In Mexican culture, we prefer to laugh at death as surely as death laughs at us. And we do it with La Calavera Catrina, the not-so-grim reaper and grand dame of death who—with fancy hat—comes for all, whether posh or poor. She’s a constant reminder that taxes are only one of the two certainties in life.
She’s as iconic in today’s Mexico as mariachi and can be found both at traditional Day of the Dead celebrations and on commercial merchandise. In recent years, she’s become more and more visible as folks both in Mexico and abroad have embraced her. Here is my interpretation of how to do her colorful, festive makeup.