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Unlocking the Secrets of Goth Makeup

Person with smokey eyes and black lips

Goth makeup is a distinctive and bold style that has evolved over the years. While certain elements of goth makeup have remained constant, this year has seen new looks and variations, as well as a resurgence of some classic goth makeup trends, with over 1.1 billion views for #GothMakeup on TikTok as of fall 2023. And, according to Google Ads, there are more than 60k monthly searches for goth makeup. 

The release of the show Wednesday might have had something to do with the resurgence of the goth look, but this makeup trend is here to stay. So, let’s look at the distinct differences between a soft goth and glam goth, as well as the key features of this captivating trend. 

Table of Contents
Soft goth vs. glam goth
Goth lips
Exaggerated cat eyes
Latest goth beauty influencers/looks
Goth makeup for men
Future of goth makeup

Soft goth vs. glam goth

Screenshot of Wednesday Addams from WednesdayNetflix on Instagram

Soft goth and glam goth are two distinct variations of the goth makeup style, each with its own characteristics. According to Google Ads, there were more than 6000 monthly searches for soft goth and 3600 for glam goth. Let’s look at the differences:

Soft goth makeup

Characteristics of soft goth makeup:

  • Subdued color palette: Soft goth makeup typically employs a more subdued color palette than traditional goth or glam goth styles. Soft goth makeup often features softer shades of black, gray, and muted tones like dusty rose or taupe.
  • Lighter foundation: Instead of the extremely pale complexion common in traditional goth makeup, soft goth makeup often uses a foundation closer to the natural skin tone, creating a more natural look.
  • Smokey eyes with muted shades: Soft goth emphasizes smoky eyes, but the eyeshadow shades are typically less intense. Charcoal gray or soft black eyeshadows create a smudged, smoky effect, but the overall look is more subtle.
  • Lighter eyeliner: While eyeliner is still prominent in soft goth makeup, it’s often applied more subtly. A thinner line is used, and it’s typically less smudged than in traditional goth makeup.
  • Neutral lips: Soft goth makeup often features neutral or nude lip colors. Dark, dramatic lip colors are less common in this style.

Glam goth makeup

Characteristics of glam goth makeup:

  • Bold and shimmering: Glam goth makeup is characterized by bold, shimmering, and dramatic elements. It often includes highly pigmented eyeshadows, glitter, and metallic shades.
  • Intense smokey eyes: Glam goth makeup features intense, dark, and highly pigmented smokey eye makeup. Black, deep purples, blues, and metallic shades are commonly used.
  • Dramatic eyeliner: Thick and bold eyeliner is a key element of glam goth makeup. Winged eyeliner and intricate designs may be part of this style.
  • Dramatic lip colors: While soft goth opts for neutral lip colors, glam goth makeup often features bold and dramatic lip colors like deep reds, purples, or black.
  • Elaborate contouring: Glam goth makeup may incorporate more elaborate contouring and highlighting techniques to create a sculpted and defined look.

The choice between the two styles depends on personal preferences and the level of drama one wants to achieve in their goth makeup look.

Goth lips

Person with smokey eyes and dark purple lipstick

Dark, rich lipstick shades like black, deep red, deep purple, or even blackened blue are a staple of goth makeup. Matte and highly pigmented formulas are often preferred by consumers. 

According to Google Ads, there are more than 1000 monthly searches for goth lips, but almost 50,000 for black lipstick and more than 60,000 for matte lipstick. 

Exaggerated cat eyes

Person with cat eye eyeliner and bold red lips

Goth makeup often includes a bold, exaggerated eye. The smoky eye look is popular in goth makeup. Black eyeshadow, eyeliner, and dark, smudged eye makeup are common, creating a dramatic and intense look, but the most common goth eye look this year is exaggerated cat eyes.

According to Google Ads, there are more than 22,000 monthly searches for cat eyeliner.

Goth cat-eye eyeliner typically features sharp and extended wings. These wings can be longer and more angular than what you’d find in everyday makeup, emphasizing the dramatic and bold appearance. It is often executed with intense, dark, and highly pigmented black eyeliner. 

Person with exaggerated clumped together eyelashes

Another way people are achieving a more exaggerated eye is with lashes. Check out some of the latest eyelash trends here. 

The contrast between the dark liner and pale skin is a key aspect of goth aesthetics, making the cat-eye liner more dramatic. So, consumers are less likely to use blush when recreating a more goth look. 

Latest goth beauty influencers/looks

Interested to know what goth looks are trending this fall? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular looks. 

First up, Lizzo with incredible goth lips. The way the dark blue color of the lips matches her outfit is incredible and with the lip piercing she looks even more goth. 

Lizzo wearing a blue dress and dark blue lips

Lola Tung from the Netflix series ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ wore a subtle soft goth look featuring cat eyes to New York Fashion Week and looked stunning. 

Lola looking in a mirror with cat eye eyeliner and soft lips

Doja cat showed off a more glam goth makeup look on the red carpet with more exaggerated eyes and a shimmering, lilac lip. The non-existent eyebrows also make the look more fierce. 

Doja Cat wearing exaggerated eyeliner and shimmering lips

Next up, the smokey eye. Anitta took a traditional Hollywood glam aesthetic and made it more goth with a beautiful smokey eye and dark brown lip. 

Anitta with a smokey eye look and dark brown lip

Finally, Black Chyna showed off the most exaggerated goth look on the red carpet with black under eyeshadow with shimmering black gems along with some beautiful wispy eyelashes. And, of course, the choice of a nude lip was intentional to bring all the attention to her eyes. 

Black Chyna with a goth glam look featuring black eyeshadow and gemstones

Goth makeup for men

Man with shoulder length hair with smokey eyes

Goth makeup trends aren’t only appealing to women. Exaggerated eyeliner, smokey eyes and dark lips appeal to men and women alike and are commonly loved by those who identify outside of the gender binary. 

So, when it comes to marketing beauty products, don’t forget to consider those who don’t identify as women or you’re missing out on an important part of your market. 

Future of goth makeup

Goth makeup is an ever-evolving realm of self-expression that continues to captivate and inspire individuals worldwide. From the classic elements of pale skin, dark lips, and heavy eyeliner to the modern adaptations seen in soft and glam goth styles, the world of goth makeup is as diverse as the people who embrace it. It’s a realm where darkness meets creativity and where individuality is celebrated. 

Goth makeup isn’t going away anytime soon, so make sure to have these dark staples in your cosmetics lineup.

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