Top Five Skull Makeup Designs


‘The Skulls,’ Photo Shoot by Gregory Martins 

Since the very beginning of 2012, I’ve been particularly inspired by the black and white skull makeup and I’ve decided to write a short review / article in regards to five different designs that I’ve discovered online. I decided to search for various makeup designs as a source of inspiration for my upcoming project and I’m aiming to create my own personal style.

I’ve often wondered the signification behind the skull makeup and whether it’s possible to find a connection to death. Is the skull makeup just a popular trend or are we searching for a personal association to immortality? I always find this such a difficult question to answer, as everyone will have their own interpretation. From a personal perspective, death doesn’t have a right or a wrong answer and I am interested to explore the way death or the human skull is interpreted / perceived within the contemporary culture.

In the next upcoming weeks, I intend to explore some of these concepts including my own personal interpretations of death through the application of black and white makeup. Without further ado, here are my favourite makeup designs featuring the skull, there are so many different patterns / styles that I admire, although I’ve decided to narrow these choices down to my top five favourite designs.


#1 ‘Gold Skull Halloween Makeup’ by Paulina Misery

This is definitely my favourite makeup style and the golden skull is very inspiring and compelling. Paulina Misery has created an online makeup tutorial that provides some step by step instructions for the golden skull makeup design; this was inspired by a YouTube video tutorial by Goldiestarling, known as ‘ BEAUTIFUL DEATH: 24 Karat Skull Makeup.’ While the videoclip is very informative, I do prefer Misery’s makeup style and the skull is refined through the use of Kryolan Supracolours that provide an incredible complexion / consistency.

I’m impressed with the photography and the dark cloak successfully contrasts with the golden, metallic skull within the centre of the image; unfortunately I was unable to find the name of the photographer but I’m sure there’s a way to find out. The dark eye sockets, nose and jaw provides the overall makeup design with a very interesting effect or dimension, although the golden, metallic complexion immediately captured my attention.

From a personal perspective, the eye sockets are relatively small and the nose features a stylised appearance, although I personally believe that these particular details provide authenticity to the work as well as a unique, distinctive style. For further information, please click on the link at the bottom of the post in order to view the tutorial.

Paulina Misery, ‘Gold skull Halloween makeup with Kryolan Supracolor,’ blueeyesmakeup, Accessed 1/2/15,

 goldiestarline, BEAUTIFUL DEATH: 24 Karat Skull Makeup, Youtube, Accessed 1/2/15, 


#2 ‘Skeleton Makeup Tutorial’ by Emily Benitez

Emily Benitez has created a ‘skeleton makeup tutorial’ on Youtube that is very informative and easy to follow. The fluorescent highlights, the glitter and the cracks in the forehead are my favourite aspects of the design; these particular elements provide a stylised, distinctive effect. The sharp lines, angles and shadows around the eye sockets successfully compliments with the overall design that provides a unique perspective of the human skull.

According to Benitez, the detail is the most important aspect and I agree, all the corrections create a very artistic appearance or characteristic. Benitez also explains that the “shading provides dentition to the makeup” and I believe that the shading is an integral part of the overall style. Click on the link below to view the video tutorial.

Emily Benitez, ‘Skeleton Makeup Tutorial,’ YouTube, Accessed 1/2/15,


#3 ‘Skull Makeup’ by Catherine Nameless from Kosmetista

I’ve recently discovered this interesting skull makeup tutorial by Catherine Nameless from Kosmetista, although I had to translate the text from Russian to English in order to develop a very basic understanding for the tutorial or article. I was able to follow the process through the photographs that displays Nameless’s unique ‘black and white makeup’ design.

The shading around the teeth and the jaw line provides definition to the overall style and the photographs are incredible. While the eye sockets feature a shiny complexion or appearance, I believe that this particular element creates a unique appearance. Catherine has used the black and white makeup in order to create the bones around the neck and the chest; all of the minor details do create a compelling image and the dark background emphasises the skull within the middle of the photograph.

Catherine Nameless, ‘Skull Makeup,’ Kosmetista, Accessed 1/2/15,


#4 ‘The Skulls’ Photo Shoot by Gregory Martins

At number four, is Gregory Martins’s unique, yet inspiring photo shoot featuring two female models wearing some black and white skull makeup. I admire the cracks around the eye sockets and the forehead, these elements do create a very interesting image. The makeup does appear smudged, although this particular effect does provide a distressed appearance as well as a personalised style.


‘The Skulls’ by Gregory Martins

The makeup is emphasised through the white backdrop, the jewellery and the costumes, although there is one particular photograph that I find absolutely captivating. One of the images features a close up shot of a model with some jewellery draped across her head, although I find myself fixating upon her bright, brown eyes as well as her nose / lip piercings.

From my personal opinion, Gregory Martins has successfully captured the subject’s personality and her hair does create a sense of movement. To be honest, I do admire all of the images from Martins’s collection or photo shoot, I would highly recommend clicking the link below to view the entire series.

Gregory Martins, ‘The Skulls,’ Accessed 1/2/15,


#5 ‘Halloween Skull Makeup’ by Sandra Holmium

I have discovered this particular image through the Skullspiration website in a post known as ’40 Halloween Skull makeup Ideas’ and I was immediately surprised when the subject opened his eyes, I’m assuming this is an animated gif. At first I struggled to search for the name of the makeup artist, although I finally discovered that the fabulous black and white skull makeup is created by Sandra Holmium and her blog features some very artistic or creative designs.

I do love the shadows and the shading around the lips, jaw line and cheek bones; these particular elements appear realistic. The black and white photograph appears rather creepy, sinister and distressed, this definitely achieves a death-like appearance.

Sandra Holmbom, Accessed 1/2/15,

Skullspiration, ’40 Halloween skull make-up ideas,’ Accessed 1/2/15,

So here is my top five favourites, there are so many different designs, styles and effects that I find inspiring! I will post some of my own skull makeup designs in the next few weeks, I haven’t practised for a few years, although I do have some free time over the holidays to practise and the opportunity will provide some invaluable experience!

I personally believe that the skull has become an area of fascination, although It’s difficult to determine whether the skull is viewed as another popular image or do we view the skull as something quite meaningful, spiritual or even frightening? Only time will tell, this is a subject that I will explore in further detail during the summer holidays. I’m fascinated with the various styles, as well as the artistic depictions of the skull, they’re all so different from one another. If the makeup designs were all perfectly smooth, I believe this would defeat the purpose or the intention to appropriate death all together.

5 responses to “Top Five Skull Makeup Designs

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