Colors, Skulls & Paint: Día de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

- by Dominique Fernandez

Día de los Muertos! Ever heard of that? Well, some of you might know this as ‘Day of the Dead.’ It is indeed a Mexican holiday, widely celebrated throughout the entire world, that takes place November 1st and 2nd, a.k.a. right after Halloween. Although this holiday’s main focus is to gather with your friends and family in order to pray for those who have passed away, it has also gained itself quite a popular name in the world of pop culture.

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When this day nears, you are guaranteed to see a variety of  shrines  dedicated to one’s late loved ones. You won’t, or better yet, cannot overlook these private altars though, as these are colorfully and beautifully decorated with hand-made painted calaveras (skulls) and the bright yellow, Aztec plant called Marigolds.

Dia de los Muertos 3Such an immense amount of creativity, time, and effort is put into Día de los Muertos, that it has broken out of its Mexican shell and spread far and wide. Sugar skulls, typical Mexican food and beverages, and Mexican paintings can be found anywhere from the United States to Brazil and all the way across the big pond to Italy. And people go ALL OUT with this. However, there is one more aspect of this celebration which could be considered to have gained the most fame in terms of modernizing old traditions: painting a skull over your face with a Mexican twist. Yes, you heard (read) right. But why all this candy-colored skull talk?

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Ladies, and gentlemen too, this upcoming Halloween YOU can sport a Día de los Muertos-themed costume. Yes, basically your face would be the canvas for a Mexican-like skull and no, this isn’t your typical creepy skeleton costume. It is not only oddly attractive, mysterious, and intriguing but it is also, hands down, original. And who isn’t looking to be original come October 31st?

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This is a truly memorable, DIY costume, that quite a few (myself included) have done and have totally loved. Loved so much, that repeating it might just be an option. For your medium, I advise you use regular face markers/paint that can wash off easily with soap at the end of the night (or morning for the party people.) What colors? That is entirely your choice! The best part about this skull face is that you have complete freedom to go about it whichever way you want. From the color palette, to the big design, and to the small details, it is in your hands. Although, you can definitely check out our chosen images for inspiration.

Tip: If you don’t have the steadiest of hands or the most artistic point of view, ask help from a friend to get your face drawn. You can also decide to paint just half your face, instead.

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Face done. Now, what outfit to match your lovely new complexion? You can go one of three ways. One: you go truly in depth with your inner Mexican persona and dress in typical Mexican attire as in a voluminous, flared white dress with colored embroidery and ruffles. Two: you opt for a sexier look and let your face take the spotlight with a subtle fitted skirt and bra top combo finished with a sleek blazer. Three: Let’s be honest, it’s all about the face this Halloween; therefore, you can match it with anything you’d like! How about a Dia de los Muertos nurse? Or maybe a Day of the Dead flapper? Anything works.

Tip: For the perfect last touch, add a bright Mexican flower accessory onto your hair.

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Remember, not all skulls have to be creepy. This is a contrast combination of two concepts, where something that is often seen as destructive is made beautiful.

Happy Early Día de los Muertos!


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