Fun_People Archive
29 Jun
A Look That's to Die for

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 94 22:56:28 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: A Look That's to Die for

{So you want to know what to wear while listening to Nirvana?
 Read on... psl]

Forwarded-by: bostic@vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Theo de Raadt <>
Forwarded-by: <>
From: _Harper's_, July 1994.


      (From "Makeup Tips for the Bleak," by Lord Damien Star, in issue
      number 3 of _Ghastly Magazine_, a 'zine about the "Gothic"
      lifestyle, published in Hollywood, California. According to the
      'zine's editors, Goths are dedicated to "dark romance and
      decadence" and "spend hours transforming themselves into visions
      of bewitching beauty.")

Done badly, Gothic makeup and dress can look painfully stupid. The
following are some suggestions for how to do it well.
  1. Whiteface should create the illusion that you really are that
pale, and not that you have a bunch of makeup from Walgreen's caked
all over your face. Use a good base: not even the most gifted makeup
artist can get the necessary coverage from inferior makeup. If you
have dark skin, don't try to do whiteface unless you're going for a
very stylized harlequin look or are willing to put makeup on all
exposed skin areas. Try using a base just one or two shades lighter
than your own color, and then put white powder over it. This will give
you and ethereal, almost greyish cast.
  After spending the money on a decent base, take the trouble to apply
it evenly. It's appalling how many Goths overlook something so basic
and vital to their entire aesthetic. Equally bad and unfortunately
just as common is the tendency to overpowder and to end one's pallor
at the jawbone. Such mistakes are just inexcusably stupid. Don't make
  2. On the subject of eye-liner, liquid is better, but if your hands
shake, by all means use the most expensive pencil you can afford.
Cheap pencils go on faint and will smudge after an hour. Do something
original with your makeup: cobwebs or bat wings drawn across the cheek
look silly on anyone over the age of fifteen. On those under fifteen,
however, such adornments are sure to attract the lecherous attention
of jaded Goths in their late twenties and early thirties who will
probably give you free speed if you prove sufficiently pliable.
  3. Find a shade of lipstick that not everyone else is wearing.
Theatrical supply stores are the best for really deep shades of
congealed-blood red. Apply it with a lip brush for a more precise and
severe effect.
  4. Strive for originality in your costume. For those doing vintage
looks, realize that both eighteenth century and the Victorian era have
been done to death. Either do them better than anyone else or choose
another time period. The Twenties, Thirties, and Forties are largely
untapped by Goths and have great potential. One could dress as an
emaciated, opium-addicted flapper from the Aleister Crowley set or
pose as the Black Dahlia, a would-be actress from the Forties whose
gimmick was that she dyed her hair black and would only wear black
clothing; her ghastly mutilation and murder remain unsolved to this
day. Also remember that black is not the only color. Deep blues, grays
and greens, as well as blood-red, purple, and ivory, can be equally
  5. If you have scars on your wrists from suicide attempts, by all
means display them proudly. The same goes for bruises, cuts, and track
marks. Abscesses, however, should always be coyly veiled in filmy
black fabric.
  Your Gothic look should be as opulent, decadent, and original as
possible. If you're not up to making the effort to carry off this most
high-maintenance of affectations, try wearing plaid shirts and
listening to Nirvana instead.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []