Alt Makeup Featured Image

10 Alt Makeup Looks for the Ultimate Self-Expression

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Featured Image: @kira_conley

Wondering how to stand out and show off your unique self with alt makeup?

Whether you’re just exploring this alternative world for the first time, or you’re a seasoned alt pro, we have the best inspo looks you’ll NEED to try and how to achieve each look made just for you!

Key Takeaways

  • Alt makeup is a form of self-expression that defies conventional beauty standards, emphasizing individuality and creativity influenced by gothic, punk, and social media aesthetics.

  • Mastering alt makeup aesthetics involves essential items like black eyeliner, dark matte lipsticks, and dramatic eyeshadow shades to create bold, defining looks.

  • Alt makeup styles range from the ethereal, creative, and otherworldly—to the dark and mysterious, with cultural references like the neo-grunge movement and the cyberpunk genre, offering endless possibilities for personalized expression!

Exploring the Alt Makeup Universe

Alt Makeup Look with White Extensions
source: @eemilyxpaigee

Alt makeup is a vibrant universe that challenges traditional beauty norms and celebrates individuality.

It’s an exciting journey of self-expression and creativity that encourages us to discover personal beauty beyond standardized ideals. As the influence of social media aesthetics grows, alt makeup champions the idea of maintaining individuality over mass appeal.

This unique makeup trend is gaining popularity as beauty enthusiasts worldwide are embracing more daring makeup categories.

Beauty professionals are advocating for the alt makeup trend, emphasizing enhancing natural features and inspiring confidence through creative self-styling instead of masking one’s appearance to match industry expectations. With the global movements like Korea’s ‘escape the corset’ campaign resonating with alt makeup’s ethos, it’s clear that celebrating individuality is here and now!

Origins of Alternative Aesthetics

The roots of alt makeup are embedded in the gothic and punk aesthetics that originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These styles were born out of rebellion and the desire to express individuality and dissent, with makeup playing a key role in defining these subcultures.

Over time, the rebellious spirit of these subcultures was integrated into mainstream fashion, influencing beauty trends globally and helping to subvert traditional beauty norms. Today’s alternative makeup is a beautiful fusion of indie, rocker, and punk styles, resonating with modern self-expression.

Alt Makeup Essentials

Closeup of Makeup Products

Mastering the art of alt makeup involves familiarizing yourself with several key makeup products.

One such essential is black eyeliner, used to craft bold and dramatic eye designs. Whether you’re creating a classic winged eyeliner or experimenting with graphic shapes, a good black eyeliner is your best friend.

Dark lipstick shades in matte finishes are another cornerstone of alt makeup, adding a touch of drama and sophistication to your look.

Eyeshadows in dramatic shades, from deep purples to bright blues and greens, are key to crafting high-contrast looks that highlight the eyes. With these essentials in your beauty arsenal, you are well-equipped to explore the world of alt makeup!


The Gothic Siren

Alt Gothic Makeup White Hair
source: @spookykins

Create this stunning innocent look with Eyeliner-winged eyes, full fake lashes, overlined lips, and lots of nose freckles. If you want to achieve a similar effect, you can use circle lenses with wide, liquid winged eyeliner.

Our first stop on this journey through alt makeup styles is this siren winged eye with black outlined taupe lips. Drawing inspiration from gothic muses and music influences, this style features a dramatic smokey lined eye, dark lips, and a clean complexion. The Gothic Siren look is a mesmerizing blend of mystery and elegance, serving major goth makeup glamour.

  1. Layer and blend taupe neutral eyeshadow onto the crease for eye contour.

  2. Line the eye makeup with a Kajal pencil and fill for extra depth.

  3. Pair it with a dark lip by applying a black or dark lip liner, then blending carefully with a lip brush for precise edges.


Eyes That Mesmerize

Alt Look Purple Eyeshadow
source: @visceral.reflection

A key element in making alt looks is the classic and captivating smokey eye. We love this purple, clean lined look!

  1. Start by priming the eyes, applying tape on the sides, then using jewel-toned eyeshadows like plum, emerald, or ruby over smudged out black eyeliner.

  2. Create depth by using a lighter shimmering shade in the center lids. Then blending the colors together.

  3. Heighten the drama with an upper placement on the cheekbones of purple pink blush.


Lips Like Velvet Night

Joker Like Alt Lips Black with Pink Eyeshadow
source: @kryptglow

Bring out your inner joker-like lips with signature dark lips. Achieving this involves choosing the right dark lipstick shade and winging out the sides. For eyeshadow, think neon orange with graphic liquid black liner.

Crafting the perfect dark lip requires precision. Here’s how to achieve it:

  1. Outline your lips with black lip liner to define the lifted smile shape and prevent the dark lipstick from bleeding.

  2. Use a lip brush for precision, starting from the corners, then towards the center and blending outwards.


The Blush Forward Rebel

Rebel Blush Alt Red Hair
source: @libramalina

Next, here is a look that will make you excited to try! Smudge out a rusty orange, red eyeshadows together while keeping the look monochromatic. Use blush the same tone as the focal point and glossy red lips to finish it off! With blush being the blush forward style of this alt makeup theme.


The E-Girl Edge

Egirl Alt Edge Pastel Hair Black Lips
source: @strwberrycoffin

We can’t get enough of this STUNNING look! This look is a combination of E-girl and goth makeup elements with playful E-Girl accents for a unique and modern alt makeup style. Signature pink hues are paired with playful accents like individual lashes on the bottom, white and pink freckles, and pink nose, cheeks, and mouth corners.


The Cute Enigma

Alt Makeup Pink Purple Hair Matching Gloss and Glitter
source: @makeupbychelseax

This style features bright, starry smoky eyes with fun shapes and intentional shimmer, creating a mysterious and bold aesthetic.

For this look, use purples, pinks, and lavender shades to create a deep, rich smoky eye. Then apply fake lashes and black eyeliner to add depth, black lip liner and glossy purple on the lips.

The result is a mysterious, intriguing look that perfectly embodies the alt makeup aesthetic.


The Neo-Grunge Goddess

Halo Eye Alt Makeup Neo-Grunge
source: @sapplesauce666

This largely enhanced halo eye technique embraces the indie grunge makeup trend, combining long lashes and graphic eyeliner, with a burnt red lip color for an effortlessly chic yet edgy appearance. This style is all about embracing bold colors and turning them into a unique, captivating look.


The Ethereal Illusionist

Blended Metallic Blue and Green Makeup
source: @punkrplus

We love this blended, metallic blue and green look. This style incorporates iridescent eyeshadows, no eyebrows, and soft highlighting to create a surreal and fixating appearance.

Use a couple iridescent eyeshadow shades, like pearlescent white-blue or matte teal green, and blend it outwards. Smoke it out with smudged out, winged black eyeliner and dark green eyeliner in the waterline.


The Bold Line Artiste

Bold White Line Work with Pink Eyeshadow
source: @kryptglow

The Bold Line Artiste:

  • Pushes the boundaries of traditional eye makeup.

  • Focuses on precision and creativity in graphic eyeliner styles.

  • Uses striking geometric shapes and bold colors.

  • Creates a look that is truly unique!

To achieve the Bold Line Artiste look, accent the eyes with a white graphic eyeliner and sharp edges. Apply a diffused red around the eyes before the liner, around the tip of the nose and nostrils, and sides of the lips. For an added touch of drama, you can also accentuate the lips with a juicy, muted red. The result is a bold, daring look that perfectly embodies the spirit of alt makeup.


The Dark Fairytale Dreamer

Dark Fairytale Victorian Gothic Makeup
source: @sarahbeth.sfx

The Dark Fairytale Dreamer look can combine:

  • Victorian gothic makeup.

  • Spooky avant-garde elements.

  • Dramatic lashes.

  • Dark colors.

This creates an enchanted, bewitching beauty that is as captivating as it is mysterious, making it a perfect addition to your collection of beauty products with a little accessories and ultimate drama!

To create the Dark Fairytale Dreamer look, embrace black on the lips against dark eye makeup and visual effects like black freckles and graphic lines are used, enhancing the eerie yet beautiful allure of the makeup style.


Alt makeup trend is just a fun, creative version of you! Feel free to express yourself with sparkles, piercing’s, highlighter, and anything that makes your lower lash line pop.

We can’t wait for you to start exploring more with this “alt” feeling!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is alt makeup?

Alt makeup is all about embracing a rebellious and edgy aesthetic, allowing you to unleash your unique style and inner artist with bold, unconventional looks. It’s time to break free from traditional beauty norms and ignite a new level of self-expression!

How to do cute alt makeup?

To create a cute alt makeup look, start by applying pastel or any sort of fun colors and blending it out with a deeper shade. Add some lashes and lots of mascara for an effortless yet stunning result!

How to do emo makeup looks?

To achieve an emo makeup look, start with a clean and moisturized face. Create smudged, dark eyes using liner pencil and winged liquid liner, and keep lips and cheeks nude or dark-toned. This will give you the perfect emo-inspired appearance.

What is goth makeup?

Goth makeup is an edgy and bold choice that allows you to express your creativity through dark eyeliner, lipstick, and a variety of accessories, embracing your unique look with confidence.

What are some essential products for alt makeup?

The essential products for alt makeup are black eyeliner, dark lipstick shades, and dramatic colored eyeshadows – they’re the key elements to create a bold and edgy look!