In 1770, a law was allegedly passed by British Parliament condemning lipstick due to an association with witchcraft. The law stated that women who “seduced” men into marriage through the use of cosmetics could be found guilty of sorcery. While this has been referenced in many books and articles over the years, there is no actual evidence of the law even being proposed (especially because the Witchcraft Law of 1735, which prevented people from accusing others of witchcraft, would negate it). Still, some people who are anti-makeup might argue that wearing it is an act of deception and even sorcery. And truth be told, they’re not far off. Makeup, especially with today’s technological advances and talented artists, can be used as a tool not only capable of transforming a person’s appearance, but changing their mood while inspiring feelings of power and confidence. If that doesn’t sound like a occult spell, what does? Makeup beauty.
To further this notion, we can turn to the origin of the word “glamour,” which means magic, enchantment, or witchery. If you’ve seen The Craft, you might recall the scene in which Sarah (Robin Tunney) transforms from a redhead into a blonde in the blink of an eye (and with obvious late ‘90s CGI).
While glamour spells, or spells associated with beauty, are performed by many modern-day witches, magick unfortunately doesn’t work in that same, sensational, Hollywood-esque way.
Can you imagine, no more hours spent at the salon trying to go from dark hair to platinum?! Sign me up!
Depending on the witch and her practice, beauty spells and magical treatments can range from the aforementioned glamour spells, to drawing a sigil (or magic symbol) in your eyeshadow palette, to a kitchen witch whipping up a bath scrub using essential oils and herbs to celebrate the new moon. That last one doesn’,t sound too different from a spa day, amirite?
Then, there are those of us who view lipstick as a powerful magic tool in itself.
Queen Elizabeth I, who was probably not a witch, reportedly believed that lipstick had healing powers so strong they could also ward off death. Unfortunately, ol’ Liz didn’t have Kat Von D lippies or the testing that comes with modern cosmetics, so the rouge she caked on her lips every day contained dangerous ingredients (like lead), which may have contributed to her death. But she was still sort of right — there IS healing magic in lipstick. For me, red lipstick is as powerful as a rose quartz — they both invoke feelings of strength and self love. There’s a reason why I collect massive amounts of both.
Modern beauty products incorporate many of the same herbs that witches have been using for centuries. For example, rose petals, which can be used in love spells, is a common ingredient in cosmetics and fragrances. Honey, another frequent love spell ingredient, is everywhere in skincare lately, from Laura Mercier to Farmacy Beauty. And when you think about it, cosmetic mixtures like a custom Skin Inc. serum from Sephora and that gold-flecked Farsali elixir that was all over your Insta feed a few months ago are pretty much magical potions.
Makeup n beauty tips
The current trend of DIY beauty and brands veering towards natural products basically parallels what witches have used in their spells and recipes for centuries.
The idea of a modern-day, real-life witch might first evoke images of someone who looks more natural than done up — a fresh-faced, Alicia Keys-sans-makeup, earthy woman — but the witches I know would rather sport a powerful lip stain with eye makeup done up like Endora from Bewitched . That being said, some witches might consider nature’,s #1 baddest bitch, aka, the moon, our ultimate beauty icon.
It’s different for every person so I spoke to fellow witches, mystics, and even a popular cosmetics brand about the connection between beauty and their own magical practices.
Briana Luna is a tarot reader, esthetician, and the owner of The Hoodwitch. Follow her Instagram and you can regularly see her flawless nails clutching magnificent stones.
How did you start practicing witchcraft?
I began exploring witchcraft on my own when I was around age 9 or 10. I would read many books for hours on witchcraft, spirituality, and meditation as a teenager and I began to study and read the tarot for myself and eventually my friends. Essentially, I have just always been fascinated with the unseen, and being a very sensitive child, not just knowing but FEELING that something else exist beyond our physical senses. I still rely on my heightened sensitivity and intuition.
What is your relationship to makeup like?
I absolutely LOVE beauty rituals, cosmetics and fragrances. I love everything about the power of transformation, and the art of adornment. Using cosmetics for me, are like rituals tools. You can literally transform yourself into anything you’d like to be. I began collecting rare and very obscure vintage beauty books many years ago. Most people don’t know that I am actually a licensed esthetician and I’ve worked in Hollywood as a professional makeup and special FX makeup artist. My fondest memories as a child were of my mother getting glamorous and doing her hair and makeup in front of a beautiful vanity table.
How do you incorporate magick into your own beauty routine?
I incorporate magick and ritual into my beauty routines by channeling the Goddesses! I live for ancient beauty secrets! Cleopatra’s Milk and honey baths, rose water, clay mask, regular massage, and wearing only the finest perfumes and oils from around the world. I love creating ritual baths with flowers, music, and crystals for specific intentions. I will add rose quartz, and float rose petals into my bathwater when I’m in need of some extra love, or I’ll add honey for sweetness. Oshun, Hathor, Erzulie Freda Dahomey, Venus, Aphrodite — those are my girls. I am very much so connected to the Goddesses of love, sexuality, fertility, and beauty.
What are some of your own personal beauty tips?
Well, I wake up and bathe in the blood of virgins. Just kidding, but I do want one of those vampire facials! They actually cover your face in blood. I drink lots of water and I never drink soda, ever. Silk pillowcases (wrinkle prevention), I don’t sleep in makeup (it ages you and gives you zits), I get manicures and pedicures (even in the winter), and I try to have amazing sex often because it keeps your skin radiant.
What are some of your of self-care rituals when you’re feeling down and worn out?
I do a lot of psychic and energy work which can become draining. If I’m feeling down or depleted, I will take an aura cleansing bath once a week, or whenever necessary. I have a very simple and highly effective recipe for this type of bath that you can find here.
How did you decide to incorporate your love of fabulous nails into The Hoodwitch brand?
Well, my nails have always been my favorite accessory! Nail adornment has been practiced since the days of Ancient Egypt, My nails make me feel like a Goddess. I began taking photos holding my favorite crystals from our store and sharing them on Instagram, and it just stuck. People were very receptive to my signature nails (sharp stiletto tip) and also my opulent nail art. I actually have real fire opals in my nails as I type this!
My personal style is an integration of mysticism with beauty. Most people associate witchcraft with being a dowdy, granola hippie, but I enjoy taking earthier elements like crystals and herbs and incorporating more glamorous elements, because that is who I am. I’m a Taurus Sun and Taurus Moon for heaven sake! I’m a child of Venus! In my interview with Vogue magazine, they coined my nails as “mystic manicures.” I thought that was pretty amazing.
Can you talk a little bit about your collaborations with Floss Gloss?
It was something we both wanted to do for a while as our visual aesthetics are very similar. We just vibed and knew that it would be a perfect fit, all of it flowed organically, we’re kindred spirits. We also have a new collab that just dropped called Dark Moon Trio.
No makeup beauty challenge