The version of Lady Gaga that appeared on screen one recent morning was more ladylike than gaga. Her seafoam green hairband complemented the ruffled blazer; behind her, a purple orchid hinted at the kind of corner office where flowers are delivered every day. For a woman known for her role - the "liquid tulle" gown at the 2022 Oscars; the dusty "Hold My Hand" video she shot for Top Gun: Maverick. Hand" video for Top Gun: Maverick; the dusty white tank and pilot; the Gucci logo cape and thick-soled boots for the Gucci press tour - Lady Gaga convincingly played the role of an elegant beauty mogul. Only here, glowing from her Malibu compound, where saltwater infinity pools and stables beckoned, she displayed an Ascott-esque balance while remaining firmly the pop dreamer of our time. Before she opens her mouth, her cheekbones are well-defined and shiny, just like her salesman.
Gaga, the mother of reinvention, is talking about the debut of her restructured makeup line, Haus Labs by Lady Gaga. landing at Sephora today with the retailer's Clean Seal, it's a whole category: lip oils and matte lip pencils; bronzers, highlighters and brow pencils; eyeliners and multipurpose pigments in art school shades. (Every dollar purchased benefits her Born This Way Foundation, which supports mental health.) "From the beginning, I've always wanted this company to empower people and unleash their inner artist," she says, recalling that version 1.0 of her brand launches in fall 2019. At the time, she drew inspiration from drugstore beauty staples (a democratizing influence reflected in approachable Amazon pricing) and her own stage-tested kits. A cherry-red Le Monster lip accompanied her for President Biden's 2021 inauguration, while last fall's Casa Gaga capsule collection had a test run in the House of Gucci makeup trailer. Such a prime position is to be expected in this wave of peak celebrity beauty branding. Less unexpected was the relaunch of brass tacks, driven by a homegrown philosophy of nurturing skin health.
"I decided I wanted to make vibrant, clean, artistic looks," Gaga says of the new Haus Labs' focus on beneficial ingredients and color payoff. She points to the Hy-Power pigment paint, which comes in shades of Yves Klein Blue, Taxi Yellow and Fluoro Orange. "I definitely wish I could transport these back to my past," she says when I bring up brushstrokes for makeup in a 2013 "Applause" video. "I've always loved using paint, but a lot of it is dirty and bad for your skin." By contrast, she notes, the Haus version adds plant-derived squalane and hyaluronic acid. (The latter has a low molecular weight, "so it gets deeper into the skin," adds Gaga, sounding like the brand's cosmetic chemist.)
The artist is equally excited about the proprietary ingredients in the line's pressed formulas: Bio-Radiant Gel Powder Highlighter (talc-free, 10 shades) and Power Sculpt Velvet Bronzer (12 shades). "I've been struggling with fibromyalgia and chronic pain for 10 years," she says, and thought topical arnica cream would provide pain relief. She found herself thinking, "Well, if arnica can eliminate inflammation in the body, I wonder if it can soothe the skin." The lab went to work, and the result was a fermented version of arnica-a patent-pending ingredient that became even more effective. "People tell me I can't do it," Gaga says, with a hint of mischief, "and I love it when people tell me I can't do it because it makes me want to prove them wrong."
The original Le Monster lip pencil is refreshed in 12 soft matte shades and a shimmering fuchsia - a color reminiscent of Gaga's highlighter-bright mouth in 2010's "Telephone". 18 shades of Optic Intensity Eco eyeliner was an invitation to Technicolor. When asked which classic movie reboot she would love, it was no surprise to hear Gaga's response. "I think in my dreams I would love to remake the Wizard of Oz and play Dorothy," she said. "It's one of my favorites, and I love Judy Garland, but I don't know if I could write a better song than 'Over the Rainbow.'" That said, she added, "I love making music for films and I'm very interested in future film scores."
Before the gorgeous mogul signed off, I asked about another hypothetical role: Oscars host? "I would absolutely consider hosting the Oscars," she said with measurable solemnity. "It's wonderful to be able to make the public smile, and more than 100 million people watched the Oscars," she reported. "It's truly an honor to be a performer and an inventor of pop culture"-even a beauty essential that can be tucked into a red-carpet clutch. Yes, she wanted to offer high-octane products suitable for this summer's Chromatica Ball tour. But Gaga smiled with her nude lips and soft headband, envisioning her "clean hoes" open to all. "If you prefer a more everyday look and neutral tones, we have beautiful products to nourish your skin."