Halloween Costume Contest Winner: Effie Trinket!

Hair and makeup artist Sonia Ruiz (Calhoun ’19) believes in going all out for Halloween, and it shows: she is our first place winner in The Boola’s Halloween Costume Contest!!! Her skills with hair-styling and makeup enable her to compile unique costumes that closely emulate her subject matter.

“[Halloween is] one day a year; I tend to gravitate towards stuff that has a lot of hair and makeup.” It’s no surprise why: unlike pitiful people like myself who shudder at the idea of pulling off a costume with heavy makeup, Sonia’s medium of design is makeup. She does makeup tutorials and loves to do people’s hair and makeup (you can check out her facebook page, Pretty Perfect, to see examples of her makeup skills).

Sonia uses wire to make her hair into loops…goals

First, here is a picture of the original Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games. Highlights of Effie’s attire are the butterfly hair ornament, butterfly collar, and the contoured skirt of the dress.

effie movie

Here is Sonia in her freakishly-similar Effie costume:

effie trinket

So how did Sonia put the costume together?

She started off by watching Youtube tutorial videos on Effie Trinket costume designs. She recommends Candy Johnson for a good Effie makeup tutorial. Then she acquired her costume elements, ordering her distinctive deer-and-butterfly-patterned false eyelashes, dress, and white wig online.

Fire hazard: TMH (too much hairspray)

I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly when she told me, “I used the New York times to make the skirt.” Sonia created the skirt of the dress herself out of newspaper, gluing and taping pages from the NY Times together and placing the pages over bubble wrap, which Sonia  “layered on the inside to keep the shape” of the dress. She affixed four stiff panels onto the skirt, one per side of her body, to ensure that “the skirt part was naturally tighter at the hips.” When All Hallows Eve arrived, Sonia had her suitemate tape the skirt shut.

Slightly confused at how newspaper can become functional clothing

My first question after hearing all of this was simple: “How did you go to the bathroom?”

“Or sit down,” she added, already anticipating my question. If any pressure was applied to the skirt, it might tear; or, upon sitting, the bubble wrap lining the interior might pop in rapid succession. It sounded akin to lining underwear with a whoopee cushion.

Better not drink that water

Thankfully, Sonia found a way to prevent the skirt from ripping and popping as she sat down.

“I could pull it up to sit or go to the bathroom,” she explained. Since the skirt wasn’t fastened to the dress itself and stayed up on Sonia’s hips by virtue of the inner panels keeping the waist of the skirt narrow, Sonia could easily pull the skirt up over her torso to sit. Whether or not that was comfortable, I have doubts, but Sonia made it work.

Sonia admitted that she usually doesn’t make parts of her costume herself; the reason for making the skirt was rooted in the unfortunately short design of her butterfly dress (seriously, why do designers make women’s dresses butt-length?). She also tries to avoid wigs–and anything synthetic–but her hair wasn’t long enough to style correctly for the costume, so she needed to order the white wig.

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s…

On Halloween, Sonia said that many people mistook her for a butterfly, or recognized Effie but didn’t know where they had seen the character. In response, Sonia would utter a signature hint:

“May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Walking around before the YSO Halloween show with friends, Sonia had better luck: people on the stairwells would shout out, “That’s Effie Trinket!” Sonia noted that she appreciated it when people took the time to compliment her efforts.

Sonia has always gone all-out for Halloween, but she said that this year’s costume is her favorite so far.

“I like this one because I made part of the costume,” she commented.

For people looking to create similar costume masterpieces, here are a few tips.

One (from Sonia herself), take your time when doing your makeup. Specifically, be neat when applying eyeliner. Since I’m incredibly impatient, these words of wisdom are a great explanation for why my heavy-costume eyeliner never goes on right.


Two, be like Sonia and order your costume way in advance. I was all set to order a long furry cape, metal-plate chest piece, chain mail hauberk, and gloves for a Game-of-Thrones-themed costume…and then I realized that the suppliers for those pieces were operating out of eastern Europe, which meant they would take up to three weeks to ship. Since Halloween was a week away, I had to settle for a black cape and a sheet of paper I cut out in the shape of a bat and colored yellow (with a highlighter) to be bat-girl. Not my best work.

Three, you don’t have to group up with people to have a cool costume. A lot of people coordinate costumes in groups, which is cool, but not a necessity. Don’t focus too much on fitting into a group’s costume dynamic if you, like Sonia, have a really unique costume idea in mind.

Four, while Sonia didn’t do this, cross dressing is amazing. Shout out now to the Disney Princesses at Pierson’s Disco Fever.

And on a final note, cheers to the other winners of the costume contest:

In 2nd place, Dustin Wynn (Vietnamese Jesus from 22 Jumpstreet)

(Side story: Dustin, whose real last name is Nguyen, was named after the actor who plays Vietnamese Jesus in 22 Jump Street, Dustin Nguyen)

In 3rd place, Chunyang Ding and Sida Tang (Asian Tour Group)

Honorable mentions include:

Gee Sun (Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks)

Joe Crosson (a UPS box)

Mary Petzke (Legolas from LOTR)

Shireen Roy (Velma from Scooby Doo)

Kuan Jiang (Link from the Legend of Zelda)

Thanks so much to all who participated!