Lady Gaga's Makeup Artist Reveals Challenge Of Removing Her '80s-Inspired Look For 'Raw' Performance

Mar 15, 2023 by apost team

Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is an American pop star, songwriter and actress. The award-winning artist rose to fame in 2008 when she released her debut single, "Just Dance." The singer quickly garnered international fame due to her elaborate costumes, catchy lyrics, impressive dance movements and powerful vocal talents. Her debut album, "The Fame," was released in 2008. She went on to release hits like “Poker Face," "Bad Romance" and "Born This Way." 

While maintaining her highly successful music career, the singer ventured into acting. Gaga appeared in "Machete Kills" and "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." In 2015, the Grammy-winning artist joined the anthology series "American Horror Story." Lady Gaga received a Golden Globe Award for her dazzling performance in the series. In 2018, Lady Gaga wowed the critics with her remarkable performance in her first lead role as Ally Maine in "A Star Is Born."

Along with starring in the film, the singer-songwriter co-wrote the majority of the songs in the film. The film's lead single, "Shallow," won two Grammy Awards and an Oscar. At the 2019 Grammys, during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the international pop star took a moment to highlight mental health issues.

At the 2023 Oscars, Lady Gaga was nominated again for her song “Hold My Hand” from the movie, “Top Gun: Maverick.” When one thinks of a Lady Gaga performance, the first thing that comes to mind would be outlandish costumes and loud spectacles. But for her performance during the ceremony, the singer shocked everyone with how stripped down her number was – wearing something that one wouldn't normally wear to a prestigious ceremony such as the Academy Awards. 

Read on to learn more about Lady Gaga’s Oscars performance, and how she went from red-carpet glam to barefaced. 

Lady Gaga (2023), (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In the weeks leading up to the 2023 Oscars, Lady Gaga’s attendance and supposed performance at the ceremony had been held high up in the air. 

Typically, all nominees for the Academy Award for Best Original Song are invited to perform at the Oscars. Rihanna, who was nominated for her song “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was one of the first few people who confirmed, along with music icon Diane Warren, who was nominated for “Applause” from “Tell It Like A Woman.”

Oscar winner David Byrne, Academy Award nominee Stephanie Hsu and Ryan Lott were also tapped to perform their song “This is A Life” from “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which stars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan. Lastly, “Naatu Naatu,” an Indian song from the movie “RRR,” was also invited to perform – which left Lady Gaga as the only unconfirmed nominee/performer. 

However, according to Billboard, Lady Gaga informed Oscars organizers days before the show that she would be unable to perform. 

“She is in the middle of shooting a movie right now, and here we are, honoring the movie industry and what it takes to make a movie. After a bunch of back and forth, it didn’t feel like she can get a performance to the caliber that we’re used to with her and that she is used to. So, she is not going to perform on the show,” the showrunners confirmed at the time. 

But hours before the actual ceremony, Variety exclusively reported that the singer, in a last-minute effort, would actually perform at the awards show ceremony. Lady Gaga was reported to be in the midst of filming her upcoming film, “Joker: Folie à Deux.”

Lady Gaga (2023), (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

But it seemed like the word did not reach everyone immediately when the publications picked up the supposedly secret performance because everyone was shocked to see Lady Gaga perform on stage at the 2023 Oscars after all. 

What stunned everyone more was how she ditched her Versace gown, which she wore on the champagne carpet, for a pair of black jeans, a plain black shirt and a rundown pair of sneakers. 

“It’s deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life,” Lady Gaga explained before performing the song. 

While sitting on a stool, barefaced, Lady Gaga gave a soulful and heartfelt performance of “Hold My Hand.”

“So cry tonight but don't you let go of my hand. You can cry every last tear. I won't leave 'til I understand. Promise me, just hold my hand,” she belted

Immediately after her performance, the entire Dolby Theatre gave her a resounding applause and a standing ovation. She even gave every musician who performed with her a hug and a fist bump, thanking them for agreeing to perform. 

Turns out, the entire performance was mounted last minute. In an interview with Billboard, Oscar showrunner Ricky Kirshner revealed how the buzzer-beater performance came about. 

“She really wanted to do something. She honestly was shooting her movie — there was no trickery involved,” he elaborated. “And Thursday, at four-something, we got a text that she wanted to try something, didn’t have time to put together a big performance, but wanted it to be raw and people to see the real Gaga, and, with a voice like that, you don’t need much more than that.”

For Illustration Purposes Only — Chernetska

Following the prestigious awards show, people couldn't stop talking about Lady Gaga's stripped-back performance — and many people wanted to hear from the singer's makeup artist. Specifically, how Sarah Tanno, the pop icon's longstanding makeup artist, was able to take off all of Lady Gaga's makeup and still make her look good!

Tanno was responsible for Lady Gaga's stunning look on the red carpet, which referenced Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" music video from the '80s. For the look, Tanno utilized makeup from Lady Gaga's own makeup brand, Haus Labs, to give her a "Smokey Palmer Girl" look. This meant heavily-lined and smudged smokey eye makeup, alongside pigmented pink blush on her cheeks and a sultry red lip. Lady Gaga's red carpet look was in tasteful excess, as it emulated the '80s after all!

"We call this look “Addicted to Blush” and were inspired by the Robert Palmer girls from the Addicted to Love video," Tanno wrote on her Instagram.

But while many coveted the look, others wanted to know how Tanno managed to get it off so quickly! 

"Sorry how was Lady Gaga able to get all this makeup off so fast with no smears? If I wash my face 5 times I still go to bed looking like the Joker," a Twitter user wrote, as reposted by InStyle. The publication added, "The people would like to know." Another person wrote, as reported by People:

"I need the name of whatever makeup remover Lady Gaga uses."

According to the Daily Mail, Tanno shared a photo of the "aftermath" to her Instagram Stories one day later — a small pile of makeup wipes, cotton pads and swabs! Although she didn't give eager fans any more details of her process that night, the makeup artist told Harper's Bazaar that she's a fan of "old-school" product Lancome Bi-Facil, as well as argan oil, which she learned from Lady Gaga herself. 

Lady Gaga (2023), (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Are you a fan of Lady Gaga? Wasn't her performance amazing? What did you think of her transformation from '80s excess to barefaced and "raw"? Let us know, and pass this on to someone who you think should watch this!

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