María Fernanda Barbosa Vega is a 22-year-old makeup artist from Sinaloa, México with years of experience in the beauty realm. When she was 16, Barbosa realized that her passion for painting and drawing could translate into intricate makeups looks. Her first creations were made with black liners, highlighting and emphasizing different facial features. Born and raised in Mexico, she and her family celebrate Día de los Muertos every year, giving Barbosa a special opportunity to create new beauty looks in honor of the holiday.

“Día de los Muertos is one of my favorite holidays,” Barbosa told POPSUGAR. “It’s that part of the year when I can honor the people I love who passed away with their favorite food, things they used to wear or like, just to let them know that they are not forgotten, they still live in our hearts and mind.”

Since the makeup artist has always loved to try new trends, she used the holiday to experiment with different looks, colors, and creations. “What I love the most is how far I reach with my creativity and leaving my very own essence in each makeup I do,” she said. Being imaginative and experimental, all while celebrating those who passed, makes the holiday that much more special for makeup artists and creators alike.

One of Barbosa’s favorite things about the celebration is remembering all the good things her loved ones did in their lives, and recognizing that even if they passed away, they can still live on through her memories. Being able to connect her passion for makeup and the memory of her loved ones has given her a way to more deeply appreciate Día de los Muertos. “We use makeup to express ourselves and that’s the way they [Día de los Muertos and makeup] coincide. We create sugar skulls to celebrate death and culture,” María said.

Making a catrina is special to Barbosa because it is a characterization that represents the Mexican culture to the rest of the world. These special, intimate, and passionate makeup looks are more than just beautiful — they’re a reflection of her traditions and values. For the last few years, the makeup artist has worked on special looks to capture and embrace the meaning of the holiday. The evolution of each look has made every year new and exciting. In 2017, her catrina was defined by simple black liners, while this year included bright colors, jewels, and flowers.

Take a look at Barbosa’s favorite catrinas over the years, and find inspiration in the styles and colors of each look. Whether you and your family will be making an ofrenda altar or simply spending time together remembering those who passed, let makeup be a way to honor and cherish those the memory of those who are always in your heart.

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