Skeleton makeup for guys

Skeleton makeup is a popular trend for Halloween. Some people call it Rave Skeleton Makeup, because of the culture in which it originated from. I want to share with you some ideas that will help you become a scary skeleton guy.

Skeleton makeup is a fun way to get in the Halloween spirit, and it’s also a great way to show off your sense of humor without being too scary. Whether you want something simple or something more elaborate, skeleton makeup can be done in a variety of styles.

The first step in creating skeleton makeup for guys is to decide which kind of skeleton you’d like to be: a human-like skeleton, or a cartoonish one? If you’d like to go with the former, you’ll need to choose between realistic or cartoonish versions. You can either use prosthetics (which are easier) or paint on your own face (which takes more time but produces better results). If you’re going with the latter, then all you have to do is draw on some bones!

If you’re going for the realistic look, try using black eyeliner pencils or liquid eyeliner to create shadows around your eyes and mouth so that they appear sunken into your face. Then add some red lipstick to give yourself that sunken-in look even further! For cartoonish skeletons, some people like using white foundation over their entire face before they draw on their skull shape; others prefer just drawing directly onto their skin so that it looks

Skeleton makeup for guys

If you’ve ever spent hours researching Halloween makeup ideas on Instagram, you’ve probably seen your fair share of cool-but-impossible-to-achieve-IRL makeup looks. Skeleton makeup definitely falls into that category. There’s a lot of intricacy involved in getting every little detail just right. But thankfully the makeup gods (read “beauty bloggers”) felt for the skill- and time-strapped among us, and half-skull makeup was born. It’s got all the spooky marks of classic skeleton makeup for Halloween but still lets you wear a smoky eye. 

We called on makeup artist Lijha Stewart (also known as the “Queen of Halloween”) to guide us through this step-by-step skeleton makeup tutorial. Here’s exactly how to get the look.


Level of difficulty: On a scale of 1 to 5, this a solid 4. Yes, even though only half your face is actually painted, nailing the shading and symmetry of that portion is pretty hard.

Amount of time required: Unless you’re an artist, plan to reserve an hour and a half to complete this look.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Undereye concealer
  • Eyebrow gel
  • Black kohl eyeliner
  • Shimmery white eye shadow
  • Matte brown eye shadow
  • Black eye shadow
  • False eyelashes
  • White face paint
  • Translucent finishing powder

Step 1: Brighten your undereyes

Since the bottom half of your face will be covered in black and white face paints, don’t bother wasting time (or precious product!) prepping that area. You’ll want to focus on making your undereyes as even-toned and bright as possible. We used a full-coverage creamy concealer and set it with translucent finishing powder. Next, you’ll want to intensify your brows with a slightly-darker-than-normal brow gel or pencil. If going bold scares you (or if you think it just looks weird), don’t worry. Once the rest of your face is done, everything will feel balanced.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer

$28 at Make Up For Ever

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

$30 at Nars

Maybelline Master Fix Setting + Perfecting Loose Powder

$10 at Maybelline

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow + Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

$24 at Benefit Cosmetics

Step 2: Create a smoky eye

While the skeleton mask is the main focal point, nailing the eyes is just as important. An intense smoky eye and major lashes are required to take your death stare to the next level, plus they keep everything balanced. Start with an inky-black eyeliner pencil or liquid liner, and tightline your eyes, tracing the color into the outer V of your eyelid. With a medium shading brush, smudge it out, and do the same on your bottom lash line. For a really intense look, layer on a few more coats, the blacker the better, since this will be acting as your base.

Next, pack a black shadow on top with a dense brush to set your base. With a fluffy brush, apply warm brown eye shadow into the crease as your transition color to add some intensity. Be sure to sweep it under your lower lash time as well. Finish it off with a shimmering white or cream shade in the inner corner as a highlight.

A pair of attention-grabbing lashes finishes the look. This step is completely optional, but if you want to have fun with it, a big, feathery pair will work best. Top them off with mascara, and you’re done.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

$22 at Urban Decay

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner

$22 at Stila

Fenty Beauty Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette

$25 at Sephora

Lilly Lashes Faux Mink False Lashes in Miami

$26 at Lily Lashes

Step 3: Trace skeleton outline

Now for the fun (yet nerve-racking) part: Outlining the skeleton. “For symmetry purposes, it’s best to work side by side,” says Stewart. “That way everything stays even and you don’t end up with lopsided teeth.” Start by outlining the mask, nose, cheekbones, and teeth with a black kohl pencil, since they’re super blendable it’s easy to fix any mess ups. Then, use a white pencil to fill in the teeth and add highlights. With a skinny eyeliner brush, apply a black waterproof gel liner on top to darken and intensify. Remember to work slowly, don’t get stressed out if things aren’t perfect. If you need to fix any part of your outline during the process, try using a damp pointed cotton swab to soften or smudge any mistakes.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil Eyeliner

$22 at Make Up For Ever

Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Crème Color

$18 at Anastasia Beverly Hills

Step 4: Fill in with white paint

We know this seems counterintuitive. Wouldn’t you want to start with white face paint, then layer the black over it? Nope. Here’s why: “When layering black over white, it turns gray,” says Stewart. “And you want the black to be as dark and pigmented as possible.” So, lest you look like a big gray smudge by the end of the night, use a flat, tapered eye shadow brush to fill in the white parts; using gentle outward strokes, starting from the center of your face out toward your hairline. You might need to apply it in a few different layers, so be patient.

Mehron Makeup Clown White Professional Makeup

$12 at Amazon

Make Up For Ever 226 Medium Eye Shader Brush

$25 at Make Up For Ever

Step 5: Shade with black liner

At this point you might want to go in and touch up any wonky lines or creases that might appear. You’re also going to want to build out and intensify the hollows of your cheekbones and make your skeleton teeth appear more realistic by shading and blending. How to do it: Reapply your black liner where needed, and, with a dense shadow brush, buff out any harsh lines using light, sweeping motions. Take your time—this step is crucial for getting your skeleton just right. One tip for the teeth: “You can’t really mess this up,” says Stewart. “The more crooked the lines, the better.”

Step 6: Set the look

Make sure all your hard work stays put during whatever trouble you may get up to (imagine this melting off mid-treat? Tragic), be sure to set your makeup. Set all the black areas with a black eyeshadow, and then use translucent powder on a large, fluffy brush on the white makeup. For an extra layer of security, mist your whole face with a setting spray. After that, you’re set for the night.

Face Mask Alternatives

Let’s state the obvious: Since it only covers the lower half of your face, this look is pretty much impossible to wear with a mask without smudging. So if you love the look of half-skull makeup but need a costume that works with a face mask, check out a couple cool Halloween face masks perfect for the holiday, below. 

5-Pack Skull Pattern Halloween Face Cloth

$13 at Amazon

Floral Skull Face Covering

$8 at Amazon

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