The ghost of emo past is back, unfortunately… or not, depending on which side of the aisle you sit. Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u is everywhere, and a guy named Machine Gun Kelly exists. Even the scene-y crowd’s gone scene: Bella Hadid painted red streaks in her hair, Miley painted black ones, and at least four celebrity men released lines of gender-neutral nail polish. But if we’re talking nails, the final one in the coffin was the announcement of When We Were Young, the one-day nostalgia fest with an artist list that reads like the contents of your ancient iPod nano. Angst is in and denying it is as useless as an I <3 Boobies bracelet. So instead of fighting, embrace the emo look. Throw on this playlist and Google Maps your closest Hot Topic. This is fine.
As this Tiktok (which you can never unsee) posits, the “wolf cut” that’s super trendy right now is just the emo haircut parted differently. Ask your stylist for a shag with bangs that’s just a few snips away from a mullet—the ends are a little thinned out, and the layers are fluffy and wispy. If you’re not ready for a big change, consider clip-in extensions in an unexpected hue. This Etsy seller, appropriately named GothicChameleon, has lots for cheap, and once you’ve clipped them where you want them just mark a spot that corresponds to your hair’s length, pop them off, and trim them over a trash can. Reverie’s newly relaunched Mare sea salt spray adds cool tousled texture.
Your knowledge of makeup has gotten a lot better since you used to smudge eyeliner in with your finger, but if you still own an original Naked Palette, maybe… throw it out? Instead, follow along with this soft smoky eye tutorial from makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. She uses Danessa Myricks’ Nude 12, a creamy black MAC kohl, mascara, and that’s it. The result is not at all raccoon-y and way too smolderingly sexy for the all ages club that doubles as a bar mitzvah venue on off nights. Another option: Euphoria makeup artist Donni Davy’s Face Lace liner stickers, which are cool, graphic, and require no skill whatsoever. Some other things that might be in the modern emo’s makeup bag are: Rituel De Fille’s Orb eyeliner, Melt’s Crushed Glitter Lip Gloss, and MGK’s surprisingly smooth and creamy nail polish. The shade 25 To Life, specifically.
Photo via ITG