If you wanted to know what la llorona is the once sentence summary would be the Mexican version of a Banshee. Of course there is a lot more to it than that. The story goes (and just like the Banshee, there are variations of this story) that she drowned her young children out of revenge because her husband left her for a younger woman. She soon realised what she had done and, heartbroken, she drowned herself. Once she reached the gates of heaven though she was asked where her children were, and is refused entry until she returns with them. So she wanders the world forever, searching for her children .
There were lots of elements of this legend that I wanted to incorporate into this look. The first was to give her skin the appearance of a body which has just started to decay underwater. Of course if I was going for a more accurate special effects route the process would be a lot more complex and detailed than just making the skin a blue tone. But for the sake of simplicity I’m going to water it down to just that.
What about other skin tones?
No matter your skin tone you will need to add a blue/greying tone to your skin for this effect. The darker your skin tone the less you have to worry about the blueness, and it’s more about reducing the warmth in the skin. Without getting too detailed and grizzly, once the heart stops beating and the less oxygen your blood has the bluer you appear. The less melanin your skin has the more the redness from from the blood under the skin is visible, so when the blood lacks oxygen and turns darker this gives the skin a blue/grey appearance. The more melanin in your skin, the less this effect is visible.
For her outfit I wanted to present the idea that she had drowned herself in her old bridal dress, but because of what she had done to her children her veil turned dark like a funeral veil, and remained that way as she wandered the world.
I’d imagined that she would wander small back roads and deserted places, holding a candle so that her children could see her coming for them. When she comes across strangers who hear her crying and asks them if they are her children she becomes angry when they say they are not and burns them. If you lie, and say you are, she drowns you.