Put Your Best Face Forward — Alt Makeup Looks to Try
There’s a cosmosful of alt cosmetic styles you can try and adapt, from grunge makeup to cottagecore makeup. We share a variety of alternative makeup ideas anyone can use to get you started. What’s your fave?
Alt makeup is an approach to using cosmetics and other decorative elements to create unique looks. There’s a world of different products you can use to develop your signature alt makeup look.
One of the beauties of alternative makeup is that it’s emphatically open to men, women, everyone. And you’ll absolutely see a whole spectrum of people indulging in some face paint.
In this post, we brush broad strokes about some popular alt makeup looks and how you might achieve them.
5 Alternative Makeup Ideas to Color Your World
You can follow the trends or strike out on your own. Create a come-hither look or one that less-than-subtly says FU and back off. Your face, your choice. Have at it and have fun!
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Dark & Deep
This secret’s out! Dusky, moody, saturated hues are the key to this alternative makeup look. We’re talking heavy-handed use of inky and intense colors like black, midnight blue, crimson, eggplant, forest. Thick eyeliner and a smokey eye are totally on-point with this makeup approach. Basically, your cosmetics are lending an unshakable air of mystery, rebellion, or drama. Or maybe it’s your inner satanic self scratching its way out.
With this alt makeup aesthetic, neutrals — meaning products that are similar to your natural skin and hair complexion — dominate. While you may think that the absence of contrasting color would result in a nondescript and boring look, this isn’t necessarily the case. Neutrals can be used to make certain features fade away so others become insanely prominent. They can also create an androgynous or doll-like appearance.
Daring & Bright
Perhaps the exact opposite of natural or neutral is this in-your-face alternative makeup look. This leverages big pops of color that really play up your features, mood, or some other aspect of your personality. You can rouge up for colorful cheeks or pucker up with some kiss-me-here-and-now bold lips. And, don’t be afraid to experiment with flashy shades of eyeliner and mascara as well as a rainbowesque eyeshadow palette!
You don’t have to go dark to achieve drama. Some sparkly/shiny/shimmery/metallic makeup will definitely serve up plenty of “Wow!” factor. Add in some luscious false eyelashes and glistening lip gloss — and you’re in business. (Seriously, everyone from drag queens to pro makeup artists will be turning to you for inspiration!)
Fun & Funky
No rules apply here! You have complete freedom to create your own cosmetic style. Pull from different concepts. Include unexpected embellishments — like sequins or makeup applied in non-traditional ways. So dig deep into your handy makeup bag and get creative!
Discover Even More Alt Makeup Trends
Are you more punk or witchy or fairycore? No sweat. You can certainly go down the rabbit holes of alternative makeup subgenres. Like these:
- Grunge makeup
- Goth makeup
- Emo goth makeup
- Cottagecore makeup
- Cute alt makeup
You can find almost too many alt makeup Pinterest boards and alternative makeup tutorials on TikTok — should you need to mine some more inspiration.
Scouting out alt makeup brands is also a great way to seed your personal alt makeup lookbook and learn new makeup application techniques.
Finding Your Own Alt Makeup Aesthetic
Alt makeup is a fun way to mix up your routine and explore showing your personality. We’ve offered just a few examples of alt makeup looks you can play with. With these alt makeup ideas in mind, you’ll be able to create an individual makeup style that’s all you.