alternative makeup tutorials
[Photos via Sharon Needles/Cosmo, Harley Quinn/Jackie Wyers, Poppy/Geaux Gretchen, Doll/Toshi Salvino]

How many times have you sat down to watch your favorite beauty personalities on YouTube only to think to yourself, “When would I ever be able to wear this look?” Artistic takes on makeup trends can be creative and over the top, but that doesn’t make them realistic for the everyday viewer. However, in our current reality of social distancing, there’s never been a better time to rock a wild look from makeup tutorials from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re a makeup amateur or a self-trained pro, there’s endless tutorials online for guidance. Shop your stash to follow along with one of our picks below or come up with your own inspired take on a full face. You’ll be surprised at what you can do when the usual social norms for appearances have been thrown out the window.

Read more: If you’ve wanted to be in a Neck Deep music video, here’s your chance


Here’s some of our favorite over-the-top looks that you should try at home.

1. Phyrra Nyx – brandless makeup tutorial

Featuring cruelty-free makeup, Phyrra Nyx gives you a step-by-step routine for a smoky eye with an extra twist: no brands are mentioned in the tutorial. A routine like this is perfect when you’re trying to follow along at home as there’s no pressure to use what is shown in the video. All final selections can be decided by you and what’s in your own makeup bag. The shimmery liner and bold lips are a pop of color much needed on quiet days inside.

2. Geaux Gretchen – Poppy I Disagree album art look

In the official start of her album-inspired makeup look series, Geaux Gretchen takes the spirit of Poppy’s newest release, I Disagree, and creates a tutorial based on the artwork. While she mentions that her goal is to make each product of the series “wearable,” some may find the final product a comfortable place to begin to experiment with their facade. Other videos in this series feature Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin and also recent AltPress cover stars, Green Day.

3. NikkieTutorials – bride from hell

NikkieTutorials proves that makeup is art in this next clip. At first glance, the exposed-jaw design looks like a decal or some other SFX material, a common practice shown on YouTube. However, Nikkie shows her entire process of hand-drawing the gruesome tear on her cheek. Halloween may be over six months away, but practice makes perfect—and who says this isn’t appropriate for a casual Friday?

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4.Toshi Salvino – seriously spooky IRL doll

Toshi Salvino takes dramatic makeup to the next level as a self-proclaimed “living doll.” With methods more commonly found in the drag scene, this spooky doll tutorial can test your skills to see how you can use your tools to completely transform yourself from head to toe. Bonus idea: Raid your closet for the perfect finishing touch—fake black blood not included.

5. Bailey Sarian – Mystery & Makeup: The Night Stalker

True crime fans, rejoice! Bailey Sarian posts regularly by discussing a true crime story while applying her makeup in her Murder Mystery Makeup Monday series. This video showcases an intense icy blue eye look that uses liquid glitter liner to its fullest potential all while Sarian discusses Richard Ramirez and his crimes. Viewer beware: These videos are for mature audiences only.

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6. Sharon Needles – COSMO Queens

The original spooky queen of our hearts, Sharon Needles, takes her turn in the popular COSMO Queens series via Cosmopolitan in this next speed tutorial. Slowing down the process can help you follow along as you wing out your liner and go for the black-and-red glitter lip you wish you could wear to class at least once in your life. 

7. Macy Lycan – ‘everyday’ easy emo

Depending on what you consider easy, this video might be the perfect first step in experimenting with more bold eye looks while balancing out the rest of your steps with more simple, natural-looking accents. In fact, this tutorial features Urban Decay’s Gash eyeshadow, famously loved by none other than Gerard Way. Macy Lycan also previously recreated the “Helena” makeup in another video.

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8. Alice Lockhart – dark e-girl makeup

Lean into the current trends and embrace playing with both your makeup and your hair. While the tutorial looks pretty standard, Alice Lockhart adds extra faux lashes under her eyes to exaggerate the final product. Delicate hearts complete the eye design, but feel free to experiment with your own shapes and sizes to become your own version of what’s hot right now.

9. Jennifer Chang – easy galaxy makeup tutorial

Who doesn’t want their whole face available as their canvas? This look by Jennifer Chang is the ultimate example of over the top, using space from ear to ear to create a dreamy purple galaxy. While sometimes you may worry about eyeshadow fallout under or around your eyes, it would be almost therapeutic to use a big fluffy brush to bring the color beyond its usual borders. Adding extra sparkle to the lips or brows is optional, but we think this look could handle it.

10. Jackie Wyers – Harley Quinn Birds Of Prey makeup tutorial

One bit of good news to come out of the world recently is theatrical releases being available via streaming earlier than planned. Birds Of Prey may be on your list to watch next, and what better way to get in the Harley Quinn mood than to give her classic look a shot? Master this look from Jackie Wyers and you’ll be ready to order the matching clothes and accessories to complete your transformation.