DIY Day of the Dead Makeup | Halloween Recap

We are officially into November which means we are officially into THE Christmas season. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday don’t get me wrong but there is just so much surrounding Christmas. So much money really surrounding it actually. But let’s not jump the gun just yet.

Let’s recap. I LOVE couples Halloween costumes. Me and John kill it when it comes to our costumes the past few years (brushes shoulder). Here is last years outfits –

80’s ski lodge goers (very similar to Hot Tub Time Machine)

80s halloween costume

Howard & Bernadette from Big Bang

Big Bang Theory Costume

Both of them were INSANELY comfortable costumes. Anything 80’s is so fun. I’m about to have an 80’s theme party for every event – maybe 80’s themed Christmas this year? Anyways, comfort was not the case for this year… we went for the wow factor. Either way it was a totally fun filled, too much drinking, lets get McDonalds for the 3rd time type of weekend.

We went as the great Gatsby Friday night (you DON’T want to hear the story about how my original dress didn’t get here on time)
DIY great gatsby couples costume

Here is my fav picture!

DIY great gatsby couples costume

Now onto the topic of this actual post!

Sugar skulls, day of the dead, creepy makeup where you don’t have to smile, whatever you want to call it…

Here is tutorial on how and what you’ll need to nail your Day of the Dead makeup!!

DIY day of the dead makeup

Here is what you will need:

  • A face
  • GOOD white face paint (got mine in a tube from Party City)
  • Face paint crayons, go for the set that has reds or blues in it
  • Black soft eyeliner pencil
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Small eye makeup brush
  • Foam makeup applicator
  • Black lipstick (I didn’t have any so I used a dark maroon)

To start –

DIY Sugar Skull 1

You can prime your face with SUPER LIGHT foundation. I did it on my face but didn’t on Johns – not a huge difference. Now go ham with your first layer of white face paint. It’s not going to cover perfectly on your first try/application.

  • Leave large circles around your eye with no paint
  • Leave front part of your nose with no paint (I didn’t do this off the bat but you should)
  • Get close to your lips (check specific paint directions to make sure it’s okay) with paint

DIY sugar skull 2

Apply another white layer once you feel like it’s decently dry. If you do it too soon you’ll see the paint not sticking to your face. I actually grabbed a small paint brush and touched up a few spots but I got the smoothness from putting a DECENT amount of white paint on the foam applicator and dragging it over my face once the first layer was dry.

Now it’s the fun part. Grab your black eyeliner or your black face paint crayon and start filling in around your eyes. Do the insides first and then the outsides so you can make sure you’re symmetrical. Can’t have a lazy black eye. You can get as close or as far away from the eye as you want. I got really close with black eye shadow (not the liner) just so it wouldn’t irritate my eyes later in the night.

DIY sugar skull 3

Now you’re feeling it. You can see the big picture!!!

It’s time for the eye design. You can do this like 3644829 different ways so yolo it if you want. I took the black eyeliner and went around the eye leaving a thin white line in-between the black eye and your new line. PS – you WILL go up on your nose with this circle. Now you have to add the ‘sunflower esk’ design. I took the red face paint crayon and just went around free hand with small half circles. Once you do a few you may have to whip off the crayon as there probably will be white paint on it from your face. I coulda done a better job here but I just went for it. Now grab your eye shadow brush and dip it into some back eye shadow. Apply it on your cheek bone or just under. Go for the darkness that looks good on you.  After you do both sides of shadow and eye design grab the black liquid liner. This will save your life.

DIY sugar skull 4

Now you are just going to outline all the half circles with the black liner. You NEED A STEADY HAND. If you don’t have one go find someone who does.

Next is your nose. I just did a basic upside-down heart shape on my nose making the point in the middle of my nose. There are a few different ways you can do your nose. Google or Pinterest it. This way was the easiest. It’s easier to apply right to your skin not the white paint so try and take it off with a Q-Tip before filling in. I again used the black soft eyeliner to color in. After that is done, I used my liquid eyeliner for a few designs on my forehead and my chin. Again copy me or look up different designs.

Next is the mouth! Finishing touch! I used the liquid eyeliner for this to get thin lines. I drew from the corner of my mouth up into the black cheek shadow. Again free handed it. Then I put a little white paint around my lips and filled the middle with dark maroon Bobbi Brown Lipstick (or black if you have it). Grab your liquid eyeliner one last time and draw the small stitch lines on your lips and cheeks!

DIY sugar skull 5

YOU’RE DONE!! These seems easy… it took me close to 2 hours soooo definitely plan out some time for this! Grab your flower crown and now you are ready to go.

DIY sugar skullDIY sugar skull coupleIt turned out amazing for both of us! People didn’t even know it was us. It was so fun! And the  best part, no terrible pimples or anything the day after from the makeup!!

Now you are ready to do your own Day of the Dead makeup! Good luck 🙂


Here is exactly what I used –

black soft eyeliner | black liquid liner | eye makeup brush | foam applicator | Bobbi Brown “Crimson” lipstick

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