Is Pale Gothic Foundation on Dark Skin a sign of Insecurity?

Hey Fab Bats! As a character with dark skin (E39 leather Copic marker to be exact), the concept of pale skin as the gothic beauty ideal has crossed my mind several times. Today, I’d to take a moment to explore it with you. Does pale foundation mean one is ashamed of their skin color? Is this a problem we should address? Sit down, pass around the tea and discuss.

Above is a video of It’s Black Friday – a famous goth Youtuber, for those unfamiliar, whose channel you can check out here. She is known for a porcelain pallor that accentuates her deathlike appearance. Now, I personally enjoy It’s Black Friday’s videos and find her makeup and hair skills always on point. If she were to maintain her regimen with darker skin, however, she would be the receiver of mixed reactions. Some black and brown users do use foundation significantly lighter than their actual tone. Last month’s post featured makeup tutorials using light foundation in Goth Makeup for Dark Skin.

To begin: we are living creatures and thus all have nuanced opinions. Please respect one another and pass the sugar with that tea. Debates are all about disagreeing and sharing perspectives.

So. I asked this question on Tumblr to see what you Fab Bats would respond:

What do you think of using pale foundation on dark skin?

In your opinion, is it a sign that one is ashamed of their skin color?

Here’s what you said…


Going for the Undead Look

If there is anything we could take from this it’s that pale does not always equal white as much as it does undead. That is the goth look in a nutshell. As a matter of fact, in some circles it becomes an unsaid competition of who looks the most recently deceased. When I asked the question on Facebook, user Aji LaStrange noted “If the point of using pale foundation is to look more dead-like or ghostly, I don’t see a problem with it”.

An Alternative to Pale Foundation

User Kathleena Fields recommended “a loose translucent powder (…) it gives a nice ghostly porcelain doll look without being aimed at a specific skin tone.” You could also try black or deep brown (depending on your pigment) around the eyes for a sunken effect.

Many use lighter brown for contrast. If this is what you’re looking for, but are not interested in doing a full face, opt for white designs using eyeliner. For colorful designs – blues, reds etc… – consider using white eyeliner as a base and then proceed to trace over with your desired color. This will really make them pop. The eyebrows on the model above have a white shadow base which clashes well with the rest. Just be careful when applying dark eyeshadow against a white base. You don’t want to step into Beetlejuice territory. Unless that’s what your going for. Do your thing.

How to Use Foundation Lighter than Your Skin Tone

All this being said, if you want to use light foundation you can find several tutorials in this post. Also be sure to give Z LivingRagDoll’s simple and elegant how to a watch:

The Verdict

There is no set conclusion here. The purpose is to start a discussion amongst the community. Please feel free to comment, chat with others and give your own opinion. Keep it friendly, stay cordial regardless of whether or not you disagree with the other person. The discussion is open to all!

HOWEVER. When all is said and done… You make the decision to rock-or-not whatever you wear.

What’s your point of view? Voice!


Please help credit the artists. If you recognize someone from the images, please voice!

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