In many ways, Gothic makeup is the most important part of achieving a Goth look. After all, in the dark of a nightclub, people can't necessarily see your clothes, but they can definitely see your face.
When I first got into the Gothic look as a teen, we didn't have convenient Goth depots such as Hot Topic or books that featured Gothic makeup tips. Learning how to achieve the Gothic aesthetic took creativity and camaraderie with Goth makeup tips being handed down like some secret oral tradition. Certainly, it can be hard to get Gothic makeup tips from other Goths; many of us would prefer to guard our secrets. Here are some of my Gothic makeup tips to help you achieve the best look possible.
Gothic makeup tips #1: Eyeliner. Whether you are a man or a woman, a Goth must always wear eyeliner.
Liquid eyeliner produces the best Gothic look and should always be applied in black. However, Goths with olive and darker complexions may also want to get a white eyeliner (it exists and is often even available at drug stores in big cities) to highlight their eye area before applying the more typical "cat eye" or "Cleopatra" Gothic eyeliner look.
When applying your Gothic eyeliner be sure to take the shape of your eye into account. My eyes naturally turn down, so the Gothic cat-eye look doesn't work as well for me as for other people. I compensate for this by focusing less on the outside of the eye and more on the inside towards the nose. I line the eye like normal, and then extend the eyeliner past the inner corner of my eye pointing on a slight downward angle towards my nose. This provides an intense Gothic look while also helping to make my face seem more angular and my eye shape seem more cat-like.
Gothic makeup tips #2: Lipstick. Lipstick is optional for Gothic men, but a must for Gothic women.
Do not wear black lipstick; it makes you look like a Gothic amateur. Burgundy and wine colors are the most sophisticated for a Gothic look, but bright reds also work, especially for women interested in the Elegant Gothic Lolita look or men who are influenced by the cabaret drama of not quite Gothic bands like The Dresden Dolls.
No matter how much you think no one will notice it in the dark, trust the Gothic makeup tips girl when she says to always wear lip liner with your lipstick. The colors we prefer as Goths tend to bleed into the skin, especially if you're out for a long night of dancing. Lip liner can help stop this problem. Always make sure your lip liner is in the same shade as your lipstick or a shade lighter. Lip liners that are darker than your lips mar the Gothic look and generally just look trashy.
Gothic makeup tips #3: This is the most basic of Gothic makeup tips, and I hope I don't actually have to tell you this. Do not paint or powder your face white.