La Catrina Makeup Tutorial for Day of the Dead

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a woman dressed as La Catrina

It is Day of the Dead, and we want to show you how to make a DIY for La Catrina makeup at home using inexpensive makeup.

Today we are taking a break from the kitchen to play with makeup and create a catrina or sugar skull tutorial to celebrate Day of the Dead. I am Mexican; thus, my culture is an essential part of who I am.

Living here in the United States makes it impossible to visit my beloved’s resting place at home. Still, I can celebrate them remotely by setting up the altar, cooking their favorites dishes, and becoming la catrina using makeup found at the pharmacy.

I remember many years ago when I came to live here in Florida, the celebration of the Day of the Dead was mostly unknown, and there was no makeup available to create the famous DIY for the sugar skull or la catrina look.

a woman wearing a flower tiara with butterflies

This year I was impressed with the selection and the inexpensive cosmetics available for creating the Catrina makeup. I have to be honest, not makeup artists or experts on creating looks, but I love to try new things and fun doing it.

We did a lot of research for the perfect makeup. And found a few easy tutorials on Youtube that gave us the idea of making this sugar skull DIY at home. We saw many of the videos were difficult and elaborate, so we chose the easiest techniques and thought we did a good job.

We were a bit intimidated at first. Once we started the process, the creativity and the sugar skull makeup process started to flow easily. And I am sure the same will happen to you.

showing the step by step process on how to apply the makeup for doing a catrina or sugar skull face

How to do a La Catrina makeup for Day of the Dead using your own cosmetics and a few other things.

There are many cosmetics options out there, and we learn a few tricks and tips on how to use our own and buy only a few to make the Catrina makeup sugar skull DIY budget-friendly.

Before heading out to the store review what you have in your makeup box. For the DIY you will need black, purple, and blue eye shadow. A good primer for the eyes and the face.

A translucent powder, kajal eyeliner, or a black eyeliner pencil are essential too. Black is an important color to create the shadows and the sugar skull. Do not forget waterproof eyeliner in black—brushes to apply the eyeshadows, and the translucent powder.

A collage of images showing a woman with La Catrina makeup

When at the store, look for la Catrina makeup in white and black. Include a white marker, plus a color palette of your choice to paint the sugar skull’s flower details.

Before starting the sugar skull tutorial, clean your face with water and soap. Use your everyday moisturizer, and remove unwanted hair from your face to achieve a smooth finish.

Start by applying the primer to the face. Do not go bare as the primer helps the white makeup to stay longer and apply better. Then add the white base to your face except for the eyes; when done, use the white highlighter marker and apply it to the forehead. On top of the eyebrows, the nose, and the cheekbones.

Diffuse the white makeup using your hands or a makeup sponge for a more professional look. It is important to set the base, so using a brush apply the translucent powder. I used translucent white powder with shimmer. This powder gives more highlights and makes the face Catrina makeup look nicer.

Watch the video below to get all the details to make the sugar skull tutorial DIY. And watch it till the end. We have included some bloopers just for fun.

Fun facts about the Calavera Catrina and how the tradition started.

The Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada was the creator of the iconic Catrina. The first image of Posada’s Catrina Calavera appeared in 1910.

This symbol was a social satire of Mexican society in the times of Porfirio Diaz. During those days, the European style was part of the fashion and a symbol of status; thus, Posada’s Catrina shows a stylish hat worn by the high society women of that time.

La Calavera Catrina represents death however had a strong connotation and criticism of Mexican society. The word “catrina” is the slang for naming rich people.

A portrait of a woman wearing a flower tiara with butterflies

Despite the Calavera Catrina being a Posadas creation, the one that made it famous was Diego Rivera. Another important artist and Frida Kahlo’s husband.

Rivera admired Posadas’s work and included the Calavera Catrina in the famous mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Park.” This mural is at the Bronx Museum of Art.

Now that you know the background and symbolism, are you ready to become a sugar skull using our La Catrina makeup DIY at home?

Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram and or Facebook using the handle @adrianasbestrecipes and this hashtag #ABRecipes 

Are you a dog lover? then you need to meet the Xolo!

Day of the Dead is on November 2nd, and we want to share some facts about the importance of the dogs‘ inclusion in this celebration.

a collage with two pictures showing a woman with her dog and another image showing her holding a candle in her hand

Complete the look by buying the “El Perro de Los Muertos” tee by Teddy the Dog here.

One of the well-known Mexican dog breeds is the Xolo. This breed dates back three thousand years, which is why they played such a big role in our Mexican ancestors’ lives. ⁣

The Xolo played a significant role in the pre-Columbian civilizations’ mythologies, including the Aztecs and the Mayas. The Xolo purpose was to guard humanity in life and then guide them after death to reach Mictlan, the Underworld. ⁣

Xolos were thought to have spiritual powers that kept bad spirits away. Little Xolo figurines have been found in many tombs, and in some excavations, the remains of these dogs also accompany their owners to the Land of the Dead. ⁣

We like to represent the Xolo using the figurine in our altar at home. We hope you enjoyed the history of the Xolo and what it means in Mexican culture.

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Moni

I love Mexican culture. Your tutorial is excellent. I will try the makeup next year!

Andie

Thank you for providing background and information about the origin of catrina and how now has transformed into makeup too.

Blair Villanueva

You did an awesome work here! I like your make-up and the flowers you added. It turn out very vibrant!

Sondra

Beautiful job! So pretty, I love this makeup and the colors. Now I will try to do this at home too.

Mila

I would love to try this makeup one day, looks so easy to apply, and the result is pretty.

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