How to Make the Goth Look Work For You

June 10th, 2010

The popularity of TV shows and movies like True Blood and Twilight has increased interest in all things vampire-related, including the makeup. While the Goth look is often associated with rebellious, devil-worshipping teens and Marilyn Manson, I am going to show you a different side of this mysterious look that has nothing to do with witchcraft but does have a connection – amazingly enough – to Marilyn Manson.

Two women who are known for totally embracing the Goth look are Dita von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood.

Freakish how similar they look, isn’t it? Wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Ditta is Marilyn Manson’s ex, while Evan is his present squeeze. Anyway, as you can see these ladies are at the forefront of what is termed Goth Chic. It stands out, and apart, from the dark makeup, pierced body parts, and unruly hair of the typical teen Goth look because it focuses on dark sensuality. The makeup and hair are geared towards playing up a woman’s femininity while still allowing room for an edgy and somewhat mysterious/dangerous vibe, thus paying homage to Gothic mythology.

To nail the makeup there are a few things you have to do:

Foundation: A pale face is an absolute requirement for a Goth look. To achieve it, use a foundation that is one or two shades lighter than your regular skin color. Once the foundation is in place, dust your face with white powder.

The Eyes: The other staple of Goth makeup is intensely dark and very visible eye makeup. For this you need black eye shadow, black eyeliner, and black mascara.

  • The eye shadow and eye liner must be applied in such a way that a cat-eye effect is created. This means that the eye liner has to extend up and out, past the outer edge of the eye (as if you were curving the line up towards the temples).
  • The eye liner should be applied to the top and lower lashes.
  • Use a liquid eyeliner to correctly trace the line necessary for the cat-eye. It glides over the skin with ease and allows you to trace the line in one go.

By following the 3 steps above you can achieve the look Dita’s picture. Alternatively, you can soften up the eye makeup slightly by using grey and green eye makeup. This will give you the softer look shown in Evan’s picture.

For Evan’s look, you need to grab a midnight green shade and a very dark grey. Apply the green to the lids and to the inner edge of the lower lash line. Apply the grey color everywhere else

To complete the eyes you’ll need buckets (and I mean buckets) of mascara. You really want to layer on the mascara in order to put the finishing touches on the eyes. The mascara will likely clump but don’t worry about it. Because the entire eye makeup is so dark the clumps won’t look out-of-place. Your goal is to define the lashes and get them as dark and as thick as possible

Lips: For the lips you can play things a couple of different ways. You can go the way of the rebellious teen Goth and do black lipstick. Or, you can go the Goth chic route and apply a very deep, blood red color. In either case, use a matching liner to contour the lips

With the makeup complete, don’t forget to work on your hair. The hair goes a long way towards placing emphasis on the face and completing your Princess of Darkness transformation. Whether you choose to go jet black like Dita or dark brunette like Evan, the key is to choose an intensely dark shade.

Dita and Evan both pay homage to the 1930’s with their incredibly glossy, wavy hair. But another option is to go for a sharp, modern bob cut like Kim Kardashian. In this case the hair plays the role of a frame, allowing the face and the striking makeup to be showcased: