Grim Reaper Makeup

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Classic grim reaper makeup creates the illusion of a skull by applying black to the hollows of the face and eye sockets and adding white to the cheekbones, forehead and chin. Apply grim reaper makeup with a demonstration by a certified stage makeup artist in this free video on Halloween makeup.

Part of the Video Series: Halloween Makeup Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Mattie Sproul, I'm a licensed cosmetologist and I'm certified in Halloween and theatrical makeup. And today we're going to be doing some quick and easy grim reaper makeup for you. You will need a palette, eyeliner, face paint, Makeup sponges, brushes and lipstick. What I like to do first is put a hair tie on so that we can get the hair out of the way so we can apply the makeup easily. So the typical grim reaper face is going to have indentations, typically towards the temple, the cheekbones and the eye sockets and what we're going to be doing first is making those indentations. So I like to take my eyeliner and I'm going to make a C formation right next to the temple. And this can really be however big you want it, typically I like to do from about the tip of the ear to where the hairline's going to be going. And you do that on both sides. The next indentation that we're going to be doing is the cheekbones and sometimes it can be pretty hard to find the indentations. So if you make a fish face like this, it's easier to find the lines. Now how I did this was I started right in the middle of the ear, kind of where his side burn starts and I just made a line following the cheekbone and then once you get about to the, probably the middle of the eye you want to make just a straight line going down and then just follow it right back up and then connect it. And the next lines that we're going to be making are around the eye and you want to make sure when you make this detail, you want it to be a big circular motion. So we're going to start probably right here, not towards the tear duct, a little bit outward. You can make a dot if that helps you out. And then we're going to go all the way up to the eyebrow arch and then probably about a half inch, about like three centimeters away from the opposite side of the eye, and then we're going to go down probably to right here. And once you have those four dots you can just go ahead and connect them making a circular motion. And then just do the exact same on the opposite side. After you've completed the facial lines you want to move down towards the throat and complete the trachea. And in order to do this you just want to make a u shape and then connect it on the top. And we'll just do two of those. And it's okay if you don't fill everything in completely black. You can always go back through and add more makeup as you go. So the next step is to take your makeup sponge and just take some of the paint and you don't really want to glob it on the end but just get a nice, just a nice smooth amount. You might have to go over it a little bit, maybe once or twice, depending on what kind of makeup you have; some are just thicker than others. But if you just follow the lines that you've made and just make sure that you cover up all the natural skin tones, you should be good. I'm going to take my eyeliner again and I'm actually going to draw some lines from right here in to the lip. Traditional grim reaper faces usually have more of a sunken definition and I feel like this is going to give it a little more character, if we bring those together and connect the black lines together. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take a little bit of the brown makeup and I'm just going to squeeze just a dab, because you don't need a lot, on to my palette. And then you can keep it this dark of a brown or if you want to lighten it up you can just mix it with the white and that'll make it lighten up. We're just going to take this brown and we're going to just dab it around the forehead and a little bit near the mouth just to give it a little bit more character. And this is how you do traditional grim reaper makeup and just to finish the final product all you have to do is put on your costume with a hood and you'll just see the face with hoodiness.


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