FOTD: #SummerGoth

My tastes in makeup have shifted recently. I’ve noticed myself gravitating toward different colors, textures, and undertones, and caring less about “seasonal” makeup. Spring was so cold and dreary this year that I didn’t feel like making my usual switch to coral and pink tones. But even now, with the hot, swampy Mid-Atlantic summer in full swing, I find myself drawn to murky, gloomy makeup: browns, dark purples, grays, that sort of thing. I’m still too much of a traditionalist to wear, say, NARS 413 BLKR in July, but I’m finding the summer-goth aesthetic more and more appealing. You might argue that this too is an expression of seasonal rules: only someone who cared about them would care about breaking them, right? Well, maybe so. And maybe I’m not even breaking them: black plums, thunderstorms, and blackberries all belong to summer. So let’s say that I’m complicating the usual summer palette. Yes, that sounds pretentious enough for this blog.

The beauty world isn’t abandoning dark colors this summer, either. Some people grumbled at Bite Beauty’s collection of six lipsticks for Summer 2016, which included a dark brown, a navy blue, a gray-purple, and a blackened green. But I don’t see many complaints about Anastasia’s new Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette, an assortment of deep browns and berries, or Kat Von D’s jewel-toned Serpentina palette, the ideal gift for the Slytherin in your life. Instagram is still dominated by brown lipstick; fashion is still drawing inspiration from the ’70s. Even k-pop has joined the summergoth game—I love Hyelim’s vampy makeup in the new Wonder Girls music video (totally worth a watch). Modern nostalgia for ’70s nostalgia for the ’20s—is there anything better, makeup-wise?

Technically speaking, “goth” might be the wrong word for the aesthetic I’m pursuing right now (plus, I hear that bona fide goths don’t take kindly to casual appropriation of the word), but “Jazz Age Hollywood meets k-pop’s dream of the ’70s meets ’90s teen witch” takes so much longer to type.

Really, this FOTD was born of my desire to wear MAC Antique Velvet before September. I found myself missing it while I was in England (yes, I miss specific lipsticks when I travel), and once I returned, it seemed silly to ignore it for the sake of a seasonal propriety that no one else gave a shit about. I mean, I paid $17 for this lipstick; I have the right to wear it whenever I please. So here’s the face I put together two days ago. That dark background makes me look a bit—but only a bitpaler than I really am.

And here are the products I used, clockwise from top: MAC Antique Velvet, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter (still haven’t hit pan despite using it several times a week for the past few months), Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blush, the dark brown sparkly shade from my theBalm custom palette, Seventeen Statuesque eyeshadow.

A better look at Lunch Money (and my new moonstone earrings from an outdoor market in Oxford):

I felt trapped in a makeup rut before I left for the UK, but traveling forced me out of my usual routine, and now I’m creating looks that I’m actually happy with. I suppose this particular look is a disheveled version of Instagram trends (come to think of it, almost everything I do, makeup or not, is a disheveled version of something else). I’ve got the dark matte lip and the highlighter, but my eyes are less defined, my brows are messier, and I’m not glowing like a cyborg wrapped in Christmas lights, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In retrospect, I could have made my eyes a bit smokier: the dark brown eyeshadow is smudged along my upper lashline, but it doesn’t show up well in photos. Still, I like the casual feel of this version; I also like how well the dark lip goes with my very ’90s-influenced new sundress. I want to unearth my tattoo choker from 2000, though if you’re old enough to have worn it the first time around…

But I was twelve!

Have you accepted the #summergoth aesthetic into your heart?

15 thoughts on “FOTD: #SummerGoth

  1. I have been waiting for #summergoth my whole life. Though, what with the nineties revival and all, colors seem to be leaning a bit more warm and brown than I personally find flattering on my face. I cannot get over how natural Antique Velvet looks on you. What even are undertones??The lips, earrings, and pulled back hair are sending me a message that I can't quite translate. Mod Victorian? 1920s ghost story? Time to get out the ouija board and investigate.


  2. I've always leaned a little towards summer goth myself and now that there are so many dramatic colours available in good formulas (yay for not having to stock up on cheap crayons from Halloween leftover bins!) it makes it fun to indulge. Antique Velvet has been on and off my list of shades to try since it came out. It looks so gorgeous on you, I'm immediately tempted to rush out and grab it. (Although I'll probably just keep hemming and hawing for months.) well done!


  3. Yeah, Antique Velvet is not really a typical '90s color, is it? I can't do a lot of lighter, warmer browns, but I love '20s-influenced dark browns like this one. What ARE undertones? Last month I tried on a camel-colored wool cape and watched in horror as my face literally turned green. I guess I'm olive after all? I'm told that \”cool olive\” is a thing…


  4. I just remembered that you wrote a similar post a few years ago! Something along the lines of \”spring lipsticks for goths,\” I believe. I must have been subconsciously influenced by it while writing this. I can't believe how many more offbeat lipstick colors there are to choose from than there were five years ago when I first got into makeup.Not to be an enabler or anything, but I think Antique Velvet would look beautiful on you, especially with your eyes.


  5. I feel this! I tend to favour purples and berries anyway, so I like to work them into my summer makeup. I can't bear to let MAC Rebel waste away for months at a time. 😦 Of course, today I'm wearing a very vibrant pinky coral that just screams summer.Antique Velvet looks great on you and I love it with the highlight and eyeshadow. That pairing keeps such a bold colour looking surprisingly fresh.


  6. Antique Velvet look so so good on you! I'm not sure if it would flatter me, but the name is so evocative I want to have it every time I hear it mentioned. P.S. I know you're fond of Illamasqua and they're on HauteLook right now…They have a purple blush which tempts me…


  7. Purple is my favorite color for lipstick (if you hadn't figured that out yet…), so I just wear it year-round. I think there's something about a medium purple that transcends seasonality. I can't believe I don't own Rebel, by the way. It's a perfect color for me, but somehow I've never actually bought it.


  8. I want to embrace #summergoth, but I feel like looking like an angel of death is probably not a good idea when my office is next to the intensive care unit. I've settled for wearing slightly witchy jewellery. And ugh, every time you post about Antique Velvet, I want it even more.


  9. That lipstick is made for you, stunning! That last photo has made me want to embrace deep lipsticks right now (it's winter here which makes the plunge easier! I am wearing Revlon Sultry today, dipping my toe in…)


  10. YESSSS, I love that lipstick on you! I'm tired of the heat. Summer on this coast SUCKS. I bought a purple lipstick and have been loving the hell out of that, although it's not quite as deep and vampy as this beauty!


  11. OMG I LOVE ANTIQUE VELVET ON YOU. Antique Velvet's been on my WL forever, thanks, no thanks �� for putting it back on my radar… I don't ever follow the 'rules' of what colors I should where, when & why. Seasons be damned! I'm proudly ghastly and I guess it doesn't help that I started wearing red lipstick in the 5th grade. Unfortunately, I have a wicked Chronic Illness that has made me a bedridden shut in for over a year++. It makes it really hard to pull off the vamp look because I get scarily white or bright red �� when I'm in the throes of an attack. There's no pattern, rhyme or reason. Everything is on a moment to moment basis, because it can, will & does come on in seconds. One minute I'm laughing, 5 minutes later if I'm not alone I'm asked if I need to go to the ER. I AM NOT SEEKING PITY. I KNOW PEOPLE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MY ISSUES. Point is, yes, I still freak out over lipsticks & highlighters and pretty much any other makeup you can fathom, but seeing all I have that is going to unused, stinks. This year++ has been the worst in terms of losing almost all my independence, energy & any 'hobbies'. Showering is a major event for me to, so there's no makeup being put on. I want to wear it, even if no one sees me, which no one really does. It's a catch because if I feel like putting it in for the fun of it, taking it off is so demanding. I know that sounds ridiculous. Even if I use facial wipes, it's too hard. I miss the creativity & have forgotten so many techniques that I found work best for me. Sorry for the rant and what turned into a pity party, but again I'm not asking for your pity. I'm grateful for what I do have, because it could & has been so much worse.What a beautiful crappy first comment to make to you upon finding your blog for the first time. I'll be back…& hopefully in a better mood, as last night it was just horrendous.


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