Maintaining funky hair colors and keeping a fierce eyeliner wing intact are probably the two hardest parts about maintaining an alternative style. Every shade of hair dye eventually fades to an unflattering orange, green or grey. If you wear heavy makeup to a show and don’t come out looking like a raccoon, you deserve a standing ovation. Here are a few products and tips to help keep that amazing look through everything from mosh pits to late-night pizza sessions.  



Splat hair color works as an incredible base. It comes in every color you can imagine, and can even be turned into pastel variations.  It’s more on the permanent side of the semi-permanent hair dyes and is a great starting point for hair color. That way, if you dye on top of it later, your color will fade back to the Splat shade and not what’s bleached underneath. (The best way to avoid gross oranges and greens when colors fade!)

Splat Blue Envy hair dye-average price $10 at your local drugstore

Manic Panic

After you have a solid base color in for two weeks, go back in with Manic Panic dye in a similar shade. Manic Panic uses a vegan formula so it’s not as chemically damaging to hair as most dyes. Going back in with this brand will help brighten and revive the color without harming the integrity of your hair.

Manic Panic High Voltage Classic Cream hair color-$13.99


The brand made by hair color maven Hayley Williams has to be good, right? RIGHT. The Paramore frontwoman created this signature line of dyes with pal (and professional hair stylist) Brian J. O’Connor and they are fierce. With fun color names like Riot (get it???) and Ex-Girl, and every shade of the neon rainbow in stock, if you’re looking for truly unique look, you’ve found the perfect fit.

goodDYEyoung Riot hair dye-$13.99



Wash your hair every two to three days to ensure that the color of your dye stays in. The more environmentally friendly the shampoo and conditioner routine, the less damage will be done to your hair and its color. Lush’s Jersey Bounce shampoo and American Cream conditioner work well on color-treated hair. They help volumize and de-frizz while keeping color as bright as it was when first dyed.

Lush Jersey Bounce Shampoo-$9.95-$19.95

Lush American Cream hair conditioner-$9.95

Mason Pearson 

Mason Pearson hair brushes have been around since 1885, so clearly they are the greatest brushes to ever exist. (My college roommate stole one from me because they are that good.) They work to defrizz, detangle and style your hair all at the same time. They are a little pricey because they’re handmade, but this brush will become the only brush you ever need in your life.

Mason Pearson Pure Bristle hair brush ranges from $60-$200


Bumble and Bumble 

Bumble and Bumble have an array of products to help style your hair and keep it looking good all day. Their Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is essential for defrizzing hair before and after straightening or curling. Their Pret-A-Powder works better than any dry shampoo I’ve encountered, and it also adds a nice level of volume to your hair without making you look like Snooki. And finally, their Cityswept Finish works to lock in any style as a lightweight alternative to hair spray—oh, and it also smells amazing.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil-$40

Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder-$12

Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finish-$31


The Herstyler flat iron is infallible. It heats up quickly, lasts for years and is great for any hair type, whether thick, thin, flat or frizzy. It’s a quality straightener that doesn’t break the bank and is super affordable on Amazon (like under $40).

Herstyler flat iron-$69



Smashbox has a really great line of primers, though their Photo Finish Foundation Primer is a great go-to to help keep all foundation, concealers and powders in place.

Smashbox Photo Finish primer-$36

Too Faced 

Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance is guaranteed to keep even the darkest eyeshadow look in place without ever creasing. Their Chocolate Bar eye shadow palettes are perfect for mixing neutrals with really fun, dark colors, for either a natural or super gothy look.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance-$20

Too Faced Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette-$49

Jeffree Star Cosmetics 

Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipsticks are the best liquid formula for full coverage, long wear lip looks. While Androgyny and Scorpio are my personal favorites, the brand features a vast range of natural and exotic colors that will last all day long. If you are into a more glam-rock look, also check out the Skin Frost highlighters to add a bit (or a bunch) of glow and glitter to your look.

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick-$18 

Jeffree Star Skin Frost highlighter-$29

Mac Cosmetics

If you are more into pencil eyeliner, then Mac is for you, especially their metallic colors (check out the Technakohl Eyeliners). They go on effortlessly and do not budge. No raccoon eyes ever again!

Mac Cosmetics Technakohl eyeliner (Graphblack)-$17

Urban Decay 

Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion will help keep your eyeshadow on lock while their All Nighter setting spray will ensure that your makeup lasts for as long as possible. It might get hot and humid in the pit, but your brows and foundation will stay put.

Urban Decay Primer Potion-$20


Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray-$30

Kat Von D Beauty 

The Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipsticks aren’t liquid, but they are suited for super long-wear and come in great creative colors like the matte black Slayer and the navy blue Poe. When it comes to liquid liner, you have to go KVD again. Kat Von D’s liquid liner in Trooper is unmatched when it comes to designing a cat eye or adding drama to any look. Bring on the wings!

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick (Slayer)-$21

Kat Von D Trooper eyeliner-$20