All praise gothic make-up

By Liz Hancock

All praise gothic make-up

Forgive me for I have sinned. I am a lover of the dark side of make-up and I’m not ashamed to admit it. While I may gaze at sugar-shaded lip glosses, and thrill at the latest carnival-tinted eyeshadows released by make-up houses, I’m wedded to twilight make-up colours, body and soul.

With yesterday’s news of an upcoming collaboration between M.A.C Cosmetics and Kiwi singer Lorde, I feel it’s the time to come clean on my addiction. Attending backstage at various fashion weeks around the world over the years, I have long been drawn to the hard-edged looks that go against the grain of making the most beautiful women in the world look even prettier.

Lorde, winner of the International Female Solo Artist award, poses in the winners room at The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Hence, I gravitate to dark-rimmed eyes – all the better if they have been deliciously worn-in. It’s an added bonus if they have been mixed with dark silvery shades of graphite and steel. I can’t personally rock the dark lipped look (my thin smackers resemble a burnt kipper, never a good look no matter how anti-establishment you are). But I adore women who write their mouth in magic marker shades of black, damson and nightshade.

Dark maiden make-up heroes abound. British Punk-Alt-Goth singer Siouxsie Sioux borrowed references from ancient Egypt to silent screen actresses like Nosferatu leading lady, actress Isabelle Adjani. Even now at the age of 57, Sioux traces a dark line across her eyes and lips. Actress Rooney Mara’s black hair, brows and lashes give her a naturally Gothic edge over fairer souls, but her turn as Lisbeth Salander in Stig Larsson’s Millenium (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) trilogy has spawned a huge following.

Of course Gothic-tinged make-up has many interpretations these days. From the babydoll Gothic Lolita’s of Tokyo’s Harajuku district to the Cyber-Punk Goths who artfully combine neon face paint shades with blackened edges, all share the same message: walking a line that doesn’t always blend in.

Now a new generation of girls are being introduced into the sisterhood via singer Lorde, whose iconoclastic style flies in the face of today’s immaculately glossed and groomed music industry. The announcement that M.A.C Cosmetics and Lorde will collaborate on a limited edition product collection, on sale mid-2014, makes the style ever more accessible.


Lorde has been collaborating with M.A.C since 2013, and the company’s senior artist, fellow Kiwi Amber D, is the singer’s make-up artist, designing her tour looks (such as the one seen here on the M.A.C facechart, for her upcoming US tour), and those seen globally at the Grammy and Brit awards.

“I have loved M.A.C Cosmetics since I was a little kid,” says Lorde. “I remember saving up to buy my very first M.A.C lipstick [Snob] at 14, and it was used by about 20 of my friends! M.A.C has a very clear aesthetic, that has always felt fashion forward to me. So I was really excited to work with them on these products, which I use pretty much every day and night. I hope you will too.”


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