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Trick-or-treating with politics
Youre not alone if you decide to dress presidential this Halloween
The Democratic presidential candidate has been seen sporting a slightly more casual style - and if you want to duplicate his hair, there's a flash of gray in it.

Click here to watch a slide show with all the steps you need to make a Sarah Palin-inspired hairdo.


Click here to watch our model, Amanda Kroll, get a Palin hairstyle at American Salon & Spa in Gainesville. 

Politics are everywhere these days and will even creep - or possibly blast - into Halloween costumes.

The trends change each year, but during an election year many folks choose to scare people by turning into politicians.

From Sarah Palin and Barack Obama to Uncle Sam, people can't wait to take on political identities for at least a day.

"We've actually had a lot more people ask about Uncle Sam," said Neil Clark, employee at Party Shop's Costume Corner in Gainesville. "I think the historical election years bring out demand and popularity. But every year Reagan and (John F. Kennedy) masks are always big. Hillary Clinton masks. We still sell Al Gore; we've got The Governator (California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger)."

Clark added that a lot of high school and college students are also coming in looking for politically-inspired costumes.

"I think the election year helps it, but it kind of has a life of its own, too," he said.

Even movies can inspire political costumes.

In one scene in "Point Break," bank robbers walk into the bank wearing masks of former presidents - and Clark said today, many groups of friends want the same masks for their own Halloween-style heist.

"We get a lot of groups of guys or of teens who want to be from that movie," he said. "We have like an elephant and a donkey mask, too."

But to actually become a political figure like Palin, McCain or Obama, there are some tips for creating the effect with hair and makeup.

"One of the most notable things about Sarah Palin has been her glasses," said Fred Lloyd, costume design professor at Brenau University. "They've become this huge fashion hit ... so definitely if they can get them they should wear thin wire-rimmed glasses or rimless glasses."

Lloyd said to emphasize Palin as if you were a caricature. "You would expand the mouth a little bit and make the lower lip a little bigger and the top lip a little bigger."

To accomplish one of the many mannerisms of Palin, he said, start with a broad smile.

"If they are going to smile they are going to have to pull their mouth way out and show those teeth," Lloyd said. "She also has a somewhat square face, so you can emphasize that by, if you are putting base on, you want to keep it light toward the edges of your face, toward the jaw line and toward the ears to give the impression of being a little more broad.

"The same would go for John McCain who has a very broad face as well ... he has a very broad jaw line."

But the most important part of the costume is the Palin pouf.

Fallon Richards, a designer at American Salon & Spa, said to first start with straight hair.

"Start off with a section ... parting off 2-inch sections," Richards said. "Apply the product (she used Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion) at the root; it comes out powdery and when you rub it, it becomes a liquid. What it does is change the texture of the hair, making it a little rougher."

She will leave a small section of hair just above the bands unteased, to pull over the teased sections.

"You don't want to go all the way up or you're going to see this mess," she said. "You don't want all the height all in the middle, so you are going to (tease) the sides as well."

Richards, from White County, said she thought the Palin pouf is popular right now because Palin is making history.

"I think it's because she's a woman, No. 1, and she's going to make history," she said. "And she's pretty and young. I think it is an average hairstyle but I think it does go back."

To try out the Palin style, local volunteer and good sport Amanda Kroll allowed Richards to demonstrate the look. Her hair is relatively similar to Palin and Kroll said she loves to dress up for Halloween.

This year Kroll, the assistant director at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, is creating a Jackie Onassis costume with a pink dress and matching pill box hat.

The final touch once your hair is pinned back? Go in with a thin comb and gently pull up the pouf.

"To really even it out and make it bigger, you are going to go in (with a comb) and lift," Richards said.

Richards added makeup to Kroll's face to make her skin flawless, she also applied a rust colored lipstick with a brighter gloss.

"She tends to wear dark mascara on both upper and lower on her eyes," Lloyd said. "So you want to really emphasize the eyes behind the glasses. Her lips are full; she wears really nice bold lipsticks."

With the addition of striking glasses, the Palin look is complete.

But let's not forget, Palin isn't the only candidate out there. Lloyd offered one tip to help create an Obama appearance.

Obama's "Most discerning things are his ears," he said. "If you were going to exaggerate that, what you can do is take sometimes a little piece of cardboard or a little piece of sponge or something and tape it behind your ear to roll your ear out a little bit."

But then again, not everyone is picking up a politically themed costume at local costume shops.

As far as other costume trends go, Clark said he's seen a lot of "sexy" costumes getting picked up this year. For example, a "cute" pirate or "cute" hippie.

"Instead of going for the more theatrical type of look, they'd rather be a sexy type of pirate," he said.

Although, he did acknowledge that it's unfair for the men, who don't have the equivalent - or "sexy" - type of costumes for them.

"People do ask about that a lot ... that is one thing that is lacking," he said. "Like, we have a Little Red Riding Hood but we don't have a wolf. So we have to go to other avenues to match them up."

According to a Party City press release, the trends for this year's Halloween costumes come from TV, movies and fashion. Party City has a collection of "Batman: The Dark Knight" costumes along with "Star Wars" and "Transformers." "High School Musical" characters also are expected to be popular.

Times reporter Kristen Morales contributed to this report