Finding the right Halloween costume is about doing something cool, kind of trendy, but also unique enough to stand out in a crowd. Putting together a clever DIY costume is one way to do that, but the way to really impress everyone else on the spookiest day of the year is to recreate a super creative makeup look. It requires some skill, a lot of patience, and a whole bunch of products (as well as about 50 makeup wipes for later in the night), but a detailed beauty look can be so great that you don’t even need a costume to wear with it.
One of the coolest makeup costumes to pull off, year after year, is a skeleton. It’s just one of those Halloween looks that never gets old. About two years ago, I attempted a skeleton look on myself after realizing, a few days before Halloween, that I had no costume to wear. It was my first time doing Halloween makeup and I’m definitely not a makeup artist, so cut me some slack here! But check it out:
Not bad, right? It’s a little shaky, but it worked. It’s also proof that you can accomplish most of the below tutorials, even if you’ve never done anything like it before. There are a whole bunch of unique skeleton makeup tutorials below, and they’ll make for a truly awesome costume. All you need to do is add a skeleton shirt or body suit, or even just a black shirt. Let the makeup do the talking!
1. Half Skull
Doing full skeleton makeup is A LOT. If you don’t want your entire face to be covered, do the super popular half skull. One side of your face can be glamorous makeup, the other can be a spooky skull. This is what I did for my look, and honestly, I’m glad I did – it was hard enough to get the one side to look right. Matching both sides of my face would have been a real life nightmare!
2. Basic Full Skeleton
Maybe you’re like, “eff it, it’s Halloween, I want to go all out with my makeup.” Go for it! This is a tutorial for a pretty basic full skeleton look, complete with neck makeup.
3. Glitter Skeleton
Want to make your skeleton makeup a little bit more glamorous? All you need to do is add some glittery makeup. Put some dark gold glitter in strategic spots and you’ll immediately amp up your makeup.
4. Floral Skeleton
One way to make a skull makeup look a little more ~girly~ is to add a flower crown. It’s really unexpected, but it ends up looking very cool. This is definitely inspired by sugar skull makeup, and I think it’s a nice touch.
5. Skeleton with Teeth Tutorial
This is another pretty basic skeleton makeup tutorial, and it doesn’t require too much artistry. This is a great look to pull out if you don’t want to spend about eight hours in front of the mirror (JK, it doesn’t take that long to do the others).
6. *Contoured* Skeleton
Want that really gaunt skeletal look? Add some serious fake cheek bones – this takes contouring to a whole other level. This look is also just a little bit easier than the ones that feature a super heavy full face of makeup.
7. Purple Glitter Skeleton
Add some serious color to your skull makeup with bright glitter. The purple glitter on this one stands out in the coolest way.
8. Melting Skull
Source: Desi Perkins
Okay, so I wouldn’t attempt this look unless you’re very, very good with makeup, but honestly? It was too good not to include. This melting skull look is next level and so creative.
9. Exposed Neck Skeleton
This look uses a whole lot of black costume makeup, but the end result is amazing. Look at how realistic that neck is! I don’t recommend using costume contact lens, which can mess with your eyes, but the rest of this is so impressive.
10. Skeleton Face & Body Makeup
Another way to make your skeleton makeup look more unique is to go beyond just your face and neck. Making your hands “skeleton hands” is so fun and different.
11. Half Skull
Another version of the half skull makeup is do the bottom half of your face – so just your nose and mouth. It’s a really cool look and lets you have fun with your eye makeup.
12. Simple Skull Makeup
You don’t have to put a ton of effort into your makeup to get the look of a skeleton. This look is a lot more simple and doesn’t require quite as much heavy costume makeup.
13. Glamorous Half Skull
This is what I modeled my skeleton look after! Mine obviously didn’t look as great, but whatever, it’s fine. This tutorial is easy to follow and the end result is gorgeously creepy.
14. Cracked Skeleton
Source/Tutorial: The GoodOwl
Instead of a full half face, try a cracked skeleton look – it’s a little bit different and still looks amazing.
15. Glam Glitter Skull
Another way to make your skeleton makeup stand out more is to add glittery tears. It just gives it a whole different vibe – and I really love that the lips match.
16. Bedazzled Skull
Okay, this will definitely stand out in any crowd! This look is incredible, but one warning: all of those little jewels are going to feel heavy, and hot, AF.
17. Clown Skeleton
Source/Tutorial: YouTube/Sydney Nicole
Combine two creepy Halloween classics with this clown/skull makeup look. It’s so intricate and spooky, but also weirdly beautiful at the same time.
18. Glittery Gold Skeleton
This super glittery gold look is really glamorous and looks so good. It’s so much fun to play with sparkly makeup like this!