If you’re looking for a last-minute Halloween costume and/or can’t be bothered buying a costume, DIY makeup is the best and easiest way to go. With just a little bit of time and some face paint, you can whip up a truly transformative makeup look – like this skull!
For this tutorial, we’re going to show you step-by-step how to easily paint skull makeup (on yourself, a friend, or a S.O.!) The best part? You won’t need to worry about finding a physical costume. All you’ll need to wear is black (which we all have in our closets) to complete the look. Easy peasy!
You will need:
White and black face paints OR a face paint kit. We used this one from Amazon that came with two brushes.
Thin paint brushes or makeup brushes – you can even use nail art brushes.
Makeup sponge. We used a beautyblender.
Approximate time needed: 30 minutes – 1 hour, depending on how detailed you decide to get.
Start with a clean, moisturized face. Using a dampened sponge, dip into your moistened white paint and dab – don’t rub – all over the face until you reach your desired opaqueness and coverage.
You might have to wait for each layer to dry before adding the next. Make sure to cover your lips, but leave the eye socket area blank.
Note: You might have to play around with the water and paint until you reach the desired consistency. Too much water and it becomes too runny. Not enough and it becomes difficult to spread.
Once the white canvas is completed, wet a detail paintbrush and dip into the moistened black face paint. Paint a circular outline around each eye, using the eyebrows and eye socket as a guideline for shape. Then, fill in your outline, making sure not to get paint in your eye. (We had to wait until the last second to fill in the undereye area, as the paint can make your eyes water if you get it too close to your eyes!)
Continue painting the nose by creating the outline. Draw a “V” shape at the top of the nose, and bring down the outline on each side of the nose, and then connect the bottom to each side. Fill this shape in.
Add cheek and jawline details. Create a “3” shape (and an inverted “3” shape on the right hand side, as it needs to mirror the left side), using your ear as a guide for where to start and end. Under the “3” shape, you’ll want to extend the black paint to your jawline. See photo for reference.
Create two cheek sockets with a “C” shape (and just like the “3” shape, remember to mirror it on the opposite side) and fill in. Connect it to the middle of the “3” shape on each side with a horizontal line.
Make sure to leave room for some teeth in the middle of the C! We recommend just starting with the outline of the “C” shape and filling it in after you’ve done the teeth.
7Draw a horizontal line, using your lip part as a guide and extending it outward. Begin adding teeth, starting in the middle of your lips.
Create small, gentle lines to form the teeth, spacing them out appropriately. Make sure to align each line you create. To make it more realistic, use feathery strokes, and slightly wiggly the brush while painting the lines so they’re not perfectly straight.
Using the same paintbrush, wipe off the paint excess and gently draw curved bridges between each line to create the illusion of a more realistic teeth. To make it even more natural, smudge the lines outward with a clean finger to soften them.
Fill in the rest of the “C” shape you created earlier, being careful not to accidentally fill in any teeth.
Add details! We added shading near the hairline, temples, along the jaw, and above and below the cheek sockets with the beautyblender sponge. Using the sponge ensures you’ll get a more sheer effect, perfect for shading.
Additional details you may add: a small “V” above the nose, eyebrow shading, and cracks. For the cracks, use a tiny, thin paintbrush loaded with black paint, and create feathery cracks dispersed randomly throughout. We suggest the hairline, jaw, and coming out of eye sockets. Be careful not to overdo it!
Finished! (Like we mentioned earlier, we left the spacing under the eye to be filled in at the last moment as to not irritate her eyes. You can also use black eyeliner if you are afraid of irritation).
Optional: Create neck bones + a ribcage with white paint, and fill in the gaps with black paint on a sponge. We quickly completed this part, but you can certainly make the effect more opaque with extra layers.