DIY “DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS”: Calavera make-up

Half the face, double the effect

Día de los Muertos is a time for joyful celebration. You need an outfit that looks the part. Unlike Halloween, which is all about being scary and ghoulish, your Day of the Dead look could feature a flower crown or dashing floral top hat. Best of all, you can paint your face with beautiful calavera make-up. Calavera is Spanish for skull, and the festival's skull makeup is inspired by an elegant skeleton called La Calavera Catrina, most famously depicted in a mural by Diego Rivera. With the help of our step-by-step plan below, we'll show you how to paint your face with a unique half-face calavera. Half of a skull on your face means you're celebrating death and life at the same time — which is what Día de los Muertos is all about.

Dia de los muertos calavera skull make-up

You will need

  • Make-up or face paint (in colours such as black, dark purple, light purple, soft pink, green)
  • Eye shadow
  • Lipstick
  • Brushes


  1. First make a large circle with a dark colour like purple around the eyes. Colour in the circle completely.
  2. Use black to small make semicircles around the large circle.
  3. Colour in the semicircles with soft pink.
  4. Put a dark-coloured dot in each one.
  5. Draw a thin green line in the dark purple area around the eyes.
  6. Create a shadow on the jaw line if necessary.
  7. Paint the nose black with an upside down heart or triangle that points upwards.
  8. Paint two identical decorations on the forehead (with eg light purple).
  9. Add decorative details like green stripes.
  10. Make the right half of your lips red. Edge your cupid's bow with a thin, black line.
  11. At the corner of the mouth, draw a black line to the ears, over the cheekbones.
  12. Blur the black line down a little with a brush.
  13. Use purple to create another decoration under the black line.
  14. Draw a flower on the chin with a soft colour like pink, adding the green leaf below.

Up for more DIY “DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS” tutorials? Read on to discover the flower altar, flower crown, and floral top hat.

Share your gorgeous creations with us on social media with #funnyhowflowersdothat and #ddlm