At the age of 15 I discovered Bauhaus, the gateway drug to the gothic subculture, courtesy of my oh so cool and artsy high school boyfriend (hi, Andrew!) and never totally left. It opened up a whole new world to me where I was admired for my pale as death skin and penchant for brooding in coffee shops.
The underground bands I used to sell CDs for in exchange for free entry into bars and clubs my underage ass had no business in have long since broken up. My wardrobe has slowly but surely expanded from all black (I sometimes wear grey!), and I haven't smoked a clove in years but there will always be a soft spot in my black heart for goth.
My love of goth-tinged music will always remain and so will little edgy touches to my wardrobe and make up. With so many brands expanding their colour palettes and offerings it's not so difficult to add some refined, edgy touches to your life in an utterly wearable way. Here are a few of my favorite things:
Sally Hansen Nail Polish in Black Diamonds
This is a glamorous upgrade from the flat black polish of my youth. It's a black base infused with silvery glitter that catches the light as you move your hands. From afar it's got a metallic look, but when you move in closer you can see the intricate touches of glitter giving a multifaceted effect. I actually really like the formula of the Sally Hansen polishes in general, they're very opaque and glide on smoothly. £1.99, cosmetics4less.net
MakeUp Forever Aqua Liner in 10
While you may not be prepared to go all out with red eyeshadow, this sleek red liner is an approachable way to experiment with an edgier look. This is a true blood red and the thin brush gives you an easy application. Draw a thin red line on your upper lid and pair with a neutral gloss. £16.95, gurumakeupemporium.com
Givenchy D'Interdit in Celestial Black
It's hard to feel like a teenager while wearing Givenchy! This is the sleeker younger sister of black lipstick. It's a sheer and sparkly black tinted gloss. Worn alone it gives a light mauve-y tint to the lips. I like it best paired with a red lipstick to give it a darker dimension. £23.45, amazon.co.uk
TokyoMilk Dark Clove Cigarette Lip Balm
Anyone who's ever smoked cloves knows it was only for the taste. And ok, the fact that they were black looked pretty cool. This lip balm captures the taste exactly without having to inhale shards of glass. This one in particular makes me really nostalgic. It's also a good lip balm and keeps your lips well hydrated without drying them out.
Lush Body Bar in You Snap the Whip
This black body bar is one of their most hardcore exfoliators. It buffs and polishes with a fruity scent in juxtaposition with its edgy name. £5.95, lush.co.uk
Feria Hair Color in Midnight Moon
If you've never managed to curb your black hair dye habit, this is the product for you. It's multi dimensional with deep blue tones in sunlight. While the black I used in high school was flat and cheap looking (there is a reason I was actually able to touch it up with a marker once, don't judge), this looks dramatic but is softer on your features. Black hair isn't for everyone, but if it's your deal you can't get better than this.
While these products are a great way to introduce some dark vibes into your beauty routine, I also enjoy adding some morbid jewelry to the mix. I'm very happy to see a range of jewelry offered today includes spikes and elements of human anatomy.
One of my favorite sources of fun, edgy jewelry is VeraMeat. While unfortunately there isn't a VeraMeat store in the UK as of yet, you can order online at verameat.com. I currently have two of their rings modeled after human spines, how can you not love that?
I remember my goth youth fondly, but prefer a more eclectic mix of styles these days. My wardrobe consists of equal parts studs and flowers. Accessories that mildly disturb my mother are still always a plus, but I've found these subtle nods to goth quite satisfying and you will too.
Kristine Rose is brooding on Twitter @prtoftheprob