As intergalactic goddess of glam, Lady Gaga knows the awesome force that is makeup. Now she’s making her own and sharing her secrets with us earthly mortals.
Photography by Daniel Jackson
“I never felt beautiful, and I still have days that I don’t feel beautiful.”
“When I became Lady Gaga when I was younger, it was because I discovered makeup.”
“To say to someone, ‘Be brave; accept yourself’— I’ve been there, and you’re like, ‘Who the hell are you to tell me how to feel right now when I hate myself?’” says Gaga. “So I always say I want to inspire bravery, inspire kindness, inspire selfcompassion. Inspire people to see themselves as they wish to see themselves. That is the key. Otherwise you’re telling people how to be.”
“I know I’m settled into myself when I get into a groove with makeup,” says Gaga. “It’s a signal to me: I feel grounded. If I’m constantly going, ‘Change, change, change, change,’ I know that there’s something within me that’s going, ‘You’ve got to get out of your body. Something’s wrong. You don’t want to be here.’ Right now I’m in a lip-liner-with-a-Glam-Attack-on-the-eye-and-cheek groove. And I’ll lather the hell out of my lip gloss before I go out.”
The world’s most famous pop musician disappears into a role that’s a fun-house mirror version of her own rise.
I feel like I’m still a fetus,” says Lady Gaga, looking impeccably glamorous in a wide-belted black Alaïa dress, stabby heels, extravagant lashes, and dark brows, her platinum hair framing her face in soft waves. What she looks like (no doubt deliberately) is a midcentury Italian film star—Monica Vitti in some long-lost Antonioni picture, or a tiny, blond Sophia Loren. What she means is that she feels like she’s just getting started as an artist—that she’s only accomplished a fraction of what she still plans to do—but I have a hard time wrapping my head around this notion, considering the decade she’s just had.