for Frida

My first real taste of Mexico came when I was about 5 years old and our neighbor’s relative came to visit us from Puebla.  She brought me a sugar skull from the Dia De Muertos celebrations.  It was bright white and painted with flowery purple embellishments.  Despite my youthful sweet tooth, I was much more interested in preserving it as long as possible until it finally crumbled to pieces.  This gift was the beginning of my curiosity and appreciation of the way their culture of honors and celebrates the dead.

I remember the first time that I saw the Frida Kahlo art book that my dad had just purchased, and I explored it with a childlike curiosity wondering about the colorful woman with the exaggerated unibrow and her intense and emotional portraiture.  It was not a beauty that I was able to fully understand at such a young age, but I know the images certainly left an impression on me as they were quite unlike anything else I had ever seen.  Over time, my emotional response and appreciation for her colorful embellishments of her tragic life flourished, and I often revisited that book through the years. I eventually made a pilgrimage to her home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City.  It was a journey devoted through and through to her lush, bold color palette, and I was inspired to wear the most colorful clothes I could find.  I wore a bold rust and teal dress with a petticoat to her house and bought bright scarves from the store there.  Me and my best friend delighted in posing in our very Frida-esque ensembles in her garden.

Taking these two great inspirations and combining them, I decided to celebrate Frida’s colorful symbolism and passionate lifestyle by dressing as her in sugar skull style with petal flourishes and bones bursting into bloom.




Something I’ve been slowly getting really interested in is experimenting with makeup in more extreme ways.  This experimentation started to gain some depth last Halloween when I was using every chance I could get to try something outside of the norm.  This zombie look was for a zombie walk where a very large group of people get together and walk in a big zombie mob through the city.  It’s a fantastic idea and I was looking forward to doing my own take on zombification.  The creepy part was when the group disbanded and I ended up with my friend also in zombie makeup in the middle of the city.  Suddenly, outside of the group and by ourselves, we were a bit more conspicuous.  A few people seriously thought we’d just wandered off from an accident.  That might have been the most amusing part of the day.

For my makeup, I wanted to go for more of a freshly dead zombie with lots of crusty blood and sunken in features.  I ended up seeing my existing makeup differently.  I purchased some Ben Nye white cake makeup and the monster palette for the base, but I used a lot of matte eyeshadows, random eye pencils, and lots of various everyday makeup I have accumulated to flesh out the look.  I dusted off this really old Alice costume from American McGee’s Alice video game that I’ve had probably for about 10 years and added it into the mix.  It was somewhat convenient since I’d already put some blood stains on it years ago.

For the record, I wasn’t laying on anyone’s grave.  Those were oddly positioned on an elevated platform that happened to be the perfect height for a background.