How to Apply Goth Makeup

Two Parts:Choosing the MakeupPutting on the Makeup

The entire Goth culture is heavily into appearance. Makeup is just one of the features that completes a Gothic look, but it's an important one, too. Gothic makeup can be dark and beautiful.

Part 1
Choosing the Makeup

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    Look for a foundation that is two shades lighter than your skin tone. Most goths have a nearly dead look, where their skin looks almost white and very pale. It’s important that you use a good foundation to act as a base for your makeup. Select a foundation that is two shades lighter than your skin tone to give yourself a pale look that does not look cakey or so pale it looks like you wearing a white mask.[1]
    • If you have a darker skin tone, look for a foundation that is two shades lighter than your natural skin tone and also buy white makeup press powder to apply over the foundation. This will give you an ethereal, grayish skin tone without appearing like you are wearing a white mask that is very different than your natural skin tone.
    • You should also invest in makeup primer, which often contains SPF. Primer helps to prep your skin for foundation and help your makeup last longer. Wearing primer that contains sunscreen will also help to give you a more pale look, as the sunscreen will prevent your skin from tanning.
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    Pick up eyeshadow in dark shades. Though the goth look may be dark, this doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your eye makeup. Look for eyeshadow in dark shades like black, purple, blue, and red.[2]
    • Many goths will play their eye shadow color off their lip color and vice versa. Consider how your eye shadow selections might work with the lipsticks you buy to create a total goth look.
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    Try an eyeliner pencil in black if you are new to using eyeliner. If you are nervous about applying eyeliner or new to using eyeliner, you may want to try an eyeliner pencil first. The pencil is easy to apply and any mistakes can be adjusted with a Q-tip dipped in water or the edge of your finger.[3]
    • Look for eyeliner pencils in black that are labeled long lasting and non smudging, as you do not want the eyeliner to end up getting all over your face. This would be more of a racoon look, rather than a goth look.
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    Go for black liquid eyeliner if you are skilled at applying eyeliner. If you are confident with pencil eyeliner and want to try something new or if you have used liquid eyeliner before, look for liquid eyeliner in black. Liquid eyeliner usually creates a more defined line around your eyes and will stay on throughout the day.[4]
    • Consider getting waterproof eyeliner if you tend to sweat or your eyes tend to water. This will ensure the eyeliner stays on your eye lids and does not run down your cheeks or get on other areas of your face.
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    Get black mascara. Black mascara is a must for the goth look, as it will darken your eye area and make you look more vampy. Go for black mascara that will lengthen your lashes and give your eyes an extra shot of dark color.[5]
    • If you are into playing around with color as part of your goth look, you may go for colored mascaras in darker tones like blue or red. You can apply these tones on your bare lashes or layer them on top of black mascara for a fun, unique goth look.
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    Look for lipstick in dark shades. The goth look would not be complete without dark lips. While pure and simple black lipstick can look great, you can also play around with darker shades like maroon, dark red, or dark purple.[6]
    • You may decide to invest in several different dark shades of lipstick so you can alternate the shades depending on your mood. The lipstick colors can also be used to compliment your current goth look for a specific day.

Part 2
Putting on the Makeup

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    Exfoliate and moisturize before you apply the foundation. To get the slick goth look, it is important that you exfoliate your skin with a foaming cleanser and a toner. The foundation will look much better on skin that is smooth and clean.[7]
    • You should also apply a facial moisturizer to give your skin a supple, hydrated look. This will prevent dry patches from forming on your skin throughout the day as you wear your goth makeup.
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    Apply sunscreen and primer to your face. To ensure your skin stays young and damage free, always apply sunscreen to your face. Look for sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Alternatively, you can look for a primer that contains SPF so both products are in one package. Sunscreen will also protect your skin from tanning, giving you a more pale goth like look.
    • Apply primer all over your face in one thin layer using clean fingers. You can also put primer on your neck to protect it from the sun if it contains SPF.
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    Use a makeup sponge to apply the foundation. Once you have clean, smooth surface to work on, take a makeup sponge and apply the foundation to your face. You can find makeup sponges at your local beauty supply store or in the makeup aisle of a department store. You can also use your fingers to apply the foundation, but it can be difficult to apply the foundation evenly with your fingers.[8]
    • Apply one thin layer of foundation over your skin, making sure you get foundation on areas that tend to get red, such as around your nose, between your eyebrows, and on your chin.
    • Only apply one layer of foundation, as too much foundation on your face can lead to caking. It can also make it look like you are wearing a white mask, as opposed to lightening your skin tone.
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    Set the foundation with powder. To keep the foundation in place all day long, use a light face powder. Apply the face powder using a powder pad. Make sure you apply the powder to your entire face so your foundation does not risk getting runny or streaky throughout the day.[9]
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    Apply the eyeliner. If you are using an eyeliner pencil, you can simply line your eyes with the liner on the top and the bottom of the lash line. Try to create a distinct dark line around your lash line to create a goth look.[10]
    • If you are using liquid eyeliner, you can create more intricate eyeliner styles. For example, you may want to create small “wings” that extend from your upper eyelids for a winged eyeliner look. To do this, start with the eyeliner on the inside of your eyelid and as you move outward, gently let the eyeliner extend a one inch past the corner of your eye. This will give you a more vampy goth look.
    • If you have trouble drawing the “wing” with liquid eyeliner, you can use the eyeliner pencil first to draw the wing and then go over it with liquid eyeliner.
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    Use a makeup brush to apply eyeshadow. To give your eyes more punch, you can choose a darker shade of eyeshadow and apply it using a makeup brush. Eyeshadow is a great way to make your goth look feel more unique to you.
    • For example, you may decide to apply a purple eye shadow on your lower lids and then use black eyeshadow on your upper lids and around your eye crease. This will create a dark look for your eyes.[11]
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    Put on the mascara. Finish your eye look by applying black mascara to your eyelashes. You can curl your lashes before you put on the mascara to help your eyelashes better frame your eyes. Put on one coat of mascara and let it dry. Then, apply another coat is you want your eyelashes to appear darker.
    • If you have very light eyelashes or very few eyelashes, you may want to apply false eyelashes to give your lashes more definition.
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    Finish with lipstick. Complete your look with a dark lipstick in black or purple. You can use a small makeup brush to apply the lipstick or apply it directly from the tube.[12]
    • Use a Q-tip to remove any imperfections on your eye makeup or your lipstick. Run the Q-tip under your lips to ensure the lipstick looks perfect.
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    Use a face mist to set the makeup. Goth makeup looks best when it is clean and smooth, so use face mist to keep your makeup in place and to keep it looking fresh. You can find face mist at your local drugstore or in the beauty aisle. The mist is great for keeping your skin hydrated, especially if you live in a hot climate.[13]


  • Don't ever sleep with makeup on. Always remove it with a proper makeup remover and wash your face well. Sleeping with makeup will only clog your pores and give you blackheads, acne and pimples.

Article Info

Categories: Goth | Makeup Styles