Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Skeleton

Realistically resemble the undead with this skeleton makeup treatment. Although the finished result looks hard, our how-to instructions will make creating a skeletal look easy and quick — you can transform yourself in under an hour.

Man Dressed in Skeleton Costume

Scary Skeleton Halloween Makeup

Realistically resemble the deceased with this skeleton makeup treatment. Although the finished result looks hard, our how-to instructions will make creating a skeletal look quick and easy — transform yourself in under an hour. Learn the trick to making your eyebrows disappear.

Materials Needed:

  • cream foundation makeup in white and black
  • black eyeliner pencil
  • black liquid eyeliner
  • eye shadow in black and gray
  • eye shadow brush
  • flat craft brush
  • glue stick
  • translucent powder and puff
  • powder brush

Smooth Eyebrows

Begin with a clean, well-moisturized face. To smooth the eyebrows before applying makeup, first coat eyebrows with a glue stick, rubbing in the direction of hair growth (Image 1). Pre-test your skin the day before to see if you have any allergies to the glue. Use translucent powder to set the glue, first dabbing on with a powder puff then brushing away any excess (Image 2).

Apply Base to Face

Use a makeup sponge to apply white cream makeup over the entire face, down the neck and onto the lips (Image 1). Be careful not to touch the face once the base makeup is applied because fingerprints are difficult to blend out.

Applying White Makeup Base

Applying White Makeup Base for Skeleton

Black Out Eyes

Use a flat makeup brush to fill in the hollows of the eyes with black cream makeup (Image 1).

Eyes for Skeleton Makeup

Blacking Out Eyes for Halloween Skeleton Makeup

Define Nose

Use a flat craft brush to blend the dark makeup onto the sides of the nose to accentuate the bridge (Image 1).

Skeleton Makeup Nose

Painting Nose Detail For Skeleton Makeup

Contour Face

To add bony contours, use a flat craft brush to apply black cream makeup to outline the bottom of the cheekbone. Take the line close to the hairline and all the way up to the forehead, almost to the middle and about an inch over the eyebrows. Starting with the cheek, carefully use the brush to blend the line downward to create the look of a shadow (Image 1). Use small moves until you get the hang of blending and, if necessary, use a makeup sponge to soften any harsh lines. Then, blend the top line down as well. Draw a triangle just over the tip of the nose and blend downward, making certain to leave the very tip of the nose white (Image 2).

Skeletonize the Neck

To continue the skeleton look onto the neck, use a black eyeliner pencil to make horizontal oval shapes equal distance apart. For a three-dimensional look, fill only one side of the oval with black cream makeup. Leave the right side with some white showing in a circle to give the appearance of a highlight (Image 1).

Neck Skeleton Makeup

Painting Bone Detail on Neck for Skeleton Makeup

Line the Mouth

To make a mouth full of ghoulish teeth, use a black eyeliner pencil to line where the lips meet (Image 1). Extend the natural lip line about two inches from the mouth on each side. Use either an eyeliner pencil or a thin craft brush to carefully outline the teeth (Image 2). It might be easier to draw a couple of teeth on the top and a couple of teeth on the bottom to get the hang of the tooth size. Fill in some of the teeth with black, especially those that didn't turn out well, to resemble empty sockets (Image 3).

Set the Makeup

Load up a puff with translucent powder and press gently into the makeup (Image 1). This is the most important step since it will set the makeup so it doesn't rub off. Use a large powder brush to lightly sweep away any excess powder. If any of the dark tones dulled after the powder has been brushed away, use an eye shadow brush and black and gray shadow to reinvigorate the shaded areas (Image 2). Just be certain not to use any more cream makeup once the face is powdered.

Complete the Look

To add character to your skull, create a few cracks in the bone using liquid eyeliner. Add uneven lines at the forehead, on the cheek and chin (Image 1). Finish the look a skeleton T-shirt and dark jeans (Image 2).

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