Día de Muertos

As Halloween was approaching I only had one priority: spend little to no money on my costume. I've tried this before to very lackluster results. Free costumes made from my own wardrobe often lead to an uninspired "wacky mismatched patterns" look. This year I wanted to try a new cheap, but creative approach to the holiday. Encouraged by my previous Beyoncé makeup mimicry I had the idea to try a traditional Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) look. Obviously this was going to be a more elaborate task than usual. 

Although I haven't celebrated a traditional Día de Muertos (beyond ingesting a copious amount of sugar skulls), I have always loved the imagery of the Calavera Catrina. The mix of Aztec and colonial Spanish aesthetics reflects a uniquely Mexican mix. It felt right, fun and totally doable if done with attention. 

When planning the makeup I assumed what I lacked in standard makeup skills I could compensated for with my drawing experience. I found a few YouTube video tutorials and made sure to practice a few days before Halloween to help establish a learning curve. This year Halloween weekend in New York turned out to be a gloomy snowy mess, but there was no way I wasn't going out after I finished this almost two hour creation. 

I really enjoyed how many people I didn't know were intimidated by me, people I did know barely recognized me and everyone was generally creeped out. Official Halloween success!

we're practically twins

The ascension of Lady Gaga inspired many fellow pop stars to strive (and mostly fail) in their attempts to mimic the overly ornate and complex. To her fans Gaga preaches a message of self-acceptance, which is a great cause, but is often weakly interpreted as, "what is the craziest thing I can glue on my head when I go to her show?"

Beyoncé's new video "Countdown" offers a successful alternative to the Gaga-fication of the music industry. She provides a simple, fun, colorful and dynamic piece of visual pop candy. While the song is fairly give-or-take as a single, the video for "Countdown" possesses all of the elements of a classic pop video. Bold costumes, engaging choreography and quirky editing, all done with a simpleness and ease that makes all the elements reliable as a whole.

Similarly to Beyoncé iconic "Single Ladies" video I am sure "Countdown" will be a hit among the under-two baby set. Check out this Time's article analyzing the Single Ladies / Dancing Baby craze that happened a few years ago. This new video's close-up shots of Beyoncé's bouncing eyebrows, million dollar smile and exaggerated staccato movements engage with our most basic notions of reliably we develop as children. The cartoon-y quality inspires a combined sense of modern fun and nostalgia.

I especially appreciate how replicable her stylying is for someone without McQueen in their budget. Sure those Prada sun-hats aren't exactly reasonable, but I can probably spring for a black turtleneck and leggings without breaking the bank.

P.S. Here is an awesome mix: Beyonce - Countdown (Reggae Rewind Remix)