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A Step-by-Step Guide to Last Minute Skeleton Halloween Makeup

We’re going to go ahead and squash the school of thought that last-minute Halloween costumes always suck. On the contrary, if your makeup is on point, your whole look will scream “I worked on this for weeks.” For instance, a full face of black and white Halloween skeleton makeup can leave you looking drop-dead gorgeous (literally). Think a makeup DIY like this is super hard? Think again. We’re breaking this costume down for you from head to toe—and it only takes about an hour to put the whole thing together. Get ready to go super spooky (and glam) this Halloween.

Makeup Must-Haves:

  • Light foundation
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black eyeshadow
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • White eyeliner
  • Angled eyeliner brush

Costume Must-Haves:

  • Black leggings
  • A black, long-sleeve top or blouse
  • Black booties
  • Optional: leather jacket
DIY Glam Skeleton Halloween Makeup Tutorial

Photo: Nichole Ciotti

The Eyes

Step 1: Apply light-colored foundation all over your face.

Step 2: Outline your eye sockets with your favorite black liquid eyeliner. The circles will look best if they’re not perfect, so don’t worry if they aren’t exactly the same shape.

Step 3: Fill in the eye sockets with black eyeshadow using an eyeshadow brush.


Step 1: Using the liquid eyeliner, draw the letter M across the center of your nose. The sides of the M should wrap around your nostrils.

Step 2: Fill in the letter M with the black eyeshadow.

The Teeth

Step 1: Color your lips white with the white eyeliner pencil.

Step 2: Using the liquid eyeliner, draw a line from the corner of your mouth toward your ear, about three inches, on both sides.

Step 3: Using the liquid eyeliner, draw a vertical line down the center of your mouth, from just above your top lip to just past your bottom lip.

Step 4: Draw six more vertical lines about half an inch apart to the left of the center line.

Step 5: Repeat on the right side to finish your teeth.

The Jaw and Cheekbones

Step 1: Using the liquid eyeliner, outline two hollow areas on the side of your face; one hollow area should be close to your teeth and the other hollow area should be closer to your ear, on your cheekbone.

Step 2: Draw a straight line that connects the two hollow areas.

Step 3: Draw matching hollow areas and the connecting line on the other side of your face.

Step 4: Fill in all four hollow areas (two on each side) with the black eyeshadow and darken the straight lines that connect them.

Step 5: Connect the last two top teeth on both sides of the mouth to the hollow area closest to your teeth.

DIY Glam Skeleton Halloween Makeup Tutorial

Photo: Nichole Ciotti

The Details

Here are a few more tips to make your glam skeleton look really pop:

  • Using the black eyeshadow, shade underneath your jawline and down your neck. Your neck will appear more emaciated if you concentrate the shadow on the sides of your neck while leaving a section of natural skin visible down the center.
  • Lightly shade around the hairline with black eyeshadow.
  • Using an angled eyeliner brush, pull the excess eyeshadow from the inner corners of your eyebrows up and into a curved line on both sides.
  • Similarly, pull the excess eyeshadow on the outside of your eye sockets into several lines, toward your hairline.

Happy Halloween!

This tutorial was provided by Nichole Ciotti, a San Francisco-based blogger who shares her personal style, beauty tips, and adventures at

Originally posted October 2013. Updated October 2019.


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