Sugar skulls were originally trinkets fashioned from sugar in celebration of the Day of the Dead and girls are said to be made up of sugar and spice and everything nice, so we thought this look was sweet combination. But you don’t have to have a sweet tooth to enjoy this sugar skull!

Let’s face it. The detail and intricacy that we’ve grown to know sugar skulls by are daunting. But despite the complicated designs, we’ve seen more and more sugar skulls popping up for Halloween, Day of the Dead celebrations and more (like Cinco de Mayo)! So let’s make a sweet deal: you check out this Sugar Skull makeup tutorial and we’ll check out any pictures you post with your results.

PRO TIP: Do each layer separately. Do all white, do all black, do all accent color, do all line work.

Line waterline with black before starting the base makeup to combat smudging.

Apply a white base all over face. Don’t worry about eye area, as we’ll be covering them with black.


PRO TIP: Water based makeup dries matte but may crack over time. Cream makeup needs powdering & smudges more easily.

To even things out, use a damp natural sea sponge dipped in white. This will help cover and blend the streaking from the earlier layers.


With black eyeliner, roughly sketch out the shapes around eyes, along cheekbones and on the tip of the nose that will be filled in with black.


With a medium, flat brush, fill in shapes with black cream makeup for smooth, rich color. Use a slow, steady hand to keep edges crisp.


With a thin liner brush, outline the details of the teeth.


With the flat medium brush, paint black cream makeup along cheekbone line and blend down to create shadows from hairline to the corners of the mouth.

Choose a brightly colored makeup crayon to embellish the look. Outline eye sockets with color. Thicken the line with a scalloped edge.


Starting at the hairline on the forehead, draw a half circle and blend the edge out.

Draw an oval on the chin with the accent color.


Outline the scalloped edges around eyes.

PRO TIP: Go in the same direction for each eye to keep a consistent thickness and fade.

Sharpen the line across the cheeks and embellish the end with a curl.


With a thin brush, outline the scalloped edges of the chin.

With a loose wrist, add lines over the colorful chin patch. Crisscross with light lines to create a lace effect.

On forehead, create a flower-like shape. Add the same lace effect from the chin inside the black lines of the forehead.


Draw small lines and dots around the edges of the forehead, eyes, chin and cheek details to complete the frayed or unfinished lace look.


Add lines around the face to detail the look. Use a picture as reference for your unique design.


Set the black cream makeup with black powder or eyeshadow.


Be a sweetie and pin this GIF!