The Dead Shall Be Raised

I have emerged from the Book 2 bunker, and in the weeks to come, I’ll share all the Important Wisdom I gleaned during my time underground. But for now, it’s almost Halloween, and attention must be paid.

On Saturday, I started the night at the KidLit Costume Party at the Wellesbourne in Westwood. The usual (and delightful) suspects were joined by out-of-towners including the inimitable Stasia Ward Kehoe and trailer/cover mastermind Vania of VLC Photo. Then I scurried off to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for their annual Dia de los Muertos celebrations. I’ve lived in Los Angeles a long time and never attended, but I won’t be missing it again. Photos follow. (Details on the makeup below.)

The Mausoleum on the Lake

The Main Stage

One of the Altars

Corpse Bride & Groom

Left: Painted Skulls; Right: Me and Makeup Artist Tracey Taylor. The very crafty Tracey made her own headband. My hat was created by the amazing artists at Bubbles & Frown (their Etsy shop is not to be missed).

About the Makeup:

Halfway through this, I realized it might have made a fun tutorial. And that is why I should never be put in charge of planning anything. But here are the steps I followed and the products I used (click on the image to the right to get a closer look):

1. Base. Classic Day of the Dead makeup calls for a coat of white Kryolan Aquacolor, but I needed my makeup to last for seven hours and I didn’t want it to crack. I lay down a base of Face Atelier in “0”, then airbrushed over it with Temptu White and Pink Pearl. It was a partial success. There was some “chipping” by the end of the night and airbrush isn’t easy to touch up.

2. Shading. Definitely not a necessity, but I think it adds depth. I used Temptu in Blush (a surprisingly coppery color) for the highlights, and Black to hollow out my cheek bones. You could easily do the same with any powder or eye shadow.

2. Eyes & Detail Work. I used Kryolan Aquacolor in black and red. I blacked the eyes first, let them dry, outlined in red– this allowed me to get away with what weren’t spectacularly clean lines on the black. I added the vines and stitching in black next, then the red details. Most challenging? Keeping the eyes symmetrical (so much easier to do on someone else!), also the little heart. The Aquacolor palette is expensive, but I’ve never regretted the investment. It’s fantastic for theatrical makeup or facepainting.

3. Highlights. One of my all-time favorites and definitely worthy of a future mention in Products I Love, Mehron metallic powder in gold. I turn this into a liquid paint with Ben Nye Liquiset. It has an incredibly shiny, true metallic finish. I like it best for detail and highlight work over dark colors, but one of these days I’m just going to go all Goldfinger and turn someone into a fancy robot.


You must use colors that set for a look like this. Stay away from anything with an oil base– what you usually get in those awful drugstore halloween makeup kits.

Be patient! Allow for drying time between colors and bust out the blow dryer to speed it along.

Make a mistake? Cover it up using rhinestones or glitter. This works for just about everything, including problems with your credit score.



Filed under Prettification, The Violet Hour

10 responses to “The Dead Shall Be Raised

  1. You ladies look stunning! I love the head dress.

  2. Wow. Seriously awesome costume. Looks like a fun night. And congratulations on finishing book 2 (or at least the draft). That’s a huge accomplishment.

  3. “Make a mistake? Cover it up using rhinestones or glitter. This works for just about everything, including problems with your credit score.”
    Another wise motto.

  4. It’s how I live, Michi.

  5. You looked amazing! I will be your fancy robot victim anytime. Also, you must teach me how to even put on regular make-up, let alone Kryolan Acquacolor…

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  7. zoraida

    Hey girl! You look awesome!

  8. Pingback: Leigh Bardugo: Author of The Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising

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