Skull-A-Day 6.0 - Tutorial - Dia de la Abby: #80 Dia de la Muertos Skull Makeup

Recently, I went to a Dia de los Muertos themed event. I've been wanting to do a new skull makeup, so this was the perfect excuse to do a quick one. I chose to do a simple sugar skull using white cream makeup, black eyeshadow, and different eyeliners. The tutorial to recreate this skull makeup is below.

For the costume, I wore a black tank, a hand painted ribcage corset, a black eyelet ruffle skirt (which reminded me of Mexican skirts), skeleton gloves, skeleton stockings, and skull print boots. I wanted to wear a more skeletal looking costume, so thankfully my wardrobe had those pieces already. If you've been following my work for a while, then you might recall my skullsugar skull, and anatomical skull makeups. Each one has it's own tutorial. I love playing with makeup, and skulls, so this probably won't be my last one that I share here and on Skull-A-Day.


  • Ben Nye white creme makeup - I find that this stage grade makeup has better coverage than cheaper makeup found at Halloween shops
  • Sugarpill's Bulletproof eyeshadow - It's a deeply pigmented black eyeshadow
  • Dark grey eyeshadow - Mine is by Jane, but any will do
  • Liquid eyeliner in red, silver, and black - The red and silver were purchased at Hot Topic. The black is Rimmel London's Glam'Eyes Professional Liquid Eyeliner
  • Makeup wedge sponge - To apply the white makeup all over the face
  • A small fluffy blending makeup brush - To blend some of the eyeshadows
  • A small flattish soft eyeshadow brush - To apply the black eyeshadow to some areas
  • A small angled flat eye liner brush - To apply the black eyeshadow precisely to the nose


1) With the makeup sponge and the white creme makeup, pat the makeup all over your face. You might have to move your face around in odd positions, so you can get into the crevices of your nose. To get under your eyes easily, look up while patting the makeup under your eyes. This will stretch your under eyes taut, and make applying the makeup easy. Make sure the white makeup is evenly applied. Patting the makeup on will help blend it on your skin. If you were to swipe it on, you would have makeup streaks. Make sure to blend the white makeup under your chin, so it fades into your skin. Obviously, I'm very pale, so it actually blends in under my chin and around my hair line easily. If you have darker skin (which most people will, because they're normal), you can try adding a bit of foundation or face powder under your chin, to help the white blend and not look harsh. Alternatively, you could bring it all the way down your neck and across your decolletage (I don't know the male term for that) and create bones...but I'm not explaining that today. Ok, got that done? Ok, next step!

After applying the white creme makeup, you can set your white makeup with a white powder and a fluffy powder brush. I never do this, as it can dull down the black I need to apply later. Also, mine never seems to shift while wearing it.

Sorry if I look crazed, or my eye makeup looks uneven in this photo. I opened my eyes wide, for an intense photo. My left eyebrow is higher than my right when I do this. When my face was relaxed, my makeup was even. You're going to use this photo, and the one above for makeup placement in the remaining steps. Make it even if you can...ignore my non-even swirls. You don't see that...when you look into my crazed eyes.

2) With the black eyeshadow and the flattish soft eyeshadow brush, carefully apply the black eyeshadow around your eyes. Follow the the shape of your eye sockets, but a little inside them. Try to make this even. You can always add more black eyeshadow for more depth.

3) With the fluffy blending brush, gently and lightly blend the edge of the eyeshadow. You don't want to mix the black eyeshadow into the white creme makeup. If you're doing that, you're pushing too hard. You can fix this by lightly adding more black eyeshadow to fix the over blending. This adds a soft eeriness to the eyes.

4) Suck in your cheeks (I found out recently that this doesn't work on kids, or at least not my cute puffy cheeked kid). With the eyeshadow brush, apply black eyeshadow under your cheek bones. Lightly draw a triangle like area with the vertical line where your teeth start (or make it up), and the bottom angle along the top of your jaw where your teeth aren't. This is the hollow of your cheek. If you look at the 1st photo, you will see this taper where your jaw bone meet your cheek bone.

5) With the fluffy brush, I blended the vertical line and bottom diagonal lines a bit. This is optional, as it's already fairly soft because of using a brush and eyeshadow to create the black area.

6) With the fluffy brush, lightly blend some grey eyeshadow into the jaw bone where it would meet the cheek bone. This creates a bit of shadow.

7) With the eyeshadow brush, lightly apply the black eyeshadow to your temples in a sweeping motion. Make sure to leave white space in between the temple hollow and your black eye sockets. With the grey eyeshadow, gently apply some beyond the black towards your hair line. This helps with the shading.

8) I always leave the nose for last, because it's the most precise and I tend to touch my nose some while applying the previous steps of shadow. If any of the white has come off the bridge or tip of your nose, gently pat more white creme makeup on it with that same makeup sponge. With the angled brush, precisely place the black eyeshadow. You want to leave a white strip down the center of the nose. There is a bone in your nasal cavity, and this white strip represents that. You will paint two lines on either side of the center of your nose, to create that strip. From the top of one line, paint a line at a diagonal to the side of your nostril. Do this for the other side too. Brush black eyeshadow around the edge of your nostrils, and septum. Fill in both "triangle shapes" with black eyeshadow. You want to do this step very carefully. Start lightly with shadow, and apply more to make the nose darker.

9) With the red and silver liquid eyeliners, create sugar skull like designs on the exposed white areas of the face. I tried to keep it simple with swirls, hearts, and circles. I tired to make it symmetrical, but as you can see with the large red swirls, that didn't happen. Oh well, it still looked good overall.

10) With the black liquid eyeliner, draw a line from the corner of your mouth angled up a bit to about the center of the vertical line on the cheek hollow triangle. If you angle up a bit, it will make your mouth look like it's smiling even if you aren't.

11) With the black liquid eyeliner, you're going to draw vertical lines across the line to represent teeth. Start in the center of your mouth. Then draw a line at the each corner of your mouth. After that, draw straight vertical lines dividing up the line for teeth. I drew 15 lines, which gave me 32 teeth. Open your mouth to define the ending of the lines where your lips part. This can be tricky, but take your time. You're done!!!! Now finish getting ready and go out for a fun time.

However you choose to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, I hope it's a good day remembering your loved ones who have passed on, with your loved ones who are still alive.


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