Gothic Makeup & Clothing Tips

gothic girl

Contrary to common belief, goths do not always dress in black or wear spiked jewelry, although some fit that description. They are simply people who stray away from mainstream society in order to form their own unique style.

Being gothic is a way of expressing one's beliefs through fashion sense, makeup, and clothing. If you want to adopt a gothic look or are looking for some ideas, below are some tips for both girls and guys on makeup, style and clothing. The key is to add your own individual flair and alterations.


Goths effectively express their personality with makeup and the original application that sets them apart. If you're just getting started, this guide will offer ideas on technique and applying it correctly. When done well, it should look quite dramatic but not heavy-handed.


Most gothic people favor pale skin and use a very light foundation and powder. This "whiteface" look is based on the illusion of naturally pale skin. The average department store doesn't carry foundation for this look. The best choice is theatre makeup which is of better quality and lasts much longer. If your skin tone is dark, skip the white-face look and simply choose a foundation that is two shades lighter than your natural tone.

Always blend the foundation into your hairline and jaw line to avoid telltale lines. Cover your eyelids and lips as well. This will make a great base for eye make-up and lipstick, ensuring staying power through the day or nighttime hours. To slim your face, highlight or sculpt with a slightly darker color and blend, blend, blend. Don't overdo it. Too much makeup is uncomfortable and looks painfully gaudy.


You can be completely unique with your eyeliner. It's entirely up to you whether to apply thin or thick lines. The stereotypical goth wears thick layers of black eyeliner. Combining colors is common with gothic girls, with red and black being a popular combination. The truth is, you'll find it much more satisfying to make your own style and wear whatever colors you feel comfortable in.

Most people prefer to use eye pencils rather than liquid eyeliner. One advantage to pencils is that they are easier and quicker to use. On the downside, they can smudge and you may need to re-apply it after several hours. Liquid eyeliner is for those with a steady hand and patience. It's more precise, but if it gets wet, it will smear much worse.


Finding the right shades of lipstick can be difficult at your local drugstore. Theatrical stores offer black and true red colors, perfect for the look you're trying to achieve. If there is no store in your area, shop online or stock up around Halloween, when those colors are readily available.

Wear a lip liner to define your lips. You can outline them to make them fuller, or cover your entire lip area, giving you a base for your lipstick. This will add color to your lips and help your lipstick stay on longer.

Gothic Fashion and Clothing

Finding clothing isn't that difficult if you know where to look. Some stores specialize in gothic clothing and accessories such as belts, jewelry, and add-ons for your hair. You can also look at a second-hand clothing store or Goodwill for some real bargains that were skipped over by their mainstream customers.

Popular gothic colors include black, silver, purple, green, and red. Keep your eye out for these colors when shopping. Here are some more ideas to help complete your look:

  • Black nail polish
  • Chains, studs, or spikes
  • Chokers and silver jewelry
  • Corsets
  • Fishnet shirts, tights, stockings
  • Heels and boots
  • Leather skirts and jackets
  • Long gloves
  • Retro band t-shirts
  • Stripes
  • Skulls, ankhs, and crosses
  • Trench coats
  • Velvet, crushed velvet, leather