Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in Review - Eek


There's no mincing words here: 2015 was a rough year for me. Due to a mix-up with my study abroad program I was out of school for a semester which sunk me into one of the worst depressions I've ever had. I stopped blogging from January until May and spent a lot of days with my head under the blanket on the verge of a panic attack because I thought I wouldn't graduate on time. It wasn't fun or glamorous, it was just a mess.

So last year I had a list of goals for this blog for 2015 that just didn't get done. Two posts a week? Try not posting for five months. Guest posts? Nope. Revamping old posts? Still nope. I guess what I did do was get into Instagram, where you can follow me @theeverydaygoth for fashion, cats, planners, hauls, and more. But even that was pretty sporadic until recently.

Side note: I didn't realize quite how few selfies I took this year until I went back to find some for a yearly wrap-up post on Tumblr. This is something that has to change for 2016.

Things started to turn around for me when I got back to school in September. I spoke with my adviser and set up my schedule so that I can in fact graduate on time. I started two new jobs (including one with a counseling service--go figure!) and I feel better than I had in a long time. I've fallen back in love with this blog. I take a lot more selfies now.

2015 was a tough one, but I'm very fortunate to have the supportive group of friends and family to work through it with me. 2016 feels promising. The big thing I'm excited about is that I'll be graduating college with my Bachelor's degree in Art History and History in May. How time has flown! Remember when I was just applying? Eek. So, next week I'll be bringing you my resolutions for this year.

How was your 2015? Are you excited for 2016?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Evil Supply Co. Mr. Ghost Parcel - November & December Double Feature





The thing I like about subscription boxes is that it's something to look forward to every month consistently. Sure, I might order a package every now and again but even if I don't I know I have my Mister Ghost every month. In November I ended up being very busy with work and school so I didn't get to post my review of my ESC parcel, so here is a double feature!

The first box is called "Friends, Fiends, and Family." It comes packaged in a green sleeve with screen printed monster pals on it, which I thought were very cute and indicative of ESC's general style. I was very glad to add this one to my collection.




Here's an overview of the entire parcel:


The first thing I pulled out was the art print which is a cozy sweater-like or embroidered print which reads "Darkness Bless This Haunted Mess." Finally I have somenthing to hang on my door so that people are forewarned when I haven't cleaned my room properly. I think this would be a great print for any kind of entryway or even a cluttered office, it's really very cute.




Also included were these cute little stickers with skulls saying Hi! and Hugs & Hexes. I especially love the Hugs & Hexes one. I'm sure these would be very cute for care packages or other happy mail  but I usually put my ESC stickers on my planner so I can keep them all to myself. Oops.



The note cards in this package, on the other hand, are so good I want to share them with the world. My favorite is the purple Hugs! one. The art style gives me a lot of nostalgia for some of the cartoons I watched when I was younger (of the Boomerang meets Power Puff Girls variety.) It's adorable.



Next up is the December parcel! This month's theme was Eldritch Lumberjack. This parcel came in possibly my favorite folder so far with this gorgeous creepy skull on it. It was love at first sight. 

Here's the parcel in its entirety.

 Jumping right into it, let me show you my favorite thing. The notecards this month came with these wood grain envelopes. Now, I don't usually like to badger Evil Supply Co. into offering Mister Ghost items separately. I think that takes away from some of the fun of the Mister Ghost parcel. But! I need so many of these. So many. Anyone would appreciate receiving these, but especially people who wouldn't appreciate something covered in skulls (like the rest of my stationary.) I already used one to write a thank-you note to my Environmental Studies professor because I knew she'd appreciate it and now I need a full pack. A+ on this one, guys.

 Here are the note cards that came with them. These ones are cute little vignette like cards which I like, they fit the theme well.
 Next up is the large art print that came in the folder. I love the colors of this one, it's a really great pop on my rather boring beige walls. Hopefully sometime I can get these prints framed so I can make a little gallery wall of the ESC prints because I love them so much.

 Next up are the stickers. Like all ESC stickers these are nice and sturdy vinyl, which is good because I think a thinner sticker would have meant that the axes were quite fragile but they're perfect like this. The detail of the stickers is lost a little bit in these pciture but those circular ones are logs and in the center of the tree rings is a little signature Evil Supply Co. skull. Very cute.

 Lastly are the notebooks. These ones are fantastic--they look pink in this picture but that's only because they were on my very crimson comforter, but these are red in real life. I love the designs and I can never complain about getting more of these notebooks. I use them for everything--daily to-do lists, daily space to jot down notes, recording tarot readings, brainstorming blog post ideas, whatever! They're so useful.






So! Those were the last two Evil Supply Co. Mister Ghost parcels I received. Again, I feel like each of these packages is better than the last. So! If you want to get in on the next one (the theme is The Potion Maker's Authority) check them out on their website here. It's a great value and you can try it out for one month or subscribe, which gives you a discount.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reader Question: Goths and Vanity


Dear Lady Mary,
First, allow me to worship you. I love this blog to pieces despite having discovered it only a few days ago and have proceed to devour all of it (I don’t internet much, but the Lady of Manners sent me here). I would gush on, but I do have a question to ask of you. One post in particular caught my eye from way back, the “Five Ways Goth Improved my Self Esteem”. The five points you made resonated well with me, as for a long time I was, to put lightly, a goth-in-denial. I tried to fit in and be the cutesy cheerleader-like persona everyone took me for (I’m rather small, relatively happy-go-lucky, blonde, blue-eyed, dimpled, etc.). I even pretended to be afraid of snakes and bugs and bats because I thought that was what girly-girls did. I know, silly, but despite how hard I tried to fit in, most, I shall say popular, perceptions of dress codes, habits, and attitudes of a “normal girl” (is there even such a thing?) eluded me to a laughable point. As well as trying to be something I wasn’t at heart, I went through several rough patches emotionally, and it just added to the stress of it. But years of fighting with my darkly inclined instincts left me one day going “Screw this” and I happily traded in my pink flats for black stompy boots so to speak. As you have stated, becoming and being Goth for four years has left me with creative expression, wonderful friends and a family that accepts completely, expanded my horizons as you yourself put it, and increased my self-esteem skyward that I may now call myself beautiful and comfortable in my skin. I receive enough compliments that outweigh the jibes and thrown insults, and such leaves me all feel good fuzzy and tingly like a kiwi.

But here (finally) is my question, one I have been discussing with my friends for some time and would appreciate your input on. Because now more than ever I express myself through my style, at what point does self-expression become vanity for us Goths/Alternatives? Many who put down Goths say we do it just for others' attention, but in actuality many of us do it for ourselves. But for many outside the scene, to do things just because it’s what you want to do is not enough to excuse oddity or strangeness. Therein lies the rub. Vanity, to paraphrase Austen, is what we would have others think of us, while pride is what we think of ourselves. But is self-pride at times indistinguishable from vanity? When we spend hours perfecting our look before heading out just to go to classes, raid thrift store after thrift store, or spend money on yet more black eyeliner, what is the final step that crosses the line from expression to vanity however good it makes us feel? To put myself on the line, just yesterday I spent twenty minutes looking for a black lace skirt because it was essential to my outfit and no other would do and whoops, two minutes late to work so sorry will never happen again. As a subculture some of us make such fuss over looking absolutely our gothy best, do we in the end forget the “true essence” of being Goth? Or perhaps vanity is not as simple or as sinful as some make it to be? A question for you that I dearly wish to have your opinion upon.
 Yours Evermore,
MirriorMirror


Hi MirriorMirror, thank you for writing in to me and for your lovely compliments! I'm glad you've enjoyed my blog and that you're getting in touch with your spooky side. It's always nice to be able to express yourself in a way that's more authentically you.

This is a pretty heavy topic so there's a lot to unpack here. I think my thoughts would be that vanity is a social construct and that looking "nice" (whether that be handsome, beautiful, sexy, pretty, what-have-you) is expected but that taking pride in one's appearance is somehow bad. It's good to look pretty, for example, but if you think you're pretty you are conceited, proud, and vain (or a lot of other mean words.) This is usually gendered towards women, but not necessarily exclusive to them.

So, I'm a little bit wary whenever someone is accused of being vain. I'm very supportive of self-love culture. There is so much societal pressure to hate yourself and try to change yourself to fit one particular mold that to love yourself is a radical act. I love people who take daily selfies because they like how they looked that day, or people who spend a few more minutes on an outfit because it's a bright-spot in their day.

We Goths might spend a lot of time cultivating our aesthetics, from thrifting to DIYing our own clothes to taking selfies that show off our best outfits. That's not to say that Goths spend more time on that than other people. Based on your example, I'm sure there are non-Goths who have accidentally made themselves late because they couldn't find their favorite shirt. I certainly spend less time on my makeup daily than some of my non-Goth friends, but because we veer towards looks that aren't "natural" it seems to other people like we put a lot more effort into our appearances. More effort = more vanity.

As for the "true essence" of being Goth, I would argue that there really is no such thing. There's a long-standing debate within the subculture about whether or not Goth is more about fashion or about music. It's a fruitless argument, nobody agrees on an answer. I've expressed my thoughts on it more before, but basically I feel that you should do what makes you happy. If dressing up is what makes Goth fun for you, fantastic! If you prefer something more low-key, that's also great. Everyone gravitates toward the subculture for different reasons, don't let anyone ruin that for you.

So, in summary: Goths can be pretty vain and interested in our appearances, but not moreso than other people. It's also not necessarily a bad thing!

Readers, what do you think? Are Goths vain?







Saturday, December 19, 2015

Making Everyday Crafts Gothic

Finding specifically Goth craft inspiration can be a bit of a challenge. While there are wonderful bloggers out there who post their projects, they are few and far between. So, when you want to do your own DIY and crafts, you might have to look to non-Goth sources. But, if you're stuck looking at a project and unsure of how to proceed to turn it into something Goth-worthy, keep the following things in mind.



Change the Color

When looking at the basic outline of your DIY inspiration, be it a scrapbooking page, a sewing pattern, a miniature, etc. imagine it swapped into different colors. Black is an obvious choice but add jewel-toned accents, especially red and purple, and small shocks of white. Swapping anything bronze or gold for silver will also more easily identify it as a Goth piece.

Change the Material

If you're sewing, keep in mind that you can render your own version in more Goth materials to give it your own flavor. This is especially true if you're looking at clothing patterns. Swap basic knits and cottons for velvet or leather or add overlays of fishnet and lace to turn something normal into something Siouxsie-worthy.

Change the Motifs

Where the craft inspiration might be full of daisies and baby animals, you can add a gothic edge by swapping these motifs for something spookier. Bats are an obvious choice for many of us, but also consider spider webs, coffins, crosses, ankhs, moons, skulls, tombstones, gothic architecture elements, corset lacing, pirate skull and crossbones, and other things that are more easily identifiable as Gothic.

Readers, how do you usually add a Goth edge to your DIY projects when the inspiration is more or less plain?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Reader Question: Boyfriend's "Type"

Hi Mary Rose~

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about four months now and he recently told me that gothic girls have always been his "type". We have a good relationship so far but hearing that kind of made me uncomfy. How can I tell if he's dating me because he just wanted to date a gothic girl or if he really likes me?

Anonymous


Hello, and thank you for writing in. 

Personally, I wouldn't be concerned about that. I feel like I'm forever dating people who had childhood crushes on Sam Manson, Lydia Deetz, or other Goth girl characters. It's not uncommon for people to date people who are their preference, I do for my own (Nerds. Basically.) and it doesn't mean that they're just dating some for fitting their preference, not because of who they are. If your relationship has been good so far, there's no reason to end it now because your boyfriend likes Goths in general. 

The only reason I could see for ending a relationship under those circumstances is if you started to feel that your boyfriend only was with you because you're a Goth. Does he pay attention to those aspects of you that aren't so spooky? Is he okay with it when you're not dressed to the nines in your Goth wear? Do you have other mutual interests that your relationship is based on? Does he respect you and treat you well? If so, you're good to go. If not, that's when I would start to question your boyfriend's motives.

Readers, would it bother you for your significant other to say that you fit their general "type"? Would it be fetishizing or just normal? 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Goth Clothing DIY & Advice Playlist

In my series of posts showing you all some of the amazing Goth Youtubers out there I've so far neglected anything beyond cosmetology, but! I've recently been adding to and expanding upon my Goth Clothing playlist. In it you'll find advice, favorite stores, DIY tutorials, and more from some really talented Goths.



Who are your favorite Goth Youtubers? Have you considered making an advice or blogging channel there?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Winter Skin Care Tips

Yup, winter is right around the corner which means, once again, it's time to think about how to keep our skin healthy in the face of dryness, harsh wind, and other unpleasantness during the colder months. For those out there who are unsure how to get started in the realm of winter skin care, here are some pieces of advice I've picked up over the years.



Stay Hydrated

One of the most common winter skin complaints is dry skin. Even oilier skin types will experience this, and then the skin will produce even more oils to compensate. Of course you need to moisturize and lotion your skin, I'll get to that in a moment, but you also need to start at the source. Make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day (and, no, hot chocolate doesn't count.)

Sunscreen

Just because it isn't hot as blazes out doesn't mean the sun has disappeared completely (unless you really do live that far north.) Find a sunscreen that you like and keep using it on your face and the exposed areas of your skin to avoid sun damage even in the colder months.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is  scrubbing off the layer of dead skin that tends to build up over time and in the winter when skin is drying out this is especially important because it will help you get rid of any flakiness on your skin. You can do this multiple ways, including with store-bought exfoliates. My preferred way, though, is a homemade skin scrub made of mixing 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey. Mix until it is slightly damp but not soaking, adding more sugar as necessary. Then just scrub it on in the shower every few days. You can also use it on your face if you like, as the sugar is fairly gentle. Make sure to also gently exfoliate your lips, which can be a problem area for most people.

Moisturize

Once you're out of the shower, apply a moisturizer of your choice. Some people prefer body oils, some people like lotion. What works for one person's skin might not work for another, so what you chose really depends on your personal preference. Finding one that works for you, though, is super important and so is applying it regularly, especially after showering and right before bed.

Problem Areas

Take note of what areas of your body are particularly dry or irritated and give them a little extra TLC. For most people this would be your feet (in which case get a very thick foot lotion, or even just humble Vaseline, and apply them at night, wearing clean cotton socks over them to lock in the moisture.) Other problem areas though can be your elbows (covering your elbows in Vaseline/lotion and then cutting off the feet of old clean socks and sliding the tubes up your arms will help) or hands (you guessed it, gloves and lotion/Vaseline.)

I also tend to get quite chapped lips in the winter, so wearing Chapstick or another lip balm and laying off on the drying lipsticks is a good self-care method. And, for those of you that have piercings, be kind to them and apply a little extra of a non-irritating lotion to make sure they don't become dry and irritated.

Know what to Avoid

Products with alcohol in them, including some facial toners and most hand sanitizes, are very drying on the skin, so look for ones that are alcohol free. Also, go easy on hot showers, which can be rough on sensitive skin.

Special Treatments and Baths

Treat yourself to something a little more luxurious by making special baths to help your skin. Baths are a great time to add a few extra ingredients that are fantastic for your skin:

  • Milk and honey. Honey is fantastic for skin and the lactic acid in milk counteracts dryness.
  • Green tea. While touted for its anti-aging properties, green tea is also just fantastic for a general detox and bathing in it can calm any soreness. 
  • Ginger. A little bit of ginger in your bath is especially good at relieving symptoms for those of you who are prone to colds and the flu in this season. 
  • Baking soda. Did you know that baking soda softens skin? I had to try it myself to believe it but it does make your skin much softer which is great for dry spots. 
  • Epsom salt. Epsom salt is good for all kinds of things but added to a bath it's a great treatment for your skin and also good for your muscles. 
  • Olive oil. Note: be careful when getting out of the tub, olive oil will make it very slippery!


Reapply

Remember, your skin doesn't just need help in the morning or at night. Most of the triggers for dry, uncomfortable skin like low temperatures, high winds, and powerful heating will be happening to you throughout the day as well. Keep a small tube of lotion in your bag during the day and reapply regularly to avoid undoing all the work you've been doing up to now. Your skin will thank you.

What is your winter skincare routine?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Reader Question: Gothic Dorm Room Survival

Hi. I was wondering if at any point you would consider doing a post for people going off to live in dorms? There's not a lot of space in many dorm rooms. What pieces could someone bring to 1)be functional in college/on campus living 2)be able to switch up their looks + stay true to their aesthetic but 3)not have a completely cluttered dorm room. All the boots and jackets and accessories - it can get cluttered in in a fair-sized room at home. But on campus? It seems like a nightmare. Thanks a ton for reading my email.
Lyz


First off, congratulations on your college journey! I hope you enjoy it and make the most out of it. I'm just now at the tail end of my undergraduate degree (I graduate this spring, eek!) so it's cool to see people coming in and worried about the same things I was worried about as a first year (along with, what if my roommate hates me, what if I have no friends, what if my professors don't recognize my genius, etc.) 

First thing's first for moving into a new dorm is determining what the space you have to work with is like. Chances are you'll be given your room assignment prior to actually arriving on campus so that's a good start. Your college's website should probably have information about each of the dorms, maybe even pictures inside or floor plans to give you a better idea. Some information you should be looking for:
  • Who are you sharing your space with? Is it a suite, a single, double, triple? Is it apartment style? 
  • What furniture already comes in the room? Typically you'll have a bed, desk, a chair, drawers, and a closet. Some colleges might provide you bedclothes already, be sure to check the website. 
  • What is there space for? Is there no room to move the furniture around? Can you squeeze in a standing lamp?
Next, you should determine the rules you're going to have to contend with. While colleges vary about how much they enforce their rules, it is generally speaking better to be safe than sorry. Some typical rules might be:
  • No painting the walls or putting holes in them with nails or tacks
  • No adding furniture (including futons, comfy chairs, etc.)
  • No candles, incense, wax tart burners, electric blankets, fairy lights, lava lamps, or other fire hazards.
  • No small appliances (microwaves, mini fridges, toaster ovens, etc.)
  • Weapons (even if your prized sword is just decorative.)
So, what about a packing list? That very much depends on what kind of space you're working with and if you're cooking for yourself at all (and what your college provides you, see above!) 

Here are my must-haves for a dorm room:
  • Clothing (Duh.)
  • Bedclothes (Duvet/quilt, fitted sheet, pillows, maybe a spare blanket if you get cold easily.)
  • School supplies (Notebooks, pens, pencils, calculator, stapler, binder, etc.)
  • Desk lamp
  • Tech stuff (Laptop/computer, alarm clock, tablet, phone, kindle, whatever and THEIR CHARGERS!!!)
  • Dishes (Especially if you need to cook for yourself, but even if you don't invest in a travel mug and a sponge and dish soap.)
  • First aid kit, Toiletries, and Cosmetics
  • Laundry/Clothes Stuff (Hangers, detergent, a laundry basket [I've seen a lot of places tout collapsible laundry baskets but in my experience they always fall over and create more of a mess so I wouldn't recommend], jewelry box or organizer, etc.) 
And here are my "nice, but not necessary" things:
  • Rug
  • Real plants (seriously they brighten up your room like nothing else)
  • Bulletin board
  • Minifridge or microwave
  • Hot water kettle or coffee maker
  • Standing floor lamp
  • Fan for hot weather
  • Locking safe for valuables or money. 
  • Adhesive hooks for hanging up accessories, decor, etc. 
Now, you don't have to break the bank decorating your Goth dorm room! Yes, it would be really nice. to have a completely matching dorm room set with room accents from upscale Goth shops but in reality that's not going to happen. I have a great deal of cool stuff listed on my Goth Dorm pinterest board for some inspiration but buying all of it would, sadly, break the bank. So, my money saving tips are: 
  • Use things you already have. Already have a comforter you like? Already have great posters? Awesome. No need to buy new ones, then.
  • Decorate with your jewelry, scarves, or other clothing items!
  • Avoid big box stores when possible and go thrifting for furniture and decor. Invest in a can of black spray paint and you should be golden for decor.
  • Don't feel the need to decorate everything ridiculously when you first get there! Halloween is just around the corner, look for more things on sale then.
  • When possible make it yourself. 
So, how to add spook without adding clutter and without a lot of money? There are tons of ways, I have a list of 100 Gothic dorm decor DIY projects you can do to decorate your space the best you can. Here are a sample few of my favorites:
  • Cut out bats from black construction paper and create a flock on your wall
  • Paint a decorative design on a rug using fabric paint (bonus: keeps your feet warm when the floors are freezing.)
  • Use empty jars and cans covered in scrapbook paper or fabric for your desk organization.
  • Go to the fabric store and recover boring throw pillows with something Gothy worthy.
If you're concerned about clutter basically what you want to do is avoid anything that takes up floor space and instead Goth-up organizational things you already need and will use. So, many avoid stocking up on lots of little figurines or candle holders and spend more time making sure your bed clothes (the focal point of your room) and desk look nice and Gothy.

Also, make use of hidden storage. Find shallow bins to go under your bed to keep out-of-season clothing or things you don't need at that moment. Hang over-the-door hooks on your closet doors to keep purses or scarves out of the way.

You also need to make sure your room is clean. Yes, you will be busy. Yes, you will be tired. But nothing makes a room feel smaller than for it to be covered in mess. If you need some inspiration, check out Unfuck Your Habitat.

Other miscellaneous tips:
  • Having walls covered in posters is all well and good until they start coming down in the middle of the night and scaring the everloving shit out of you. Invest in good tape/tacks. 
  • Buy a corkboard and paint it black and then tack up smaller memorabilia and inspiration as the year goes on. It's a cheap, ever-evolving project completely tailor-made for you!
  • Mirrors make small spaces look larger (and also give a good place to take selfies! If possible arrange at least one mirror opposite the window to bounce light off and make the whole space seem more open. 

Readers, have you ever lived in a dorm before? What did you do to decorate?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Alternative Decorative Planners: My November Spreads

November was not an especially Gothy month for me on the planner front. The Erin Condren vertical planner that I use has a beautiful turquoise color for the month of November so I wanted to play that up as much as I could. Besides that, I've been having a lot of trouble finding Goth appropriate stickers post-Halloween! Which is a bummer. It's not that I'm surprised, but it's going to be kind of annoying finding things to make these spreads appropriate for gothy types. Still, here's a look at the planner spreads I did make for the month of November.

 P.S. If you're not familiar with my decorative planning, check out my first post here and then my October spreads. Most of the stickers are from Etsy and the washi tapes are either from Etsy or Michaels. For more specifics, follow me on Instagram @theeverydaygoth where I tag the shops that I use in every spread.


First up is my monthly spread. This spread isn't particularly busy, which is weird considering how many things I had to do this month. I think if I filled in everything I had to do I would have just not been able to read it. Still, I loooove the clocks washi I used here and the blue flower washi, both from Etsy.


So I'll start off with November first, which just happened to be my Halloween spread which you've all seen before. I loved this week, the classic black and orange spread really got me in the mood for Halloween. It was crazy busy but that was perfect for me.


From November 2nd  to November 8th I did a peacock theme. I loved these colors together, the were perfect for my mood and all of these feather stickers are gorgeous. I still have a handful of these so maybe I'll fit them into another spread somewhere.
Next up I did my most gothy spread of the month: pastel goth Monster High! I found a booklet of Monster High stickers from Michaels on sale for a dollar and I just dumped them all into this spread. I love that bat washi down at the bottom and that "RIP Work Week" sticker. It definitely put me in a fantastic mood.


Unfortunately, next up I did a spread that I'm not all that thrilled about. This was supposed to be a vintage circus theme but I just don't think I had enough stickers to really pull this off and make it work. Also, I decided to write in a gold gel pen but that just made it more difficult to read and it seems messier to me so... bleh. 



This is another spread that is super not gothy but I'm absolutely in love with it so I don't care. This is November 23rd to November 29th and, since it was Thanksgiving week, I wanted to do something that reminded me of home. I picked these gorgeous turquoise, orange, and brown colors and did a folksy theme that reminds me a lot of my mother. So, I call this week a success overall. 
 

Lastly, this is the upcoming spread for November 30th-December 6th. I haven't used this week yet, as you can see, so it's just what my spreads tend to look like at the beginning of the week. As you can see, it's Slytherin themed because that's my Hogwarts house (and because I'm obsessed with green and silver as a color scheme, which transitions well into the ECLP December colors which are green and light blue.) This was also a fantastic week for washi-- that green washi at the bottom with the scrolls is one of my favorites, as are the silver keys that are in my sidebar.

So this month I didn't do a lot of Gothy spreads, but that's alright. Next month I do have a fantastic Nightmare Before Christmas spread planned which should get me back some of my Goth points.

Are you guys excited for December? What do you have planned?

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?

Hello,
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,
Pandora


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
(Source.)
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
http://etsy.me/1MGRgEP
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.
http://www.yosielllorenzo.com/paintings#1
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.)