Thursday, 17 November 2011

Why I don't upload more frequently

Pepper has an uncanny ability to sense the webcam switching on and, 8 out of 10 times, will try and steal the show.

For the record, this is NOT what The Sisters sound like.

As if the death of Ms. Lancaster wasn't enough

Tram thugs stamped on head of woman, 22, at Bury Metrolink stop 'because she was dressed as a Goth' | Prestwich Advertiser -

This is horrifying. Both people had some serious blows to the head, it's amazing they're alive and conscious.

Living up in Glasgow which has a fairly large goth population alongside the infamous 'ned' culture, the worst I've ever received was the indignity of being likened to a Linkin Park fan - attacks do happen but I don't feel particularly threatened 'as a goth' and regularly go out and about in full regalia without a single worry. That attacks like this are a serious concern for many still, particularly (it seems, I'm not certain) south of the border is just chilling.

Friday, 11 November 2011

This goth does not glorify death.

Today is Armistice Day; on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Europe stopped beating itself into a bloody pulp for 21 years.  Tomorrow, across the continent and here in the UK, wreath will be laid cenotaphs, monuments and graveyards to commemorate the sacrifice of countless young men, men who went into the war believing it'd all be over soon and no-one would get too badly hurt.

Today I mourn the fact that, 93 years on from The War To End All Wars, when almost all who were alive to witness these events are resting beneath the soil, we still have wars, still wear poppies to support the injured and their families, still make excuses for killing innocents and wasting the lives of soldiers. Every war since 1918 is another insult to those who fought in the hopes that we would never again have to go through such horrors.  Let us not forget, also, those conscientious objectors of their day. It takes braveness beyond measure to stand up for what's right in the face of a firing squad, and looking back, knowing (as they believed) how senseless and brutal WWI was, they deserve their place in history too.  There is no day to commemorate them.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Goths to hug

I fully recommend hugging Voltaire.  The coat makes it even better.

Beware the wandering hands, though. ;)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

But what about the MUSIC, man?

Background music: Road of Bones by the March Violets (Love Will Kill You EP). Yes, I recommend these people and all their music, old and new.
Wearing a t-shirt for rising Dundonian-Scottish stars Surgyn, who may appeal to the electronic-industrio-EBM-something fans - particularly if they enjoy stylised, macabre medical imagery.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What did I do for Hallowe'en?

On the 29th, I attended a flat party in celebration of my friend's birthday.  Due to its proximity to the 31st it naturally had a costumed and spooky theme, so I decided to go as one of my favourite crazy old ladies - Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.  For those who don't know of her, she was abandoned at the altar by her dishonest fiancĂ©e and vowed, from that moment, never to forgive or forget.  She raised her adopted daughter to break hearts and remained herself in a time warp, stopping the clocks at twenty-to nine (when she discovered her betrayal), leaving her wedding cake to decay on the table and wearing nothing but her wedding dress and single shoe (having been half-way ready for the wedding when told) for the rest of her days.  In the book, she is in her mid-fifties, pale and waxy from her seclusion within her manor.

I got the wedding dress from a friend, who bought it from a vintage shop and never used it.  Interestingly, it's exactly the same as one modelled by Lady Amaranth in this set; naturally I was very excited to have at least this small thing in common with my modelling idol!

Model: Lady Amaranth
Photography: Kestrel
Photograph from model's LJ here
Last night was Bedlam, our monthly Goth night here in Glasgow, and as always the one that lands closest to Hallowe'en is appropriately themed.  I decided at the last minute that, much as I loved it, dragging a long white train around a busy nightclub might not be entirely practical and I had (of course) lent out my facepaints to a friend and didn't have time to get them back, meaning most of my 'quick and easy' costume ideas were out.  Looking through my wardrobe, I grabbed out an old shirt and jeans, crimped, backcombed and sprayed my hair into next week and applied my makeup as if I were looking into a mirror covered in Vaseline.  I don't generally approve of going as 'a goth' for Hallowe'en, but I make exceptions for those dressing as particular goth icons, not least ones whom I greatly admire.  (I have previously dressed as Rose McDowall of Strawberry Switchblade.)  Going as Robert Smith to a goth night also has the benefit of having large amount of people actually 'get' what you're dressed as.

Obligatory bathroom-mirror picture.

 Robert Smith has no need for phone shots.

Only one Edward Scissorhands query all night.  For those interested, the way to remove this level of hair-messing is to gently detangle as much as your scalp can bear slowly, carefully and methodically, then dunk your head in a bucket of intense conditioner whilst begging your hair for forgiveness.

Hope everyone else had a good time!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

White Foundation

Right, the video was of dreadful quality such that editing was nigh-impossible.  I was supposed to receive the new webcam today (Logitech this time, model which promises full compatibility with my system) and... didn't, so in the mean time here is a step-by-step guide for applying the most troublesome, oft-abused makeup in the scene.  Like many other goths on a budget, I'm using Stargazer white pressed powder and liquid foundation - you may be using Manic Panic across the pond but I doubt they're much different.  Though cheap, this can be used well provided care is taken.

Put.  The trowel.  Down.

YOU WILL NEED: oil-absorbing papers/papier poudre, white powder, white liquid foundation, translucent powder, foundation/concealer brush, powder brush, concealer (if you're a spotty mess like me), time and patience.
OPTIONAL: primer, liquid foundation in your own skin shade or a shade or two lighter, makeup setting spray

  1. Wash your face.  Exfoliate if possible.  If you're using facewash then rinse well, if you use cleanser then remember to tone to get rid of all the last smears.  If you're using the Oil Cleansing Method (I'll get to that later - it's magic), remember to wipe your whole face multiple times with a hot face-cloth, rinsing each time.  In other words, don't leave anything behind.  DO IT PROPERLY.  Do final rinse with cold water to close your pores.
  2. Got oily skin?  Let it sit for a few minutes.  Have a cup of tea.  Washing often triggers a release of oil, so you want to mop that up before you apply the makeup.  This has helped me a lot.
  3. Moisturise according to skin type.  Again, give it a few minutes afterwards to absorb.
  4. Blot your face with some oil absorbing papers. You can get these from E.L.F., Superdrug, Boots etc.  If you don't have any to hand, grab a tissue or kitchen towel.
  5. If you have it, apply primer and conceal any blemishes.  If you have oily skin, a LIGHT dusting of translucent powder afterwards might help here.
  6. Now for the scary part!  Put a little blob of white foundation on the back of your hand or a small lid - anything to hold it so you don't have to keep tapping it out of that damned glass bottle.  Using your fingertips, apply small dots of it all over your face and then blend, starting from the centre - I use circular motions as if rubbing in moisturiser.  You're looking to create a nice even base to build from.  If you're looking to have a mask-like effect then that's fine, if you want a more 'natural' pallour (as far as 'completely white' is natural) then you'll want to blend out to your ears and down to your neck - anywhere that's exposed.
  7. That looks rubbish, doesn't it?!  Don't worry, it's just the base.  You want to leave this to dry.
  8. Grab your foundation brush, pick up a little more liquid foundation and start blending carefully over your face, starting from the centre and working outwards.  Blend out streaks and pay attention to any areas particularly prone to redness.  Use small amounts of foundation each time.
  9. Continue like this until you reach your desired level of whiteness, then set with a dusting of white powder and some setting spray (if you have it).
  10. For a 'pale but not dead' look, you can do step 8 with a mixture of white foundations and your natural tone - I keep some of this mixed up in a little pot for those occasions when 'sheet' may not be an acceptable look.
You're done!  Yes, that took a bit longer than your average foundation application, but if you rush it will look dreadful. If you are using a cheap brand then remember to check it every so often for signs of smudging and creasing, but this should have been minimised.

[UPDATE: Here's a video tutorial showing the most popular way to add paleness as in step 10.]

Friday, 21 October 2011

Next tutorial - White foundation

I'm currently stuck with this laptop's inbuilt cam and mic after ages of fruitless wrangling with both my desktop and netbook and the separate camera, so this video is not exactly beautiful (but it IS in focus ad mostly the right colour, hurrah!).  I'm also getting my head around new software because, as many already know, Windows Movie Maker is not designed for people who want to actually edit their videos.  All should be done by the end of the week.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Eyeliner 101 - It goes 'round your eyes.

I'm here at last and I've made a video.  This covers the absolute basics of applying pencil, liquid and gel liner - where it goes, how best to apply and how to do one form of basic cat-like eye.  No more, no less; this one's for the beginners.  Don't worry about the rubbish focus at the start, the camera was adjusted for close-ups so you can see what I'm doing.

A bit more on eyeliner types:

PENCIL: Also called Kohl.  This is your absolute basic must-have, great for touch-ups, colouring one's waterlines and creating smoky eyes as well as marking where you want liquid liner to go or filling in between lashes.  Also useful to keep in your pocket just in case you or your friends need to be gothed up in an emergency (such as when visiting nurseries - kids love odd-looking people and all goth recruiters know it's best to catch them when they're young).  Most need a sharpener, aside from those 'automatic' twisty ones. 

LIQUID: More long-wearing and versatile than the pencil, this also requires a bit more care when applying. Has various methods of application but generally you'll get 'felt-tip' and 'brush' types. Rest your arm on a table or steady your hand against your face to help minimise wiggles. Use light strokes for fine lines and press a tiny bit more (don't hurt yourself, red-eye is not a good look) for heavier lines.  Wipe excess off the brush before applying and don't fully open your eye until it's dry lest you get blobs of it right under your eyebrow.  A good all-rounder and a must if you want to add wings, dots or flicks beside your eyes - pencil is just too smudgy for this.  DON'T GET THIS IN YOUR EYES, IT'S BLOODY SORE.

GEL: The ultimate eyeliner, and thus the most expensive.  Requires a separate brush, you decide which you think is best.  Good ones are smudge, budge and water-proof, and as stated in a previous post of mine it will stick about even on oily skin.  Very good for drawing extra curlicues if one is so inclined, but remember - if you look like you have a skin disease when you're done, you're probably best leaving those out.

Final tip - don't apply eyeliner before preparing a dinner that has chopped onions in it.

[ETA!  Chris Chaos, burlesque performer, MUA and moustacher-wearer extraordinaire has done a nice quick tutorial for those who prefer a little definition without having big thick lines.  Guyliner my foot - anyone can do this. ;)]

Friday, 2 September 2011

What I'm testing tonight

Forgive the dreadfully-lit picture and somewhat daft expression. I'm off to dance the night away and, should my makeup last, I'll have a couple of things to recommend and use in my eyeliner review.

Foundation a mixture of Lily Lolo Porcelean and Gothic Geisha white mineral powders (both in the big makeup list below), eyeliner Maybelline Lasting Drama gel liner (new in today, never used before), lipstick Rimmel, eyeshadow MUA.

ETA: Here's what the eyeliner looked like after a night of dancing.  I'm bedraggled, sweaty and tired, but the black has not budged  - not a single trip to the mirror for touch-ups required!  We have a winner!

Monday, 15 August 2011


Here's why I've been shirking my responsibilities:


Friday, 12 August 2011

'Help, my brother is dating a goth!'

I found this one on Spookywebs daily.  My response could have been about a million times sarkier, but I went for the 'helpful with an irritated undertone' style instead.  I wasn't unnecessarily mean, was I?

Question by Poor: How do I stop my brother from dating a goth chick?
A goth chick? My brother is a freakin idiot, how do I stop this?

"As a long-time goth myself, I can cheerfully tell you that not only should you not police his partners based solely upon their fashion/music choices, but you can also be assured that, despite media hype, goths are often rather nice people who like baking, happy music and making friends – not ‘satanic rituals’, ‘drinking goats blood’ or ‘eating children’.
Instead of trying to stop your brother from dating people in your personal disapproval list, I would suggest that you examine WHY you are so offended by his choice in ladies – perhaps even read a few things about goths BY goths to find out if your prejudices are substanciated
[oops, clumsy typo-there!]. If you end up broadening your mind it will surely lead to a happier relationship between you, your brother, and his likely-rather-nice girlfriend, and will set you up for more lovely new friendships and good interpersonal relationships in the future."

I should also have added that the new girlfriend probably has a similarly poor view of this person's clothing, hence why she looks a bit different. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Unedited image of the Author

So you know what I look like with the makeup I advocate below.  It's not exactly 'flawless airbrushed super-HD OMGWOW!' that many advertisments claim but it works well enough for me.

No tricks, no unnecessary bending! 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


My new webcam has been dispatched, so I'll hopefully be back with another video tutorial (I'm thinking an eyeliner 101)  around the end of the week.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Goths on a budget - what brands are best for makeup?

As someone who's been funding her gothery with pocket money, allowances and student loans for a long time, I've had to get good at knowing what makeup is worth shelling out for and what's easily accomplished with cheap, ubiquitous high street brands.  Here's a quick list of what I use or have tried in the past and feel are worth recommending, almost all £10 or less (many less than a fiver).  A lot of use use a LOT of cosmetics and they can eat into one's budget very quickly, so I hope this'll be of good use.
List will be updated sporadically if anything else pops into my head or gets a strong recommendation.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Things I Would Like to Cover

A brief list of everything  I can think of that I think would be relevant to some of your interests:

  • Eyeliner
  • Foundation - powder, liquid - especially WHITE foundations
  • Lips
  • Piercing care
  • Bat-shaped cookies (because I get hungry).
  • How to survive your first visit to the goth club
  • Bands I'd recommend to cover at least SOME of the range Goth has to offer
  • More hair, including cutting one's own (something I have done for nearly 10 years without a single regret.)
  • Clothing and DIY (sewing basics, what fabrics are useful, possibly a couple of full garment tutorials along with accessories and customising)
  • What Goth is and isn't
By no means an exhaustive list.  Suggestions welcome.

I plan to get a better webcam next month.  Here's to a less blurry future.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Backcombing for long fine hair

Goth's roots in 70's punk has given rise to some very distinctive styles; the archetypal gothic hairstyle is messy, ratty, teased, backcombed, wild and above all BIG, a la Siouxie or the infamous death hawk. I've long admired these great cloudy styles but have the problem of having very long, fine hair that won't hold a curl and back-combs extremely reluctantly, collapsing and straightening rapidly over time no matter how much spray and crimping I use. However, if one in my situation still wants a big spiky style, there is a way - you must first take the weight out of your hair. Here's one example of a style I use that happily stays up for as long as one would like.

YOU WILL NEED: a brush, a fine toothed comb, Kirby grips (bobby pins), bun pins, hairspray. OPTIONAL - spiral pins (shown in video).


1) Wash, brush and straighten (if hair is particularly curly or unruly) your mane.

2) Brush hair into a ponytail at the top-centre of your head. This doesn't have to be too neat. DO NOT TIE; hold in place.

3) Twist hair up tightly as if for clipping with a bulldog-grip or making a roll.

4) Using bun pins and spiral pins (if you have them), tightly pin twist to head, from base of twist to the top of your head at the back.

5) Loosen twist slightly. Holding the length of your hair along the centre of your scalp, use Kirby grips to tack it down along one side.

6) Pull out a few strands of the hair from the top and arrange all loose hair down one side of your head. It should hang between your ear and the corner of your eye.

7) Lift small sections of loose hair from the top and backcomb by sliding the comb up and down the length. Repeat with all loose hair. Hang backcombed sections to opposite side of head to keep them out the way.

8) Hairspray the lot, concentrating on the base of the strands (nearer the scalp) to support and hold the backcombing.

9) Push hair back to original side of head, arrange/tame. Enjoy.

The Intro

Hello, hello!  Welcome, blaaaa, suck your blood et cetera.  I'm here to chew ass, kick gum and write tutorials, but now both the donkey farm and Wrigleys has issued restraining orders I can really only do one thing.

I'm a 22 year old ladygoth from the murky, moist, muddy land of Scotland.  I have been attending goth, rock and other alternative clubs from the moment I turned 18, and I consider my demure, plain-dressed days of high school to have been a phase of which I'm glad to have grown out.  I now look and dress the way I've wanted to for at least a decade, and listen to everything from Aphex Twin and Bauhaus to Radiohead and Corpus Delicti.  I'm far from an expert of 'the gothic scene' and freely admit I don't know it all, but I doubt anyone can really say that.

So, if I don't know everything, what am I writing tutorials on?  Basically, everything that's bugged me.  The people who forget the golden rule of Don't Touch The Goth.  People who apply white foundation like a five-year-old with Snazaroo's trying out their first clown costume.  People who 'can't do eyeliner' but clearly have never tried.  People who say they want to experience the goth scene but then decide they only like the fashion and keep asking for Kings of Leon at the goth club whilst loudly complaining about how shit all this 80's whineycrap is.  YOUR FACE.
It won't all be negging though.  I have loads of people come up and ask me if I can teach them how I did a certain makeup style, or where I learned to sew, or what bands I'd recommend to someone who is just starting out.  Having been there not so long ago, I know how scary The Scene can seem for someone who's never really experienced it before, and it's not helpful to just write them off as posers and try-hards and the never give them a chance to have fun and develop.

The scene's not dead, kiddos.  Welcome in - but please, take note of what others have to say and don't make too much of a tit of yourself, okay?  We live in the world of the internet - you have even less of an excuse than the older ones did.  GET YERSEL' LERNT.