How to Do Skeleton Halloween Makeup

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Whether you're a fan of the animated character Jack Skellington of "The Nightmare Before Christmas," a Shakespeare buff looking to channel your inner Yorick or a procrastinator who waited until the last minute to throw together a costume, this classic skeleton makeup tutorial will get you ready for a spooky party in no time. With a little face paint, eyeliner and eyeshadow it's easy to create this affordable Halloween costume. Get ready to contour your way beyond the grave.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Things You'll Need

  • Primer
  • White face paint
  • Beauty blender
  • Black crayon pencil
  • Black face paint
  • Flat brush
  • Black liquid liner
  • Translucent powder
  • Powder brush
  • Black eyeshadow
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Pencil brush
  • Flat pointed brush

Step 1

Apply primer to your face and neck. This will give the makeup something to adhere to and help ensure the look withstands all the monster mashing that you're bound to be doing.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 2

Apply white face paint to your face and neck with a beauty blender for that translucent effect. Be sure to apply paint to your lips and ears, but leave your eye area bare as you'll fill this in later with black paint.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 3

Use a black crayon pencil to trace a circle around your eyes, following the curve of your brows.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 4

Make an "M" shape with one arch higher than the other over your nose.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 5

Draw lines from the corners of your mouth to create the base for the skeleton teeth. From the lines you drew from the corners of your mouth, draw a "V" shape toward your ears with the black crayon pencil.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 6

Use a flat brush and black face paint to fill in your eyes. Don't worry about make the circles perfect — it'll be more realistic if it's a bit smudged and uneven.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 7

While you're at it, fill in your nose as well.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 8

Extend lines from your eyes with a brush to accentuate your brow bones.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 9

Use black liquid liner to create "teeth" by drawing vertical lines over your lips. To create the optical illusion of a skeleton's jawbone, be sure to make the longest line in the middle of your mouth and make them progressively smaller as you get closer to your ears. Make sure you have the same number of lines on each side of your mouth and do your best to draw them evenly.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 10

Use black face paint and a flat paint brush to fill in the hollows of your cheeks. Then, smudge black paint into your hairline and blend. Keep it messy for a more realistic skeleton look.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 11

Use translucent powder and a powder brush to set the white paint.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 12

Use black eyeshadow and an eyeshadow brush to set the black paint and prevent creasing.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Use the black powder to smudge the outlines of the black paint at the hairline, the brow bones, the tip of your nose, and the hollows of your cheeks.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 13

Use a pencil brush to shade in the teeth with black powder. Create a "V" shape on the top row of teeth and an inverted "V" shape on the bottom row.

(Image: Michele Anderson)
(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 14

Use a flat pointed brush to fill in the teeth with white paint to make them pop. Use quick flicking motions to avoid smudging the black shadow too much.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 15

Highlight your forehead and your cheekbones with white paint.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 16

Use a powder brush to apply black eyeshadow along your jawline, blending into the hollow of your cheeks.

(Image: Michele Anderson)

Step 17

Now you're ready to drag your bones onto the dance floor!

(Image: Michele Anderson)
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