a dachshund puppy.

But before I did, I washed, conditioned and moussed my hair, blow-drying it upside-down while scrunching to try to coax as much volume and curl as I could.

Igby Marci

Igby wasn't satisfied, and neither was I. Photography shot with the Canon SL1.

To get a more controlled, perm-esque curl, I used a skinny little half-inch curling iron and re-curled the sections of my hair as they naturally separate into curls and waves. This included curling my long bangs, which was a first for me.

Zuul curls

This felt way weird.

You’ll see how the hair came out later, but for now I clipped the front back to keep it out of my face while I did my makeup.

I started out with the basics: primer, foundation, concealer and a little brow powder. Go ahead and use your personal faves. You do you.

Zuul’s cheekbones are super-contoured. I normally wouldn’t choose a shimmering medium brown for an everyday contour job, but because this is a demon possession, it made sense. I mean, duh, right? (Also, a lot more shimmer is coming.)

So I did the whole sucking-in-my-cheeks thing and heavy-handedly applied Treasure from the Pacifica Solar Palette in a slight curve at the indentation.

This palette is pretty awesome, by the way.

This palette is pretty awesome, by the way.

Zuul contour

Sigourney's face is significantly thinner than mine, so the contouring won't look quite as obvious on me as it did on her.

There’s a little bit of shimmery peach on the apples of her cheeks, so I used Kat Von D Everlasting Face Shaper Blush in Wish.

Kat Von D blush

It's also now my favorite blush. Thanks, Halloween!

Next, I used the lightest shade from the Maybelline Expert Wear Rose Lights eyeshadow palette, a pearlescent off-white, as the base color all over my lids--all the way up to the brow, as well as under my eyes along the orbital bone, as a highlighter.

Next, up is silvery-gray eyeshadow. I used Sephora Colorful eyeshadow in Winter in London No 58, a shimmery medium gray that allows you to build color intensity with a lot of control.

I applied it on my lids, up to and including the crease, and closely surrounded my entire eye.

Zuul gray eyeshadow

Ooooh, silveryyyy.

Next, I used a darker and less-shimmery gray shadow, Face Stockholm Pearl Eyeshadow in 6, along my top lash line, covering the lower third of my lid, and creating a wing up to the outer edge of my brow.

Sephora and Face eyeshadows

The Sephora shade may seem darker than the Face Stockholm shade, but the latter is more pigmented and goes on darker.

I then had to reapply my left shadow wing because Igby jumped up and licked it off.

Zuul eyeshadow Igby

Terror Dog!

Zuul’s eyeliner isn’t super-clean, but it’s not full-on smoky, either. I used Essence I Heart Smokey Jumbo Eye Pencil in Ultra Black, even though that spelling of smoky annoys me to the core. I tight-lined and regular-lined both the top and bottom.

Zuul eyeliner

I'm intense. Can you tell?

I added mascara after this. Your favorite formula in black will do.

Zuul’s face is covered in silvery-beige shimmer; it’s almost downright metallic in some light. To achieve this effect without going straight-up Tin Man, I used Inglot Body Pigment Powder in 03.

Inglot shimmer

One of the coolest things about this product: when you twist off the top, some of the loose powder rises up like smoke. It's kind of magical.

I applied it generously with a blush brush, trying to avoid getting it in my hair but failing.

My last makeup step was a pearlescent, pale bronze lipstick like the one Zuul is going to get all over Vinz Clortho, Maybelline ColorSensational lip color in Bronze Beam.

Very wearable on non-Halloween days of the year.

Very wearable on non-Halloween days of the year.

Then I took my hair out of the clip and embraced curly bangs.

Marci Zuul makeup

Oil can?

Time to get in the shimmery orange dress! 

My mother has been making my Halloween costumes all my life, and she made this dress on short notice, using a pattern we found on The Patchwork Pirate’s blog.

I trusted her gut when she chose a slightly different type of fabric and didn’t elasticize the waist; we just went with a sash instead, because an elasticized waist can make busty ladies look more short-waisted. (The woman has a BFA in fashion design from Pratt, for heaven’s sake; she can do what she wants.)

She made it with an extra-wide boatneck so I could wear it off one shoulder, and she based the measurements on her own since we’re built very similarly and because she lives 1,300 miles away and I couldn’t find my tape measure when she was getting started.

All in all, it took her about four hours, so if you can sew, you could totally do this between now and Thursday. Thanks, Mom!

Once you’re dressed, try to stand in doorways or lie on beds for the rest of the night.

Marci Halloween Zuul

Welcome to my Central Park West penthouse! JK, it's Kristina's Park Slope two-bedroom.

Marci Igby Zuul

Igby and I hung out on Kristina's bed for a bit. He seemed to like the costume.

Igby sash

At least he liked how it tastes.

By the way, there’s art hanging in Kristina’s apartment that I’m pretty sure bridges the themes of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. Look at this thing!

80s art

You can't tell me this isn't the offspring of Gozer and the portrait of Vigo The Carpathian.

What's the most shimmery costume you've ever done for Halloween? Ever do an '80s movie costume? Why doesn't Rick Moranis get a cooler outfit when he's possessed? That seems unfair.