Saturday, April 20, 2013

Goth Upkeep Days

It's no secret that the Goth look requires a lot of upkeep. While some Goths make it look effortless, there's little doubt that it takes a smidgen more effort to put on a whole Goth ensemble than to put on a pair of shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt. Today's post will be a little bit about Goth upkeep, what to expect, and how to manage it without losing your mind.

First, I suppose, you have to figure out exactly what you're upkeeping. Not everyone dresses the same, nor do we all care about the same aspects of our appearance. For example, I try to keep my hair color consistent and neat, but I really could care less for the color of my nails. Others might take care of their piercings and keep their body hair. It's all fine! Your body is your body. But, in general, what do Goths upkeep? From what I've seen, the most common things that Goths upkeep are:

  • Hair color
  • Hair style (especially curls and bangs)
  • Cuticle health
  • Nail color
  • Nail length and shape
  • Skin health (esp. acne treatments)
  • Teeth whiteness 
  • Eyebrow shape or presence
  • Body hair
  • Piercing health (esp. when you have stretched piercings)
  • Clothing maintenance 

While it might seem like a short list, the amount of time that goes into each of these can be pretty overwhelming. It takes me about one and a half hours start-to-finish to dye my hair, and don't even ask me how long for manicures especially after I have to repair the inevitable smudges.)

Thus, the concept of the Goth Upkeep Day is born. Every once in a while, some Goths relegate a day to catch up on all the grooming we have to do so that we're not impatiently waiting for our nails to dry five minutes before we go to the club. Depending on one's schedule, style, and body type, these can be from every two weeks to very three months.

Since it's a whole day largely spent on nothing (because you're sitting around waiting for things to dry or set or whatever), it can be a bit of a drag. Here are some tips to make sure your Goth upkeep day is as pleasant as possible:

  • Try to get all of your commitments taken care of beforehand. Work, chores, homework, blog posts, etc. should be taken care of before you begin your Goth Upkeep Day so you're not stressed about them while you're trying to do other things.
  • Take this time to recognize if some of the products you use are running low or need to be replaced. Someone remind me to pick up new tweezers.
  • Stock up on things to watch. While you're doing various treatments, movies are great background noise. Usually it's best to pick an old favorite so that you're not raptly paying attention and getting distracted while your black hair dye drips onto the rug.
  • Get the kettle boiling or crack open the take out menus, food is the best cure for boredom. Clearly. 
  • Get everything together before you start so you're not running out to the CVS looking for nail polish remover.
  • Try more typical spa treatments! I like Lush bath bombs, personally, but there are tons of options out there. 
  • Save any handicraft projects until you're done with your nail polish. Trust me. Bad things happen. 
  • Don't be afraid to spoil yourself a bit if it's an option for you. Vanity is not a sin in the Goth world.

So, do you all have Goth Upkeep Days? What do you do you them? If not, how do you schedule the upkeep for your look?


  1. My main upkeep is my hair, which has once again faded to an ugly red-ish brown color. *sigh* Time to dye it again. If I knew what I was doing wrong maybe I could mad it last longer?

  2. Mmmm, I love making time to pamper myself! Doing my nails, cutting my bangs, skin care, curling my hair. The upkeep of hair dye is replaced by brushing out and resetting wigs though, lol. And clothing maintenance takes up quite a chunk of my time, but is just as satisfying as deliciously scented lotions and whiter teeth. Vanity is a wonderful indulgence.

  3. Hmmm, I never thought of doing something like this, but it sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration. :-)

  4. It's hard to find time for my own upkeep but it helps that for a certain film and lit class I'm doing we're required to watch old films that average around two hours - which always gives me time to do my nails, put a facial mask on and veg out while enjoying the horrors of Hitchcock. :3

  5. I've never spent an entire day pampering myself, but now I want to try it! This has also reminded my to redye my hair and also trim my undershave. It sounds like it could be a fun thing to do with a group of friends. Sit around, watch movies while making ourselves beautiful :)

  6. I don't knwo why everyone says it takes so much time for the "Goth upkeep". Normal people usually have to do the same - hair colour (although the colour might differ), nails, skin... DOn't they have the same bodies?

    And for myself, I spend about 1 hour every sunday with my upkeep. Every 4 weeks its about 1.5-2 hours, that is when I dye my hair. I shave, I lather in lotion, I do a facial, I do manicure and pedicure. Now I think I'm missing something because I don't take forever to do basic grooming?!

  7. I love Goth Upkeep! Mine doesn't take a whole day because it is really just touching up my roots (who loves blonde roots on black hair? Not me!) I usually rewatch a Tim Burton movie or something older

  8. I spread my upkeep out. Usually Sunday is manicure day. Tuesday is hair day (good deep clean and condition). Friday is skin care. I have finally found an exfoliant that doesn't make my skin weird! In the past, I have ended up with tiny cuts on my face that just become blemishes. But, I found this receipe!

    2:1 Olive oil and sugar. I use 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Also great for hands (I am a Super! Administrator! My hands get dry).

  9. I need to set aside all my snack money to make Thursday my Upkeep Day - Wednesday is Housecleaning Day. *steals Eco In Black's recipe*

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  11. Thank oyu for the tips!

    Hair color :Re-dye hairtips with purple every second week. When not dyed, apply hair treatment H'suan wen hua by lush.
    Cuticle health: Just cut them back, after shower.
    Nail color: Matched to the outfits. And to the hairtips. Don't forget the toenails.
    Nail length and shape: I'm hopeless nailbreaker, so I tried gel nails, so far so good!
    Skin health (esp. acne treatments):Love this part! Apart from daily care a quick mask every now and then, steaming to get rid of blackheads, daycream, nightcream and eyecream.
    Eyebrow shape or presence: I hate this part. I draw a decent shape with white eyeliner, and I have to pick and pluck them for ever, as I have a monobrow, grown together with my hairline. :D
    Body hair (and weird facial hair) removal: Veet coldwax strips.
    Clothing maintenance: Sewing, repairing, re-dyes.
    "Brush wash" is also a part of my beauty day.

    I usually do beauty maintenance in one go, weekly, but sometimes (during exam period) even a proper shower counts a "upkeeping". :D

  12. I like this, I should do this. Thanks for the tips, miss.