If you asked eight-year-old me what the definition of "happiness" was, I would tell you two words: Lisa Frank. Yes, back then, nirvana was simple — unicorns, dolphins, kittens, kittens with angel wings, all drenched in rainbow glory. Though my prehistoric days of Lisa Frank school supplies are now over (RIP), there is still hope in the form of Halloween costumes. You heard right: The '90s are calling, trick-or-treat season has arrived, and it is about time a beloved childhood memory gets the contemporary treatment through modern-day Lisa-Frank-inspired Halloween costumes. Cue the nostalgia.
Forget about the formulaic black cat getup. The Lisa Frank universe embraces all kinds in the animal kingdom. Whether you want to go Team Leopard this Halloween or play up the panda look, rest assured your favorite LF character will be decked out in true ROYGBIV fashion.
The secret to crafting your own Lisa Frank costume is all in — you guessed it — the colors. Spare no inch of skin, my fellow '90s babes. Mix and match vibrant hues, experiment with neon eye shadow, ditch your OG tresses for a night and go daring with tie-dye locks — the options are endless. I mean, it is Halloween, after all (translation: the one night when you can get away with glittery whiskers and beyond).
Stuck in a costume rut? I have you covered for wardrobe, hair, and makeup, Lisa Frank edition. But channeling your inner sticker-obsessed eight-year-old? You're on your own for that one.
American Apparel Printed Choker Top, $19, americanapparel.net; American Apparel Print Cotton Spandex Jersey Legging, $32, americanapparel.net; American Apparel Wristband, similar styles at americanapparel.net; Betsey Johnson Rainbow Might Bag, $68, Macy's; Creature Presentation Flat in White Unicorn, $44.99, modcloth.com; Forever 21 Patch Pin Set, $4.90, forever21.com
If Lisa Frank had a favorite color, it would without a doubt be rainbow. Luckily, bringing the color spectrum to reality is much easier than it looks. The key is in consistency — that is, if you're going the kaleidoscopic route sartorially, don't forget to also keep the color alive in the makeup and hair department. It's all about the go-big-or-go-home mentality.
For attire, look for eye-popping patterns — the bolder the better. In fact, mixing different prints is not only encouraged here, but expected (and if all else fails, one can never go wrong with a rainbow print tee). As for makeup, you can truly go Crayola-happy. Dress up your pout with rainbow lips — you'll need a white base, colorful eye shadow, and a clear gloss to seal the look.
For for hair, consider a multicolored wig. If you're going to be rocking a wig this Halloween, Bumble and bumble hairstylist Mischa Golebiewski recommends carrying a small detangling brush in your bag. "Synthetic wigs tangle very easily," she tells Bustle. Golebiewski also advises against using heat on synthetic wigs — save your curling wands for the real tresses.
American Apparel Lamé Deep V Cutout Bodysuit, $24.00, americanapparel.net; Boohoo Indianna Pastel Tie Dye Mini Skirt, $7, boohoo.com; $108, Nasty Gal Steel Your Heart Bomber Jacket, $108, nastygal.com; Nasty Gal x Terry de Havilland Direction Platform Heel, $105, nastygal.com
Meet the Lisa Frank-ified leopard costume. For starters, makeup is an important foundation to channeling your inner (wild) feline. Use black liner to create whiskers and spots — and don't forget the nose, too!
Improvise your own leopard ears with a true '90s relic: double hair buns. Steps two, three, and four: Add clip-on colored hair extensions. But for maximum Lisa Frank effect, top off with hair tattoos. To make your own hair tats, Golebiewski suggests cutting out shapes on a piece of cardboard and using that as a stencil before going in with colored hairspray or hair chalk. "You need a smooth surface to work on, so apply on hair that is straight or flat-ironed," she adds.
What's in the outfit for a lady in leopard? Leotards, of course. Tuck into a printed skirt or leggings, throw on a metallic bomber jacket, and you're set to prowl the Halloween night.
ASOS Coat in Pastel Faux Fur, $120.92, asos.com; Similar: Boohoo Nina Metallic Wrap Bodysuit, $26, boohoo.com; American Apparel Shiny Legging, $42, americanapparel.net; ASOS Fluffie Faux Fur Sliders, $33, asos.com; Urban Outfitters Shimmer Cat Ears, $10, urbanoutfitters.com
In a sea of stereotypical black cats this Halloween, be the '90s guiding light and don a Lisa Frank cat costume. Actually, think of this ensemble as the Lisa Frank kitty meets Hollywood glamour girl.
Let's talk fur coats. Pastel hues will be your best friend here (mint is always a safe choice). Underneath, layer up with a sleek, metallic bodysuit — or perhaps cat suit is the more appropriate term? Time to break out those sequined cat ears, too. And here's hoping that you have perfected your cat eye by now, because there's no better time to sport the flick. Meow.
Boohoo Sophie Tie Dye Bomber Jacket, $22, boohoo.com; Modcloth The Hoof Is In The Pudding Top, $29.99, modcloth.com; Modcloth Cupcake Consultant Velvet Jumper, $79.99, modcloth.com; Office Diva Flatform Lace Ups in Gold Glitter, $41.47, office.co.uk; Forever 21 Fuzzy Ball Hair Tie, $1.90, forever21.com; Forever 21 Patch Pin Set, $4.90, forever21.com
Just remember: The Lisa Frank panda is anything but monochromatic. The trick to this getup is drawing the panda eyes — aka colored eyeliner and playing the makeup version of Leonardo da Vinci. Practice makes perfect, after all.
Wardrobe-wise, a tie-dye bomber jacket is suitable not only for the color factor, but also for layering purposes. Opt for a pastel graphic tee and velvet bottoms to complete the costume. Glittery kicks will ensure that you celebrate Halloween in style and comfort.
Last but not least, mimic panda ears with fuzzy ball hair ties — it's functional, yet panda-perfect.
Similar: I Love NY Shirt, $12.99, Amazon; Urban Outfitters Ecote Neon Lights Cardigan, $98, urbanoutfitters.com; American Apparel Print Cotton Spandex Jersey Legging, $32, americanapparel.net; Similar: ASOS Ramero Metal Detail Ankle Boots, $62, asos.com
There's puppy love, and then there's the Lisa Frank version of puppy love. The uniform for Team Dog has never looked better, either: a multicolored cardigan, patterned leggings, and a neon tee for instant Halloween coziness.
In terms of makeup, use pigmented eye shadow to sketch on dalmatian-worthy spots. Feel free to play around with complimenting hues — take a blue, green, and purple trio as an example.
As for the hair, Golebiewski recommends crochet braiding. "Go to small beauty supply stores and get synthetic hair twists," she says. "It's a better deal than going to Halloween stores." The next step? Simply twist the colored stands into your natural hair and watch as the magic unfolds. Fortunately, removing crochet braids is painless. All you need to do is untwist the braids and voilà.
Photography: Hannah Burton/Bustle; Design: Bry Crasch/Bustle; Styling: Bry/Crasch; Hair: Mischa Golebiewski/Bumble & bumble; Makeup: Patrick Eichler/Make Up For Ever ; Ruben Garcia/Make Up For Ever; Models: Linda Chen, Denvre Couts, Dawn Foster