HAUS OF GAGA

Lady Gaga's "911" Video Features 6 Epic Makeup Moments

Makeup artist Sarah Tanno reveals every product she used for these high-impact looks — and the hidden meanings behind some of them.
lady gaga attends the 2019 met gala in new york city
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When we caught wind that Lady Gaga was set to release a short film for her song "911," we immediately marked our calendars for September 18. There's only one thing that's predictable about Gaga's music videos, and it's the guarantee of some pretty epic beauty looks. And we were right on the money — the "911" short film offered us not just one but six major makeup moments from Gaga.

As her makeup artist, Sarah Tanno, tells Allure, the makeup itself is as much a part of the storytelling process as the hyper-detailed fashion, choreography, and settings used in the video — and most of those looks gravitate around the same Haus Laboratories product. "The Stupid Love eye shadow palette was used in most of the hero looks," she recalls. "I wanted them to be really painterly and water-color feeling, like a new dimension of Chromatica."

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The video opens on Gaga waking up and wandering through the desert before entering a small village, and things unsurprisingly get pretty trippy from there. At the beginning of the video, Gaga's eyes are coated in pastel-blue eye shadow that extends all the way through her eyebrows. On the bottom, it spreads out diagonally like two butterfly wings, and some fluttery lashes complete the look.

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This look served as a base to some of the other makeup seen throughout the video (more on that later). To create this look, Tanno pulled inspiration from the 1960s and primarily used the blue shades Enigma and Peace from the Stupid Love palette.

"To add dimension, I used the Eye-Dentify Gel EyelinersAura on the inside, Punk, and Go Diva," she explains. To complete the look, she applied RIP Lip Liner in En Pointe all over the lip.

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Cut to the next look, and Gaga is shown with a soft brown eye paired with a red lip that could counter even the brightest of firetrucks. To contour the eyes in this look, Tanno used Stupid Love, a soft brown with red and purple undertones from the Stupid Love palette. "We wanted it to be very bare; she doesn't even have mascara on," Tanno explains. "We wanted it to be all about the brow and the red lip."

That red lip, because we know you're curious, is a combination of RIP Lip Liner in Supermodel and Le Monster Matte Lip Crayon in 1950.

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We later see Gaga wearing an olive-green gown, an elaborate updo, and a very similar eye look to the first. To create this, Tanno simply built upon that first look by sweeping a yellow eye shadow all the way from her outer brow bone down to the tops of her cheekbones. 

As the short film progresses, Gaga's original painterly blue look gets edgier and edgier, landing next on the dramatic black-and-blue cat-eye shown below. “On top of the blue, I used [Eye-Dentify shades] Go Diva and Punk to add a wing and make it a little more high-fashion," Tanno recalls.

Even more high-fashion is Gaga's gilded, metallic lip. Tanno created it with a base of RIP Lip Liner in Rule, which is topped off with a combination of Glam Attack Metallic Crème shades Retro and Chains.

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By the following scene in the video, you can tell something is off — one dancer grips her ankle; another places his hand over her heart and even moves in for what looks (at first impression) like a kiss. Tanno's makeup also keys you into the looming distress with wide stripes of bright red and blue plastered all the way across Gaga's eyes, brow bone, and temples. 

“I taped off her forehead and pained on the Glamour Puss Glam Attack Crème, and the Stupid Love palette is the blue on her eyelids,” Tanno explains. “And then I used the Punk eyeliner all the way around the eye to add a little softness and femininity to it.”

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Gaga is swiftly transported to the dimly lit insides of what looks like a small church. She's resting against a metallic gold board (that looks a hell of a lot like a gurney) and wearing yet another stunning blue eye look. This time, her eyelids are bare and glossy – the baby blue smattered just below her eyebrows, Tanno reveals, is a new shade of Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer Powder called Blue Jean Dream. “The wash of blue under the brow bone represents her fantasy washing away and being shocked back into reality," Tanno explains. 

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But the eyes and lips aren't even the most important part of this final look; it's the prosthetic symbols displayed across Gaga's forehead. "They represent things that she's gotten through in her life, so those are like her scars," Tanno explains.

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The building of tension and terror finally come to a head at the very end of the video, when Gaga lets out a loud, curdling sob. Before you know it, she's awoken by the sounds of defibrillators as she's brought back to life at the scene of a horrific car crash. Suddenly, all the itty bitty details from the video make sense, as does Tanno's evolving makeup. Should we be shocked that Gaga, Tanno, and company pulled off yet another beautiful, high-art project packed with meaning? No. Are we anyway? Yes.

Watch Gaga's full video and see every one of Tanno's makeup looks above. Don't forget to grab the popcorn.

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