How to be Barack Obama for Hallowe’en

US Presidential elections follow hot on the heels of Hallowe’en, and apparently for the past seven elections, a reliable predictor of who’ll take the election is whichever candidate’s Hallowe’en mask has sold out first. Using my deductive superpowers, I draw the obvious conclusion: the more masks you buy, the more likely your candidate is to win. So this Hallowe’en, get out there and do your part!

click to enlarge.

click to enlarge.

Call me a prude, but I don’t like walking around with my head in a latex bag all night, so I modified a latex Obama mask & used some makeup wizardry to look like our intrepid hero. There’s a large-size pic of the final face at the very end of this post.


Black eyeliner for your eyes & brows
Navy blue eyeliner
for your lips
Pink lipstick or lipgloss
Dark brown eyeshadow
Black cream makeup – Mine was about $3 for a tube. Pick one with water as the first ingredient, because if the first ingredient is petrolatum or mineral oil, you’re gonna have a nasty, greasy face all night.
A kitchen sponge – the yellow & green kind with a scrubby side
Spirit gum & Remover – This is a pine-sap based glue for wigs & beards. You only need a little. Should be about $5.
Dark suit, dress shoes, tie.
Barack Obama rubber mask In Toronto, you can get these at Laughing Stuff on Yonge for $28. If you can’t find one, you can improvise with a Spock rubber mask (trim the ears into human-shapes), or paint Obama hair onto a latex bald cap and oversized costume ears.

Obama campaign pin
(Alison made mine by freehand drawing it onto paper. I used clear packing tape to laminate it to a button I had lying around.)


Get dressed & cover your clothes with a towel so you don’t get messy.
Flatten your hair– I did braids, coiled & pinned flat. You can also make a wig cap by cutting the legs off some old pantyhose. Pantyhead!



Sweep dark-brown matte shadow immediately above & below eyes. Because my eyes are slanted up and Obama’s slant down, I also added a little black liner at the outer corners in a downwards direction to make my eyes mimic his shape a bit. I traced a little white pencil into the inner rims of my eyelids to make my narrow eyes look brighter. Finally some mascara, because even when I dress in man-drag, I still wanna look cute!

Contour your cheeks & nose:
Suck in your cheeks & use a blush brush to apply some dark brown shadow under your cheekbones to make your face look more chiseled & handsome.
I also used a little brown shadow on the sides of my nose to make it look longer. I intensified the contrast in this photo to show the contour lines on my nose:

Shading on sides of nose, and at outer eye corners.

Shading on sides of nose, and at outer eye corners.

Open a photo big photo of Obama on Google.
Use the black eyeliner to copy the shape of his eyebrows. They’re about 1cm thick. They slant downwards slightly, and they angle down more sharply at the outer corners.
Use a brush to powder gently over the liner to set it.

Right beside his left nostril, the Senator has a mole.
Use a brown or black eyeliner to dot it on, then powder gently to set it.

Man-skin, aka 5-o’clock shadow:
Use your finger to apply a very light layer of black cream makeup to the scrubby green side of the sponge. You want the makeup to be floating on the top fibres of the scouring pad, not soaking into it.

Gently dab black all over your chin & mustache. Should look like fairly realistic stubble.

Now it’s time to blend. Wet the sponge and squeeze it damp. Use the smooth, clean, damp side of the sponge to blend the black into your face so it’s just an even greyish shadow. Rinse the sponge & repeat this step a few times, til the shadow is as dark as you like, then let your face air-dry. Set the 5-o’clock shadow with a quick sweep of powder.

Obama’s lips are an unusual colour: sort of purply brown with hints of blue. To re-create, start with a bit of lip balm. Lightly colour your lips blue with the navy eyeliner. It’ll look freaky, but then you add some pink lipstick or gloss over it to blend. Keep adding dabs of blue and pink, and blending with lip balm til the colour’s right.

Now you’re gonna ruin a $28 mask, so first put it on and take photos!

Ha ha ha, ok, enough of that.

The idea is to make the mask into a hat with ears. You want all the hair intact, and the ears attached, so you can put it on your head like a helmet & glue it to your face so it stays. Here’s how to do it:

Cut the mask:
Use sharp scissors to cut out the face from your mask. Leave the hairline & ears totally intact, and keep about a 1-inch border of mask all around the ears. Remember you can always cut off more later, but you can’t put it back when you cut too much.

I kind of screwed this step up, so I can’t show you how to do it right. But basically you’re gonna glue the mask to the sides of your face, so you need at least an inch of flat mask in front of & below the ears to adhere the glue. And you want the mask to have enough surface area left that it fits easily. If it’s pulling tight the glue will rip. Put the mask on a few times as you cut to see how much to take off, and remember to be conservative & cautious with this step.

Most rubber masks have a split up the back. You might wanna carefully measure & trim a slim wedge out of this slit so the mask fits better, then tape the slit closed from the inside.

Glue the mask:
Use spirit gum to glue the mask to your face around the ears. Little dabs of tape will help hold it in place while it sticks.

If you cut off too much in the previous step like I did, there won’t be enough mask to use the spirit gum, so you’ll have to make sideburns out of black duct tape & use them to stick the mask to your face. Or else use some black cream makeup on a brush to make sideburns and camoflague the transition. Note that Obama’s sideburns are points, and don’t make the points too long or he’ll look like a Vulcan.

That’s about it. Oh also, I forgot the first step. This one takes some planning, but it’s worthwhile in the long run. Go back in time a few years, and cultivate a friendship with a doe-eyed brunette who wil accompany you as Sarah Palin and talk like an idiot all night to make the likeness complete!

Note the duct-tape Vulcan sideburns in this pic.  Oops.

Note the duct-tape Vulcan sideburns in this pic. Oops.

Enjoy your Hallowe’en, and if you see another Hallowe’en Obama or Palin, send ’em along!

Want more funny?
Well, this one time, I brought homemade bacon candy to a Jewish dinner party. Yeah, that went well.

23 Responses to How to be Barack Obama for Hallowe’en

  1. […] Office look is courtesy of Nicole Stamp, a Toronto-based writer/director/actor and tv-host. Hit for her how-to. And remember to play nice with the other kids, even if several of them are Sarah […]

  2. amartin9 says:

    haha that is truly incredible!

  3. Sid says:

    I called Laughing Stuff and a bunch of other places and they’re all sold out of Obama’s mask. I guess this is what happens when I leave it to the last minute. Anyone willing to sell theirs?

  4. Rachel says:

    That looks awesome!

  5. Steve says:

    But why would anyone want to impersonate a socialist?

    • Monik says:

      Good Job on the “mask”…and …hum, Steve? Barack Obama is as much a socialist as X-Pre Bush is an environmentalist…Mr. Obama is a capitalist through and through :/

  6. ash says:

    well done girl!!!!!
    whoda thought mr.obama could be so…pretty!!
    you really did an amazing job!!
    thanks for posting!

  7. […] If you’re new to this blog, you might not know that I’ve also been Barack; here. […]

  8. good article, how we can blogroll?

  9. nice one, how we can blogroll?

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