Sunday, 27 April 2014

Top 10 Gothic Style Nail Art

We're constantly coming across ingenious and elaborate gothic nail art online so we thought we'd put together a collection of our top ten favourites. Some are achieved by hand requiring extreme accuracy and a steady hand, whilst others are achieved using nail wraps, decals and transfers which are readily available and can be found by doing a quick Google search. Here we've concentrated mostly on hand-painted nails as this shows a higher degree of skill, but how you achieve your gothic nails will depend on your artistic skills, your available time and whether you have a helpful friend or not.

#1 - Quite a classic style here but with the addition of tiny studs glued onto the third finger and the nails filed to extreme points which does mean you'd have to be quite careful you don't injure yourself or someone else!

#2 -Painstakingly painted red and black corset style nails. You would start with an all-over base of red nail polish then after allowing to dry thoroughly, paint a V shape with black nail polish. Then paint little silver dots on each side and finally using a fine tipped paintbrush (the nail polish brush will be too large for this bit), paint the corset laces. The effect is stunning.
#3 - These dripping blood nails featuring Dracula look amazing. The blood should be fairly easy to achieve by overfilling the nail polish brush and letting the drips run down but you'd need to allow quite lot of drying time. Dracula's face shouldn't be too difficult and you can add tiny little goggle eyes as shown in the photo. Again, use a fine tipped paintbrush for the smaller details.
#4 - These Edward Scissorhands nails are a work of art! The scissors will be hard to achieve but the best option would be to cut them out first from some sheet acrylic and file any rough edges before gluing them to the nails with a strong nail glue. You would use the same technique for Edward himself on the thumbs and use the base of the nail for his PVC buckled choker. Although these look amazing, they're not at all practical for everyday wear! But then neither were poor Edward's hands!
#5 - These fishnet stocking hand painted nails are quite easy to achieve and very effective. Paint the base colour all over the nails, in this case with purple nail polish. Then using a fine paintbrush, paint the criss-cross lines with black nail polish and finish the nail tips with a swipe of black to represent the stocking tops. A very steady hand is required for this look.
#6 - This is a very simple look to achieve but to get the drama of the colours just right, get the darkest rubiest red nail polish you can find. To make sure the black curved nail tips don't mess up the look, it's advisable to use French manicure nail tip guides.
#7 - Similar to the purple fishnet nails above but by using a sparkly red nail polish with sparkly black tips, they have more of a burlesque look to them. Love the high mirror finish on these. Use the same technique as the purple nails above.
#8 - There are two ways to achieve these gothic cross nails - see what works best for you. Method 1 - paint the nails black and when completely dry, paint on the crosses with white nail polish. Needs a steady hand. Method 2 - paint the nails white and after drying, make simple cross stencils out of masking tape or preferably, surgical tape. Place these stencils on the painted nails and go over the entire nail with black nail polish. This second method is more likely to give you clean crosses but it's more fiddly and you must make sure the stencils are stuck fast at the edges to prevent any black bleeding onto the white area.
#9 - These very effective nails, known as ombre nails, use a sponging technique which gives a graduated two-tone effect. There are lots of online tutorials on achieving this look but briefly, paint the nails in the lighter colour first. Then mix the first colour with the darker colour and sponge the lower part of the nail to blend.
#10 - Let's not forget the toenails! Frequently on show in the summer more so than the winter, you can really go to town, especially during the festival season. These clever Dracula themed nails feature an open mouth with teeth and fangs on the big toenail and little black bats on the smaller toenails. This is one look where it might be better to get a friend to help!
This gothic lace and cross bracelet from The Gothic Catwalk is perfect for showcasing your newly painted gothic nails.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Gothic Names For Your Pet

It's a myth that all goths keep cats and ravens as pets. Some have pets with scales, shells and fins as well as fur and feathers. So....if you've just acquired a new pet, whatever your new animal, you'll probably be thinking about giving it a suitable name. If you want to give your new little friend a gothic name, here are our top 10 lists of boys', girls' and unisex names.







You could be forgiven for thinking the above names would be best suited to a black cat but it could be quite ironic to name, say, a sweet, fluffy beige bunny Lucifer for example. Looks can be very deceptive so think of your first impressions of your pet's personality and not just the way it looks when naming it.

We welcome any of your own suggestions for the gothic naming of pets! Please feel free to leave a comment with your ideas.

Gothic Style - Gothic Jewellery

The huge range of gothic jewellery to be found today is truly astounding. Necklaces, chokers, earrings, bracelets and rings - all can be found in the gothic world. Typically, gothic symbols such as skulls, coffins, crucifixes, roses, bats, spiders and ravens are incorporated into designs and delicate-looking black beaded chokers are also very popular.

Alchemy Gothic are undoubtedly the leaders in alternative jewellery design. Having been around since 1977, they are renowned for their exquisite designs and high quality pieces. Lots of their past pieces have been retired to make way for new designs so these pieces frequently become rare collectors' must-have items. What we love about Alchemy's designs is the painstaking attention to detail and the finished results means that they resemble miniature works of art in their own right. Their items often have dark historic themes from a range of eras.

New kids on the block are talented Polish designers, Restyle. They create stunning pieces, also very highly detailed, often employing innovative techniques such as the use of holographic images and hinged book necklaces.

Jewellery is a vital accessory when putting together a gothic ensemble. When wearing a corset for example, a large expanse of the upper chest and neck area is exposed and this provides the ideal canvas for showcasing beautiful jewels. Gothic neckwear is often theatrical and a statement piece really can finish off an outfit to delicious gothic perfection.

Gothic earrings equally can add the finishing touch. Earrings can range from tiny subtle studs to large full-blown, dramatic chandelier styles. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that your ears will be adorned suitably for any occasion.

The Gothic Catwalk stocks a wide range of jewellery from both Alchemy and Restyle, among others, so please take a look at the website for classic favourites as well as frequently added original new designs.

Friday, 18 April 2014

What is Goth?

As you apply your dark eyeshadow and eyeliner in the mirror, do you ever wonder where goth all began? So what is goth? If you're a goth, you've probably been asked this question a thousand times! Goth as we know it today started life in the late 1970s early 1980s post-punk era. While the mainstream were bopping around to Wham! and Bananarama, an underground subculture was emerging. Leading the way were musicians including Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Damned, The Cure, The Cult, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, to name but a few. Undeniably, of these, Siouxsie Sioux holds the crown as the Godmother of goths. Back then, her style still bore the edginess of punk and she has remained true to her unique rocking style to this day, sometimes goth, sometimes, well.....just Siouxsie! But always original.

Since those early days, goth has evolved and continues to evolve. There are now so many different sub-categories of goth (we'll be covering these another time) and there's often a crossover with other alternative styles. For some, goth is just a fashion. For others, it embraces a lifestyle. Focusing on fashion for now, black is almost always the base colour. However, lots of other colours can and are incorporated into the mix, in particular purple, red, forest green, royal blue and yes, even white! There are no set rules to dressing goth so any colour can be worn. Classic items in the gothic wardrobe are long black skirts, corsets (of course!), dramatic dresses, tops with long floaty sleeve extensions (think Hammer House of Horror) in fabrics such as lace, velvet, satin, fishnet, silk and pvc or leather. Here we're describing the more romantic Victorian goth, also known as Romantigoths, but as you will discover, this is but one gothic style. The Gothic Catwalk specialises in this particular genre.

Accessorising your outfit cannot be emphasised strongly enough as this is what creates a unique look for you. Gothic jewellery often includes religious and symbolic necklaces and chokers with earrings ranging from tiny studs to dramatic art pieces. Gloves are a fabulous way to gothify an outfit as well as belts and hair accessories.

Again there are no set rules but classically gothic hair tends to be long and dark. This is not to say that you can't have blonde, red or any other colour hair, but we're talking tradition here. Hair can be worn long and loose or partially up with soft hanging tendrils. Make-up usually mostly emphasisies the eyes with dark eye shadow and eyeliner. Eyebrows often are plucked and shaped to a dramatic arch and this is a fairly important component to achieving the gothic look facially. It's a little misleading to say that goths wear white foundation but some do. The make-up can either be left with just the dramatisation of the eyes or for a vampy look, finish it all off with bright red lipstick. Black lipstick can be worn but it's a little stereotypical.

The most important element about being alternative or gothic is that you make it your own. There should be no hard and fast rules and you should be aiming for individuality.

So there you have the basics of what goth means today. We'll be covering some of the subjects above in more detail in future posts.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.