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6 Stunning and Symbolic Día de los Muertos Makeup Looks Unveiled


Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a cherished Mexican tradition full of artistry and remembrance. On November 2nd, families and communities across Mexico and parts of Latin America unite to pay homage to their dearly departed. At the heart of this celebration of life and death lies a breathtaking display: the exquisitely adorned faces of Día de los Muertos. 

To celebrate this vibrant holiday, our IPSY Mexico team created six Día de los Muertos makeup creations that are so much more than just artistry; they are a symbolic narrative expressed through the medium of makeup. “I took as an inspiration the four elements: air, earth, water, and fire,” says IPSY Mexico Beauty Director Mónica Godínez. “These elements are present on the main celebrations for Día de Muertos in Mexico: the altars, the celebrations and dinners in the graveyards, and on the cempasúchil flowers.”

Each of the IPSY Mexico ambassadors (more on them below!) was assigned an element and worked with Godínez to conceptualize their Día de los Muertos makeup look, a creative process that took the team about three months. One look at these intricate makeup looks below tells you exactly why the planning process was so involved—but it didn’t end with a stack of six complete face charts. “The day we shot the Día de Muertos campaign, it took five hours to create each look on the ambassadors, and we had two to five makeup artists per person,” adds Godínez.

Whether you find yourself preparing for a Día de los Muertos celebration or just seeking inspiration to honor this captivating culture, you are cordially invited to embark on a colorful journey of honoring the departed through the transformative power of makeup.

About the Expert:

Mónica Godínez is an international editorial, commercial, and bridal makeup artist and the Beauty Director for IPSY Mexico. 

1. Bride Beyond the Veil

Beauty and lifestyle creator Paulina Florencia was transformed into a bewitched bride of the afterlife with a Día de los Muertos makeup look that fuses the elegance of a bride with the mysticism of this celebrated tradition. The heart of this look lies in the juxtaposition of life and death. The skull motif pays homage to loved ones who have passed, and the pearl embellishments symbolize the enduring bond with the departed.

2. La Calavera Cactus

Beauty content creator Rosy McMichael embraces the enchanting allure of La Catrina with a Día de los Muertos makeup look inspired by the elegant skull. Her face is adorned with intricate skull makeup, exquisitely highlighting her features, while nopal motifs in rich colors celebrate the fiesta's vibrant spirit. However, the crowning jewel of this transformation (literally!) is her extravagant flower crown, reminiscent of the traditional ofrendas to honor the deceased.

3. Maquillaje en Fuego

Prepare to set the world ablaze with makeup artist Ivan Fernandez’s fire skull look, a sizzling Día de los Muertos transformation that's as fierce as it is eye-catching. This fiery spectacle draws inspiration from the passionate and unapologetic energy of the holiday, igniting a fierce and elegant interpretation of the classic Catrín motif.

4. Crystal Calavera

Step into the world of understated elegance with beauty, fashion, and lifestyle creator Tere Such’s crystal calavera makeup, a stunning Day of the Dead makeup look that pays homage to tradition through a serene white and silver palette. This look beautifully symbolizes the reverence and respect at the heart of Día de los Muertos, celebrating life by channeling its timeless and delicate beauty.

5. Día de Muertos Dark Side

Ignite your celebration with makeup artist Luis Torres’s makeup look, a captivating expression of the passionate and enigmatic elements of the holiday. Torres adorned his visage with vivid shades of red and fiery horn prosthetics, a testament to the powerful duality of existence, celebrating the light and the shadows that define our journey. 

6. Sugar Skull Reina

Entrepreneur and vlogger Jackie Hernandez channels tradition with her nopal and cempasúchil sugar skull Day of the Dead makeup. The sugar skull, or calavera de azúcar, is a beloved symbol of the holiday, representing the sweet remembrance of loved ones. By adorning her face with intricate sugar skull patterns, Hernandez became a living canvas, evoking the essence of Mexico's rich culture and the ephemeral nature of life.

Feeling inspired by these gorgeous @IPSY.Mex makeup looks and ready to level up your beauty game? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
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Maddie Aberman
Maddie is the senior manager of editorial at IPSY. She’s been covering beauty and wellness for more than nine years. Her work has appeared in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Popsugar, Women's Health, Good Housekeeping, and Seventeen, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated October 25, 2023 12:00 AM