8 Skull Makeup Tutorials You Can Start Practicing Now

Updated 08/28/18

You can never go wrong with being a skeleton for Halloween. It's one of the—if not the most classic of all costume, and it's also one of the easiest to throw together in a pinch. All you need is an all black outfit and some well-placed makeup. And I know this because last year I waited till the last minute to throw a costume together.

As any beauty-obsessed person is wont to do, I looked to my existing product collection for inspiration, and after glancing at my Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette ($48), I settled on transforming myself into a skeleton. The whole process took less than 30 minutes, and I was out the door. To see the fruits of my DIY labor, click here.

I've since discovered a treasure trove of tutorials to make this year's skull makeup look bigger and better (as a self-confessed repeat costume offender, I'm choosing to go as a skeleton again). On board with my easy costume idea? Keep scrolling to see the eight best tutorials on YouTube.

The Traditional Tutorial

If you're a skull-makeup rookie (which is probable, considering most people are), it's never a bad idea to go back to basics. Once you get the traditional skull makeup down, you'll be better able to complete more colorful and complex makeup looks. This one, from YouTuber Liliana Toufiles, is as easy to follow as it is spooky and detailed.

The Subtle Skull Tutorial

This tutorial by Mariah Leonard is similar to the one above, only there's a different color scheme involved. Where most skull makeup tutorials use dark gray, charcoal, and black pigments, this one uses softer, smokier earth tones. It's just as easy to follow, yet offers a subtler effect.

The Half-Skull Tutorial

After you master the basics, the next logical step is to try a half-skull makeup look, like this one from YouTuber pollyanne b. It's easier than doing a full detailed skull, since you don't have to match both sides. Think of it like doing one cat eye versus two. If you only do one, you don't have to go through the hardest part, which is matching up both of the outer wings.

The Exposed Jaw Tutorial

For a really unique take on skull makeup, try following this half-skull tutorial, which shows you how to create the illusion of an exposed jaw. This one's especially good for people who love to put their eye makeup on display, since it allows you to keep your normal shadow and liner intact. Yea, we're definitely into it. 

The Cracked Skull Tutorial

This cracked skull tutorial from Charlotte Goodowl is equal parts glamorous and edgy. We like how the skull makeup only covers half her face; it makes for an eye-catching effect.

Purple Skull Makeup

Now it's time to experiment with color. That might sound a little intimidating, since black and gray shadows are pretty foolproof, but this tutorial from LustreLux makes it easy. What we really like about this one is how it gives us room to play around with glitter.

Neon Skull Tutorial

Yup, we're going there, because if you're set on creating a truly showstopping skull makeup look, you'll need to incorporate neon into it, as proven by YouTuber Jarry The Worst. The neon is so bright and lifelike it looks like she's sitting beneath a blacklight.

The Melting Skull Tutorial

Okay, so this is admittedly quite advanced. However, if you spend enough time practicing, you'll be able to master it come October 31. It's by the queen of YouTube beauty tutorials herself, Desi Perkins, so rest assured you'll definitely win the best costume award.

Next up: Stay on theme by checking out 15 hauntingly gorgeous eye looks to wear on Halloween—no costume required.

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