Spooky Skeleton Halloween Makeup Tutorial

Spooky Skeleton Halloween Makeup Tutorial

A Not-So-Scary Step-by-Step Guide for a Frightening Face

The scariest night of the year is almost upon us. As a kid, horror movie fan, and makeup artist, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. I love the process of planning and creating a costume each year, but many find it to be an arduous chore and wind up missing out on all the fun of make-believe and being silly for a night.

I’m taking you step-by-step through one of my favorite go-to Halloween makeup looks: The classic skeleton skull. It is an inexpensive and simple technique that only requires five products to apply. It is also super effective at disguising your face, rendering men and women of all ages virtually unrecognizable.


Supply Gathering

As mentioned, this makeup look only requires five products: two makeup brushes, two face paints, and one setting spray.

You will need two different size brushes for different areas of the face. The first should be a small brush with a tapered tip to paint fine detail, like the Sigma Beauty E05 Eye Liner Brush.

The second brush should be slightly larger and have flat, rounded bristles, such as the Sigma Beauty E24 Diffused Blend Brush. This brush will fill in the larger areas. You can use any brushes that you are comfortable with, but these two are highly recommended for this look because Sigma brushes are made well, perform with precision, and hold up over time.

Next, you will need face paint in both black and white. I recommend the Moon Creations Professional Face Paint; it is water-activated, easy to apply, provides excellent coverage, dries quickly to a matte powder finish, maintains color vibrancy, and easily washes off with soap and water.

Use a wet brush to activate the paints. You don’t need to use a lot of water; too much water will thin out the coverage and may cause dripping. Wet your brush and dip it into the pot until you have a lipgloss-like thickness.

Rewet the brush as often as needed. You can also flip the lid of the pot and fill it with water for dipping the brush, but thoroughly rinse it between colors. Also, wash them both thoroughly after use to maintain their best condition.

The last product you need is a good setting spray to lock your look in place for the night. Skindinavia’s The Makeup Finishing Spray – Oil Control is an excellent choice with incredible staying power and the added mattifying benefit of excess oil control.


Skull Painting

Start with a clean, dry face. It’s best not to use a moisturizer or any skincare products before face painting: Face paint adheres best to dry, bare skin.

You can, however, prep your skin a few hours before painting. This will give any skincare time to fully absorb.

I like to start with light colors before working my way to darker colors as they tend to cover better and create crisp edges.

Using the small brush and white face paint, outline the eye sockets. You don’t want to go too big here, so don’t go any higher than the eyebrows. Then outline your cheekbones and connect them to the outer corners of your lips.

Round out the top of the skull from temple to temple—just under the hairline—and paint in the jawbone. Also two triangle sections on the middle tip of the nose.

Now switch over to the large brush and fill in the face while white, except for the outlined eye sockets, jaw gaps, and nostril triangles. It may take more than one coat to get bright, even coverage. Be careful to keep the edges and perimeter of the face as crisp as possible, and be sure to paint over the lips as well.

Next, switch back to the small brush. Mix a small amount of black face paint into the white until you have a light-to-medium gray color: This will be used for shading the skull.

For this part, apply lightly and only add more as needed. You want the result to look like natural shadows, so blend well and don’t get too dark or end too abruptly.

Start your shadows where the jaw meets the cheekbone and drag the color down, blending into the white. Extend the color along the bottom edge of the jawline and into the cleft of the chin. Also shade around the outer eye sockets and around the nasolabial folds of the nose, carefully blending into the white once more.

The last use for this gray color is to mark where the teeth will go. Paint these vertical lines right over your upper lip, and then your lower lip, respectively. Blend these lines up and down as they will serve as shadows for the spaces between the teeth.

Now create a clean edge by outlining all the white with black using the small brush. You will use the small brush with black face paint for the rest of this makeup.

Carefully fill in the eye sockets, nostrils, and jaw gaps with black. Be sure to paint your eyelids completely black as well. The black outline will blend the look into dark backgrounds, and when your eyes are closed, it gives the illusion of empty, hollow eye sockets.

For detail, you can also paint in sutures or cracks in the skull. Paint a thin black line along the inner part of your lower lip to create a base.

Then, vertically paint the edges of the teeth in black on top of the gray shadows. Don’t extend the black quite as far, however, so the gray shows.

Connect the teeth with rounded edges. Make any final adjustments and refinements, or even some extra highlighting along the bones in white or very light grey.

Finally, with your eyes closed, spritz your entire face with a generous layer of setting spray to lock the look in place. Throw on a white skull cap or black hood, and you’re good to go!

This makeup should take no longer than 30 minutes to apply. But I’d still recommend at least one practice run, so you know what to expect.

Play with the proportion to make a more fun, rounded, and animated look, or add decorative borders, ornate details, and bright colors for more of a Day of the Dead vibe. Happy painting and Happy Halloween!

For questions, concerns, or article ideas, feel free to reach out to our eCosmetics Beauty Editor directly at beauty@ecosmetics.com