So I went as Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. It was a pretty successful outing all told, though there was one specific hitch in that otherwise successful evening.
Gamora's green. No big deal. Just get some green bodypaint, I figured. In the light, it even looked good - exactly the right shade and everything. Turning the light off, it didn't look any different than my skin normally does in the dark.
So we go to our first Halloween party of the evening, and we're among the very first people there. One of the hosts, a recent graduate from film school, asks me what my costume is. I told him Gamora, and he was like "Yeah, I see it now." He then says "Because I know you wouldn't do blackface, so wasn't sure."
Uh-oh. I had said before going that if it turned out looking like blackface at any point I was going to remove the paint ASAP.
I said "Oh crap," and the host started trying to reassure me that it looked fine. I got the Prophet to take my picture a couple minutes later, and nope. The lighting, and the smoke machine, made me look about all the shades too dark. I didn't look green. I looked very much like I was in blackface.
So I asked for a washcloth I could use to scrub my face off.
So, protip for all future Halloween costume goers who might want to go as Gamora, or Hulk, or She-Hulk, or any other green-skinned character: green body paint will probably look like blackface if the lighting is, well, Halloweeny. So only do it if you're going to a well-lit party. Otherwise, don't.
That's what I learned today. Also, that now there's a bunch of Icelandic people talking about my heels - the author I'm translating posted some pictures to her facebook, and now I have to figure out what they're all saying about them.