This Makeup Artist's Rock Album-Inspired Lip Art Will Make You So Nostalgic

While Instagram is jam packed with celebrity makeup artists, beauty vloggers, casual makeup lovers, and six-second "copy my look" tutorials, every now and then you come across a profile that really brings you something truly different. Which, on social media, is a tall order. Beauty influencers are always brainstorming new ideas on how to keep things fresh and how to hold their followers' interest, from creating "100 layers of makeup" challenges to whipping together so-bad-it's-good trends, like squiggle eyebrows. But Ryan Kelly's album cover lip art has to take the cake — or at least, for this week.

Ryan Kelly is a makeup artist that showcases her work both on YouTube and Instagram, and specifically focuses on lip art. While scrolling through her grid, you won't find tutorials on smokey eyeshadows or avant garde takes on highlighting. Instead it's all lips — but that doesn't make it boring. She thinks outside of the box and creates looks that could double as works of art. From an avocado tribute, to really fun lip tattoos made with Kat Von D liquid eyeliner, to an eerily realistic neon glow lip liner look, she's got a lot of ideas.

And the newest of which was to recreate some of the most iconic, well-known album covers on her lips. While it might sound difficult to do (just imagine the detailing,) the results were amazing. A four part series, she reinterpreted famous bands like Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and the Rolling Stones.

If you're wondering how she got the idea to pay tribute to these iconic bands, the inspiration came naturally. "I was actually a musician (singer/songwriter) long before I knew anything about makeup. I had to learn how to do my make-up for the stage and it just sort of went from there!" Kelly tells Bustle. "So for me, music and this weird little art niche of mine go hand and hand (or lip and lip?). I figured it was high time to integrate the two." Check out her creations below.


The series opened up with Nirvana, where Kelly didn't so much as recreate the album cover (it would have taken a steady and patient hand to draw a whole baby,) but rather the band's iconic smiley face logo.

In order to create it, she used Kat Von D's liquid lipstick in "Witches" as the base color, and then to create the smiley she reached for NYX Cosmetics Vivid Brights liner in "Vivid Halo," and then set the liner with the brand's Vivid Brights shadow in "Hot Yellow."

And if you're wondering where she got those amazing nail wraps, they're from NC LA.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was up next in the rock band series, where she recreated the triangular prism from their "Dark Side of the Moon" cover. Kat Von D's "Witches" liquid lipstick was once again used as the base, and Make Up For Ever's Flash Palette was used for the white “glow.” As for the rainbow prism, she reached for her Wolfe FX palette to create the band of colors, which is basically a Halloween face paint palette.

Joy Division

Joy Division was chosen next, where she not only posted a photo of the finished product but created a mini tutorial! Taking the cover of their 1979 album, "Unknown Pleasures," Kelly recreated the 3D-like mountain art on her lips.

Kat Von D's "Witches" liquid lipstick was once again used as the base color, followed up with Paradise Makeup AQ Face & Body Paint in "white" for the lines.

The Rolling Stones

The best look was saved for last! This whole look was done with Mehron Makeup's Paradise Paint AQ, just like the white lines from the Joy Division look. This look happened to be Kelly's favorite creation in the series. "The concept of their iconic lip logo actually painted on the lips was just too perfect to pass up," she shares.

Not only was it her favorite, but it was also the hardest to accomplish, but not for the reason you're probably thinking. "I think especially in the time when people went out and bought records or CDs, cover art was really important. People associate that art with the music, and that triggers an emotional response," she says. She wanted to stay as true to that connection as she could, which made the Rolling Stones lip the hardest to do. It wasn't exactly hard in a technical way, but because it was so recognizable. "Fans of the band would definitely notice if something was out of place. It had to be as close to the original as I could make it. Hopefully I did it justice!"

If you're looking for a dose of creativity and inspiration in your IG feed, definitely follow Kelly to start seeing your makeup in a whole new way.