Makeup Tips From a High Priestess of the Dark Arts -The Toast

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The Toast’s previous coverage of sacrifice and dark ritual can be found here, and our coverage of makeup tips can be found here.

Hello girlies! That time of year is upon us again. The decorations are up, the bells are ringing—but  if you’re anything like me, all you can think about is “What am I going to wear?” The High Holidays can be so stressful and sometimes it feels like makeup should be the last thing on your mind. Never fear! I’ve put together a no-frills, easy-peasy tutorial to make this your most glamorous Night of Pale Ashes yet.

A great primer will give your face a dewy, pearlescent sheen that will catch the torchlight and make your skin glow. It will also help set the make-up and prevent lashings for untidiness. I’m using goose grease from Vadda Rinde’s tannery, but for those of you who are fasting or on Tower Rest, melted tallow candles work just as well.


Goose grease also makes a great base for poultices and home-made masks! Don’t neglect your T-Zone!

Line your eyes with kohl for a smokey look. Purists will insist the only way to get true smokey eyes is to breathe in the Vestal Embers until your vision clouds with Terrors Past But Not Forgotten, but kohl is a great substitute. See if your Kiri-Vadda can tell the difference!


I made this brush with hair I harvested myself from the Keep! It’s a great rainy day DIY project. 

Lark’s blood on your lips is a guaranteed hit. Pro-tip: Bait your traps with honeycomb to catch the sweetest larks!


Plus it tastes great!

The Unblinking Gaze is essential to any Night of Pale Ashes Look. I don’t need to remind you of what happened when Kiri-Vadda Inger’s Unblinking Eyes rubbed off before she tried to read Our Lady’s Unwritten Word. I still go down to the Keep sometimes to change her linens and freshen her up a bit.

So to avoid that, instead of using white clay from the sulfur pools, try drawing your Unblinking Eyes with an NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. The staying power is fantastic! I claimed mine as fealty after combat with Vadda Oona, but you can trade for one with the peddlers who come on Communal Thursdays.


I like to line my Unblinking Eyes to really make them pop! 

To contour, stand in front of a candle, suck in your cheeks, and see where the shadows fall. Then using your brush, place the shadows in the natural hollows of your face. This is also good practice for tonight, when you’ll trap the shadows of your enemies in the hollows of the Wailing Jar.


For contour powder, I’m using a mixture of earth and Vadda Oona’s bones. The grain isn’t ideal, but I’m in love with the pigment.

Don’t be afraid to go for something very gaunt and dramatic here—that skull-like quality is essential for striking that final blow of fear and reverence into your quarry’s heart before you deliver him unto Our Lady.

The fear is important.

The fear will rouse Her.

The fear will excite Her.


If the sight of your face at this point drives you into a fugue state, you’re doing it right! 

This is definitely NOT an everyday look, but the Night of Pale Ashes only comes once a year, so go wild!

(For those of you without quarry this year—no sweat! We’ll be doing a tutorial next week for girls who are going stag, complete with antlers.)

Don’t forget the sigils on your cheeks! I’ve used kohl to draw Temperance and A Swift and Steady Hand. Use your imagination here—sigils are the place to let your personality shine through!


Finally, dust the whole face with rice flour, and you’re done. A quick, easy, Night of Pale Ashes look that’s appropriate for any rank! Happy Hunting, friends!


I’ve accessorized here with a Sepulcher Diadem and gold earrings. How will you style your Night of Pale Ashes look? 


Liz Watson is a writer living in New York. She enjoys comic books and the music of Dolly Parton. You can follow her on Twitter.

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