day of the dead Archives - QC Makeup Academy

day of the dead Archives - QC Makeup Academy

How to: Sugar Skull Makeup Tutorial

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Day of the Dead, or Dia de Meurtos in Spanish, is a major Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. It is a time when families honor and remember their loved ones who have passed away by leaving them food, flowers, and sugar skulls on homemade altars.

For all you makeup lovers, the colorful and whimsical sugar skull makeup is a fun challenge to complete and a great look to pull off. The best part is that once you’ve got the basics down, you can personalize it with whatever shapes and colors you’d like! Read on for a step-by-step guide for a simple sugar skull look.


Step 1

Cover those brows and prep the skin with the foundation of your choice. You can go a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone here if you like, just to give yourself that skeletal look. Try to create as flawless a finish as you can.

Step 2

Map out your design with eyeliner by drawing large circles around the eyes (above the eyebrows). Depending on the overall look you’re trying to achieve, you can use whatever color you’d like. Black, purple, and blue are popular choices. Precision isn’t too important at this stage.

Step 3

Prime the eyes inside your circle to make sure the pigment that you’re about to put on stays in place.

Step 4

Taking a brightly pigmented powder, fill in the circle around the eyes. This is where you can start getting creative! Decorate the edges of the circles however you’d like, either by making a design with eyeliner (as seen above), or jewels. You can even add some eye glitter to the lid for an extra bit of sparkle.

Step 5

Finish off your eyes with a thick liner on the upper and lower lashes (don’t forget the waterline!). If false lashes are your thing, feel free to use them here for a more dramatic look.

Step 6

Buy or make some stencils for an extra bit of whimsy. You can use flowers, hearts, or just a fun design around your forehead, or on the chin. Fill them in with a bright pigment in the color of your choice.

Step 7

Using a crème eyeliner and angled brush, outline the nose in black and fill it in. This will complete the skull look. You can add an extra bit of sparkle here too if you like.

Step 8

Paint the lips in the color of your choice. The above look went all white for an overall creepy effect, but you could also fill them with a bright red or coral for a more colorful, fun look. Extend the corners of the mouth and add “stitches” across the entire mouth using black eyeliner.

Step 9

To really look like a skull, you’ll need some contouring! Take a dark gray and contour the cheekbones and jawline.

Voila! You’ve created an authentic sugar skull makeup look just in time for Day of the Dead. Why don’t you enter it in our Facebook Halloween contest? Click here for details.