When Lady Gaga first rose to fame back in 2008, she was an instant hit. She became famous for her upbeat yet edgy pop songs, her staggeringly fashionable outfits, and her instantly recognizable Lady Gaga makeup looks; which still influence popular beauty trends today. When I initially heard her first hit track "Just Dance" I was hypnotized by the entrancing rhythm, insanely catchy tune, and Gaga's ability to melodically "speak" her lyrics, thus crossing the bridge between rapping and singing. Lady Gaga is always three steps ahead of most other pop artists and she draws heavily on popular culture references to inspire her overall aesthetic.
Although some people may argue that during points of her career she has worn certain outfits to draw attention to herself and possibly go a bit overboard on the shock factor — aka that meat dress, which gained her applause from the fashion industry but enraged animal rights activists — she has used her influence to do a lot of good. Gaga founded the Born This Way Foundation to help empower young people to deal with issues such as bullying and she is an activist (and IMHO poster girl) for the LGBT community.
Thus what better homage could there be for the crème de la crème of pop royalty than to create some of her iconic makeup looks? I wanted to discover if these awesome, out there Lady Gaga beauty looks could be recreated at home by little old me; an untrained and unqualified-in-the-art-of-makeup gal from England. Let's get started, I wanna' be that G.I.R.L.!
This is me with no makeup on and with completely naked skin.
I applied a base layer so that I had an even canvas. I moisturized with Nivea, applied Bourjouis Healthy Mix Foundation in “Vanilla,” and lastly added a touch of Bourjois blush in “Rose Frisson.”
I thought I would start with the tamest Lady Gaga beauty look first and work up to the quirkiest. Pictured here in her music video for "G.U.Y." Gaga wears an art deco lined lid with a natural style face.
To start, I attempted to lighten my eyebrows like Lady Gaga so I slapped some concealer on them. But as you can see, it didn't work too well as my eyebrows are a dark, mousey brown (spoiler alert: that's my natural hair color).
I grabbed my trusty new eyeliner (thanks mom!) which is a "Twist Up Kohl Eyeliner Pencil" by Laval. You could really use any eyeliner that takes your fancy but I imagine a kohl type would be easier to use when trying to create this unusual, angular shape rather than a liquid eyeliner, which could smudge across your eyelid skin folds.
As you can see, this was super tricky to complete and mine didn't end up quite even. My method was dotting my starting and finishing points halfway across my eyelid and then out to where I wanted the "wing" to end. I would probably recommend using a ruler and possibly a helpful friend so that you get them exactly alike and super straight.
I then added Lush’s “Eyes Right” mascara to finish off this quick and easy Lady Gaga look.
My "triangles" went a bit lopsided in comparison to Lady Gaga's — it's a surprisingly tricky look to create when you just have one eye available to guide you. I think if I had a ruler and a helpful buddy to help me achieve erect lines, I would definitely wear this look on a day to day basis.
Next I wanted to try this super striking, glam makeup look that Lady Gaga wears in her music video for "Telephone." In this scene, she is calling Beyoncé from jail and boy, does she look fierce!
I started by creating a metallic base layer on my eyelids. I applied Bourjois Ombre à Paupières in “Argent” all over my lids. I wet the brush occasionally to get a really pigmented color.
Next, I created a bit of "light and shade" by adding Bourjois Ombre à Paupières in “Gris Paillettes” to the outer half of each eyelid to add a touch of depth. Again, I wet the applicator to achieve a more dramatic, darker shade.
Then I completely lined my eyes with the aforementioned eyeliner. This proved to be quite tricky as I was "drawing" on top of the thick coating of silver eyeshadow. If I were to complete this look again, I would line my eyes before applying any eyeshadow. I then added a coating of Lush mascara.
After this, I used my eyeliner to create a really OTT flick like Gaga. To make sure I got these even on both sides, I marked a dot on each side where I wanted the flick to end and then drew a line down from the dots. I joined the flicks up to the eyeliner around the top and bottom of my lids, focusing on the smooth sweep from the top lid so that it didn't just look like some random line.
I then used the eyeliner to shade in my brows and create villain flicks at the ends like in Lady Gaga's look.
Next, I added a red lipstick to complete my look. However, my lipstick collection isn't too big so I didn't have the correct shade; so I made it! I started off with a Boots’ Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in “Crimson.”
I enjoy experimenting with makeup and have mixed eyeshadow with lipstick before to create new shades. But this time I used my trusty black eyeliner — which is proving to be a very useful makeup must have — to line my lips. Apologies if this grosses you out, but I am OK with this as I know I'm a clean lady. Also, it is worth checking that before you apply anything to an area of your face that is only intended for a specific area, that it is safe to use on other areas, too. I'm a rebel and I didn't actually check.
As a final, finishing flourish I added a cute beauty spot to copy Gaga's look entirely.
I just couldn't resist pulling a Gaga pose!
The "Artpop" Clown
During her video for "Applause," Gaga is seen in eccentric, avant-garde, clown-like makeup. Instead of being neatly applied and immaculate, it is given an edge by appearing as if an artist has been let loose on her face with his brushes; which gives a nod to the name of the album which "Applause" features on, Artpop.
I began by sweeping a bright yellow Barry M Dazzle Dust all over my eyelids and right up to my brow.
Next, I used the previously mentioned Bourjois Ombre à Paupières in “Gris Paillettes” to roughly line my eyes under and above. I also swept a little down the sides of my nose.
I lightened the inner corners of my eyes with the lightest shade from Chanel’s Les 4 Ombres palette in “Stage Lights.”
I then set to work on my cheeks using a red eyeshadow from my “Brights Eyeshadows” palette by Technic.
Shortly after, I began to blend in a bright pink and a purple eyeshadow from the same palette. I wanted to make it look quite artistic and painterly like Lady Gaga's look, so I used a combined method of sweeping, blending, and dabbing with a large eyeshadow brush.
I then moved on to tackle the eyebrows. As aforementioned, I don't have anything to be able to "white out" my eyebrows with, so I drew a pair of straight brows over the top of my own. Isn't it funny how they instantly make me look kinda' sad?
Next, I applied the same red lippy as before and yep, you guessed it, I realized I would have to mix my own dark shade.
I used a combination of blended eyeshadows to achieve this dark tone, but it was mainly comprised of a MAC Eyeshadow in “Electric Eel” as this eyeshadow is highly pigmented.
I don't think this look would be suitable for the everyday, but I definitely like certain elements of it. For instance, I love the painterly, blended cheeks made up of red, purple, and pink eyeshadow, and I think the grey eyeshadow on top of the yellow is a really interesting look. Of course, it would be a great look for a fancy dress party — I'm attending a Mighty Boosh party next month and I shall definitely bear this in mind.
Whether you want to go all out artistic clown, sport subtle triangle eyeliner, or rock a jailbird look, be prepared for the applause and don't forget your mirror ball bra!
Images: Phoebe Waller; Giphy; LadyGagaVEVO/YouTube