Gothic Text files Makeup Tips for the Bleak

Makeup Tips for the Bleak

by Lord Damien Star
[taken from Ghastly Magazine, Issue 3]

Done badly, Gothic makeup and dress can look painfully stupid. The following are some suggestions for how to do it well.

1. Whiteface should create the illusion that you really are that pale, and not that you have a bunch of makeup from Wallgreen's caked all over your face. Use a good base: not even the most gifted makeup artist can get the necessary coverage from inferior makeup. If you have dark skin, don't try to do whiteface unless you're going for a very stylized harlequin look or are willing to put makeup on all exposed skin areas. Try using a base just one or two shades lighter than your own color, and then put white powder over it. This will give you an ethereal, almost grayish cast.

After spending money on a decent base, take the trouble to apply it evenly. It's appalling how many Goths overlook something so basic and vital to their entire aesthetic. Equally bad and unfortunately as common is the tendency to overpowder and to end one's pallor at the jawbone. Such mistakes are just inexcusably stupid. Don't make them.

2. On the subject of eyeliner, liquid is better, but if your hands shake, by all means use the most expensive pencil you can afford. Cheap pencils go on faint and will smudge after an hour. Do something original with your eye makeup: cobwebs or bat wings drawn across the cheek look silly on anyone over the age of fifteen. On those under fifteen, however, such adornments are sure to attract the lecherous attention of jaded Goths in their late twenties and early thirties who will probably give you free speed if you prove sufficiently pliable.

3. Find a shade of lipstick not everyone else is wearing. Theatrical supply stores are the best for really deep shades of congealed-blood red. Apply it with a lip brush for a more precise and severe effect.

4. Strive for originality in your costume. For those doing vintage looks, realize that both the eighteenth century and the Victorian era have been done to death. The Twenties, Thirties, and Forties are largely untapped by Goths and have great potential. One could dress as an emaciated, opium-addicted flapper from the Aleister Crowley set or pose as the Black Dahlia, a would-be actress from the Forties whose gimmick was that she dyed her hair black and would wear only black clothing; her ghastly mutilation and murder remain unsolved to this day. Also remember that black is not the only color. Deep blues, grays, and greens, as well as blood-red, purple, and ivory, can be equally striking.

5. If you have scars on your wrists from suicide attempts, by all means display them proudly. The same goes for bruises, cuts, and track marks. Abscesses, however, should always be coyly veiled in filmy black fabric.

Your Gothic look should be as opulent, decadent, and original as possible. If you're not up to making the necessary effort to carry off this most high-maintenance of affectations, try wearing plaid shirts and listening to Nirvana instead.