Viacom’s 2017 Employee Halloween Costume Contest Winner Lina Henriquez, aka La Calvera Oscura, On Her Culturally Inspired Look

Congratulations to Lina Henriquez, our 2017 Viacom Employee Halloween Costume Contest winner. By day, Henriquez works in our Core Services department as the executive receptionist, greeting visitors and directing incoming calls.

By night, she’s a holy ghost, the grand dame of death, a Mexican folk saint. Well, at least on Halloween.

Henriquez was inspired to honor Mexico’s saint La Calavera Oscura after a recent trip to the country.

Below, Henriquez explains the meaning behind her costume, how much effort (and makeup) went into creating the stunning, authentic look, and how she celebrated the spookiest night of the year.

Lina Henriquez is the 2017 Viacom Employee Halloween Costume Contest winner. Photo courtesy of Henriquez.

Lina Henriquez: First, I would love to thank everyone who voted for me! I really appreciate everyone’s support and just know that it means a lot to have won the Viacom Halloween costume contest.

Viacom: That’s awesome to hear. Can you explain the meaning behind it?

The costume was inspired by the Mexican Icon “La Calavera Catrina,” aka “Lady of Death.” She is the folk saint depicted in Mexico’s Santa Muerte celebration or “Day of The Dead.”

I call my Costume “La Calaveras Oscura,” which is the Spanish translation for “The Dark Skull.” She is the female reaper, a Holy Spirit of the Dead with miraculous working powers.

We love how much thought you put into this—not only did you create a beautiful costume, but it’s clear you appreciated and considered the cultural meaning behind it.

So, how did you choose this costume? Did you have any other ideas in mind?

I actually had too many ideas in mind! But I recently traveled to Mexico, and remembered how I fell in love with the culture and all the energy surrounding the March of the Grand Procession of the “Catrinas.”

How long did it take to put together this costume?

Putting the outfit together was easy. I used a hooded black robe that I bought from a Halloween pop-up shop, and wore black clothes underneath the hood.

I also used my kitty “King” as a prop. (He was such a good boy.) As far as the makeup goes, it took me almost two hours to complete. The shading and highlighting took the most time, but in the end I was happy with my results. I really enjoyed creating this look.

The makeup is impeccable. Can you tell us about your application process in more detail?

I used a brown eyebrow pencil to gently outline my eyes, cheeks and mouth – creating the shapes for the skull.

Then, to fill in the dark areas around the eyes and cheek, I used a black eyeshadow and also applied black cream makeup. I used some brown eyeshadow to shade around the eyes and the outside to form a shadow and also white cream makeup to highlight inside the shadow.

I bought the eye shadow from Morphe Palette, and the cream makeup from a Halloween store.

It’s really impressive. Do you have a background in makeup art?

I am an aspiring (self-taught) makeup artist. I really enjoy creating looks, and I try to do freelance makeup as a hobby.

Well, it looks professional. So, what did you do for Halloween to show off this costume?

I celebrated with close friends at their creepy Halloween house party. Costumes were mandatory, and the whole event was very festive. I had lots of fun.

Why do you think your costume was so popular with employees?

I think it was because I put a lot of time and effort into the final image. It wasn’t just about getting into a costume; I really wanted to create a transformation with my makeup. After that, all I had to do was capture a really spooky angle.

Henriquez poses with her spooky yet adorable kitten, King. Photo courtesy of Henriquez.

Read our interview with last year’s winner here.

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