Summer Beauty As Per Pop Culture's Most Iconic Goths

Wednesday Addams, Fairuza Balk, Lorde--all the dark ones are here.
Publish date:
June 24, 2014
summer, goth, '90s, mac, Siouxie Sioux, Lorde, The Craft, Wednesday Addams

Once it came time to Tetris my AC unit into my bedroom window, I gleefully stuffed my pants at the bottom of my dresser and took inventory of my summer wardrobe, which is completely black, gray, and otherwise dark-colored. Nothing cheery to speak of.

Considering that the neighborhood I live in turns into a veritable theme park in the summertime--the streets teem with tourists and college kids roaming free--I pretty much become a moody, sour-faced wet blanket. Summer is when my true inner goth really shines.

Still, come festival season, amongst the flower crowns and Free People look book models, I find myself being drawn to those slick, storm-cloud-looking kids, probably sweating bullets in a meticulously styled outfit, equal parts glamorous and intimidating. The message is something like, “I look good… but do not talk to me.”

Darkness is a state of mind, even in the sunshine. So here are three looks inspired by three of my favorite canonical Goths of modern times.

The Wednesday Addams

Television’s favorite sullen tween from America’s favorite morbid family, Wednesday brings a youthful glow to an otherwise deathly pallor. I’ve always loved her pilgrim-chic style and no-bullshit attitude. Perhaps arson was a bit much, but hey, why would you put a psychopath hormonal teenage girl in summer camp? Here’s how to get that deadly-but-innocent look.


Even in winter, I'm pretty olive-tone. Manic Panic offers a lovely line of goth-geared makeup. Their Dreamtone Foundation in Virgin is like Wite-Out for your complexion. But it has a sheer, buildable consistency, so you won't end up looking like a mime (unless you want to). I find that a drop mixed in with my daily tinted moisturizer makes for great, slightly-paler-than-normal coverage.

If I dab a little extra around and under my eyes I look like I’ve gotten the best sleep of the century. BUT, I shelled out the $40 for YSL Touche Eclat and I find myself using that around my eyes most days. I let my boyfriend borrow some for a show his band played last weekend (they are theatrical sometimes, I guess) and now he bogarts it every morning.


After dialing up the brightness on my face, I smudged some light brown eye shadow under my bottom lashes. I’m using Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Eye Shadow in Cashmere. Then I mascara’d my bottom lashes and the very outer wisps of my top lashes with two coats.


Skipping blush, I dabbed Bobby Brown Rich Color Gloss in Ruby Red 6 on the innermost center of my lips, pressing them together to spread the color.

There you have it, the homicidal dolly look. I tucked my baby French braids under a wide-brimmed black hat, you know, for sun protection, duh.

The Nancy

Onwards through puberty, possibly my favorite teen goth has got to be Fairuza Balk in The Craft as Nancy, the tragic outcast queen-bee-turned-witch who got too greedy with the power of Manon and went crazy-town on Robin Tunney, who real-witched her ass to institutionalized solitary. Harsh. But while Nancy was in her prime, petting beached sea creatures and pushing Skeet Ulrich off of balconies, she was a pretty bad B. Aside from her increasingly crazed coif, she briefly sported a sleek pre-The Matrix '90s getup--think black patent leather, heavy hair gel, and dark eyes and lips.


After prepping my skin with a tinted moisturizer and a blob of Dreamtone Virgin, I rimmed my eyes in black pencil liner, from the waterlines to my lash line.

I then took a smudging brush and smudged some of that same Cashmere eye shadow from the Wednesday Addams look into the eyeliner, bringing it up to my crease and smudging into my lower lashes to give depth. Brows were defined with Benefit’s Brow Zing, going heavy on the gel and light on the powder.

With hair slicked back, all I’m missing is a black patent leather trench coat and a vendetta to be the most powerful teen witch in LA. But for real, I think one of my favorite parts of the film is when the girls are having a sleepover and Sarah chants her way into color contacts and a blonde wig. If only it were that convenient.

The Lorde-Meets-Siouxsie-Sioux

You can’t evoke contemporary goth in a pop culture context without mentioning Lorde. Say what you want about her pantsuit performance steez, the girl is a role model for young (and old) misfits.

Using products from Lorde's MAC collaboration (a modest, two item “collection”) I aimed to mimic her signature cat-eye and violet lips, but with a reverse cat-eye twist. The upside-down Lorde (The Satane?) is also a bit of a nod to one of the OG glam goths, Siouxsie Sioux, whose signature eye makeup made for one of my favorite album covers.


Being that it’s summer and sweat is inevitable, I figured I’d skip the complete Siouxsie raven eye, as glorious as it is, lest it run down my face. Nothing less than immaculate is acceptable for the summer goth!

For the lips, MAC’s Pure Heroine color looks a bit purple dinosaur in the tube, but the texture is something between a stain and a satin. I swiped on one layer and then blotted and blended the edges so the lines weren't so harsh. The end result is a more stained effect.

With these three looks, you can be scowling through all the sunny days of summer. I've been sporting The Wednesday most days of the week, and it really does wonders for my sullen aura.

Are any of you as crowd-phobic as I am? How do you keep the friendlies at bay? Who are your summer goth muses?