Valerie Fischel
You Can Do This Halloween Skeleton Makeup Tutorial With Makeup You Already Own

Halloween is swiftly approaching, and if you’re still trying to think of a costume that makes a statement without requiring you to strip down to your bra, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. Tons of tutorials out there can show you how to create amazing, intricate makeup looks that stand on their own as an entire costume; the problem is, you need a whole trunk of expensive makeup to do them — which you’re obviously not going to go out and buy for just one night.

So we asked makeup artist Valerie Star at Caravan Stylist Studio to help us create a kick-ass, haunting look that we could do with makeup we already own. She created this amazing skeleton makeup using Kryolan Professional Makeup, because it has great staying power, but you can substitute all of these things for your own concealer, white and black eyeliner, and eyeshadow. If you do have to run out and buy one or two items, at least it’s something you’ll be able to use again throughout the year!

Here’s what our expert used:

Kryolan Professional Makeup:


Recommended brushes:

Here’s how Star created this skeleton look:

  1. Start out by prepping the skin — you’re about to load it up with makeup, so you want to have a fresh canvas! Wash face and pat dry. If the skin is already clean and free of previous makeup, just wipe clean with facial wipes. Apply a light moisturizer and let it absorb into the skin for a few minutes. Apply a thin layer of primer.
  2. Once the skin is prepped, mix the lightest shade of concealer and the white liner together and apply all over the face. Use a foundation brush to apply the cream to the face, continuing slightly down the neck. When the face is primarily whited out, blend (a lot) with a clean foundation brush. “You want the white shade to fade out into the hairline and down the neck,” explained Star.
  3. With a black eyeliner pencil, start to map out the structure of the skeleton. Draw around the eye socket; draw a pointy heart-like shape over the nose, starting just above the ear, and right at the hairline a heart-like shape with the point of the heart at the hairline. From the middle of the heart shape draw a line slightly curving along the natural jaw line about one-inch long. Following the natural laugh line, draw a C shape and connect it to the line from the heart shape.
  4. Set the white makeup with translucent loose powder, keeping it off the black areas.
  5. Now that the main sections are mapped out, you can start filling them in with black liner, using a flat synthetic brush. Once you color them in, you can set the makeup with a matte black eyeshadow. Pat the shadow on to avoid too much fall-down.
  6. With a small blending brush, blend the liner to eliminate any harsh edges. Without wiping it clean, use the residual makeup on it to start to add the shadow lines. You will have shadow lines coming up from the inside edge of the brow upward on the forehead and slightly curving outward, and more lines stemming from the temple and into the eye socket.
  7. With the eyeshadow brush that was used for the black eyeshadow, blur out more of the lines.
  8. From right under the chin, follow the jawbone and shade in with the matte black eyeshadow, keeping it under the chin.
  9. Using the eyeliner pencil, map out the tendons and the vertebra from the collarbone to the skull.
  10. With the black matte eyeshadow trace the breastbone, also dust some black shadow on/in the ears to bring them into the look.
  11. The last thing to be painted should be the teeth. Star used Skinliner in Ebony/10—it’s very long-wearing and doesn’t smudge, which is important in a heavily detailed area like this. Sketch out the teeth and trace a bit of black just along the very inner part of the lip. Once the teeth are sketched out, take the white liner and fill in the teeth fading the white out when going up the face. The teeth should start at the edge of the big black area on the cheek. (brush#5)
  12. You may need to clean up a few areas with an eye makeup remover pad and retouch it with either the white or black.

Side Notes and Tips:

  • Kryolan’s foundation Makeup Blend can be mixed with a gel/cream liner when it starts to dry. Drip a small amount onto the mixing palette and mix with the product to turn it back to a cream.
  • When mixing colors, always use a palette. This keeps your cream products sanitized and helps prevent the product from drying out. It makes blending custom colors easy and prevents you from getting the color muddy in the tub.
  • Print out reference images of a skeleton and refer to this for the overall structure of the bones.