The Goth look has gone through many evolutions and iterations. This is how to take Goth-inspired makeup and make it yours.
When you say “goth,” a lot of people suddenly have very specific images pop into their heads: the Crow, black metal makeup, sad songs, and black lace. The Goth trend appears in a lot of different ways, and it is interpreted differently by each different person who appreciates it. You can take it all the way and go new rock, lace gloves, extreme hair goth, or you can add a little bit of dark flair to your everyday looks and enjoy a little more edge in your style than you usually would. Don’t wait for Halloween: Embrace the dark side with these goth-influenced makeup tips and follow in the footsteps of Wednesday Addams every day of the week.
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This isn’t the first time that Goth-influenced trends have had a minute out of the shadows and in the spotlight. The Goth look and the lifestyle it draws from were both huge in the eighties and influenced a number of bespoke and haute couture designers, which inevitably influenced the beauty industry as well. The nineties saw another resurgence of Goth influences in the schoolgirl outfits and mary-janes that leaned towards what would later become the Dark Academia trend. Makeup followed suit: eyes were dramatically overlined and winged in black liner, and lips were either completely blacked out or daubed in deep, fresh, blood-red shades. This year’s Goth Fairy trend takes classic goth influences and adapts them to everyday makeup wear with a bit of added drama. Palettes containing both makeup for face and body lean towards the dark side: black, deep reds, and purples, and occasionally some cyber goth influences offer a little bit of bright green and pink.
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A classic Goth tradition is the shaving of the brows. Many hardcore goths shave off their natural rows altogether in favor of drawing on thinner, more defined ones. We’re into the no-brown or bleached brow look, so embrace whichever of those feels more comfortable for you. The lack of defined brows adds an ethereal quality to your face and gives you a slightly “out there” look without being too extreme. Amp up the eyeliner to balance out the look: go doe solid, extended, pointed black wings and a little shimmer on the brow bone. Choose a natural, glossy lip to finish the look.
Invert the previous look for something a little more traditional and very, very vampy. Stick with an almost entirely neutral, glowy lid. Add a little bit of black liner and a generous lash if you feel a bit naked. Less if more for the rest of the face because this look focuses on the lips. Take an oxblood red liner and line all the way around your lips. Use lipstick in a slightly brighter red and fill in our lips, then blend the liner and lipstick together. Gloss over the lips for a dripping, bloody look that would make Akasha jealous.
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This is a look for those who favor a little more color. Go green-eyed — but not with envy. Choose some bright green and purple shades for your eyes, and make sure you have liners to match. Apply purple shadow all over your lid and into the inner corner of your eye. Take the shadow all the way up to the thick side of your brow and over to the mid-brow bone. Add some shimmer over the brow bone. Pull the green shadow all the way across underneath your eye and finish the look with green liquid or pencil liner over the top lash line. Add generous lashes for extra drama and some gloss on your lips.
This look will require a little precision, as you’ll need to apply single lashes to certain spots along your lash line. Instead of applying the lashes (at the inner and outer edges of the eye and some in the middle) to your top lash line, you’ll apply them along the bottom. Add a bit of soft glitter or shimmery shadow in a white or neutral color to your top lid, but no mascara to enhance the slightly alien eye appeal. Choose a wine-colored gloss or lipstick and blend it out so that it forms a stain on your lips rather than a solid color. Voila! An attractive, slightly ethereal look fit for a night on the town of a gallery opening or even just a trip to the grocery store, if you feel like it!
Take what you need from decades of goth fashions and makeup styles to create something new and create a new ghostly beauty style all your own. Choose one aspect of your look and focus on that to keep the balance. Get it right, and you’ll turn heads (living and dead) for all the right reasons.