Of all the vibrant memories I have of my time living in La Paz (BCS, Mexico), Dia de los muertos is one of my most special one.
I had no idea what was going on back then, being 17 and not familiar with Mexican culture when I got to school one morning and saw tables piled with skulls and candles and roses and pictures of people. I came closer and asked one of my schoolmates what all this was and he said “we’re celebrating the dead and life”.
As a French person I wasn’t used to celebrating the dead in such a colorful and well, different way… My French culture is more about wearing black and crying and bringing flowers to a gloomy looking tomb.
Instead, all I could see were roses painted in every color and the hundreds dancing lights of candles… People decorating their little tables with photos and objects that their loved ones cherished …
The memory stuck me with so I decided, years after I had come back to France, to honor the dead as well, and do a Dia de los muertos inspired makeup. I hope you like it and I will let you look at the transformation process down below.
Step By Step
Prep your skin with moisturizer
With a white pencil, draw the contours of the skull, nose, eye sockets, teeth…
Fill in the bones with main color (mine was a light green color but you can paint it pink or white or any color you like)
Fill in the eyes and nose with black and start adding decorations. I decided to paint a rose growing inside the skull so I started with the branch and leaves.
You can start working on the detail now, such as the teeth and cheekbones. I used eyeshadows to materialize the gums and cheeks. With white paint I highlighted the cheekbones, so they’d look more prominent.
Then with red paint I added fake gems all around the eye sockets. I used green, yellow and red to make the gums look more colorful and joyful. I added a jewel in between my eyebrows (which by the way are blocked out with glue and powder, I forgot to mention that lol). For the gem in the center I used black and white and then painted little yellow dots all around it. Finally I circled the nose area with red paint.
I then added a blue rose on the forehead, a blue mustache and more detail to the leaves. I also painted blue arabesques on the cheeks and a sunflower on the chin
I went back to the forehead and added more decorations. I’m not sure what they are lol, they kind look like clouds or waves.. something in between ! I added white inside the nose, so it’d look like you can actually see the bone inside the hole. I did the same with the eyes and slightly lightened them with red and white paint. And I added a bunch of little dots near the blue arabesques and on the chin.
For a better illusion I painted my whole chest black and to honour life as well as death I picked a few fake flowers and a couple real ones and put them in my hair, on my ear or simply held them for the picture !
– Embryolisse Hydrating Cream
Face & Body paint
– Mehron AQ Paradise Palette
– CoastalScents 252 Ultimate Palette
Here’s a very short clip, with all the above steps and my sugar skull in motion =)
When the people we love die, it leaves a hole in our heart and stomach. We miss them so much it feels like we will never be able to go on with our life. The pain of knowing we can’t talk to them anymore or touch them feels unbearable.
But life and death walk together hand in hand, and when someone dies, life goes on for us and the people who have passed still continue to exist in our hearts and memories.