Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards were many different things: an award show, a fashion conference, a stan Twitter battleground, and a BLACKPINK concert all in one. As the industry’s buzziest artists flocked to Newark’s Prudential Center, traipsing up and down the black carpet, fans were treated to deliciously over-the-top ensembles and eminently copyable beauty looks ready to set the tone for fall and beyond. Lizzo’s VMAs 2022 aesthetic is a perfect place to start, too. Though the About Damn Time singer is (was?) the ultimate queen of summer, her gothic-inspired look proves her reign shows no signs of ceasing. Created by her go-to makeup artist, Alexx Mayo, using a team of Charlotte Tilbury favorites, lipstick alone would have been enough to land her on every best-of list. However, this is Lizzo — she didn’t just come to the VMAs with one standout look. She came with three, and it’s impossible to decide which one’s supreme.
Lizzo’s sumptuous, black-on-black VMAs arrival look is undoubtedly centered around the rich coat of midnight black lipstick painted on her bow-shaped lips and topped with a faux hoop piercing right in the middle. Mayo actually repurposed Charlotte Tilbury eye pencils to get the shape perfect, using the Rock ‘N’ Kohl in Bedroom Black and Eye Colour Magic Liner Duo in Super Blue to perfect the colors. Complemented by glossy, slicked-back waves styled by celebrity hair artist Shelby Swain, the overall effect is opulent, edgy, and just what the beauty world needed to really get excited about fall and winter.
Swain used a complete lineup of GHD and Matrix products to perfect the wet-look waves cascading down Lizzo’s back. “During our collaborative meeting, I was mesmerized by the initial concept of the dress,” Swain explains in a press release. “I wanted to implement the dress with something sleek and timeless yet edgy.” Swain says prep and care ahead of wig use is crucial for hair and scalp health, sharing that she washed, conditioned, and dried Lizzo’s natural hair with the Matrix A Curl Can Dream shampoo and hair mask first. “Once I finished blowdrying, I was able to curate Lizzo’s locks into a secure braided base by using Matrix Instacure Tension Reliever on the scalp to provide extra moisture and protection for her hair to remain gorgeous while flaunting this sleek bold hairstyle,” Swain says. With Lizzo’s hair protected, it was time to secure the flowing wig.
What’s so interesting about Swain’s look breakdown, though, is the revelation that she and Lizzo decided on the wet look just minutes before hitting the black carpet. Quickly, Swain spritzed the hair with the Matrix Instacure Anti-Breakage Porosity Spray for wetness and waves, before carefully arranging her edges with a pomade hybrid and locking the entire look down with hairspray.
Between the faux piercing, the wet-look waves, and the sultry black makeup, it seems like Lizzo will be leading the pack rolling into Goth Girl Fall, a celebration of all things moody, spooky, and delightfully dramatic. In fact, you can consider two out of three of her VMAs looks like starter packs — she even had a chain-link nose piercing too at one point.
Clip on a fake hoop in any nostril and seek on billowy, lush garments in rich, jewel-tone shades. Instant edge, instantly on-trend.