Sugar Skull make-up for Day of the Dead and Halloween

I am fascinated by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead…I mean who wouldn’t be?  During this festival which falls on Nov. 1st and 2nd, everyone seems to wholly welcome the concept of death intimately into their lives.  It is not feared, like here in North America where death wears a hockey mask and wields a machete, but in Mexico it is whimsical, cheerful and respectful of the other world.  Day of the Dead actually aims to relatives that have passed away, and invites them to join the living at beautiful handmade alters of specialty food, hot chocolate, and pretty, pretty flowers.  How symbolic, and meaningful.  The images of skulls and skeletons are everywhere during this festival, so I wanted to pay homage to this tradition, by painting my face in the same way sugar skulls are decorated.

Here are some tips for great Halloween make-up!

Halloween Make-ups, 101

1. No matter what your budget is for the costume, give a generous amount for quality make-up.  When I say quality, I mean theatrical quality.  I can’t stress this enough.  While wardrobe really is a big part, the face is key too.  Cheap Halloween make-up products do not go on well, their colours are off, and they will end up wasting your money in the end.  For best results, you gotta go to the professionals.  The ones that I use tend to punch a hole in my wallet, so if you want to save money, try not to buy too many colours of the good stuff, instead of buying all cheap stuff.

2.  Build up slowly in layers.  Use sparingly.  Make-up effects look most real when worn thin.  It gives the illusion that that is really how your skin looks like!  Ever see someone over do it with their zombie make-up? You can see the texture of the slapped on make-up, and that ruins all the artistry they put into it!

3.  Keep it simple. Even the most seasoned artist, or makeup artist can over do it and it becomes less real.  Keeping it simple not only makes it easier for the beginner, it frees you to execute one or two aspects of the make-up really well, instead of trying to do fifty.  If you do one thing really well, trust me, that is enough to impress onlookers.

So here is a photo of my Halloween make-up this year!  I made the headband out of silk roses and leaves, aiming for a lush, garden effect!


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