If you’re a music lover, you can probably name that one album that came into your life and altered the course of your destiny. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, released in 2011, was that album for me. And while Little Monsters everywhere can agree to disagree on Gaga’s best album, it’s impossible to deny Gaga’s influence over the past decade. From fashion to politics to beauty, this woman has left her claw mark in the zeitgeist. Gaga’s impact isn’t just due to her fame. She habitually uses her platform for good, from supporting the LGBTQ+ community before it was “cool” to do so to postponing the release of her upcoming album to respect everything happening with COVID-19.
It’s an artist's ability to not only entertain us but also use art and beauty as a guiding light during dark times that makes them poignant. It’s the Marry the Night effect, so to speak. So to honor the artist, I reached out to her makeup artist, who's also the global artistry director of Lady Gaga’s makeup line Haus Laboratories, Sarah Tanno-Stewart. You’ll hear firsthand from Tanno-Stewart about Gaga’s most iconic beauty moments and her tips for replicating them at home. But first, a little about the woman behind Gaga’s looks—because while we’re born this way, we can all still use a little help along the way.
For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about how you became a celebrity makeup artist? Who are some of your clients?
I never really set out to be a “celebrity makeup artist.” I started in fashion and have become extremely lucky to be able to work with some of the most inspiring women out there. Some of my regular clients include Lady Gaga, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, Kate Bosworth, and Sofia Boutella.
When did you first start doing Lady Gaga’s makeup?
The first time I ever did Gaga’s makeup was back in September 2009. That’s when my life changed forever. We have had so many extremely special moments together over the last decade.
Does Gaga have a go-to makeup look?
I think she is the ultimate chameleon when it comes to makeup. She is extremely open to trying anything and everything, which makes me the luckiest artist in the world. If she had a signature, it would be a big wing liner and a bright mouth.
And have you had any all-time favorite looks you created for her?
One for the books was creating the first campaign image for our makeup brand Haus Laboratories that we launched in September 2019. It was the most rewarding and full-circle moment for me. As Gaga's long-time friend, makeup artist, and now as the global artistry director of Haus to use products that we created together with the product development team and see it all come to life. For us, it's more about the transformative power of makeup, how we want to make people feel brave, inspired to express themselves and most importantly practice self-love.
Do you have any products you love to use on Gaga? Or any products she loves using that you can share?
One of the first products we wanted to create for Haus Laboratories was the perfect blacker-than-black matte liquid liner, and it’s a fan favorite. Eye-Lie-Ner in Punk is something we use almost every single day. It has a tip wide enough to drag on its side and also sharp enough for the most intricate details. We also love the new Le Monster Matte Lip Crayons. They are the most comfortable matte lipstick you will ever wear. Try Talk Dirty for a perfect everyday color or my favorite red lipstick, Mastered.
Okay, let’s get into a time machine and go through some Gaga’s most iconic beauty moments Tanno-Stewart created…
WHAT: 87th Annual Academy Awards, 2015
“Ah, what a night to remember,” Tanno-Stewart reminisces. “Gaga was wearing custom Azzedine Alaïa, about to sing the iconic Sound of Music, and we opted for this classic Hollywood beauty look fit for the Oscars.”
To create this paparazzi-ready beauty look, Tanno-Stewart used a light foundation to give Gaga’s skin an allover radiant look.
Tanno-Stewart goes on to tell us, “It’s essential to opt for a bright glossy red lip to achieve that glamorous element.”
And finally, to achieve this full Gaga look, take a cue from Tanno-Stewart and create a “subtle yet defined” eyelid by applying a shimmery eye shadow.
WHAT: Super Bowl, 2017
Does this look remind you of Gaga’s earlier fame monster days—before even the Euphoria makeup craze? That’s the intention, per Tanno-Stewart: “Performing at the Super Bowl was such a huge moment in Gaga’s career.” she continues, “ I wanted her to look like the most iconic version of herself so that she could look back at her performance 10 years later and still love everything about it.”
Want to re-create this look on your own? Tanno-Stewart recommends opting for a bold red lip. You can use her favorite red lip crayon or your signature color.
For the eyes, you’ll want to use a slightly metallic rose eye shadow.
Next, Tanno-Stewart suggests, “Define your eyes with a classic winged eyeliner.”
And finally, if you want the drama, don’t be afraid to lay on the gems. You’ll leave ’em starstruck.
WHAT: 60th Annual Grammy Awards, 2018
One could say Gaga’s look for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards was made for the heavy metal lovers, but in reality, Tanno-Stewart’s vision was “for Gaga’s eyes to look like a starry night. Black with touches of glitter. Accentuated with a soft nude glossy lip.”
She continues, “To create this look, I rimmed her eyes heavily with a gel highlighter that I blended all over the lid. I then winged the shape to a sharp point using liquid eyeliner.”
“I then winged the shape to a sharp point using liquid eyeliner,” she explains.
After you’ve applied eyeliner, Tanno-Stewart recommends using Haus Labs’ Glam Attack in Chained Ballerina all over your eyelids heavily. “It has a beautiful silver pearl in it and makes doing the ultimate smokey eye in minutes easy,” she says.
“Next, apply some loose silver glitter with your finger all over. Make sure not to make it perfect. It should resemble the stars in the sky,” she explains.
For the lips, Tanno-Stewart used Marc Jacobs’s Prim(rose) lip liner to define Gaga's pout.
Followed by Le Marc Lipstick in Cream & Sugar to fill out her lips and finalize the look.
WHAT: A Star Is Born red carpet, 2018
“Gaga’s look for the A Star Is Born red carpet may be my most favorite look of all time,” Tanno-Stewart confessed. “I know it’s very soft and angelic, but I’ve never seen my friend radiate like she did this day.”
For this look, Tanno-Stewart started by prepping the eyes with a primer.
After you’ve prepped your eyelids, she advises, “I would define your eye crease.” You can do so using a light brown eye shadow. You can use the exact Marc Jacobs shade, Big O!, followed by the darker brown shade, Daddi-O.
Don’t want two separate shadows? Tanno-Stewart swears by the Contort shade from Haus’s Glam Room Palette.
After applying your neutral tones, to finish off your eye makeup, you’ll want to add in the glitter to your lids.
Then you’ll finish off your eyes for this look by “applying tons of mascara,” per Tanno-Stewart’s recommendation.
And finally, to put the final polishes on this Gaga-inspired beauty look, she suggests, “Apply your barely there lip gloss to the center of your pout. Then feel free to define your lips with a darker nude lip liner if you want.”
WHAT: Toronto International Film Festival, A Star Is Born premiere, 2018
“I loved this look. She wanted to feel strong. I thought of creating a strong crease with a defined eye and glossy mouth,” Tanno-Stewart professed to us.
To create Gaga’s look from the Toronto International Film Festival, she used Marc Jacobs’s highlighter gel eye crayon eyeliner in (Wave)Length to create a dramatic cat eye.
To add a little extra shimmer like this Gaga beauty look, Tanno-Stewart suggests, “Apply Haus’s glitter attack shimmer powder in Aphrodite all over the eyelid.”
Next, she explains, “You’ll want to define your lips with a lip liner. I suggest Haus's Rip Lip Liner in En Pointe.”
And to finish off the look, Tanno-Stewart suggests, “Opt for a nude gloss with high shine. My personal favorite is Haus’s Le Riot Lip Gloss in Corset.”
WHAT: 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2019
“I really was inspired by Old Hollywood glamour with a touch of ’30s,” she tells us. For re-creating the look, you can start by applying the lip color.
For Gaga’s Screen Actors Guild Awards look, Tanno-Stewart used a blend of Marc Jacobs’s Blow lipstick with a pop of Dashing in the center to brighten.
Want to avoid blending lipsticks? She also recommends trying Haus’s Le Monster Matte Lip Crayon to create the same look.
For the eyelids, she used the flamboyant Eye-Conic eye shadow palette. Just sweep the Eleganza shade all over the lids and under the outer corner of your eyes to create the same look as Gaga’s. And “don’t be scared to just use your finger to blend. It's so easy,” she exclaims.
And then, you'll want to define your eyes using a great eyeliner.
Followed by a couple layers of mascara.
And to complete your look, you'll want to apply a good brow product to mimic Gaga's great brows.
WHAT: Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion, 2019
“This Met Gala look was so much fun to create for the Haus Gaga team,” she shares. “I wanted her to be an extreme version of herself. The brightest pink mouth, the longest lashes and make them gold. I drew inspiration from Barbie and Galliano.”
For this campy beauty look, Tanno-Stewart first prepped Gaga’s skin using moisturizer, and you should too!
After moisturizing, she suggests defining your eyes and overdrawing them with liquid eyeliner. You can use Marc Jacobs, Haus, or your favorite eyeliner for this step.
After applying eyeliner, she details, “Use a white or pink pencil on the waterline to exaggerate the eyes so they appear larger than life.”
“Gaga's lashes for the Met Gala were made from craft store paper and glued onto a layer of lashes," Tanno-Stewart declared to us. But don't fret, if you can’t DIY, you can achieve the same Mother Monster–inspired look by opting for a pair of fake lashes, or as Tanno-Stewart suggested to us, "by adding some crystals along your top liner and a few larger crystals under your eyes for definition."
And finally, finish your Gaga/Met Gala-inspired beauty look off with a fuchsia lip. Voilà! Now you can be the queen.
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