At this point in her career, “Lady” feels too informal a title for someone of Gaga’s cultural stature. “Queen” or “Goddess” feels more apt for the Oscar-winning superstar, and it’s never been more apparent than in her jaw-dropping duel covers in the latest issues of both British Vogue and Vogue Italia. With the magazine releases timed to correspond with Gaga’s new movie, the highly-anticipated biopic, House of Gucci, the fashion-filled photos shot by the legendary Steven Meisel take on new significance. Even Lady Gaga’s hair and makeup seem even more intentional than usual — the spreads feel like a fusion of Gaga the modern American popstar and Gaga as an ‘80s-era Patrizia Reggiani, her character in the upcoming film. Masterfully styled by British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, the double covers feel delightfully meta in a way only Gaga can truly nail.
The shoot’s vintage appeal extends far beyond the clothing chosen. For example, while Gaga may wear a new couture Schiaparelli gown adorned with gold lamé seemingly straight out of 1987, her makeup and hair are similarly vintage-seeming with voluminous feathering and purple frosted eyeshadow with carved out, rouge-accented cheekbones. Both cover shoots feature makeup by Pat McGrath, while Guido Palau styled Gaga’s hair and many wigs. That legendary glam duo also happened to be responsible for the last headline-grabbing double Vogue cover featuring an impossibly glamorous Adele.
In this striking, blue hair-punctuated cover, Pat McGrath used some of the most popular products from her eponymous, best-selling line for a flawless, colorful look. For Gaga’s complexion, a combination of the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfecting Foundation, Concealer, Setting Powder, and Blurring Under-Eye powder perfected the canvas before McGrath swept on a heavy dusting of Skin Fetish: Divine Blush in standout shade Cherish.
For the bright, ‘80s-inspired eye look, the legendary makeup artist shares in a press release that she first blended yet another blush in shade Lovestruck through Gaga’s eye crease, lower lash line, and up through the temples — that’s key for the throwback vibe. Four shades from the Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Palette built out the rest of the eyeshadow, but not before a wash of the IntensifEYES Artistry Wand all over the eyelid to amplify the metallic sparkle. To top it all off, McGrath brushed on several coats of the FetishEYES Mascara.
Finally, Gaga’s orange-tinged lip, so glossy and shiny it could practically be vinyl, was drawn on with the PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil in shade Vengeance, then was filled in with the Lip Fetish Balm Divinyl Lip Shine (such a fitting name) in shade Electric Lotus for that captivating sheen.
Of course, along with the larger-than-life, couture-heavy shots, there are plenty of intimate portraits of Gaga that show the musician-actor more stripped-down than usual. In one photo, Gaga is depicted laying on her side, completely naked, with just some soft, natural-looking makeup, very full hair, and a muted manicure by iconic nail artist Jin Soon Choi.
Both types of photos feel even more dramatic when seen back-to-back. Just as easily as Gaga can be vulnerable and nearly bare-faced for the camera, she can pull off Baroque bleached eyebrows framing pale lavender eyeshadow, a sky-high grey wig, and a full-on Elizabethan collar:
McGrath’s work leaves plenty for makeup fans to copy, incorporating season-friendly colors, finishes, and trendy techniques to the otherwise avant-garde looks. In one black-and-white portrait, Gaga shows off the sort of winged, graphic eyeliner that’s everywhere right now — but with painted-on, arched brows and soul-piercing stare, McGrath turns it into high art.
Both cover shoots showcase the essence of Gaga’s artistry: she can at once be the global pop enigma, the in-character Method actor, and the relaxed, down-to-earth woman her friends, family, and fans adore. To get Gaga’s look from the sure-to-be iconic cover, take a peek at the exact products Pat McGrath used from the shoot below.
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