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When Lady Gaga burst onto the music scene with "Just Dance" in 2008, she was wearing her signature mask of giant eyelashes and gold lightening bolts. Over the years her look has evolved to include fake blood, lobsters, crystal-encrusted eye masks, and classic winged eyeliner, but one thing's clear: beauty has always been part of her DNA.
So it came as a surprise to no one when Mother Monster announced she was creating a makeup line earlier this year, and finally, after months of teasing, Haus Laboratories, named for Gaga's creative collective, is available to shop today. The line, co-created by Gaga and her longtime makeup artist Sarah Tanno is a collection of multi-use products inspired by stage makeup.
This is not a case of a celebrity slapping their name on something. Gaga's personal brand is all over the line, from the shade names that she singlehandedly came up with—full of nods to her songs, as well as her upbringing in theater—to the message of self-love and empowerment.
"God gave me this voice for a reason, I don’t know why, I ask myself that question all the time," she told Business of Fashion in July. "But I’m sure as hell not going to put out a beauty brand that is going to drive insecurity and fear into people. This is about liberation.”
Tanno echoed that statement at a press-only event in New York on Friday. "I can't tell you the countless times beauty has helped Gaga—where we’ve picked her off the ground and painted on Lady Gaga, and she’s ready to go," she told the room. "It’s amazing that these tools can give you such bravery." Tanno and Gaga want shoppers to feel that same sense of power and expression when they use the line. "What we don’t want is a bunch of people trying to look like Lady Gaga," says Tanno. "We want you to use these tools to express yourself in whatever way that is."
While you might expect the line to be over the top, it's surprisingly minimal and comprises only four products: Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer Powders, RIP Lip Liners, Le Riot Glosses, and Eye-lie-ner Liquid Eyeliner. The products were mostly inspired by what Gaga and Tanno found to be lacking in the market, as well as some of Gaga's necessities. And, of course, they were all "Gaga tested" on the star and her dancers during her Enigma shows. If they're strong enough to withstand that, they should work for us.
We had Glamour editors ranging from casual listeners to super fans put the products to the test to see what's worth your money. Read on for our honest reviews.
Gaga and Tanno couldn't find a glitter that stayed put for an entire show yet came off with a single wipe, so they created one. These multi-use pigments can be used all over your face (Gaga likes to use the shade Rose B*tch on her eyes, lips, and cheeks) and don't budge once set. Tanno likes a brush to apply it, but you can also use your fingers, as long as you shake them before using them.
"As a huge Gaga stan, I had really high hopes for this collection, and I have to say it was a little caught off guard by how minimal it was when I saw the photos. But, having held it in my hands, the simple black packaging feels special and sophisticated. I patted Legend, a stunning gold, on my lids with a brush, and used Aphrodite, a rose quartz, on my cheeks as a highlighter.
For such shimmery products they have no grit or tackiness, they dry in seconds and feel like I have nothing on. As a highlight I think they're a little too glittery, or at least for day time, but I really love the gold on my eyes. It looks almost molten, and the shine can be seen from across the room. I've been touching my eyes all day and the glitter hasn't budged or rained down my face. I also used the Lip Liner in En Pointe to overline and fill in my lips, and loved how creamy it was yet still had great definition. Is there anything Gaga can't do?" —Bella Cacciatore, beauty associate
"In an actual huge surprise to me, pink shimmery eyeshadow has become a mainstay in my beauty routine summer. I love that it brings out the green in my eyes and it always feels a little more special than a basic neutral. Now I've got another to add to my rotation, because this shade is stupid pretty. I love that the applicator is slightly tipped and comes to a point at the end, which makes it easy to brush on without any thought—both on your lids and as underliner. It was a smidge creasy on my oily eyelids by 5 P.M., but nothing a quick swipe of my finger couldn't fix. I totally get why this one is Gaga's favorite." —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor
"I've low-key been waiting for Haus Laboratories to drop so that I could try out a more pigmented eye look a la the Spring 2020 runways. Gaga's liquid eyeshadow in Dynasty is exactly what I was on the hunt for: a heavily pigmented yet lightweight eyeshadow that's built for finger application. A little product goes a VERY long way. Not even a full brush-load of this emerald—which was inspired by Gaga's look at the 2015 Grammy's—is needed to give ultimate payoff. I'm a fan." —Brionna Jimerson, associate social media manager
RIP Lip Liner ($16)
"I’ve never found a lip liner like ours," says Tanno. "I really want to change the way people wear lip liner, and think of lip liner. Usually people think, Oh you use it to line your lips before you put a lipstick on,' but that’s not how we—meaning me and Gaga—use it. We like to fill our entire lip in, so this formula is really smooth, you can wear it all over, and I like having the precision."
"I am so excited Mother Monster has blessed us with a beauty line, and I’m already in love with the Myth lip liner! It’s demi-matte so it glides on smoothly, making it really easy to use all over lips (my preferred lip trick) without giving a caked on effect. I topped it off with the Venus lip gloss and even after taking some sips of water, everything is still in place. The gloss has a really moisturizing, creamy texture and I love the subtle nude colors of these two shades together." —Azadeh Valanejad, social video editor
Le Riot Lip Gloss ($18)
Gaga loves a glossy lip, but wanted something that would still be hydrating and comfortable, says Tanno. Meet Le Riot.
"When you think Lady Gaga you think the works, the most, everything metallic and shimmery and extra as hell all at once. Haus Laboratories definitely has that but I was also pleasantly surprised by how low-key and subtle some of the products could be. The Le Riot lip gloss was perfect and gave my lips some shine without doing too much. I have small lips that make me self conscious and the gloss gave it a plumper look. Like Lady Gaga, Haus Laboratories definitely has the range." —Tara Gonzalez, commerce editor
"I love a berry lip but gloss is something I typically steer clear of for the most obvious reason: it's messy. Good news: This one shockingly doesn't feel sticky! It spread a little by the end of the day, so I'd probably reserve it only for days when I know I have a mirror handy—or at least when I'm heading to a really dark bar." —L.S.
Eye Armor Kit ($35)
Black eyeliner has become Gaga's go-to look, and Tanno says Gaga was really passionate about including a very matte liner in the collection. "She felt it was very Haus Labs, and very her, and was something hard to find," says Tanno. The formula was inspired by an old stage makeup tip of patting black shadow on top of your liner to make it matte. "A lot of people will ask me for tips and tricks," says Tanno. "But what we really tried to do is put the tips and tricks in the makeup." The stickers are a collaboration with Face Lace, the brand behind Gaga's SuperBowl mask. Tanno and Gaga wanted women at home to have the ability to create Gaga-level wings in seconds.
"I loved this liner! The marker tip keeps its shape while applying, so you can get a super precise line out of it, and it's incredibly inky black and matte. I didn't love the stickers as much as I wanted to. I found them uncomfortable, and there wasn't a wing shape that suits my face. That being said, I'm used to applying wings daily with an eyeliner, so I think it'd be good for a liquid eyeliner newbie." —Madeline Hirsch, senior social media manager
Originally Appeared on Glamour