How to Do Makeup Like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas

Embrace Your Inner Doll

Few animated characters are as iconic as Sally from the Tim Burton classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas." With patchwork clothes, red hair, stitches, and big doll eyes, she is the perfect combination of spooky and sweet. If you have a Halloween party to attend, a themed get-together, or simply want to showcase your makeup skills, this Sally- inspired look is all you need.

Prepare and Prime the Face

Though Sally is known for her pale blue coloring, it is important to prepare your skin before focusing on color. Start by putting moisturizer all over the face. Then, wait a few minutes for the product to sink in fully.

Next, apply a primer that targets any specific concerns you may have. (For instance, if you want to cover up large pores or combat either a dry or oily complexion.) Another option is to reach for something that moisturizes and primes in one step, like the Photo Finish Primerizer (about $42) by Smashbox.

Create a Blue Base

Now that your skin is ready for makeup application, it's time to create your base. Use a blue cream product, like one from the Wet n Wild Paint Palette (under $6) or Blue Cream Makeup (about $2) designed for costume looks. Can't find the exact shade you want? Just mix your blue with a white cream to lighten the color.

Once you have found (or created) the perfect blue, put it all over the face and neck. Both makeup sponges and brushes can work well for this step - it just depends on your personal preference. However, a sponge may reduce the likelihood of streaks and unevenness.

Give Your Eyebrows Definition and Shape

Give your blue base a minute or two to dry and then move onto brows. Since Sally does not have pronounced eyebrows, the key here is to create contrast and shape rather than something over the top and Instagram-inspired. Use a pencil that is slightly lighter than your brow color to add definition. Trace over the natural shape and fill in any sparse areas.

Now for the fun part! Instead of layering a traditional eyebrow powder over top of the pencil, reach for a blue eyeshadow. Something like the deep blue shade in the NYX Avant Pop! Shadow Palette (around $10) in Surreal My Heart is ideal for this stunning Sally makeup look. It will effortlessly complement that pale blue skin. Another option is to comb blue mascara over top for extra hold.

Use Blue Shadow to Contour

Thought you could skip your regular contour routine? Think again. Just because your skin is blue doesn't mean you don't need to add in some depth. Use the same blue eyeshadow shade you used on your brows. With either a flat shadow brush or a contouring brush, tap into the color and apply it carefully to any necessary areas. Typically, a basic contour includes: the temples, down the sides of the nose, underneath the jaw line, and along the hollows of the cheeks.

You may also want to add in a bit of light highlighting as well. Use a pale blue shade (the Hard Candy Top Ten Classics eyeshadow palette in Feelin' Blue - around $7 - has a ton of great options) on the tip of your nose, center of the forehead, and on top of the cheekbones.

Create Large Doll Eyes

There are a few products you will need to give yourself gorgeous Sally eyes, including:

  • A dark and light blue eyeshadow
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • White pencil liner

Start with the darker blue shade and apply it directly to the crease. (You can build up the intensity and shape as much as you like. Just remember, the more you put on, the creepier this look will become!) Apply the same color along the lower lash line. Then finish off the shadows by placing that lighter blue on the center of the eyelid.

Now it is time for eyeliner. Take a white pencil and trace along your waterline. This technique makes the eyes appear larger and more open - which is perfect when re-creating Sally's enormous peepers. Use black liquid liner on top to define the upper lash line.

Get Sally-Inspired Lashes

The next step is to apply blue mascara to the lower lashes. Something like the Katy Kat Eye Mascara (about $12) from CoverGirl in Perry Blue works well and is an affordable option. Then, use a standard black mascara on the upper lashes. Wait a few minutes for the products to dry and reach for a set of false eyelashes.

Ideally, you want the lashes to be long and fluttery in order to achieve that doll-like appearance. They will open up the eyes and add a little more glamour to the look. Put on a lash adhesive (glues from Duo are often raved about by beauty lovers), let it become tacky, and carefully apply the false eyelash. You may want to use tweezers to tuck in the corners or get the falsie to lie correctly. Do this with both lashes to complete your eye transformation.

Add Stitches to the Side of Your Face

If there is one thing Sally is known for, it has to be her stitches. After all, she is a rag doll created by Dr. Finkelstein! To begin, use a black liquid liner to draw a line on the left side of your forehead. It should stop right above the eyebrow and continue again underneath.

Once you have your basic line drawn, put lines and X marks over top. Let the eyeliner dry completely and then use white cream makeup (under $2 at Party City) and a detail brush to add dimension. Apply the white carefully underneath each stitch. This extra step will highlight the stitches and make sure they are the focus of your look.

Give Yourself a Stitched-Up Smile

To create an unforgettable grin, add stitches to either side of the mouth. To do this, you will need the same products and tools as before. Use a black liner to extend your smile in an upward direction. Then draw on lines and X marks in whatever order or pattern you prefer.

After the eyeliner has dried, it is time to add on those fabulous highlights. Take white cream makeup and a detail brush - and give each stitch that extra pop. It is important to do the stitches around the mouth before applying any lip products. This will help you avoid unwanted transferring.

Give Color to Your Lips

With so many shades of blue and black going on in this makeup look, a bright color makes for a welcome change. This is your chance to create a beautiful ombre effect. Start by outlining your lips with black pencil eyeliner, making the line a little thicker than you normally would.

Once you are happy with the shape, add a deep red lipstick (or liquid lipstick for longer staying power) to the outside of the upper and lower lip, leaving the center empty. Then take a lighter or brighter shade of red and apply that to the middle. Some shade suggestions include Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Nahz Fur Atoo and Santa Sangre (around $20 each).

Clean Up and Fine Tune Your Makeup

Your Sally look is almost complete. Before you add on those finishing touches, it is time to do a bit of clean up work. Make sure the blue coloring is completely even, your false eyelashes are secure, and your stitches are exactly how you want them to appear.

Speaking of stitches, this is also a great time to add some more of them to your neck or arm area, depending on the outfit you plan to wear. Use the same technique as before to give yourself an ultra-realistic appearance from head to toe.

Incorporate Bold Finishing Touches

Kick things up a notch by adding on finishing touches that will elevate your Sally-inspired look. There are plenty of costumes and themed dresses to choose from, or you can simply grab something from your closet with a skull print or patchwork design.

Since Sally is known for her long red hair, consider wearing a wig from a party shop, or add temporary color to your hair. Something like the Clairol Color Crave (about $6) in the shade Ruby works well, as does hair chalk or hair mascara.

Have Fun and Show Off Your New Look!

There are many reasons to love "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but Sally is by far the most notable! Her huge heart and fierce determination has captured the attention of movie lovers from around the globe. Now that you have blue skin and stitches just like her, you are ready to wow at any Halloween party or costume event!

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How to Do Makeup Like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas