You can never go wrong with being a skeleton for Halloween. Not only is it a classic, but it's also one of the easiest costumes to throw together for those last-minute Halloween party invitations. All you need is a black outfit and some strategically-placed makeup. Trust me when I say that it is a crowd-pleaser and will score you major compliments.
When I found myself invited to an event with only a few hours to get ready, I panicked. As any beauty-obsessed person does, I looked to my existing product collection for inspiration. After spotting 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.
As a confessed repeat costume offender, I knew I needed to step up my game this year. I've since discovered a treasure trove of tutorials to make sure this year's skull makeup receives a jaw-dropping reaction.
Onboard 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 like I was, it's never a bad idea to stick with a basic look your first time around. Once you get the traditional skull makeup down, you'll be better equipped for more colorful and complex makeup looks. YouTuber Liliana Toufiles created this easy, yet detailed, spooky tutorial. I only wish I had found this look last year.
The Subtle Skull Tutorial
This tutorial by Mariah Leonard is similar to the one above but involves a different color scheme. Most skull makeup tutorials use dark gray, charcoal, and black pigments. This one uses softer, smokier earth tones that mimic Leonard's overarching aesthetic. It's just as easy to follow but offers a subtle effect for those who prefer a more "natural" look.
The Half-Skull Tutorial
After you master the basics, the next logical step is to try a half-skull makeup look. This one from YouTuber Pollyanne B is a perfect example. 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 the outer wings.
The Exposed Jaw Tutorial
For a unique take on the skull makeup look, try following this half-skull tutorial. Amy-Rose Walker shows you how to create the illusion of an exposed jaw. This look is especially good for people who love to put their eye makeup on display since it allows you to keep your shadow and liner intact. Stick with your favorite glam eye or have a little fun combining two costumes with a mermaid-inspired eye look.
The Celebrity Half-Skull Tutorial
When we saw that Kylie Jenner and James Charles collaborated on this skull look, we instantly fell in love. The gorgeous smoky eye, Jenner's platinum blonde hair, and the purple tones in the shading of the jaw are what Halloween dreams, or nightmares, are made of.
The Glam Skull Tutorial
Now's your chance to experiment with color. That might sound a little intimidating since black and gray shadows are pretty foolproof, but this tutorial from Katy makes it easy. What captures our attention with this look is the glitter. The change in texture makes for an eye-catching costume at any Halloween celebration.
The Neon Skull Tutorial
If you're set on creating a showstopping skull look, you'll need to incorporate neon into your makeup. YouTuber Jarry The Worst makes the hues seem so vibrant that it looks like she's sitting beneath a blacklight. We can only imagine how amazing this will look on the dance floor.
The Melting Skull Tutorial
Okay, so this is admittedly quite advanced but 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 these hauntingly gorgeous eye looks to wear on Halloween—no costume required.