Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Lipstick tips for Gothlings

What's to know about Goth lipstick? Just pick up some black lipstick from the Halloween store and slather it on, right? No, please don't, I'm being sarcastic. Contrary to popular opinion, black lipstick doesn't suit everyone, and needs to be applied with some care and attention. If you must use cheap black Halloween lipstick, use a lip brush, don't just cake the stuff on!

(c) Joji Grey
Joji of Stars in the Gutter rocks his black lipstick.
Source: Tumblr
Other than black, the most common shades of lipstick seen in Goth make-up looks are reds (ranging from deep crimson to rockabilly scarlet) and purples, usually dark violets or plum colours. But many Goths emulate their punk ancestors and experiment with a palette of vibrant colours - brands such as Stargazer, and independent cosmetic creators on sites like Etsy, provide a vivid array, everything from white, silver, blue and green to less 'obviously Goth' shades like orange and yellow.

Fire-engine reds and shades of pink were once a bit of a no-go amongst Goths, but nowadays plenty of perkygoths are rocking pink lippie and fire engine reds creates a fantastically vintage effect for burlesque aficionados and those harking back to the 40s and 50s.

Gloss, also, is not a Goth faux pas - a black gloss over red lipstick creates a beautiful deep purple. Gloss (or tinted balm) is a more lightweight product which you may prefer for daywear, but it needs reapplying more often and can feel unpleasantly sticky. Clear gloss will help flatter heavy eye make-up, but again this is an area where you can experiment with colour - red, purples and blues are especially spooky. Be aware, though, that strongly coloured glosses may 'feather' into the lines around the lips if not worn over lipstick and edged with lip liner. Black gloss especially is a pain for doing this.

The typical suggestion offered is that if you're wearing heavy lipstick, tone down the eye make-up, and vice versa, but you may have noticed from the pictures in abundance on this website and many others that Goths don't often pay attention to this 'rule'.

Always test lipsticks on your wrist or back of your hand before buying - no matter how expensive or purse-friendly the product, make sure the texture is going to be comfortable on your lips (it should be relatively creamy, not thick, dry or sludgy) and that the pigments are bright enough to show up when applied to your skin. You won't know if what's in the tube is the same colour on your skin unless you test it.

Lip balm will help keep your lips soft; you can also exfoliate and moisturise by rubbing them gently with a blob of Vaseline on an old toothbrush.

Lip liner can be used not only to line the lips and keep lippie and gloss from feathering but to create shapes (e.g. a heavily pointed Cupid's bow, a la Siouxsie Sioux). A lip liner that matches your lipstick is standard, but you might like to try a strong contrast - artist Anne Sudworth typically wears white lipstick outlined in black, and a traditional Gothy look entails red lipstick heavily outlined in black (blend together well, please!).

A lip sealant is a helpful product - it's a clear product applied over finished lip make-up with a small brush which, when dry, helps your lipstick last longer and keeps it from smudging.


Lolitadewdrop said...

This is a really good post, plum lipstick is my choice of colour if I do wear lipstick. I don't often wear lipstick though because it always gets on cups and glasses.

VictorianAndroid said...

Great post. I'd love to wear more lipstick but I always have a hard time with it staying on.

Toxic Tears said...

Actually - Even better way to test lipstick is on your finger tips rather than the back of your hand. I forget why, something to do with them being similar in something or other haha

akumaxkami said...

A tip I have for wearing darker lipsticks or glosses is to put concealer or foundation over your lips first. I use a stick concealer and slick it on like a lipstick. Then I blend it in. It creates a nice neutral base upon which any color will show up vibrantly and nicely.

I've found it also keeps your lipstick on longer too. Just a tip!

Maggie said...

Great post, Amy! I'm not a big fan of black lipstick, I usually stick to dark plums and deep reds. I used to like lip gloss, but nowadays I find it too sticky. It might have something to do with the length of my hair: I used to wear it very short and it was never in the way of my make-up, but now that it's grown a little, the winds tends to blow it into my face quite a lot :)
As for black liner + red lipstick, I'm not so sure about that look - but some people still manage to rock it.

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

I agree with Akumazkami, putting something like concealer or foundation on first makes a big difference. Also if you're wearing a strong colour it's always a good idea to pop some concealer on an angled brush, outline the edges of your lips after you're put on your lippie and blend it out. It stops the colour from bleeding but it also gives a really well defined and professional look! Just be sure to really blend it out and away from the lips.

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