Thursday, 8 September 2011

Halloween - a survival guide, part 1

I have to admit that since Halloween goodies began appearing in stores this month, I have already spent a good £80 (or thereabouts) on assorted spooky goodies. (I recommend Poundland, The Range, Marks & Spencers and Claire's Halloween ranges for home decor and accessories you didn't know you needed!) Halloween is often considered to be a bit of a Gothy national holiday, partially because now almost every high street store stocks Goth-friendly goodies and partially because instead of shouting abuse at us, non-Goths now want to know precisely where we bought that nice shade of blue lipstick.

But Halloween comes with a few potentially-embarrassing pitfalls for the unwary babybat, and a few possibly unexpected surprises for even the more experienced Gothlings. Here's part one of a special mini-series for the spookiest season, providing a handy guide to the do's and don't's of this special time of the year...

With all the cheap white foundation and black lipstick on the shelves at this time of year, you might be tempted to grab a bargain. That’s fine. But don’t substitute Halloween face paint for better quality stuff. OK, yes, it’s cheap. But it’s crap – full of chemicals, and it will clog your pores like nobody’s business. Unless you want to erupt in spots, keep Halloween make-up for Halloween.

There are exceptions, namely funky-coloured lipsticks and nail varnishes - this is the one time of year that you can pop into Poundland and buy glow in the dark lipstick - but don't expect these little treats to be high quality and be rigorous about testing for allergies prior to use. Be doubly wary about anything you put near your eyes! Halloween fancy lashes are great, but if I were you I'd bin that glue and stick with something higher quality from a proper drugstore.

Halloween is an excellent time to decorate. You can pick up all kinds of ghoulish goodies at rock-bottom prices, and use them to furnish your bedroom. Yes, it's OK to decorare with pumpkin lanterns and light-up ghosties all year round - heaven knows I do! Non-Goths who see you buying such lovelies tend to assume you're throwing a really big party rather than stocking up on home decor - be prepared for some odd looks when you explain otherwise.

You can pick up great accessories really cheap. Fishnet tights, spider web gloves, coffin jewellery… you name it! But! A lot of Halloween jewellery, particularly, for some reason, if it's described as 'Goth' is made of plastic and cheap materials and can look REALLY tacky. Purchase with care; don't buy any old piece of rubbish just because it has a bat on it. A little bit of tackiness or B-movie cheese can be fun (I have spider pom-pom earrings and a wristband with a light-up fuzzy bat, for darkness' sake!) but keep your tongue firmly in your cheek and definitely don't go overboard, or you will end up looking clueless.

Having said that, I do quite like those extremely obvious and fake plastic hair extensions - when worn with some cute hair clips, stripy tights and some babydoll-esque make-up, they're a bit of tongue-in-cheek spooky fun (I have pictures to prove it). But, darklings, please don't wear these any time close to Halloween - it sounds strange, I know, but the reason I advise this is that people will assume that you are not a Goth but someone wearing a Goth costume, which is probably not the effect you were going for.

Speaking of costumes... oh, you already know what I'm going to say. People are about to start asking, somewhat incessantly, where you got yours. Are you going to a party? Where did you get those amazing stick-on tattoos - they look so real! And yes, you're going to have to patiently explain that no, you look like this every day, and sorry, but they ARE real. Last year, a customer in the shop became very excited about my 'Halloween costume' - unfortunately she didn't speak enough English for me to explain it wasn't a costume, and she now seems to wonder why I've kept on wearing a 'costume' every day for the following year... However, this is a small price to pay for all the benefits the season offers - I even recieved my very first Halloween card this year from a lovely lady in America (WHY don't they do Halloween cards in the UK?!).

Goth gossip: Doyenne of darkness Anne Rice has been a busy little bee lately. Not only are we Rice fans salivating in excitement at the thought of Louis and Lestat being brought to illustrated life for the upcoming graphic novel version of Interview with a Vampire, but reportedly Her Gothyship is about to give werewolves the Rice Treatment. I can hardly wait...


Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Anne Rice is a crazy Catholic fundamentalist now. :>

akumaxkami said...

^ Yeah, she is, but that might be fun in it's own way too no?

I've never heard of doing Halloween cards, but damn if that doesn't sound like an amazing idea.

Lady Catherine said...

Dearest Amy,
This is my first year celebrating Halloween -my dad is totally against it- and I'm going to host a costume party at my house, in occasion of my birthday -which is the 22nd-.
We will probably go trick or treating afterwards.
I have already decided my costume, but I wouldn't want people to think I am wearing a goth costume.
I intend to wear a gothy/ cyber fairy Scott Westerfeld's specials costume.
Is it Goth friendly???
Hugs and kisses,
Lady Catherine

Fae said...

Im reading Intervew with a vampire now. And Amy I missed you ! lmao

GothicGuy said...

I missed you too Amy !!

Melanie~"Fangirl"~Light said...

plastic-like "goth" accessories are practically everywhere in my area. as someone trying to at least be a babybat (this is how slow my transition is) it gets incredibly frustrating.

I never got into Anne Rice's vampire stories, but since written novels going graphic seems to be the new thing, I hope fans will not be disappointed.

I look forward to more of this!

Black Rose said...

Good advice about seasonal shopping!

Black Rose said...

For those who like to cook:

They are easy to make and fun to serve!!!
And darkly delicious.

Phoenix said...

This is a cool post! I wish our supermarkets here in NZ stocked up big time on spooky home decor :( It's not really celebrated here, which SUCKS. Thank god for the interwebz :D

formaldehydeKAT said...

Your blog is really disgusting in its narcissism and hypocrisy and just plain delusion. I love how you elevate yourself and everyone involved in the "goth scene" as being open minded and generally better than "normal people" while at the same time scoffing at "normal people" for various things like being less romantic than you or staring at the aesthetic that you know is going to get you attention. And your condescending use of "babybat" and "eldergoth" are really just obnoxious and stupid. You treat goth like it's leveling up. Not to mention the hypocrisy in claiming to be apart of a culture open minded and non judgmental then making fun of people who aren't doing goth "right". You're just as delusional as everyone else. Perhaps a bit more in that you think appealing to a certain aesthetic that's largely full of clones helps validate your individuality...

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

formaldehydeKAT; how is you validating yourself by being cruel towards others actually better than wearing ripped fishnet stockings?

The first thing I thought when I read your comment was, "aww, daddy never went to your ball games". Seriously, going to someone else's blog to say things like that about them? You must be some kind of assface. Please explain to me why you thought yourself just so awesome for doing that.

You have a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls.

ultimategothguide said...

FormaldehydeKAT - What in hell are you talking about? You point out one quote on this entire blog where I am 'scoffing' at 'normal people' (I believe the word you're looking for is non-Goths, since Goths are normal people too, by the way...). I'd just like to clarify that if I had such an opinion of 'normal people' I'm pretty sure my friends and boyfriend, none of whom are Goth, would call me out on it. Just a thought.

Plus, just FYI, I'm not the only person that uses the terms 'babybat' and 'eldergoth'. Are you going to write silly little hate messages to the authors of Gothic Charm School or The Goth Bible, or do you only take on the smaller, lesser-known writers?

I've never made fun of anyone not doing Goth 'right', because it's kind of difficult to get it wrong.

Also, my individuality doesn't need validating; I like what I like and I don't really care if that makes me a unique little snowflake or not. Any further comments from you will be deleted, because frankly you're talking a load of crap.

P.S. There are ways to state a difference of opinion without being rude. Perhaps you should look into them.

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