What is Dark Victorian Style?

Woman wearing goth makeup.

When you hear the term Dark Victorian, you might think that it’s contradictory, as Victorian style is usually thought of as consisting of light tones. However, if you add a touch of darkness to the elaborate Victorian style you get what might otherwise be called modern goth or new goth. Forget your preconceived notions of what goth might be, (especially the styles from the 1990’s) and think more about the style that singer Lorde exudes.

Victorian-age makeup consisted of pale makeup on the skin with a bit of rouge on the cheeks, as pale skin was a sign of luxury, and dark skin meant you had to work outside to earn your living. Dark Victorian builds upon that light skin tone base and adds some contrast with dark lipstick and eye shadow. While deep, deep crimson or stark black lipstick may not be for everyone; those with fair skin tend to pull it off best. To prevent the dark lipstick from smearing, try a lip liner to lock the color in and prevent it from bleeding.

In addition to dark lipstick, dark accents around the eyes really tie this look together. Start off with an eyebrow pencil to give your eyebrows shape and a darker appearance. Eye shadow is an important component, and can be experimented with, but for that true dark Victorian look, go as dark as possible. To really accent your eyes, try adding a winged liner, drawing attention to your eyes while giving them a more full and cat-like appearance. A touch of light blush on the cheeks will keep you from looking too pasty and add a little life to that pale look.

Woman wearing Victorian era necklace

As far as clothing goes, (no big surprises here) think dark, dark, dark! The all black look doesn’t have to mean your look will be the same every day; you just have to get creative. One way you can differentiate your look is by accessorizing. Look for antique Victorian-style necklaces and earring to add some shimmer to your look. Silver-colored jewelry with a patina works great with black clothes. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even add a gemstone or two for a splash of color.

As for the type of clothing that fit into the Dark Victorian style, think sheer black lace, baroque suits with an appropriately dark graphic t-shirt, skinny jeans or a lacey skirt, and some platform shoes or large black boots to tie it all together. You can also add black leather for a for a grungier feel, or black tweed for a more sophisticated goth look. Play around with the look until you find what works best for you, but remember, keep it dark!

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