Sugar Skull Makeup Tutorial for Beginners


A few weeks ago on instagram I asked what Halloween makeup tutorials you’d like to see me create.  The most requested tutorial was the Sugar Skull.  I wasn’t familiar with sugar skulls and I’d never heard of Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  It was really fun to read up on the Mexican holiday that’s observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures.  The holiday focuses on gathering family and friends to pray for and remember family members who have died.  Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars and honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.  It’s supposed to be a very beautiful ritual where those celebrating happily and lovingly remember their loved ones who have passed on.  This is not supposed to be demonic or gruesome but rather beautiful and symbolic which is the only reason I chose to do it.

To see the tutorial in all of it’s glory — 


Shopping List:

White cream face paint (I used the cheap stuff from Walmart)
Regular liquid foundation
Light loose powder
Basic palette of cream face paint.  Colors needed are red, purple, green, blue and black (also from Walmart)
Angled paint brush found in the craft section (I bought a pack of six)
Lipstick from Maybelline – Red Revival and Brazen Berry
Cover Girl Perfect Blend Eyeliner
Fake eyelashes, the most dramatic you can find
A few eyeshadow brushes including: smudging brush and brush to pack on eyeshadow.  Angled contour brush and buki brush
BH Day & Night Palette.  This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this palette.  I don’t use it everyday but it’s only $15 and the colors are very pigmented.  It’s great to have on hand because it literally has every color you’d ever need.  If you don’t want to get the palette you will need yellow, red, purple, black and green eyeshadow colors

For the floral crown tutorial click here

I spent a lot of time on this tutorial and would love your feedback.  Are videos like this something you’d like to see more of?  If you loved it make sure to pin the image below to save for when you’re ready to try it out on yourself! xoxo


Abby Smith

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13 thoughts on “Sugar Skull Makeup Tutorial for Beginners

  1. Hi! Just curious if you found that your face had any kind of reaction to using this face paint? I have sensitive skin and have read Halloween makeup can be tricky with that. Thank you!

  2. Abby I love this!! I’ve been searching for a informative tutorial for Dia for Halloween this year. Thank god you posted about this on instagram because I was finding difficult or minimal tutorials. I should have known Twist Me Pretty would have it covered! I’m so excited to try this!! PS LOVE your hair tutorials!

  3. Thank you for the easy step by step instructions. I’ve been researching different sites to do this makeup for our family and your instructions helped me feel more comfortable with doing so!
    Ive been following you for awhile now doing the hairstyle on my kiddos so grateful you did this tutorial.

  4. My fav sugar skull so far. I will tag you when I do my own rendition. I love all your tutorials. They are so well done and really make me feel like I can recreate a similar look.

  5. You did a beautiful job! I just love the rose on the chin. I will plan to try this week. If I can do it in time for my Korean school’s Halloween party my students will just go crazy. I’m not sure that I’ve even taught them about Dia de los muertos, yet. So it will also be an opportunity for a lesson 🙂

  6. Wow, Abby! I actually just saw this on Pinterest, and I kinda freaked out. I mean – “Whoa, that is frightening!” I think it’s neat that you wanted to do a tutorial to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, but something that we need to remember is that we don’t have to pray for those who are gone, because they’re either in Heaven (hopefully!) or Hell. Prayers can’t DO anything! A person only has their lifetime to accept Jesus as their Savior; once they’re dead it’s too late!
    That said, keep doing tutorials and stuff!

    1. That is definitely true about not needing to pray for the dead, but it is always nice to find new ways to celebrate their life.

      1. I think that’s what’s so fun about this tradition. They go ALL out for this holiday, they even make the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks! What a better way to remember and celebrate their lives!