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 a smokey eyeshadow palette 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 12 best tutorials on YouTube.
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. Liliana Toufiles created this easy, yet detailed, spooky tutorial. I only wish I had found this look last year.
After you master the basics, the next logical step is to try a half-skull makeup look. This one from 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even though this skull makeup from Brianna Fox looks super polished—with a deep red lip and smokey eye—the actual steps are easy, and you can likely do the whole face with products you already have in your makeup bag.
Skull That Is Dripping With Glamour
We know, we know—anything from Nikkietutorials is going to be next level. While it may take several hours and lots of makeup remover to nail this look, we think it's totally worth it. We especially like the combination of traditionally scary details (like the cracks in the skull) with glitzy accents.
Glossy, Glam Skull
By adding a dewy highlighter to all the exposed areas of her face, Chloe Morello takes simple, no-fuss skull makeup up a notch. She levels up the look to full-on chrome by adding touches of glitter to the high points of the face—and we love it.
Bri Hall embraces the full spectrum of the rainbow in this colorful tutorial. If you're short on time or just don't feel like wearing a full face, we think just doing the bottom half of this look would be just as impactful.
The Realistic Skull
If you want to keep it simple—but not necessarily easy—we recommend this in-depth tutorial from Giulianna Maria. With intricate shading and lots of tiny details, this look requires attention and focus, but you'll be rolling in compliments all night.
Gold Sugar Skull
Melissa Alatorre offers a gilded take on the stunning and meaningful sugar skull makeup, an iconic element of Día De Los Muertos. Alatorre uses a mixing medium and loose pigment to create her 24 karat base, and as an added bonus, she even offers a tutorial for making a matching flower crown.