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How to Add Embellishments to Day of the Dead Makeup

Learn how to add embellishments to Day of the Dead makeup from makeup artist Ciara Rose Griffin in this Howcast special effects makeup tutorial.


Now is the great part of creating a sugar skull, where you get to add embellishments. It's a great idea to print out reference photos or look at photos of sugar skulls and see the kind of design you want to make. There's a lot of different options. I've gone back through and added a few more shadows. Very simple, subtle shadows anywhere where if your flesh wasn't on your face there would be a deep shadow or actually nothing there. Like along the sides of the nose here I've added a little extra here and the forehead. It just gives a little more depth to the make-up.

I really love the sugar skulls that have those simple, little dots around. So, I'm going to do that and I'm going to add a splash of color. I have this crazy Halloween palette that I picked up at my local drug store, and I'm going to use these colors. So I'm going to take my palette knife, and I think I would like to start with blue. Feel free to mix these colors. If this blue is too bright or not bright enough, you can always add other colors in. This is a really deep, lovely, royal blue. I have a rounded brush. You can also use Q-tips or whatever you have available to you at home. I'm just going to add a little bit of color. I'm just going to add dots around her forehead.

If you're a painter, you can paint three dimensional things on the forehead and chin. You can create flower patterns that area really beautiful. I'm going to go all the way around the eye, even onto the nose. If you have time, and you want your eyes to really pop, one thing that you can do is add black mascara. Black eyeliner around the top and black eyeliner inside the waterline, which is this part of your eye.

I'm just going to do blue on the other side. This is such a great make-up, because you can be as creative as you want to be. We're nearing the end of the blue dots. Another thing that really finishes this make-up off is the hair. You can do great, big, huge, fresh flowers in your hair, kind of like a Frida Kahlo look, or silk flowers. So, there we have blue dots.

I want to add a little more embellishment, so I'm going to take another color and add it in between those dots. I'm going to go with a red, and mix a little bit of purple in there. I'm going to go in between the blue dots with my red. Another cool thing you can do to this make-up to make it really pop is add a glitter or shimmer over the black. Just filling in, a little bit of dab in between those blue dots. There you have a very, very basic and easy Day of the Dead make-up.

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