Day of the Dead: Sugar Skull Art Makeup (Advanced)

Day of the Dead: Sugar Skull Art Makeup (Advanced)

Day of the Dead Face Paint Step by Step

Previously here on IndigoJanson.com we looked at how to face paint a simple day of the dead sugar skull design. Today we’ve got a variation on our Day of the Dead skull that is a bit more complex and intricate.

Sugar skull artwork is so impressive when done well. These face painting designs are going to take quite a bit longer than the simple Day of the Dead skull but the results are well worth it.

I’ve broken down this Sugar Skull makeup into a step by step example, based on a beautiful face paint design that I discovered by tortolita07 on YouTube, who was herself inspired by a painting by Sylvia Ji. You can find her video showing the finished result further down the page. It really is beautiful.

Surprisingly, you don’t need a lot of colors or expensive paints to create a gorgeous Day of the Dead sugar skull face. In fact, other than white face makeup and black for the mouth, you only need a couple of additional paints. But do make sure that the eye color is a rich and intense one, whether you use the gorgeous plum of the video example or a different shade (Snazaroo Electric Purple makes a good substitute). For details, metallic gold face paint gives the face painting a precious look that makes it so special.

white face paintelectric purple face paintmetallic gold makeup
Snazaroo White Face Paint 18ml
18ML ELECTRIC PURPLE Snazaroo Face Paint
Metallic Gold Cream Makeup


Advanced Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Face Paint Steps 1 – 3

Step 1: Apply white face paint to the entire face using a high density face painting sponge. Fill in the eye socket area with electric purple face paint or the color of your choice, making the shape wider at the outer side and narrower towards the nose.

Step 2: Using your vibrant color, fil in the tip of the nose (use a face painting brush for this) and then extend the paint in two points at the top, as in the image below. Also fill in the area between the nose and mouth in a triangular shape. Fill in the chin with the purple or other vibrant color of face paint. If you want to copy the example in the video, leave 3 triangular areas unpainted so that you can later paint them gold.

Step 3: Outline the eye socket color in your vibrant shade of paint. Use a fine brush for this or crayon makeup if you prefer. Add the petals to this outline. Outline the chin paint with a curved line of dots.

Step by Step Sugar Skull Face


Sugar Skull Dia de los Muertos Face Makeup Steps 4 – 6

Step 4: Now comes the fun part! Fill in the detail around the eyes and on the chin with your metallic gold makeup. Add dots with purple or your choice of color to each petal.

Step 5: If you have a steady hand and a fine brush, you can now use your choice of vibrant color paint to add scrolls and hearts detail to the forehead. My example below (a variation on the design used in the video) shows one possibility.

Step 6: Finally, add the extended lip line with black face paint and a brush.

Face Paint Design for Day of the Dead


Remember your Dia de los Muertos Skeleton Bride Costume!

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More Advanced Sugar Skull Dead Day Face Painting Example (images of finished result) by tortolita07:

Click to view the Sugar Skull Makeup Images.


Enjoy this tutorial? We’ve got even more Halloween and Day of the Dead face paint ideas for all the family.

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