I have done one other sugar skull makeup and I absolutely loved doing it. I had followed a tutorial on that one and it took me a little longer than I expected. I ended up rushing it a bit at the end and was left with a few things I would have liked to do better. I have been wanting to do another sugar skull makeup ever since.
I grabbed a fake red rose along my travels and I finally got around to attempting a second sugar skull. Aside from the rose, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with this makeup. I didn’t want to follow a tutorial this time so I just went with the classic sugar skull basics and made it up as I went.
Step 1: Hiding the Eyebrows
I started by blocking out my eyebrows with a glue stick. I coated them in glue, combed them straight up, baby powdered, then added a few more coats of glue and powder. I went over them with some concealer to dull their dark colour and felt they were ready to paint over.
Step 2: The Base Paint
The longest and least fun step for me is the full base coat of whatever color my skin will be, which usually ends up being white. I’ve been using Mehron face paint instead of Snazaroo now so it’s a little easier to get a thicker, more opaque coat. I use a sponge for most of it and I find though that it still takes me forever to cover my entire face, chest, and shoulders.
Step 3: Outlining the Eye Sockets
I outlined where my eye circles would be with a light lip liner pencil and this usually takes me a few tries to get both eyes even. I filled them in with black Mehron face paint, leaving only my eyelids unpainted. Even with pre-drawn circles to fill in I still had to reshape them quite a bit to get both eyes to match.
Step 4: Decorating the Eyes
I filled my eyelids in with my red Mehron face paint and added a little under my eyes as well. I blended the red into the black as evenly as possibly and let it dry. Once dry, I added some rose colored MAC Crushed Metallic Pigment on top of the red face paint. I seriously love this pigment, it’s so vibrant! I popped on some fake eyelashes as well to give my eyes some extra dimension.
I used my black liquid eyeliner to outline the big black circles around my eyes and to create the little petals around them. I tip my hat to everyone out there with a steady eyeliner hand because it takes all of my concentration to not send my eyeliner brush flying off in every direction. I filled the empty spaces in with red paint and tapped a tiny bit of rose pigment on to each petal.
Step 5: The Skeletal Nose
Moving on to my skeletal nose, I outlined where I wanted the nose cavity to be with my light lip liner pencil. I then filled it in with my black liquid eyeliner, again, using all my concentration. I’m not sure if maybe I’ve just conditioned myself into panicking when I get liquid eyeliner in my hand because of too my stray lines appearing all over in the wrong direction.
Step 6: Creating Sugar Skull Lips and Skeletal Teeth
I painted my lips with the red Mehron face paint with a tiny bit of the black mixed in to darken it up. I used my liquid eyeliner to draw the two black lines up the side of my face, noticed they weren’t even, washed one off, repainted that spot with white, and then drew a much more even line up that cheek.
I painted little vertical lines across my lips and cheeks to get those classic sugar skull teeth. My lines definitely weren’t thin enough and not even close to perfectly even but I knew it I tried to fix these it would create a big black and white nightmare of a mess on my face. I tried to fix these lines on my last sugar skull and it made a mess so I let them be for this one.
Step 7A: Adding Some Finishing Touches Flair
I added some weird little swirly black things on my cheeks. I did mention I wasn’t following a tutorial and just wingin’ it, right?? These weren’t even so I added more black liner to fix them and they started getting away from me so I just moved on and decided to come back to whatever these were becoming in a bit.
I added some red petals to my chin and both sides of my cheeks. I outlined them in black liquid eyeliner, added some swirls to the petals on my chin, and threw a couple black dots in here and there for fun.
Step 7B: Attempting a Rose for Bonus Flair Points
My forehead was a huge blank space so I thought I would try my hand at painting a rose on there. I’ve never successfully drawn or painted a rose before so I’m not sure why I thought this would be a good idea. I started with just red Mehron face paint petals and went in with black eyeliner to outline it all. I kind of just added swirls here and there and tried to blend the petals into the swirls. I blended the black and red around, trying to give this makeshift rose a little more depth. While it didn’t turn out looking like any kind of actual rose, I feel like it passed for at least an abstract representation.
Step 7C: Regretting Some of the Flair
I came back to the swirls on my face and decided… No. I washed them off with a Q-tip and they created a pretty awful mess but I just didn’t like those weird swirls so it was worth the mess. It took a lot of cleaning and blending and layering to get the white base back on and even after it seemed a little grey in spots.
Step 8: Adding a Quick Hair-Do
I then added some quick curls to my hair and bobby pinned my fake red rose in to place.
What I Learned
I’m much happier with this sugar skull than my last one but both were a ton of fun and there is still plenty I‘d like to fix on this one. I definitely need to work on having a steadier hand for the smaller detail work and I’m adding “learn how to draw a rose” to my to-do list. This certainly will not be my last sugar skull makeup!