Dark Academia Makeup 2024: Achieve the Perfect Vintage Look

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Are you intending to delve into the world of dark academia aesthetic? If that’s the case, you might want to explore dark academia makeup. This trend has seen a significant surge in popularity over the past few years, particularly among those charmed by the enigmatic and scholarly essence of the dark academia fashion.

Dark academia makeup typically involves using warm and neutral tones like browns and burgundies to create a natural, yet dramatic look. Think smoky eyes, bold brows, and a subtle lip color. This style of makeup complements the dark academia fashion style, which often includes vintage-inspired clothing, tweed blazers, and leather accessories. Whether you’re a student, a bookworm, or just a fan of the aesthetic, dark academia makeup can add a touch of sophistication and intrigue to your look.

Understanding Dark Academia Aesthetic

If you’re a fan of the dark academia trend, you’re likely familiar with the aesthetic’s vintage-inspired fashion style that is reminiscent of classic literature and intellectualism. The dark academia aesthetic is characterized by earthy tones, tweed, plaid, wool, blazers, trousers, and sweater vests. It’s a style that is all about embracing the classics and channeling your inner intellectual.

One of the key features of the dark academia trend is its fashion style. Sweater vests, blazers, and trousers are staples of the aesthetic, as are plaid skirts. The fashion is all about embracing a vintage look with a modern twist. The dark academia trend is often associated with the classics, and so the fashion style is often inspired by classic literature and intellectualism.

The dark academia aesthetic is also characterized by its use of earthy tones. These colors are often muted and subdued, with shades of brown, green, and grey being particularly popular. This muted color palette helps to create a sense of intellectualism and sophistication.

While the dark academia trend is often associated with the classics, it’s important to note that there is also a lighter side to the aesthetic. Light academia is a subgenre of the trend that embraces a brighter color palette and a more cheerful aesthetic. Light academia is characterized by its use of pastel colors, floral prints, and lighter fabrics.

Dark Academia Makeup Essentials

Choosing the Right Eyeshadow

When it comes to Dark Academia makeup, the key is to choose eyeshadows that are dark and moody. Think shades of black, brown, and dark brown. Use a liner brush to apply the eyeshadow along your lash line to achieve a precise and sharp look. You can also use a small brush to blend the eyeshadow into your crease for a more dramatic effect.

Perfecting the Dark Lips

Dark Academia makeup is all about the dark lips. To achieve this look, choose a lipstick or lip liner that is dark and moody. Think shades of deep red, burgundy, or even black. To make your lips look more defined, use a lip liner to outline your lips before applying the lipstick. You can also use a small brush to blend the lipstick into your lips for a more natural look.

Highlighting and Contouring

Highlighting and contouring are important steps in achieving the perfect Dark Academia makeup look. To highlight your cheeks, use a highlighter that is light and shimmery. Apply the highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow. To contour your cheeks, use a blush that is dark and moody. Apply the blush to the hollows of your cheeks and blend it outwards towards your temples.

Importance of Natural Makeup

Dark Academia makeup is all about looking natural and effortless. To achieve this look, it’s important to use natural makeup products that enhance your natural features. Use a concealer to cover any blemishes and dark circles under your eyes. Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and apply it evenly to your face. Use a small brush to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks for a natural flush.

Overall, achieving the perfect Dark Academia makeup look is all about choosing the right products and applying them in a precise and sharp manner. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve the perfect Dark Academia makeup look in no time.

Influences and Inspirations

Literature and Dark Academia

It’s impossible to talk about dark academia without mentioning its literary roots. The subculture is heavily inspired by classic literature, particularly works that explore themes of mystery, passion, and romance. Poets like Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Byron are often cited as major influences, as are novelists like Donna Tartt, whose novel “The Secret History” has become a cult classic among dark academia enthusiasts.

Artists and Their Impact

In addition to literature, dark academia is also influenced by the works of visual artists. Many dark academia enthusiasts are drawn to classical art, particularly pieces that depict somber or melancholy themes. The movement is also inspired by classical music, which is often used to set the mood for dark academia events and gatherings.

The Harry Potter Effect

While the Harry Potter franchise wasn’t created with dark academia in mind, it has had a significant impact on the subculture. Many dark academia fans first discovered the aesthetic through the Hogwarts school uniforms and the franchise’s overall gothic feel. Today, Harry Potter remains a major influence on the dark academia movement, with many fans incorporating elements of the franchise into their fashion and makeup choices.

Dark Academia Fashion and Style

If you’re into dark academia makeup, you’ve probably heard of the fashion style that goes along with it. Dark academia fashion is all about embracing the intellectual, bookish, and scholarly side of things. It’s a style that is inspired by classic literature, the Ivy League, and vintage fashion.

The Classic Sweater Vest

One of the most iconic pieces of dark academia fashion is the sweater vest. This classic piece is perfect for layering over a button-down shirt or under a blazer. It’s a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Look for sweater vests in neutral colors like navy, dark brown, or burgundy. You can also opt for chunky knit sweater vests for a more cozy, casual look.

Tweed and Plaid Patterns

Tweed and plaid are two classic patterns that are synonymous with dark academic fashion. These patterns can be found on blazers, trousers, and even plaid skirts. Look for tweed blazers in neutral colors like grey or brown. For plaid skirts, opt for a knee-length style with a high waist. You can also incorporate plaid into your accessories like bow ties or scarves.

The Essential Loafers

No dark academia outfit is complete without a pair of loafers. These classic shoes are perfect for adding a preppy touch to your outfit. Look for loafers in neutral colors like black or brown. You can also opt for a pair with tassels or a penny slot for a more vintage look. Other shoes that work well with dark academia fashion include oxford shoes, preppy Mary Janes, and knee-high socks.

Hair and Accessory Styles

Hair Styles

When it comes to dark academia hair, you want to keep it simple and natural. Think ponytails, messy buns, and loose waves. Stick to natural fabrics like silk and linen for hair accessories, and avoid anything too flashy or modern. A simple ribbon or headband can add just the right touch of elegance to your look.


When it comes to accessories, you want to keep it classic and timeless. A leather satchel is the perfect accessory for carrying your books and completing your look. Horn-rimmed glasses are also a must-have for that intellectual vibe. And don’t forget about jewelry! A simple gold necklace or pair of earrings can add just the right touch of elegance to your outfit.

Gothic Architecture Inspiration

For those looking to take their dark academia style to the next level, consider incorporating some gothic architecture inspiration into your look. Look for accessories with intricate details and dark, moody colors. Velvet is a great fabric choice for adding texture and depth to your outfit. And if you’re feeling bold, try incorporating some black or dark pink into your color palette.

The Dark Academia Lifestyle

Are you a lover of literature, classical music, and earthy tones? Do you have a passion for learning and academics? If so, then you may be interested in the Dark Academia aesthetic and lifestyle. This community is all about embracing the beauty of classic literature, art, and music while also incorporating a love for academia and passion for learning.

One of the key components of the Dark Academia lifestyle is tea or coffee. These beverages are perfect for cozying up with a good book or studying for hours on end. Gold is also a popular color in this community, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any outfit or interior design.

Speaking of interior design, the Dark Academia aesthetic is all about creating a cozy and inviting space to read and learn. Think dark woods, leather-bound books, and antique furniture.

In terms of literature, classics are a must-read for any Dark Academia enthusiast. From Harry Potter to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, these books transport you to another time and place.

But the Dark Academia lifestyle isn’t just about reading and learning. It’s also about embracing your inner poet or artist. Many members of this community enjoy expressing themselves through writing, painting, or other creative outlets.

Of course, no Dark Academia look is complete without the perfect makeup. Dark Academia makeup is all about natural-looking makeup for everyday wear, with a focus on precise, winged eyeliner and neutral eyeshadows. This makeup style is perfect for those who want to embrace the Dark Academia aesthetic while still looking polished and put-together.


What is dark academia makeup?

There is no specific definition of Dark Academia makeup, but it is generally associated with a vintage-inspired, scholarly aesthetic. The makeup is often characterized by a natural, understated look with a focus on bold lips and defined brows.

Is Harry Potter dark academia?

While Harry Potter has been associated with the Dark Academia aesthetic due to its magical and academic themes, it is not considered a true representation of the genre. The trend emerged on social media in 2015 and is characterized by a focus on literature, art, and classical education.

What are the criticisms of dark academia?

Dark Academia has been criticized for its lack of diversity, its romanticization of elitist Western academia, and its potential to promote unhealthy academic ideals. Critics also argue that it can lead to cultural appropriation and reinforce harmful stereotypes.

What aesthetic is similar to dark academia?

There are several aesthetics that share similarities with Dark Academia, including Light Academia, Cottagecore, and Goblincore. These aesthetics often focus on nature, traditional crafts, and a romanticized view of the past.

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Elisa Steffes
Elisa Steffes

Elisa Steffes reviews designer fashion brands and elegant pieces for a living. She also loves Old Money Brands and is passionate about writing about topics related to this classic style.
She has close to 3 years of experience in SEO and has taken the Streetstylis Pinterest account to one of the most popular magazines on Pinterest and Instagram.
When she's not working, you'll find her doing Pilates, dancing or hanging out with her friends in Malta.

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