Creating an Authentic Cowboy Look

The Wild West holds a very special place in the annals of American history. If you watch old Western movies, you will probably notice that the old west is usually depicted as a place where there were very few rules and a certain degree of lawlessness was prevalent. During the heydays of the Wild West, it may even seem as if most disputes were settled through gunfights and shootouts! There are many colorful characters that were a part of the old west--including Cowboys, of course, as well as gunslingers and just plain outlaws. If you are looking to recreate one of these legendary western looks, you've come to the right place. By following a few of our simple step by step instructions you will be well on your way to creating one of the most authentic and exciting costume looks imaginable.

Follow These Steps to Create this Look

Step One:  One of the most typical features of a true western cowboy is having a few days of beard growth on his face. After all, when a true cowboy is out riding the range, he doesn't always have time to get a proper shave! There's no need to stress out if you don't have the time or the ability to grow your own whiskers. We've made it easy to for you to create the look of a very authentic looking cowboy stubble that is so realistic, that you may even fool a few of your friends! Begin with a clean and dry face. Because you will be applying spirit gum to your face, it is best that your face is NOT freshly shaven before you do this to avoid any unnecessary irritation! Unravel a braid of crepe hair and remove the twine that is woven into the bundle. Separate the hairs and pull them together closely and cut the fibers in a straight line. Following this straight line cut tiny pieces of fiber off as closely as you can with sharp scissors. The smaller the pieces of crepe hair are, the more realistic your cowboy stubble will ultimately be, so take your time and cut the pieces very small and fine. Use a paper plate to collect the pieces of hair as you cut them. For our cowboy, we have used Dark Brown Crepe hair, (#DB12) but depending on your own natural hair color you can choose a different shade or even try a salt and pepper look if desired.

Step Two:  Working in a small area at a time, apply spirit gum to the face. (#DD17) It is critically important that after you apply the spirit gum to the face, you tap it gently with your finger until the spirit gum becomes noticeably tackier. This step will ensure that your "whiskers" stick. Once the spirit gum is tacky, press your finger into your cut whiskers and then press them into the spirit gum on your face. Continue in this manner until the desired area of your face has the look of stubble or cowboy scruff. Yee haw! Now doesn't that look almost as good as the real thing? If you need to remove a few hairs here and there, a clean old toothbrush works great for this purpose, or you can use a clean mascara style brush.

Step Three:  For our cowboy look, we have taken the whole facial hair thing to a whole new level! By applying an authentic looking gunslinger mustache (#CC70088), we have given our slick western partner a look that resembles someone straight out of yesteryear. The gunslinger mustache is very easy to apply, with self-adhesive tabs on the backside. Since you have your spirit gum handy, may we suggest applying a little underneath the mustache to give it a little extra staying power? You may also want to give your mustache a trim, depending on your personal preference.

Step Four:  Since we know that it was very dusty and dirty out in the territory of the West, no proper cowboy look would be complete without a little messin' up. In other words, it's time to get a little dirty! We have used Mehron's Texas Dirt powder (#DD01) and a feathery brush to accomplish this. Apply the powder with a light touch to the face, neck, hands, etc. as desired. You can even rub a little of this Texas dirt into your fingernails if you want your cowboy look to be completely legitimate.

Now it's time to get into your favorite cowboy costume and hit the trail! For our featured cowboy look, we have used the Men's Cowboy Costume (#FM62365) that comes complete with a spiffy cowboy hat and a nice set of chaps. Our cowboy has met up with some of his compadres before they saddle up and head off into the sunset. His gunslinger friends are wearing the Gritty Gunslinger Costume (#IC1098), and his Davy Crocket amigo is wearing the fringed American Indian Costume (#FW131024) and Coonskin cap. (#GC16)

There comes a time in every man's life when he's just got to cowboy up and ride! Happy trails!