Goth Makeup for Dark Skin

Hey Fab Bats!

Did you know? Some hearts are so sinister that the shade of their soul reflects upon the skin. For those of us possessing a pigment as dark on the outside as on the inside, finding flattering makeup can be a challenge.

I sifted around my primary place of residence, the Internet, and found some interesting makeup tips n’ tutorials for the non-porcelaine. Hopefully you will find some of these useful…


As a foundation-free cartoon character, I’m not on top of how to coat one’s face. Luckily, there are some fab Youtubers out there to help us lost Bats out.

Now skin lightening is controversial. That, we know. But, many of you Fab Bats are aiming for a just-woke-up-grumpy-and-dead vibe. Tones on the grey and green spectrum help create an unnatural feel, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Just remember to maintain love for your original tone. For foundation that matches very dark skin, Melanin Rich has some good suggestions.

A quick and easy foundation routine, Eden Lost’s tutorial is incredibly easy to follow. They mention using a greyish-brown color to create that ‘dramatic gothic effect’. Check out the rest of their videos for brow routines, cat eyes and fall makeup!


Whether you rock poppin’ colors, dark wings or a bit of everything, eyes are an integral part of that rabid routine. First off, watch Nyma Tang’s tutorial on How To Make Eyeshadow Pop On Dark Skin. This can be used as a base for whatever you wish to achieve. A bright red or purple would make for an elegant victorian effect while a neon green might give off some sweet cyber vibes. You could also cuten’ things up with pastel or glitter pink. Experiment!

Moving right along the freak train, here are two eye tutorials to try out:

Miss Morguendoffer‘s simple tutorial is great for those with beginner makeup skills (a.k.a folks like me). It’s quick to whip up in the morning and can be paired with just about any style.

An all time favorite! The white around the eyes contrasts so well with the dark red and black. Play around with different colours. As an asymmetry advocate, I’d suggest trying out a different one for each eye. Now how would that look? Take a peek at Rose Nocturnalia‘s channel for more makeup videos.


One of the biggest challenges regarding the juxtaposition of dark makeup on dark skin is the balance between outward and inner self expression. Some may need to overcome social and/or personal boundaries in order to feel comfortable standing tall and proud in a look they love. This is especially present in lip color, as inky shades will attract a number of eyes. Additionally, the stronger the melanin, the more one’s dexterity is tested in order to make those hues pop. In “Why I Love Black Lipstick on My Dark Skin Tone“, Melanie Yvette voices her hike up the heap to self-embracement. She notes how her decision to walk out in black lipstick and own it inspired others with a similar complexion to go down the same road. Paving a path towards the normalization of alternative makeup on black and brown people is done so through representation.

“One can argue that lipstick is lipstick. But for me, gaining the confidence to wear black lipstick, a trend I thought was out of my “league,” boosted my confidence. I felt like I’ll never have to hinder myself just because of my complexion. I also felt like I was making a statement.”

Here are her tips on styling black lipstick:

“First, be sure to create a smooth, even complexion with your best foundation and follow up with concealer. Lipstick colors like black need to be juxtaposed against a smooth canvas.

I’m not the heavily filled-in brows kind of girl. I like mine to look natural and full. But, I noticed that to create balance on my face when wearing black lipstick, my brows need to be a bit darker than usual.

Also, add 2-3 coats of mascara, or lashes. My go-to mascara is Better Than Sex by Too Faced. I’m not obsessed with lashes as much as I used to be, so I go heavy on the mascara.

Keep your eye makeup simple. An easy winged liner or glossy lid is enough. Even though I can do a smokey eye, I usually go for a clean lid to let my lips be the star of the show.

Makeup artist Lavonne Anthony also suggests making sure “the color is opaque and the lip line is crisp, using a little concealer around the bottom lip and corners for precision.”

Finally, rock those bold black lips with confidence. One of the things I’ve noticed about myself when trying new makeup trends is that I can pull anything off, if I wear it with confidence. It sounds cliché, but that is what it’s all about.”

“I find experimenting with new beauty moves empowering and honestly, an effective way for me to overcome my fears.” – Melanie Yvette

Full Face

There are a lot more of these around than you would expect! Get ready for a sift-through. Don’t forget to check out some of the links at the bottom for tutorials that weren’t featured. Depending on what constitutes the cocktail that is your normal, the following can make great every day routines or, with a touch of gloom n’ glam, a good pair with evening wear.

You may have noticed that the videos in this post are all from underground Youtubers. This is to promote visibility and bring forth underrated peeps in their respective scenes. Please visit their channels and show some hippy love. Support each other!

Additional Resources

Other video tutorials:

Young Paris/ Photography by The Denizen Co. and Crosafix of Erzulie

Social media:

Tweak ideas from makeup boards on Pinterest catering to dark skin. Try Makeup for Dark Skin or Makeup for Dark Skin Beauties. Follow Dark Skinned Makeup Daily on Instagram. It’s more on the ‘natural’ side but you can always mix n’ unmatch to get your desired effect. Consider using musicians as inspiration. Above is rapper, Young Paris, and Crosafix of the metal band, Erzulie.

Fab Bats share their makeup journey…

I asked some Fab Bats to share their journey towards fearless self-expression through makeup. We all start somewhere. Coming into one’s own takes time and work. They describe how they gained the confidence to walk the streets and give the creeps with their head high…

Amira is a Muslim makeup artist and active member of the goth scene.

First, which part of the world are you from? 

I’m half Egyptian and the other half is Brazilian, Portuguese, Jamaican, and European countries.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as traditional Gothic. I do have my own twist on it by practicing makeup on myself and make it work with my hijab.

Has anyone discouraged you from wearing it the way you do?

I have had people discourage me from wearing my makeup from random people on the street telling me I would be much prettier without it to family members telling me it’s not normal or it’s too much and people don’t dress this way Etc. They tell me that I can tone it down but of course my response to them is I’m comfortable and happy with the way I wear my makeup and I don’t wear it for other people. I work for myself.

You pull off dramatic details with incredible class. How did you gain the courage to wear it so fearlessly?

Thank you. I do get told that I do my makeup well. I gained the courage by practicing hard on myself and learning to not care what people think. From the good comments I get to the bad, I learned to put those comments aside and be proud of who I am period.

I would say a big inspiration for me are drag queens. They have so much confidence in themselves and have no shame in showing it and I learned a lot from them.

Have you been judged for wearing such eerie, decadent makeup while being religious?

I have been judged many many times especially from people who think they understand my religion or share my religion. I have had people say my makeup is against their religion because it’s not modest. I’ve also had people say believe it or not that makeup like mine represents the devil which I think makes no sense.

If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self?

If I could go back in time I really wouldn’t say anything to my younger self. I wouldn’t have got to the way I am today without feeling and seeing and the naive younger self of mine. I needed to go on this path the way I did, I needed to go from being really shy and self-conscious to being Shameless and proud of myself. As a Muslim I do practice my faith but I also believe that God loves everybody the way they are and in my case loves that I’m proud of myself but still can include my faith in my life. I do always say that the only person that can judge me is God and knowing that I say and of course know that God loves everybody the way they are. My fashion and view on life is a philosophy.

The way I connect my past, my religion, my liberal self and my style is a huge representation on what I believe Humanity should feel. I know using should and shouldn’t in a sentence is not adequate but I do believe that all humans should be happy in their own skin no matter what they believe as long as they are not hurting anybody or a harm to society or themselves. And as my fashion is none of that I’m proud of who I am.

I found Love in the gothic subculture. I found out who I am and who I am meant to be and found my love for Darkness shared with many people. The gothic subculture and I are entwined and I can’t imagine myself living any other way.

You can find Amira on Tumblr.

Martanna Lunna makes Youtube tutorials for Halloween-on-the-daily worthy makeup. She is active on Tumblr and Instagram.

When did you first start wearing makeup?

I first started wearing makeup in the 9th grade so maybe when I was around 15 or so. When I did I always just wore a basic racoon eye so nothing crazy starting off!

How did your style evolve?

My style makeup wise began to evolve when I first saw dracmakens makeup on tumblr, I thought she was amazing and I couldn’t get enough of her style and it really brought me out of my “basic makeup shell”. After I watched her I began getting comfortable picking crazy and wild colors too! I honestly never wondered what would look good with my skin I just saw a color I wanted and rocked it! I think others should do that too, no mater how dark or light u are if you like a color get it and rock it!

What inspires you?

I inspire me ! To think of makeup ideas I really just sit in front of a mirror and think of what I want to do or what theme I like for the day.

Do you feel confident walking out of the house with a full face of makeup?

Absolutely! But I would like to mention that I don’t wear foundation or concealer so not really a full face. Concealer and foundation feel too heavy on me and I don’t like the way it clogs your pores and damages your skin.

You have a rather unconventional makeup style. Have you ever been criticized or judged for it?

I certainly have but I also get a lot of praise for being so bold and the good reactions believe it or not outweigh the bad.

What would you suggest for those afraid to express themselves?

Just get out there and do you, get out of your comfort zone, be wild, and have fun !

Do you have any basic makeup tips and advice?

Tape is a god send for getting crisp clean lines.

A huge thank you to Amira and Martanna Lunna for adding their voices to the equation.

What’s your story? Tips? Questions? Share your voice!

I love hearing from you beautiful bats and answer every comment.

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