Wednesday, November 25, 2015

50 Little Goth Problems

I love being a Goth, don't get me wrong, but there are just some issues we tend to have to deal with that can be an extraordinary pain. Here are some of the ones that have been floating around my brain lately, with a peppering of snark.

  1. Accumulating a Victorian-esque collection of artful clutter is all well and good until it comes to dusting it all.
  2. When the only black lipstick you can find is dry and waxy or approximately $100,000 (plus shipping.)
  3. Trying to color-match black clothing while online shopping.
  4. Not really realizing how faded your hair has become until you dye it again.
  5. Having internet friends that you'd love to meet up with in person but they live waaaay too far away.
  6. The Look you get when you're in school and a professor or teacher mentions Gothic literature and Architecture.
  7. Wanting to have a parasol but not wanting to have to deal with carrying it the whole day. 
  8. Having unfinished DIY projects cluttering up your workspace but being unable to finish them for one reason or another. 
  9. Whenever you wear color there are always one or two people who act like it’s a personal attack on all they understand and hold to be godly and true in this world.
  10. Every time you find the perfect pale foundation, it gets discontinued. Every. Time. 
  11. Having extremely high relationship standards because of Morticia and Gomez. 
  12. Eyeliner that melts or fades halfway through your day. 
  13. Not especially liking tea but wanting to have a tea party anyway.
  14. Halloween is only really celebrated one day a year (however much you try to deny it and celebrate it every day.)
  15. Breaking in new boots.
  16. Having bought vinyl records before actually buying a record player.
  17. Black nail polish being the easiest to tell when it's chipped. 
  18. Feeling the need to stick up for the scene in the face of all the negative stereotypes even when you know full well some of those stereotypes are true.
  19. Heat. Summer. Ugh. 
  20. Trying to find a way to Goth up little aspects of your daily life because it matters, damn it. 
  21. Pet fur. On everything.
  22. Having Non-Goth interests is apparently a hard thing (for both Non-Goths and certain Goths) to understand.
  23. Scuffs on black leather or patent shoes. 
  24. Not being able to understand the words to your favorite song because they're either screamed or mumbled. 
  25. Becoming completely unstable in platform shoes. 
  26. Ripping the one pair of tights or stockings you actually wanted to remain intact.
  27. Brushing your hair after you had it teased up and hair sprayed all day. 
  28. Being unable to find the particular black shirt you need in a closet/floordrobe full of black clothing.
  29. Liking horror movies even though honestly 90% of them are completely terrible. 
  30. Having mixed feelings about Goth coming back into style because A) it means more Goth things easily found in stores but B) they're insanely expensive again. 
  31. Worrying about walking at night because you're virtually invisible to cars. 
  32. Loving talon-style nails but being completely unable to keep up with them. 
  33. Looking back at your old babybat style and being slightly embarrassed. 
  34. If you eventually tire of black hair, needing tons of salon appointments or bleach bottles to get back to a lighter shade. 
  35. How many of your favorite Goth icons and favorite authors, musicians, artists, etc. have passed. 
  36. Black, blue, and purple lipstick making your teeth look yellow. 
  37. The shock on someone's face when they see you without makeup for the first time. 
  38. When your google history looks like that of a serial killer because of simple curiosity.
  39. People who are still waiting for you to grow out of it. 
  40. Accidentally ruining a favorite vintage clothing piece and knowing you won't be able to find a replacement.
  41. When your velvet starts to bald. 
  42. Making a passing reference to the Goth Cabal or Goth Points and then having to explain that it's a scene joke. 
  43. Having to wait for October to roll around to find your favorite decor accents and craft supplies in local stores. 
  44. Uneven eyeliner wings. 
  45. The scene in your town being too small and non-existent or too drama-prone. 
  46. The look someone gives you when you show them what Goth music actually is, not what they thought it was. 
  47. Wanting to wear that Joy Division t-shirt without being quizzed by music elitists to name all of their songs and the weather the day Ian Curtis was born. 
  48. Liking spider themed jewelry, not actual spiders.
  49. When people make assumptions about what you like because you're a Goth instead of asking what you, as a person, actually like. 
  50. Always, every day: "Does it come in black?"
What Goth problems do you think we (almost) all deal with?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Goth Hair Without Dye?

I recently began reading your blogs and they've been so very helpful.
However, I had a question about natural hair color and working with it.
I have naturally medium brown hair and I'm unsure how to work it with a everyday goth look. I'm unwilling to dye or bleach my hair so it makes a lot of my everday things look "normal".
I'd like to hear any help or tips, and I'd love to hear your opinions.
Thank You Very Much,

Hi Pandora!

You absolutely do not need to dye your hair any kind of color to be a Goth. Yes, many Goths do color their hair to some degree but it's certainly not all of us.

Black and Red Ombre Clip in
If you want to try less-permanent color, though, you definitely have a few options.

There are colored clip-in extensions which you can add to your hair. These either come in thin strands of color for you to arrange over your scalp or one wide band of hair that you clip in under your normal hair and then blend into it. These are fantastic because you can buy several and switch them up fairly regularly.

You can use hair chalks (which have come miles and miles from the ones I used as a kid in the late 90's-- see It's Black Friday try some on her hair here.)  These give a "dye" to your hair without any permanent effects, although they can sometimes be slightly messy.

Lastly, you can also wear wigs. Now, some people seem to shy away from wigs on a regular basis. I get that, but there are so many people who wear fabulous wigs on a daily basis so you could at least consider it! One of my favorite Youtubers I mentioned a while back is Drew Disaster who wears beautiful wigs pretty regularly so check out her videos if you want to see what it might look like for you!

But you don't have to try to alter the color of your natural hair if you really don't want to! You can also just Goth up the rest of your look and not bother with hair color at all.

When I got your e-mail I thought immediately of someone I admire on Tumblr, the lovely Anna Hako who has brown hair and some of the most beautiful Gothic outfits I've ever seen. She's also a milliner and you can see her work on her Tumblr here.

One thing you can do is look into hair styles that make your hair visually interesting without the need for dye. Braids, buns, curls, teasing, whatever fits best with your look! Grav3yard Girl on Youtube has this beautiful late-Victorian inspired braided hair bun tutorial which I think would compliment any kind of romantic-gothic style very well. You could also go Trad-Goth and tease it up a la Drac Makens. If that's too elaborate, my go-to prettied-up hairstyle is to take the hair on my temples and pull it back in an elastic and then braid it. It's simple but it also keeps it out of my face and looks pretty nice.

If you find your hair too flat to do that kind of thing to, you might consider asking for layers when you go in for your next hair cut! Or you could do something more dramatic like an undercut if you wanted to.

By Love Like Style on Etsy
Then, it's time to start adding accessories!

Hats, alice bands, bows, and clips can all add a lot of Gothic flair to a look and they're available from a lot of different places on Etsy and elsewhere. If you prefer a simpler approach, find some pretty Gothic ribbon (there are some gorgeous Halloween ribbons still out there for this, but black lace will also work) and either bow it or braid it into your hair.

Hair clips are also a great thing to DIY because they're generally small and don't require a lot of expensive materials (although this will vary, of course, depending on how elaborate you want to get.) Here's a fantastic tutorial for a bat hair bow by Hello Batty on Youtube that I've been wanting to try lately.

Readers, do you prefer your natural hair color? If so, how do you goth-up your look?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ten Alternative Youtubers I Adore

I've never been a video type of person. I've tried once or twice but writing is really my medium. That doesn't mean I don't love Youtubers, though! I get most of my makeup advice from fabulously talented Youtubers and love to connect with other Goths by watching their hauls, rants, tags, and other videos. So, here is my tribute to them! Ten alternative Youtubers I absolutely adore.

So, without further babbling on my part, let's get to my list!

Drew Disaster has one of the most infectiously likable personalities I've ever seen on Youtube, she's funny and informative and just plain sweet. She's also the person that introduced me to the Limecrime scandal (luckily before I had got around to placing an order) and has made lots of great useful fashion and makeup tutorials. Check her out for sure!

The Gothic Alice does my favorite videos for finding new stuff to watch, a lot of her recent videos have been director spotlights and movie recommendations and she has a unique and super interesting point of view.

Caligo Bastet is one of the few guys I know of who does regular Youtube videos and they're always great fun to watch. Not only are there great makeup tutorials (especially for my Goth guys out there) and Goth tags, but he's also a pretty talented musician. Check out his live cover of Haunted by Evanescence here.

Besides being a genuine and informative, Bianca (aka Drac Makens) does some of the most unique and enjoyable makeup tutorials I've ever seen on Youtube. Her Jack-O-Lantern tutorial is really fun and whenever I want inspiration for something new and colorful, but still Goth, I always look for her makeup tutorials.

If you like creepy cute, chances are you'll love Kat Loo of Hello Batty. Her style is definitely included by Fairy Kei and Lolita but nonetheless retains an element of fun spook about it and it's great to see someone who clearly has a lot of fun filming their videos. She's been pumping out a lot of videos for the Halloween season, too!

Her most famous video might be a clip of her rapping Eminem's Rap God but that's not all It's Black Friday does! She does incredible makeup tutorials, fun tags, great hauls, and offers advice about goth fashion and lifestyle. My favorite tutorial is the Trad Goth brown tutorial which is one of my favorite looks ever.

Kaz Loves Bats does a lot of hauls, tag videos, and tutorials and spices it up occasionally with fun follow-me-arounds and videos from her band Esoterik. I'm also mildly, just mildly, obsessed with the color of her hair. It looks fucking fantastic, always. If you're witchy inclined, she also does videos about her craft and some guides for newer witches.

Snowy Lowther is another cheerful and fun person who makes fantastic advice videos that drew me in and great makeup tutorials and hauls that kept me around. My favorite video she's done is probably her 80's Goth Makeup Tutorial which is the one I point everyone to who is interested in learning more about Trad Goth makeup and style.

Victoria P is definitely a new find for me as I was searching for more channels that do fun tags and the like. Her videos are down to earth, her advice (especially for other black Goth women) is great, and her style is amazing. Her hair is another color I'm completely envious of. Definitely check her out!

I'm sure she needs no introduction as she's quite famous but I didn't know ReeRee Phillips outside of her modeling for a long time, it's only recently that I found her channel but I've been absolutely hooked. She does a wide variety of makeup looks that are pretty and colorful and I loved her coffin hangers DIY video.

I'm always looking for new Youtubers to follow, who are your favorites?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Benefits of Being a Lone Goth

I get a lot of reader mail especially from younger Goths bemoaning the lack of a scene where they live or an avenue to meet other Goths. It used to be something I worried about more, but as I've grown older I've come to be more comfortable in my identity as a lone Goth. Not to give the impression that I don't have friends, but I don't actively seek out other alternative types near me to hang out with over, say, someone who is non-Goth but has other similar interests to mine. Sure, there are some downsides to this, but overall I think there are also some benefits of not being terribly involved in the local scene.

Note: most of these are generalizations and if you have a great group of Goth friends, these might not apply to you.

No Pressure to Perform

Maybe you don't feel like dressing to the nines in your spooky attire one day, and that's perfectly fine. When you're around a community of other Goths, even if you're quite close to them, you can feel the pressure to be Extra Goth all the time to either keep up or compete with them. Lone Goths don't have this problem as much and can feel free to run to the grocery store without needing to tease up their hair or slather their face in makeup unless they really want to.

No Drama

It's certainly not impossible to avoid in-scene drama as a Goth, but where there are other people there are bound to be spats about who is dating whose Ex or who spread some rumor about someone else. Being a lone Goth means avoiding all of that drama from the get-go.

No Elitism

Hand in hand with Drama comes Elitism, his best friend and mentor. Since the beginning of the scene there have been people in local Goth hangouts who judge other people for not living up to their definition of Goth. Luckily, lone Goths don't have to deal with Elitists clucking their tongue at them for being a "poseur" for liking so-and-so's more recent album, or whatever.

No Defending Other Goths

This happened to me in high school when I felt like I had to take responsibility for the hoodlum-like behavior of a number of other alternative types. Being more of a lone Goth in your small town or community means not having other people saddle you with the behavior of people who share your fashion sense and not having to defend the entire Goth in the eyes of the general public. As long as you're well behaved, it's much easier to give the entire subculture a good rep on your own.

Do you consider yourself part of your local Goth scene? If not, what are your favorite and least favorite aspects of being a lone Goth?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Yosiell Lorenzo

Yosiell Lorenzo is a California-based artist who creates works that are right up my alley. Inspired by old world Victorian New England with a haunted twist, Yosiell's illustrations and sculptures are extremely beautiful works of art. Some of you may know this but at university I'm majoring in Art History and History and when I get a chance to talk to artists about their work it is super exciting for me. When he offered to send me one of his prints I was thrilled and said yes.
The print comes in this photograph folder which has a beautifully labeled title for the illustration, Belfry and His Familiar. The print is five inches by seven inches and the card is just a bit larger than that. I love this photo format. Of course, you could take the print out of the folder and put it in a frame on a wall but I love how it looks just propped up like a card on my bookshelf. This style of presentation was a common 19th century technique which you can read more about on here to give you a basic primer. 

The print itself is beautiful with impeccable detail, no graininess or pixelation to the reproduction. The sepia color and the figure's position really brings to light the nineteenth century influence and it's an extremely beautiful and charming image. It's the writer in me that likes to wonder about Belfry and the bat and about their story and Yosiell's website doesn't say much which just makes me wonder even more. 
Another one of Yosiell's paintings.
I just finished my art history finals so pardon me if I'm at a loss of words for this but one of the qualities that I really love about Yosiell's work is how it has a vintage folk-art feel to it. It's not just the sepia as you can see it in his paintings as well, but the almost smoky, sketchy quality of the art really evokes that period for me. If you've ever been to New England and spent a lot of time wandering around antique shops and estate sales like I have you might know what I mean. 

Yosiell's artwork has a lot of variety to it beyond just these cabinet cards that I love. His paintings have a lot more color to them but retain their own interior personalities that makes his work so interesting. He is also the creator of the Sicklings, a series of fantasy-themed sculptures that are very endearing in their own creepy way.  

So, if you're interested in seeing more of the artwork of Yoseill Lorenzo I really do encourage you to like him on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.You can also check out his sculptures and prints at his Storenvy, including this Belfry print.
(Also, isn't this business card amazing? I couldn't help but stick in a picture.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Reader Question: Too Many Goth Blogs?

Hi Mary Rose,

I'm hoping you can help me out. I would like to start my own gothic fashion and lifestyle blog but I feel like there are already so many. Is there such a thing as too many goth blogs? I worry that i won't have anything new to say or people won't read what I write because I'm new and there's so many cool bloggers already. What do you think?

Please respond

Xoxo Lacy

Long story short: No. I don't think there are too many Goth blogs.

 Would you believe I worried about the same thing when I was starting this blog in 2011? Yes, it's true. There were some really fabulous bigger Goth bloggers back in the day who seemed like they'd never stop, and how would I be able to compete? Now, fast forward and I'm by no means the most popular Goth blog, but I've carved out my niche. I've watched new Goth blogs come and go and some of the older titan blogs slowly peter out.  And remember: new blogs are started all the time, so if you continue to wait because there are "too many" Goth blogs, there are only going to be more later.

 As for whether or not you have anything new to say, that's up to you. I'm a firm believer that the blogger community needs all kinds of new perspectives and a newbie perspective can sometimes be quite helpful. The skills you bring to the community through writing, photography, art, music, DIY, tutorials, fashion, etc. are going to be valuable and people will read it regardless of whether or not you're breaking new ground with every single post.

So, for what it's worth, I don't think there are too many Goth blogs. I think the community can always welcome new people into it and the more perspectives we have, the better our Goth blogs will all become.

Readers, do you think there are too many Goth blogs? What do you look for in Goth blogs that you follow?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alternative Decorative Planners: My October Spreads

If you haven't seen my previous post about why I like to stick stickers and washi tape all over my planner, I recommend looking at it here. Essentially, it makes me more happy to use my planner because it's actually a joy to look at. There's actually quite a big community who do this kind of planner decorating so check them out on Instagram in the tags #plannercommunity #planners #plannerlife #plannernerd and a few others. Because I'm a bit spookier than the average planner user I've been using the tag #gothplanner to show my spreads to fellow spooky planner nerds so check my and their spreads out there.

First up is the October monthly view. I've been using the monthly view just to mark off big events for school and work which works pretty well for me. I also use washi tape to mark off the days that aren't in the month of October and birthdays. As you can see I went pretty Halloween heavy and it was a lot of fun. 

Next up is this week from October 28th to October 4th. I also posted pictures of these on my last planner post for the end of September but I really really like this spread. It was the perfect introduction to October for me. One of my favorite things from this week were Halloween countdown tombstone stickers from Addie and Allie on Etsy, I used them throughout the month and they were a great way to remember how close my favorite holiday was. 

Next up for the week of October 5th-11th I did a pumpkin spice / autumn coffee themed spread. One of the things I've decided to do with my planner is try to match my stickers as best as possible to the monthly colors that the Erin Condren Life Planner comes with. That way I can use fewer stickers and have to cover up less stuff. This was a great way to decorate within the October colors of orange and brown and celebrate the season.

In the next spread I did for October 12th to 18th I also wanted to continue to celebrate the season because I'd forgotten how absolutely stunning New England is in the autumn. This week I tried putting the countdown stickers on the bottom with the washi but I didn't end up liking this. Still, overall the spread is pretty cute and I decided to start putting a Next Week section in my sidebar so I can see what I need to start preparing for without having to flip to the next week to see my post-it notes. 

For the week before Halloween, October 19th-25th, I wanted to do a cute Halloweenish theme that would be different from the one that I would do for the actual week of Halloween. I settled on a purple, orange, black, and white theme which I ended up really loving as it got me in the spirit a lot. This week was also pretty washi heavy but it tied in the colors really well.

The actual week of Halloween, October 26th to November 1st, I wanted to do straight up classic orange and black. This is a crowded week because of course it is, I really wanted to celebrate it as much as I could. I'm kind of sad to be done with the Halloween count down stickers, maybe I'll make my own for a 365 Halloween countdown. 
So, that's the end of this month's spreads! Next month in the Erin Condren is my favorite color, a beautiful turquoise, and I think my spreads might not be quite so Gothy because I want to play it up as much as I can. If you want to see pictures be sure to follow me on Instagram @theeverydaygoth to see my spreads, sticker hauls, and more.