We talk to witches about the connection between makeup and magick

Christina Wolfgram

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?

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Christina Wolfgram

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.

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Columbia Pictures / giphy.com

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?

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Christina Wolfgram

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.

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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.

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Christina Wolfgram

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.

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Michael Pierce

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.

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Michael Pierce

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.

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Michael Pierce

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.

Pauline Reid is a Wiccan High Priestess and owner of Bewitching Beauty salon in Glasgow, Scotland, where she combines her knowledge of the Craft with her beauty expertise.

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Courtesy of Pauline Reid

When did you start practicing magick?

I knew I was a witch from the age of eight, and growing up in the countryside meant that I had a basic herbal knowledge. I have been initiated and practiced in a coven since I was 18.

How do you decide to incorporate magick into your beauty practice?

I went to college to study beauty culture and my project was based on natural, cruelty-free skincare. This is where I started to develop the idea for my products, The Celestial Range. They were based on a concept similar to the Ayurvedic Tri-Doshas, except split into sun (pitta), moon (kapha), and stars (vata). All my liquid products contained crystals in the bottles to charge and all my herbal additions were chosen depending on which elements and planet ruled them. I then devised a holistic treatment to incorporate them as well as hot stone and rose quartz crystal massage.

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Courtesy of Pauline Reid

What can customers expect when they come in for a treatment at your salon?

My clients ask a lot of the time for love spells, but my most popular treatment is called Spellbound, where I start with a tea leaf reading or three-card tarot spread to determine which spell kit I will make for the client to take home. I then smudge and cleanse the aura with sage, balance chakras with crystals, and massage the whole body with a special astrological and magical blend of oils.

This is the future of waxing! #perronrigotwax #bewitchingbeautyglasgow #hollywoodbikiniwax

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What are some of your own personal beauty tips you’d like to share?


My favorite face mask is honey to nourish the skin, or simply an egg white whisked with a few drops of lemon juice to tighten pores and ideally an hour before makeup application. I also use strawberry juice to whiten my teeth. My best anti-aging blend of essential oils contains frankincense, which was used a lot by the Egyptians, and rose oil.

Also my spell of the season (which can be found on my homepage) is my favorite beauty ritual for self love which I always perform on a Friday night (sacred to Venus/Aphrodite) of a full moon.

Gabriela Herstik is an LA-based writer and, “Like Carrie Bradshaw, if Carrie Bradshaw were a witch.”

Before I entered @deandri.shop's Warehouse Sale, died and went to Heaven (Hell???) 🔮👻💀👁🐰👽🦂⚰💣

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How and when did you start practicing magick?

I’ve always been into magick. When I was little my mom said I would “talk to God” and say “that she/he answered me.” I grew up Jewish, but my mother was always very spiritual. From a young age I appreciated energy work, crystals, yoga, etc. When I was 11 I had an aunt who gave me a Faery Oracle Deck by Brian Froud. I was transfixed. I had always been interested in faeries and after getting this deck I needed to know MORE. I bought a book called The Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk and started reading about witchcraft, and Wicca, and automatically felt a click.

I started practicing magick when I was 12. Mostly through simple rituals and tarot — nothing too involved. Nowadays, magick for me is more through the powers of manifestation, intentional energy work with the way I think and co-create my universe, and how I help others. Of course, I still do spells and rituals depending on what I need more or less of, but I think my everyday relationship with the universe is what’s most important. Usually this involves tarot, some breath work, affirmations and the like. I still work with the faeries and feel a very big kinship towards them and the natural realm. Witchcraft feels like coming home.

What is your relationship to beauty/makeup like?

I love makeup. I’m definitely not obsessed, but I for sure have my routine! I always wear a very defined brow, a pointed cat eye and some lipstick. If I deviate from my Anastasia dip brow, ELF liquid liner and lipstick look then I will do a colored eyeliner, a bit of a natural brow or something weird like yellow or gold eyeshadow. I love to have fun with makeup and fashion! I try and do something different every day, depending on what I wear and how I feel. I love myself with or without makeup, but wearing makeup is like the finishing touch on a good outfit. I feel incomplete without it, not because I’m not comfortable but simply because I love it! Makeup is fun! It makes me feel beautiful and powerful.

How do you incorporate magick into your own beauty routine?

I usually decide my outfit the night before so I tend to know how I want to do my makeup to compliment my look. But if I’m not sure I’ll usually pull a tarot card for the day and use that as a baseline or color palette for what I want. Using plant-based and natural makeup, masks and ritual baths are also a really great way to incorporate the two! I recently got an all-natural toner and I realized this morning I was just slapping it on, so I was more intentional feeling all the natural medicines seeping into my skin. I used Ujjayi breath to help. I should probably sage/smoke cleanse my makeup for some extra pure energy!

💎💎Ice ice baby💎💎 (Clutch + co-styling by @hfrancise)

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What are some of your own personal beauty tips that you’d like to share?

Find a lipstick that makes you feel like a damn DEITY! Everyone deserves the joy of adult face paint — man and woman! I swear by e.l.f. liquid liner from Target. I use that and about a million Q-tips to make a sharp cat eye. I think people should wear what they want and have fun with their makeup! Makeup and fashion are ways to feel powerful and important in the space you take up in this world. It’s a privilege to be who you want, and if you have it, own it. Do what YOU want! And don’t forget to have fun!

Rituel de Fille is a magic-inspired, cruelty-free, handcrafted natural cosmetics brand founded by three sisters.

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Rituel de Fille

How did you come up with the idea of Rituel de Fille, and how did you decide to incorporate witchcraft themes into it?

Rituel de Fille is a balance point of all of our interests, aesthetics and perspectives, and we believed that other women would share our vision — or at least find inspiration in it. The line originated as a concept for color that was more about ceremony, personal significance, and power. We were fixated on creating potions from natural ingredients, which carry the significance of history and tradition, that would also perform spectacularly well to allow for truer personal expression with color. Our themes ultimately blossomed from the products themselves, what’s actually in the containers, rather than imposing a branding concept on unrelated cosmetics.

What is your personal relationship to witchcraft?

Rituel de Fille was created out of our genuine obsessions and inspirations, and our aesthetic and tone evolved naturally. We all have strong individual relationships to natural magic and spirituality — as interesting as they can be, we don’t adhere to any religiously structured system that dictates specific practices.

 Caroline:

 I love exploring the relationship between the physical and energetic world. I love recognizing the patterns in the invisible systems that dictate the universe and the connections between people. Astrology and tarot are both inherently forms of divination, but more than predictions of the future, what I love is the different lenses that they provide to examine my present life and situations. It never stops exciting me how correct they actually are, and I continually get meaning and guidance out of them in a really accurate way.

 Michelle:

  I share a fascination with the Tarot and astrology, and practice divination. I’m very spiritual and intuitive, and I find inspiration in many magical traditions. I also practice meditation and visualization as a way to connect to my higher self and create connections with higher planes of consciousness.

 Katherine:

  I’m rooted in the complexities and mysteries of the physical world. I have more of an alchemical inclination and I am an obsessive researcher, with a deep love of compounding, botanicals, pigments, and following lines of history in creating something new and meaningful.

Love Spell, Seven Sisters, Viscera, Serpent de Mer // Four of our Ash and Ember #Eye Soots, captured by @_nnataliiie.

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How do you incorporate magic into your own beauty routines?

We believe there’s power in creating and using products with intention and focus. We have an intense fascination with the offerings of nature, and we feel a sort of connection with the greater world through the ritualistic, multi-sensory nature of applying to the body.

Thistle, Datura and Love-Ache // Enchanted #Lip Sheers, beautifully captured by @catbirdnyc.

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What are some of your own personal beauty tips that you’d like to share?

Adorning the body is one of mankind’s most instinctive actions, not too far off from eating and sex, and a core part of what makes us uniquely human. With makeup, you’re defining your identity, claiming ownership of your body, and taking part in a creative tradition that has existed about as long as we’ve walked the earth.

Give yourself some room to play; the right colors and applications for you will fall into place naturally if you just experiment and trust yourself. And all that ultimately matters is what you love and what you want to achieve.

Madame Pamita is a Los Angeles-based tarot reader, rootworker, and musician.

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How and when did you start practicing magick?

I started as a young kid — around 10 years old. I remember avidly reading anything I could about magic and the supernatural. There were very, very few books about magic then, and none that were designed for kids, but thankfully I found some books by Sybil Leek in my middle school library…and between that and reading about old timey “superstitions,” I figured out a few magic basics.

How do you incorporate magick into your own beauty routines?

There are tons of magic spells for beauty. Adding rosemary (herb, infusion or essential oil) to anything is an old time beauty spell. Or there’s a great oil called “Look Me Over” that you can wear as a personal scent and it gets you noticed. I’ve used it many times and so have many of my clients and we all swear by it!

All kinds of super special unusual spells on the altar tonight #notyourmamasspellwork

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What are some of your own personal beauty tips that you’d like to share?

Create a magic beauty bath for yourself. Make a tea of dried rose petals, lavender, catnip, cubeb berries, and damiana. Add this tea to your bath water and light a small pink candle. Bath by the light of this candle and say, “I am beautiful” or any similar intention or affirmation out loud to yourself as you bathe in the water. Visualize yourself as beautiful with others responding positively to your beauty. When you get out of the bath, look at yourself in the mirror by the candle light. Gaze into your own eyes and tell yourself, “I love you” 13 times out loud. Snuff out the candle, get dressed up and go out for a night on the town or another social event where your beauty will be noticed.

What are your thoughts on the recent surge in popularity of witchcraft/crystals/mysticism?

People are evolving and opening up to non-traditional (but actually the most traditional) ways. It’s like the hundredth monkey effect. When a critical mass of people open up to something, it spreads like wildfire. It’s just that enough people have finally woken up.

Beauty is 98% confidence. If you feel confident in your ability to attract positive notice, you will. Work on your mind first and the other 2% is easy. The best thing that you can do is to stop looking in the mirror and finding fault with your looks. Stop it! Tell yourself you are beautiful every day and you will project beauty out in the world.
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Christina Wolfgram

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