My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Makeup Tutorial: Foliate Swirls

I see a lot of babybat goths with just a heap of black eyeliner and then some incoherent squiggles at the corner, and it seems that a lot of people think this is the limit to swirly eyeliner designs, and that they cannot ever look good. Personally, I think that it is possible to have swirls that look good. This tutorial was actually based on a request by Raven (not my partner, a different Raven) commenting on ::this post::. It is not the same makeup as worn in that post, but hopefully it will be helpful, and I will also do a complete tutorial for that look (with variant swirls; I can't exactly replicate them) at a later point.

You will need:
✥Primer and foundation to match your skin tone
✥Matt white eyeshadow
✥Black soft kohl pencil
✥Felt-tipped eyeliner pen
✥Silver liquid eyeliner
✥Metallic silver eyeshadow
✥Metallic pewter eyeshadow
✥Black eyeshadow.
✥Brush-tipped liquid liner.

Apply primer and foundation.
The first step is to prime and apply foundation. As this design itself is quite heavy, I have applied primer and a very sparing amount of foundation under my eyes to act as concealer, and a tad of actual concealer over the worst of the bags under my eyes. Too much foundation and heavy looks can appear caked. I'm relatively pale naturally, and am using tinted primer and foundation that approximately match my skin tone. If you look very carefully at the roots of my eyebrows, you can see where some has clumped and that it's actually a tad yellower than my actual skin tone. Don't forget to set the nose and the rest of the face with powder, but don't set the foundation around the eyes.
Apply matt white eyeshadow.
The next step is to add some strong matt white eye-shadow under the brow line, and then to dust some lightly across the cheeks and above the brow line, forming a 'C' shape around the outside of the eye on the bony parts of the face. This is basically for the purpose of highlighting the contours and to contrast better against the black that will be added later in this look. I use a matt white at this point because a shimmer or pearlescent white would have the wrong lustre for the highlights.
Add kohl under the eye.
The third stage is creating a shadowy effect under the eye. Firstly line below the lashes with a soft, smudgy kohl pencil, then with either a cotton-bud (q-tip) or the edge of your little finger, smudge the kohl outwards and downwards. Try to get it to fade out smoothly. Be careful at the point where you meet with the upper lid not to get black on the outward continuation of the crease of the upper lid. Afterwards, take a felt-tipped black eyeliner pen (NOT a felt-tip pen!) and go over the kohl right up against the lashes. Emphasises the extension of the upper lid's crease by drawing in the downward curve with the same liner. You want to be drawing in the crease, below the upper lid. The idea is to give the illusion of a longer upper lid and therefore longer eye.
Apply and blend eyeshadows.
This stage is most fun! First of all cover the upper lid up to the crease formed by the curvature of the eyeball with liquid silver eyeliner. You want to pick a really metallic shade. I have gone over this with Rimmel metallic silver eyeshadow and then metallic pewter eyeshadow in the corner in order to set the liquid eyeshadow. Draw in the crease with the kohl pencil, and dab over it with black eyeshadow to set. Apply the pewter eyeshadow between the white from earlier and the black. Using a narrow but fluffy-ish brush, blend the outwards to the brow from the black. Begin pencilling in the eyebrow.
Add swirls and line upper lid.
The next step is fun when you get the hang of it, but requires practice. Take a liquid eyeliner with a brush tip and line the upper lid narrowly over the silver and draw in your swirls. Practice drawing swirls before going out with this. If you use a a brush-tipped liner you can get a variation in width of line when you change the angle. End a few of the lines with tapering ends, or with curls that form dots, practice drawing stylised leaves. I tend to have the swirls emerge from the lower lid line and the extension of the corner, and then have one emerging at the end of the crease following the curve of the lower lid. These swirls are going to have silver on them in the next step so I have included a few broad sections that look a little odd at this stage. You can stop at this stage if you want a sharper, more minimal set of swirls (my personal preference), or go onto the next for an extra level of fanciness. 
And there, you're done!
The last stage is adding the silver highlights on the black swirls in silver liner. If it bleeds out onto the black, then just line around it again carefully in more black. Just add small sections of silver on the broadest parts of the black swirls. I also added some dots in black liquid liner below the brow and tidied up the drawing in of the brow. I then applied white eyeliner to my lower waterline and applied mascara to both lower and upper lashes. Then you're done! Swirls with silver and snazzy metallic eyeshadow. 

Big hugs and huge thanks to my partner Raven for taking all of the photographs. Hopefully they illustrated all the stages clearly. Raven did a fantastic job considering that I am terrible at being a makeup model on account of being terribly inclined to blink when lights are pointed at my eyes. I did all of the post-processing because it was Raven's turn to cook dinner tonight and I did not want to distract him. 


  1. Beautiful. You do excellent "swirlies".

  2. Awesome when I get money for makeup I'll definitely experiment with this look.

    1. Don't think that you have to spend loads of money on makeup. I never do; all of this achieved with cheap 'pharmacy' type makeup - discount brands and supermarkets' own.

  3. Love the look, but not brave enough to try it myself, love the photographs, well done Raven, nice and sharp and the highlights have been held really well. Your not that bad a make up model, could have been worse could have been me!

    1. Thankyou. Raven is very helpful :3
      Be careful; I might end up randomly giving you a Goth makeover and re-name you Siouxsie :P

  4. Beautiful! I can never manage to draw nice swirles, they're either uneven or smudgy...

    1. I generally can't get them symmetrical and even on either side, so deliberately go for asymmetrical designs, with something in the same style but with a different pattern on either side. Smudginess generally comes from the tip on the eye-liner. I think it is best to either use the paint-like stuff that comes in jars with a makeup brush or to use the stuff that comes with a brush-tip built in.

  5. Ermagerd. I can never do shit like this!!


    1. Thanks :) It just takes practice, it isn't that hard.

  6. This one's great! I'll suggest it to my sister this one since we always shift our bonding time in to make up sessions and we both love playing colors with make up like kids do. ^___^ Thanks for the idea.


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