Goth Makeup Is Back For Fall—Here’s How to Make It Look Modern

Rachel Krause


Goth is back, and our The Cure-loving selves couldn’t be more excited. As with all style resurgences, the goth makeup looks we know and love have gotten a bit of an overhaul since we last saw them (in high school): they’re more modern, which is exactly what makes them a wearable trend and not just a throwback.

Regardless of whether or not you subscribed to the subculture back in the day, the Fall 2015 runways did a great job of conveying the fact that goth is everywhere this season. So dig out the black lipstick and arm yourselves accordingly with these easy tips for getting the look right.

Keep it balanced.
We’re all in favor of experimenting with bold lip and eye combos, but when you’re aiming for dark and moody, it’s best to stick to emphasizing one feature so that you’re doing just that—emphasizing, not distracting. An untouched lip will balance out a dramatic eye and vice versa, and it also takes some of the pressure out of finding the right eyeshadow to go with that lip color.

All you actually need to complement a “statement” lip or eye look is well-groomed brows, so pulling off that almost-black burgundy lipstick is pretty much a cinch considering how little you need to worry about otherwise. Oh, and don’t forget the lip brush—it’s the only thing that stands between the perfect dark lip and feathered mess.



Consider other moody shades for eyes.
Dark gray and black eye makeup is the gold standard for creating the goth-inspired look, but the new goth is all about making it wearable so that you look just the right amount of troubled—not like you don’t know what you’re doing. Using purples, blues, and even soft browns can soften up the look and is infinitely more flattering, so the “all black everything” rule is not hard and fast.

First, try lining your eyes with a dark-colored liner pencil—Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mainline ($20) is a deep teal that makes for a brilliant way to wear dark eye makeup without going whole-hog blackout—before sweeping on a slightly lighter shadow in the same color family. It’ll give you that dusky smoky eye effect, but you won’t look like the fallen Little J.

Go easy on the foundation.
Goth makeup may speak well to our ’90s sensibilities, but caking on the foundation for a ghostly look is no longer the way to go. What you’re after is a fresh, translucent complexion that looks clean, clear, and youthful, which provides the ideal counterbalance to darker lip and eye colors that can run the risk of aging you.

To perfect your skin without heavy makeup, start with a solid primer followed by a tinted moisturizer, then spot treat with concealer. Blush is important here, too—just to add some color and life to the face—so just sweep a light dusting of your color of choice over the apples of your cheeks.



MORE: Dark Lipsticks That Will Create a Bold Look in a Single Swipe