Monthly Archives: September 2016

Gothic Beauties: Morticia Addams (Anjelica Huston)

“What does it mean to be glamorous? Well, it is indefinable, but I think glamour happens when somebody with great personal taste is very much at ease with [him- or herself] and with what they’re wearing, without social pretense. And I would say originality, flavor, panache — it’s a way of living, being, moving. It’s a character thing. What makes someone beautiful? Well, I’m going to be corny, and say it’s what goes on inside their heart. At least the people I find beautiful, I see the beauty in their eyes. Sophia Loren. Ava Gardner. Nastassja Kinski. Maria Callas. It’s about spirit.”

Anjelica Huston, as told to Violet Gray

Few things inspire me like a drop-dead (heh…heh…get it?) gorgeous goth woman. Trad goth, nu-goth, pastel goth, all of it. In this series, I’ll give you any information I can find on each actress’s skincare and beauty routine and create a skincare routine for their most iconic goth character. Check back a few days after each post for a little makeup tutorial on their look!


I’m going to start with my absolute favorite, Morticia Addams. This woman is all I aspire to be. I’ve chosen Anjelica Huston’s Morticia, as her rendition of the character was more recent and, maybe, easier to research. Model, actress, director, the woman has succeeded in every endeavor. It’s so shocking to learn that Huston, at a young age, overheard her parents discussing the fact that “Anjelica wasn’t going to be a beauty.” Her beauty is unconventional, yes, but I have such a hard time comprehending that anyone could accuse her of being anything less than beautiful. She’s not pretty. Pretty is easy; pretty is conventional, common. There are millions of pretty women. Anjelica Huston is something else altogether: distinctive. Striking. Timeless. Classic. Elegant. And all of those words obviously describe Morticia. What makes me love her even more is the fact that she responded by deciding to MAKE herself beautiful, in her own rite; she is often quoted as saying that she might not have physical perfection, but that she would think herself into being beautiful. And whether or not Huston could be labeled as goth, that is a very goth mindset.

It was hard to find any specific details on Huston’s beauty routine. Either no one deems it worth reporting, or it’s all very closely guarded. Either way, here’s what I was able to piece together:

  • As told to Violet Gray when discussing her iconic 1975 Oscars red carpet photo (with then love interest Jack Nicholson): Huston put together her own look, and her makeup was what she usually did. Pale makeup, red lipstick, “kohl around the eyes.” Not surprising, very Morticia. What is surprising, though, is the fact that at the time, she was taking a small break from her career, and having moved to California from New York, her “only objective was to get a suntan.”
  • Huston has admitted to having collagen injections. Collagen injections are, of course, an anti-aging measure. She has also said that makeup made her late to school frequently in her teenage years, which is incredibly endearing, and telling.
  • In an interview with Yahoo,  Huston spills the tea about Morticia’s makeup. According to her, makeup artist Fern Buckner designed a silk face lift contraption, that was tied behind Huston’s head, to literally lift her face under her makeup. Huston goes on to say that Morticia’s makeup was a pain, because of the silk face lift, the fact that that much white makeup took hours to perfect, and that the nails were constantly popping off and giving her grief.
  • She believes that sometimes, you simply must be okay with leaving the house without looking your best; she even admits to sometimes enjoying looking sloppy. That’s something I can totally get behind. AND she’s a big proponent of treat yo self: she buys herself jewelry after she finishes a film.
  • Huston absolutely adores piercings and tattoos, even though they aren’t things she can commit to herself. (How punk rock of her!)
  • Her sun advice: “bask, but don’t bake. And of course, use sunscreen.”

Since I could find very little on Huston’s skincare habits and routine, I’ll just go ahead and make one for Morticia. Addams and Huston share a penchant for anti-aging; how they differ is that Morticia is content with being pale, while Huston appreciates a subtle tan. Also, Morticia is a mother who still insists on looking her absolute best. Multitasking products are a must. I believe she would strive for a balance between practicality and luxury.


Morticia is French, and the French don’t believe in washing their faces in the morning. So I imagine she would skip a morning cleanse, or opt for a micellar water, as it’s super gentle and simple. To keep her skin hydrated and prepped for her iconic makeup look, she would use a toner that contains aloe, hyaluronic acid, cucumber, rosewater, etc. I imagine her favorite brands would be French: Caudalie, La Mer, Vichy. After toner would come an anti-aging eye cream, an anti-aging moisturizer, and OF COURSE, SPF 50+. Morticia doesn’t see the sun very often, but that doesn’t mean she won’t take every precaution against it.


I’m willing to bet Morticia would double-cleanse, to take off all of her makeup. In the movies she wakes up with her makeup on, but I refuse to believe that she would age her skin like that. For her oil cleansing step, I’m thinking either vitamin E oil or hempseed oil. Both are wonderful for all skin types, are hydrating, and are great at removing makeup. Her cleanser would be gentle, perhaps a cleansing milk or balm. Next comes exfoliation; the latest and greatest chemical exfoliant for sure, so as not to be too abrasive. I love to think of Morticia using brightening and anti-aging masks, both sheet and cream, utilizing exotic ingredients from faraway places. A nice firming toner follows, as well as a nicely concentrated serum to lift and firm. She would absolutely finish it off with the classic, $400 La Mer creme.

Let me know in the comments below what goth beauty icon you’d like to see next!



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Bloody Brilliant or Bloody Awful: The Vampire Facial


I blame Kim Kardashian. For a lot of things, but today we’re talking about a sort of ridiculous facial trend; and I blame her for the hype, because she popularized it by getting it done on camera. I’m talking about the Vampire Facial, which is different from the Vampire Facelift. Both utilize PRP (platelet rich plasma). Although it’s been a few years since the episode aired and the craze started, it’s still highly searched and asked about. (No, I’ve never seen the episode in question.)

PRP is the process of drawing blood, then spinning it through a centrifugal processing system (thank you RealSelf for that string of words) to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. The plasma creates a growth-factor rich serum that is healing and boosts the immune system. This glorious goo is then injected back into the skin.

Being of the gothy/vampy variety, I’m immediately on board with anything that uses blood. Being an educated esthetician, however, I’m skeptical of any fad procedure. So, I took to le internet and did some research to see if it’s really worth the pain and money.

First, let’s talk about the differences between the Vampire Facial and the Vampire Facelift. The Vampire Facial incorporates micro-needling, a wonderful facial procedure in which a multi-needled device is rolled over your face. This causes tiny pinpricks in your skin. The purpose of the pinpricks is to increase the delivery of serums and products used after the needling; also, the process triggers your body’s wound-healing mechanism, which promotes the formation of new collagen and elastin. Micro-needling is a wonderful anti-aging procedure when performed by a licensed professional; I cannot attest to home micro-needling, so I will keep my opinions on that to myself. ANYWAY. Micro-needling, in itself, could be considered a sort of vampire facial, because the pinpricks obviously produce some amount of bleeding. But, the Vampire Facial (capitalized for differentiation) takes it a step further by then injecting the PRP into your face. The Vampire Facelift varies from the Facial in that it eliminates the micro-needling, and also utilizes hyaluronic acid fillers, Restalyne, or Juvederm in addition to the PRP.

As of 2013, Popular Science claimed there was no scientific proof that the procedure is effective. Several other sources around the same year agree. So, that aspect is for you to research and decide for yourself. From an esthetics standpoint, micro-needling to then inject beneficial serums, treatments, etc. makes sense.

Why would you get a Vampire procedure? For the epic selfie, duh. For anti-aging, mostly. To try a trend and see if you get anything out of it. If you do decide to try it, PLEASE ensure that you are getting it done a medical spa or a plastic surgeon’s office.  For micro-needling and other similar services, you can try somewhere like TLATA (Texas Laser and Aesthetics Training Academy), which supervises their students as they perform the services. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT PURCHASE AN AT-HOME MICRO-NEEDLING DEVICE! I’m sure there are great ones out there, but there is always a risk of contamination and infection when you’re BRINGING BLOOD TO THE SURFACE OF YOUR FACE THROUGH MICRO ABRASIONS. So, from a hygiene standpoint alone, you should see a licensed professional for anything utilizing a needle.

Why WOULDN’T you get a Vampire procedure? If you’re a masochist, because apparently, the procedure is no more painful than Botox. If you’re afraid of needles or blood. If you’re skeptical about the results-these procedures can get up into the thousands. That’s a lot of money to shell out for something you’re not 100% sold on. I’m sure there are other factors that would eliminate you as a candidate, but that’s why you consult with someone licensed to perform the procedures beforehand.

Until there’s concrete, in-your-face, easy-to-Google scientific evidence that the procedures are worth the price tag, I personally would stick to just micro-needling. It’s vampire-adjacent enough for me. What are your thoughts? Would you ever try something like this? Let me know in the comments below!




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Quit Putting Glue on Your F***ing Face

The biggest Pinterest skincare trend right now is a DIY activated charcoal mask. I can’t open the app without seeing it in my suggestions; I can’t go into a makeup and beauty group on Facebook without being bombarded by pictures of women masking it up with this concoction. We all know that I am pro DIY skincare, when it’s safe and makes sense. So this is not me bashing the DIY aspect of this particular trend. I actually love activated charcoal masks for their cleansing and exfoliating abilities. What I take issue with is the other ingredient used: glue. Yes, glue. Good ol Elmer’s school glue.

Yall, this trend gets me HEATED. Like, heated to the point that I yell angrily at my screen, “ARE YOU F***IN STUPID?!” So heated, in fact, that I am writing this post now, and even Googled “why is glue bad for your skin,” because it seems like no one else is capable of doing so.

The theory behind this fuckery is that since Elmer’s glue is the same texture as pore strips and pulls out blackheads, and is nontoxic, you can use it in place of “pricey” pore strips and masks. Because why pay for something that’s been formulated for your skin when you can use something that’s been formulated for paper at a literal fraction of the cost? (Is my sarcasm just spewing out of your screen? Good.)

Here’s why this is a bad idea: glue contains ingredients that are skin irritants and cause allergic reactions (although the glue is nontoxic). Elmer’s doesn’t even list all of the ingredients used, as it is a proprietary blend, so who knows what else is in there that is not skin friendly. You may be pulling out the blackheads in your skin, but you’re irritating the rest of your skin in the process. Glue is also comedogenic; if the purpose of the mask is to clear your pores, why the HELL would you use something that is going to clog your pores? Not only that, glue was not formulated to be used on the skin; the list of things that are not formulated for the skin, but are safe for the skin, is short. Glue is not pH balanced for your skin, which leads to a whole other set of skin problems. You need to be very careful when using things that you have to rip off of your face. The act of ripping causes the borders of your pores to expand. Obviously, this leads to more noticeable pores, something literally everyone is trying to avoid. Not only that, you’re damaging your collagen and elastin. You are literally causing sagging, wrinkles, and early aging. All for the low, low price of school glue.

So please: avoid this trend at all costs. Pore strips and DIY peel-off masks may seem like inexpensive treatment options but the damage done to your skin is irreversible and will cost you a ton of money to temporarily repair. Here are my Target suggestions for charcoal based masks that will do what you’re wanting without damaging your skin:

You can find better options in several other places, but since this trend is so popular because it’s dirt cheap, I stuck with Target. One of my favorite blogs, FutureDerm, provides further but simplified information here. Even Refinery 29 advises against the trend here.

Thank you for reading through my rant! Seeing a professional for your skin concerns is always advised, but I get it, it’s not always doable. But please, for the love of your skin, DON’T PUT GLUE ON YOUR F***ING FACE!



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