Emo Makeup Ideas

Crystal Schwanke
emo girl with dark eye makeup

Although there's a certain stereotype associated with the look, there are a variety of emo makeup ideas that stray from the traditional black eyes and red lips. By trying different techniques and products, you can achieve an emo look that's reflective of your own unique personality.

Easy Emo Makeup Ideas

Quick and Simple

Emo makeup ideas are generally simple to execute. This look isn't fussy or overly deliberate. The trickiest task is applying liberal amounts of liquid eyeliner. However, with some practice even this is easy to master.

  1. Use an eye shadow base all over the eyelid to create a clean canvas for your makeup. This will help it last longer.
  2. Pack a generous amount of dark shadow all over the lid. Use a shimmery, lighter gray in the crease to create an ombré (or color fading) effect. Want to add some more color? Consider red, purple or forest green as an accent color on the outer corners or at the brow bone.
  3. Apply liquid eyeliner below the lash line, taking care to line as closely as possible to the lashes.
  4. Apply several healthy coats of mascara.
  5. Dust a hint of color onto your cheeks, taking care to blend thoroughly.
  6. Slick a pale gloss on directly from the tube.

Add Some Color: Another Emo Look

If you want to spice up your look with more color, consider this makeup idea.

  1. Apply your foundation, powder, and a barely-there blush.
  2. Fill in your brows if you need to.
  3. Apply a shadow primer.
  4. Outline the outer corner of your eye with a dark black eyeliner pencil. Take the line up from the outer corner of the eye and over into your crease. Use the same color to line the outer half of the lower lash line.
  5. Set that liner with black powder shadow, then bring the shadow in and across to cover the outer half of the upper lid.
  6. Choose a bright shadow color. This could be pink, purple, turquoise--whatever you like. It's especially attention-getting if it matches your hair or clothing. Fill in the inner half of the lid with the bright color.
  7. Blend the two colors together where they meet with a clean brush.
  8. Use black liner on the upper lash line and smudged along the lower lash line. Be sure the liner goes all the way around the eye, even creating a point at the inner corner where the upper and lower lines meet. Also line the inner rims, or waterlines, but don't use liquid liner there because it won't stick and it burns.
  9. Apply black mascara.
  10. Finish with very sheer or clear lipgloss.

Creative Ideas

The most fun emo makeup ideas are the ones that allow you to embrace your creativity. Try these for a beautiful emo look.

  • Use colored eyeliners in purple or blue to make designs on your face, around the eye.
  • Draw a trio of stars or curliques around your eye.
  • Outline your eyes dramatically, like a cat's eye.
  • Consider bold, red lip makeup for a special date or a burst of color.
  • If you want a hint of lip color, try a stain instead of a clear gloss. Skip the lip liner, however, as lip definition is not important for this style of makeup.

Emo Makeup Product Ideas

dark emo eye look

Black is a staple color in the emo world, so you definitely need it to achieve this look. A few of these products are ideal:

  • Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara: Intensely dark, voluminous and dramatic lashes that mirror the effect of false lashes will be yours with this rich mascara.
  • MAC Eye Shadow: Try Black Tied, a true midnight hue infused with silver sparkles, or Charred, a pearlescent silver-gray.
  • Urban Decay Liquid Liner: You can't go wrong with this long-lasting formula. Oil Slick is ideal for a slightly less intense, yet still a relatively sharp look. Try Perversion for an inky black shade.

You'll also need some color for your face, although subdued is really the best way to go when your eyes are the focal point. Consider these choices:

  • MAC Studio Fix: You do want your skin to look flawless, smooth and a little pale; you don't want to look like a ghost. Problem solved with this cult classic. It's a dual powder and foundation in one, provides ample coverage and is great for all skin types. This is an optional step, though - don't feel obligated if you're happy with your natural skin tone.
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: Though it's not always called for, a hint of subtle color across the cheekbones won't take away from the emo effect. Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer in Blush is ideal for this purpose; it's less vibrant than a traditional blush, yet gives a healthy, extra-subtle glow. To wear, blend a small dab onto your face with a makeup sponge. Blend carefully - it shouldn't actually look like blush.

How you dress up your lips is up to you, but it's best to keep it simple and understated. Some people choose to wear nothing at all on their lips. A hint of shimmer is fine, but you don't want your eyes and lips to be equally dramatic; when one shines, the other should always remain in the background.

  • Philosophy Lip Shine: Gloss without color can be dull, but a little flavor adds some fun to the mix. Philosophy's glosses are packed with intense shine and they're available in a variety of flavors (as well as an unscented version).
  • Clinique Glosswear for Lips: Think soft and demure if you're adding color. Kitten Pink by Clinique is a simple, natural hue that adds shine and perks up your lips without drawing attention to them.

Emo Makeup Tips

soft emo makeup look

Foundation

Emo eye makeup makes eyes look large and luminous. To achieve this your foundation should be flawless. Foundation is not necessary but if you have dark under eye circles or blemishes, you should use it. Try these foundation tips for the perfect emo style.

  • Dab concealer under your eyes to even out eye skin. Even if you don't use foundation makeup, use concealer.
  • Apply foundation with a cosmetic sponge and blend it well at the neck and chin.
  • Makeup should match skin or be slightly lighter than your normal makeup.
  • Avoid using overly pale makeup or you will look Gothic or washed out.
  • Set the foundation with a translucent face powder and a brush.
  • Ask a department store sales clerk to match your skin with the right makeup.

Eye Makeup

The eye makeup is the star of this look. There is no set formula for the eye looks; they can vary from bold and colorful to dark and smoky. Try these eye makeup tips for a great look for school, work or fun.

  • Use a black gel or another dark colored gel liner to line your entire eye. Gel eyeliners glide on smooth and give you a smooth look.
  • Men should only line the bottom lashes of the eyes, not the top.
  • Roll eyeliner close to the eyelid keeping the line close to the lash line.
  • Allow the eyeliner to dry before you apply eye color.
  • Apply a bright shade of eye color from the top of the lashes to right under the eye brow.
  • Use contrasting colors to get a softer look.
  • Dab on one layer of mascara and allow the mascara to dry before applying a second.

Your Unique Look

Don't be afraid to experiment with colors and techniques in order to find your own unique emo look. Keep the focus on your eyes and be creative. The most challenging part of emo makeup is the eyeliner, so if you've never worked with eyeliner before, start with a pencil or gel and set aside some time to practice and perfect your look.

Emo Makeup Ideas