Anita Bhagwandas

Your lipstick starts off as gothic work of art–deep and rich, like the embodiment of Morticia Addams herself. But by the time the second support act has trundled on stage, you look like the wayward offspring of Paul Stanley and Mudvayne (remember them?). With that in mind, here are some of the best Goth-friendly lipsticks and insider tricks to keep that shit firmly on your lips.

Pick your shade wisely
It’s temping to go for black–why wouldn’t you? It’s the colour of the night, your soul and, well, anything worth giving a damn about. Sadly, it’s also the shade that highlights any imperfections on the rest of your skin. So before you apply anything else, make sure your foundation base is flawless–Make Up Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($43) can really help with that. If you’re going for black lipstick, my advice: Keep it matte and use a liquid lipstick formula like Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Weirdo ($18). This stuff applies like a liquid and seals onto your lips, meaning it won’t go anywhere unless you remove it, post-show. Try a daub of coconut oil for that–it does wonders and it’s cheap as hell.

Think about a stain
Ok, I know it’s easy to go all out on the lipstick. But a lip stain does that vampiric, just bitten lip thing better than any lipstick–and it’s easy to maintain when you’re hot and there’s a 15-foot dude sweating all over you in the pit. Firstly, you need to prime those lips. Here’s a cheat: get a little sugar, mix in with a tiny bit of lip balm and rub it over your lips. Wipe it off and they should be super soft. Now, get your favorite deep red or burgundy lipstick (some killer ones are NARS Lipstick in Fast Ride ($27) and NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Maroon ($4.50) and apply some of the lipstick to your index finger. Gently pat the color onto the center of your lips and blot with a tissue. Now repeat. You’re done, gig-ready and waiting to be bitten. Where’s Andy Biersack?

Get the right lip liner
Ok, so if you do want to go down the whole mega-Goth lipstick route I’m not stopping you. I’m just saying, you’ve got to get a good lip liner involved if you want to avoid it bleeding everywhere are ruining your ghostly appeal. Use a liner to line your lips AND to fill in your lips before you use your lipstick for added staying power. Try MAC Pro Longwear Liner in Bespoken ($20), which glides on and adheres to the lips like no other lip liner. If bleeding lipstick is a big issue for you, try Lipstick Queen Invisible Lip Liner($18). It seals in any tiny cracks or crevices around your lips to make sure your lipstick stays where it should.

Go matte, or go home
Berry glosses and lipsticks with a shine or moisturizing finish are hard work. They’re great when you have the time to retouch them every hour or so, but if you’re at a show, all your attention should be on the band. So go for a matte lipstick or a matte liquid lipstick formula. Some of the best dark matte lipsticks are Illamasqua Lipstick in Growl ($26), which is a super-matte dark berry–Edward Cullen would approve–and LA Colors Matte Lipstick in Cocoa ($11.99), which works especially well on warmer skin tones.

For the ultimate, sweat, gig and kiss proof lipstick that you don’t have to reapply, try a liquid lipstick. LA Splash Cosmetics Lip Couture Lipstick in Vampire, OG Ghoulish and Untamed ($14) suit everyone, are waterproof and last forever (perfect Warped Tour lipstick, #justsayin.) They create some of the best Goth lipstick looks known to the underworld. Chris Motionless would DEFINITELY approve.