Along with layers of hair, makeup is key in creating an emo look. In the emo style, it is perfectly acceptable for both men and women to wear makeup, especially eyeliner, to create instant moodiness.

Things You'll Need

Put on Emo Eyeliner

Buy eyeliner that glides on smoothly. Liquid eyeliner works best for beginners while eye paint, along with a good set of brushes, can be used as both shadow and liner. Eye paint, which usually comes in tubes, goes on creamy and dries to a powdery finish.

Experiment with colors. While most emo people choose black eyeliner, you can experiment with dark blues, browns and reds. Most men tend to stick to basic black.

Line the bottom lash, starting from the inside corner. With pencils, you should hold the eyeliner at a 90-degree angle for a thin line. For a thicker line, simply apply it at a flatter angle.

Apply eyeliner on the eyelid, sticking close to the lash and ending in a rounded corner. Men should skip the top lid or apply a softer line to avoid creating a ring around the eyes.

Let the eyeliner dry before applying eye shadow, or you will end up with smudgy eyes.

Complete Your Emo Look

Go crazy with the eyes, which are the focus of most emo makeup styles. Girls should apply bright shadow, in shades of pink, turquoise and red, all the way up to the eyebrows. Try contrasting colors to create a softer look.

Watch for clumps as you apply black mascara. Both emo men and women wear mascara.

Keep the lips simple. Light lip gloss, lip balm or pale lipstick is always a safe choice, but you can go a bit darker if it matches your skin tones.

Apply foundation that matches your skin tone or is only slightly lighter. A popular misconception is that emo kids have pale, pasty faces. The white face just tends to make you look more Goth than emo.

Visit a makeup store to help choose colors that work with your skin tone. The salespeople can usually show you how to apply the makeup properly as well.


  • Boys should keep the makeup subtle, sticking with more natural eye shadows and pale lipsticks. Wearing makeup doesn’t make you emo, so skip it if you don’t feel comfortable.

  • Old-emo kids don’t wear makeup. Face makeup is a product of the newer generation of emo, which is closer to Goth than hardcore. Don’t be discouraged when someone in her 30s quips, “Emos don’t wear makeup.”