El Diablo Makeup Tutorial

There’s something alluring and terrifying about fire that draws people to it. Whether it’s a campfire or a lit match, watching flames dance and flicker against a dark background is both tantalizing and nerve-racking. No matter the size of the flame, we know it’s dangerous and can grow larger. This is probably why Chato Santana, otherwise known as El Diablo, is such an appealing character.

El Diablo is a villain in the eyes of the law, having used his powers as a pyro to rise to power in the streets. But a single fatal mistake left him alone, with nothing left, causing him to turn to a life of pacifism and peace. He’s a tragic villain, and just like the fire he holds power over, El Diablo is a symbol of both hope and destruction. Take his immense powers and add in the skeletal and reaper facial tattoos and you’ve got yourself one intimidating look, regardless of his intentions.

Amanda Waller recognized him for his power, making him an obvious choice for her Task Force X in Suicide Squad. Even she knows that Chato can’t remain a pacifist forever.

El Diablo is a complex and compelling character, and one that went mostly unknown to the casual fan, so his entrance on the silver screen was nothing but exciting for everyone. His look is one to remember, reminiscent of Rick “Zombie Boy” Genest. It’s definitely headed toward becoming a cosplay and costume favorite. Luckily for us, one of our friends sat patiently and let us transform him into the devil himself, El Diablo.

El Diablo Step 01

Apply a bald cap with the skin adhesive of your choice.

Adhere the bald cap to the forehead first.

Cut off any excess material before adhering the sides and back.

Powder over the edges.

Smooth over the edges with latex or Pros-Aide to help conceal the seam and allow to dry.

El Diablo Step 02

Block out the eyebrows with a glue stick and allow to dry or powder over.

Cover the edges of the bald cap and the blocked out eye brows with skin tone makeup.

El Diablo Step 03

If needed repeat the process to completely conceal the eyebrows.

Powder over the glue to speed up the process.

Cover with more skin tone makeup.

El Diablo Step 04

Use a stippling sponge with black makeup to add stubble to the bald cap.

Use watered down makeup on a stiff bristled brush to fleck more black specks onto the bald cap.

El Diablo Step 05

Using a reference photo, start mapping out El Diablo’s facial tattoos.

Use a hard edge coupled with shading to give the illusion of depth for the shapes at the temples, along the cheekbones and on the nose.

Outline the teeth along the upper lip and extend a small tapered point upward over each “tooth.”

Really study the reference photo for this step. Outline a slanted teardrop shape over the teeth at the edges of the mouth. Connect the point of the teardrop shape to the line along the cheekbone. Add subtle shading inside the teardrop shape.

El Diablo Step 06

Clean up any messy lines inside the teeth with cover up.

Use cover up to map out the letters of the “DIABLO” tattoo along the jaw.

Add the extra face tattoos with a very thin brush

Fill in the letters with the same thin brush using black makeup.


Click to download this template for the lettering.

El Diablo Step 07

Use the eye socket as a guide to lay down the dark rings around the eyes and fill in with black.

El Diablo Face Makeup

We left off the neck tattoos for our look. But for the seriously ambitious we templated the main “13” on the front of El Diablo’s neck to give you a helping hand.


Click to download this template for the neck tattoo.

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