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.
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.