Lady Gaga is releasing a mid-priced beauty line: ‘This is about liberation’

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When I was young, I never felt beautiful. And as I struggled to find a sense of both inner and outer beauty, I discovered the power of makeup. I remember watching my mother put her makeup on every morning, basking in the glow of her power to put on her bravest face as the hard working woman she was. I then began to experiment with makeup as a way to make my dreams of being as strong as my mother become true. It was then that I invented Lady Gaga. I found the superhero within me by looking in the mirror and seeing who I wanted to be. Sometimes beauty doesn't come naturally from within. But I'm so grateful that makeup inspired a bravery in me I didn't know I had. I've come to accept that I discovered my beauty by having the ability to invent myself and transform. They said I was just weird, but really, I was just Born This Way. Love, Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga is joining the crowded beauty market with a new line that will be exclusively released with Amazon in September. It’s called Haus Laboratories and will be priced in the mid-range, with palettes at $49 and lip gloss at $16. (That’s expensive to me, but outlets are calling it mid-priced. For comparison, Rihanna’s Fenty beauty palettes are just about the same at $49 for an eyeshadow palette.) Business of Fashion has an interview with Gaga about her line. She said she’s working with Amazon because they’re letting her have creative control. She’s building the brand around her message of self acceptance and she has some lofty ideas for it.

Haus will sell kits combining lip gloss, lip liner and all-over colour, preceded by a two-month marketing blitz that kicked off Tuesday with a video shot by Daniel Sannwald.

“Colour is completely transformative — it’s powerful, it’s beautiful, and it’s how I found my voice with makeup,” the singer said, though she hinted that a full collection is on the way.

Lady Gaga said the choice was a no-brainer — only Amazon would give her free rein to build her brand around the twin messages of self-acceptance and confidence that have defined her personae since the early 2000s.

“There are companies that see me and what I stand for and the way that I view the world, and if it’s not perfectly in line with what they do … they’ll be like, ‘Can you just change half of the equation?’” Lady Gaga said. “The answer is no. No deal. No message of self-acceptance, no deal. This [deal with Amazon] was so wonderful because this was like, ‘Let’s make a deal, let’s make a deal to change the world with their beauty.’”

“Look, you might want to look like the DuPont twins. You might want to look like Erin or Kitty [who appear in her brand video]… Or you might want to, oh my gosh, look like you. And that’s the nut that I really want to crack,” Lady Gaga said. “I have a platform in the world. God gave me this voice for a reason, I don’t know why, I ask myself that question all the time, 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.”

[From Business of Fashion]

I get why Gaga wants a foothold in the lucrative beauty market, but just like everything else she does she’s trying to couch it in these ridiculous self-actualization terms. She’s literally saying that selling overpriced makeup is going to change the world. If I’m buying makeup I want it to have low fallout, great pigment and versatile colors. I also want my foundation to match my skin tone and it’s a bonus if there are enough variations for it to match most people’s. Gaga is trying to sell a sparkly idea at this point. I’m sure it will be lucrative for her, and she definitely has fans and a market. This isn’t new for her, she’s always been about self love and LBGTQ inclusion. She just makes me roll my eyes.

Here’s the launch video. It would be nice to see more variation in body types, I’ll say that, although it’s makeup it’s not clothing. You know what this video needs? Bradley Cooper coming in at the end to wipe the makeup off Gaga’s face.

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Between developing formulas, mixing the shades, designing the packaging and components, as well as casting the models and collaborating on styling, direction, and being the creative director, pulling all-nighters making boards that showed all our imagery and art—this launch is so very special to me. This is a labor of love and passion to be the Warhol of an artist I’ve always wanted to be. I love everyone who works w/ me @hauslabs we are a family on a mission: to inspire bravery, inspire a positive community that breeds self-acceptance. We want you to see you as you see yourself. Thank you for going on this journey with me. This isn’t just makeup. It’s a battle. A battle for your life. And I hope this makeup inspires you as much as makeup did when I fell in love with it and it helped me discover myself. I love you. We want you to love yourself ❤️ #HausLaboratories #BattleForYourLife

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Photos via Instagram and credit WENN/The Mega Agency

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43 Responses to “Lady Gaga is releasing a mid-priced beauty line: ‘This is about liberation’”

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  1. Melody calder says:

    I have no doubt that she has a niche market that will flock to this. Myself however- I can’t think of a single time where i have looked at her and thought wow, that is a woman whose “skin” I would love to wear for a day. Her aesthetic combined with those prices are a hard pass for me.

  2. Casey says:

    You know what this video needs? Bradley Cooper coming in at the end to wipe the makeup off Gaga’s face.

    Haha! So funny!

    • lucy2 says:

      That cracked me up too. I’m still weirded out by that story they thought was so great.

  3. Valiantly Varnished says:

    As someone who wears makeup nearly everyday and who loves to experiment with color makeup IS about liberation and transformation. It may sound quaint but it’s true. I like the fact that I can create a colorful eye look that others may think is “too much” but that makes me feel amazing and beautiful. There is power in that. It’s why the makeup industry has a global value of nearly a trillion dollars.
    I’m going to wait and watch reviews for her line but I am excited to see what she comes up with because Gaga has used makeup as a form of transformation from the start of her career.
    As for the price range – yes that is considered mid-level high range. In the same price range as Anastasia Beverly Hills or Urban Decay. Not drugstore but not luxury.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      Hello Valiantly: I love that you use makeup artistically and it makes you feel powerful, that is really cool, and I do love the creativity of it — but the trillion dollar beauty market is based on society’s idea that women’s faces aren’t acceptable the way they are. Let’s think about that: we are taught/pressured/SHAMED into believing that our faces aren’t acceptable the way they are. For MOST people, the idea that makeup=liberation is completely backwards BS.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Sorry but that’s an incredibly outdated view of the makeup industry. And trust me as a black woman I am well aware of what so-called beauty standards can do. There is a huge swaths of the female population DONT wear makeup. So the idea that women feel pressured to do so is again – outdated. That may have been true in the past but it certainly isn’t now. As for MOST people thinking that view is outdated. I think in this instance it’s best to only speak for oneself. Because clearly the numbers don’t back that up.
        Makeup has been a HUGE liberation for MANY people – specifically the LGBT and Drag community. AND in recent years black women. As the industry has become more inclusive more and more WOC are findings it to be a joyful hobby.
        Makeup isn’t a feminist fight. A woman can love makeup and still believe in knocking down beauty standards.

      • DS9 says:

        Thank you, @Valiantly for speaking so eloquently.

        Makeup can literally make trans people feel like themselves.

        Makeup in the right shades and flattering tones can make us POC feel included and valued as consumers as well as giving us equal footing with our colleagues and in an applicant pool among other things.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @DS9 just seeing what makeup can do for abused and homeless women should make anyone understand how impactful makeup can be.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Valiantly V: I have given makeup I don’t use to homeless shelters and charities that will accept them (not all of them do). Of course, I clean them beforehand (my OCD’s kicking in 🙂 ).

        Makeup has the power!

      • Dannii says:

        What RamonaQ said. Most CEO’s of makeup companies are men, and many people in the third world are exploited to get the components of makeup. If you like makeup you do you, but saying thats an outdated view of the makeup industry is just delusional.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I love makeup but don’t wear everyday as it can set off my eczema. I go for quality over price. I have Chanel lipsticks and nail polish that I’ve had for years that still go on the way they did when I first bought them. I use several different brands depending on what I want:

      – I have a great Smashbox under eye concealer, its my go to brand for that type of product. They also have a a great range of primers
      – I use a great BB cream from Erborian (a Korean/French brand) as my everyday foundation. I also use a black cleansing oil from them (its a charcoal cleanser that is great for removing makeup)
      – Everything else comes from Nars (I adore that brand). Although when I was last in US I almost bought a Tatcha lipstick from Sephora. I wish I had now as it was an amazing red and you can’t get that brand here in the UK 🙁

      Makeup can give you confidence when you need it the most. Its the way that it transforms you appearance that gives you the confidence that you can nail that job interview or feel good when on that first date. For me it was always a way to hide my bad skin when my eczema flared, you can’t imagine how that made me feel. People would feel the need to comment on my skin when I wasn’t wearing any makeup and the eczema was in full display – not a pleasant experience, as if I hadn’t noticed the red and flakey skin on my face.

      FYI – my skin is so much better now. I have products and a regime that works for me and keeps it at bay.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree, VV.
      Make-up (or lack thereof) is expression.

      • HMC says:

        I wear makeup every day. I wish I had the talent to really go all out and creative. I am so pale that if I don’t wear a lip stain, blush and/or highlighter, eyeliner and mascara I look beyond washed out. I look indecipherable. My lips are pale, my eyelashes and eyebrows are very very light, I don’t have freckles to help (sunblock worshipper). I like quality products, i love wearing it and society hasn’t made me. I like the fact that by adding definition to my features, you can see I have an expression, you can see when I raise an eyebrow. That way I don’t have to talk as much. 🙂

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      Agreed. Being unafraid to openly enjoy things that are considered feminine can be empowering for some women in a society that often portrays femininity as a character defect or moral/social/personal failing, and champions masculinity.

  4. Eliza says:

    I read this is “this is about monetization” and that sounds about right to me. Fenty is unique in that it was good quality and inclusive, not ‘tried’ to be, it just was.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Uhhh, no. Fenty is good quality and inclusive because it made a POINT to be. And that’s directly from Rihanna. It was a conscious decision because for so long brands weren’t making that choice.

      • Eliza says:

        My point was they didn’t put out a message that they’re “trying”, Fenty just did it and didn’t fail to meet their hype. They were successful because they had a mission and met it.

        So many brands “try” now but its so far away from the mark. Fenty is a case study in how to do it right

      • DS9 says:

        Uhm but they were trying to be. It was intentional. Idk what you’re arguing here.

  5. astrid says:

    I might buy celebrity products if they are on sale at a local drugstore but I wouldn’t seek them out or pay full price.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Alicia Keys is full of crap and still low-key wears makeup

      • VS says:

        She does not………. wear your makeup in peace; don’t try to dismiss a woman who said NO to make yourself feel better

  6. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    She’s so cute without all that makeup. I wish she embraced her natural look more like how Alicia Keys does.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think she is much prettier without it all too. I guess she enjoys changing her look up though, so to each their own.

  7. duchess of hazard says:

    After Rihanna and Pat McGrath’s efforts, I’d be hard pressed to want to look in the direction of another makeup line. And it took Rihanna and McGrath to pull me away from mac cosmetics.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I love Pat McGrath. Her line is amazing and she will be coming out with complexion products later this month. BUT. Her price point is not something everyone can afford. It’s definitely high-end luxury. I own all of her mini palettes but I haven’t been willing to drop the big dough on her standard palettes. I’m hoping she will be coming out with a new one soon that I will finally want to spend that kind of money on. I lover her lipsticks and lip glosses too!

  8. Div says:

    Meh, most make up and fashion lines use that hyperbolic language—and I say this as someone who thinks Gaga can be hyperbolic herself. It’s nothing new. I actually think it’s smart, she’s just doing lip and eye—she knows she can’t compete with Kylie & Rihanna so she’s not going with a full range of products. Points for a diverse use of models, including non binary ones, but it would be nice to see a plus size model advertising one of these days.

  9. styla says:

    It’s about capitalizing on the thoughts that every single human in history has had about their looks since the beginning of time. No shame, we all need to make a living, but don’t go injecting the whole “omg Im so ugly but here’s some woke shiz” into it likes its not going to make you billions.

  10. Jensies says:

    If you told me that video was a Black Mirror parody, a la Ashley O, I’d believe you.

  11. Burdzeye View says:

    God gave her a voice to go forth ….and sell make up…bit pretentious no? And I always think she looks better the less make up she wears but hey ho…each to their own.

  12. Jonni says:

    I’m in. I’d rather buy from her than Kylie or Rihanna. She has a charity foundation for years that does great work. And at least it won’t be boring. The drag Queens will love it

    • DS9 says:

      What’s wrong with Rihanna?

      • Div says:

        I don’t think she meant that there is anything wrong with Rihanna, but I agree that Rihanna is fantastic. Not trying to shade other pop girls, but Rihanna and Gaga have fantastic foundations which have given away millions and not just in grant money, either. Neither one of them get enough credit for it while the focus is on other pop girls charity (cough cough Taylor). To be fair, all of them, including Taylor, are very low key about it and don’t seek attention. Rihanna’s fashion line is amazing and historical, too.

        *Gaga’s only doing lip and eye, not foundation or skin cleansers or blush, and I do think it’s weird the colors aren’t more wild because the drag queens are an obvious market. She has some bright colors, like a green that looks lovely on dark skin tones as the model wearing it is a Black model with dark skin, but only two or three of playful colors.

    • Jonni says:

      @DIV I believe this is just the beginning. She has a whole range to spin out.

  13. DS9 says:

    Current makeup trends actually do knock on the door of beauty standards and barge right in.

    I guess if you’re coming from the perspective that the wearing of makeup all by itself is anti feminist, then you won’t be persuaded otherwise.

    But if you believe that if one chooses to wear makeup that one should have inclusive options for all venues, shades, tones etc, then you can absolutely find feminism, equality, and power in the ways in which one chooses to wear makeup.

    For some, makeup is an equalizer. A POC might want to have the same options to wear a good red lip or be just as put together as the other women vying for partner at her law firm.

    A transgender woman might find contouring means less people stare at her and ask intrusive questions on days she’s not in the mood. Or or could be a simple as putting on makeup makes her feel a part of the same rituals other women take for granted that make them feel feminine.

    Women with scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc might be plenty comfortable with themselves but uncomfortable with how people treat them.

    Makeup is also a great method of self expression. Bright colors on the eyes when you work in a business that requires a bland ass uniform for instance, AOC’s red lip.

    Personally, my makeup routine is my version of coffee. It wakes me up and eases me into the day. As a bonus, it’s a way for me to dabble in art each day despite my cramped schedule.

  14. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    I hear what you’re saying Celebitchy because I’m a matter-of-fact shopper. Her robust diatribe concerning makeup feels as though she’s speaking to a very young audience. I do remember a time before age, family, children, jobs, LIFE. A time when I enjoyed experimenting with my appearance, occasion dressing and indulging in evening drama looks. Was it empowering? Maybe. I felt good, and it cemented certain habits when what I was doing was well received.

    I may experiment with a new brand or a new technique or a different price point, but it doesn’t empower me at this stage in my life. Sure, I’m always a work in progress, but my growth comes from maturity and assessing inner thought processes with that maturity and being an oak tree for my sons, my husband and my friends. However, the delicate balance older women maintain with self, family, friends is a by-product of self-discovery and empowerment when we were much younger.

  15. DS9 says:

    That being said, I’m curious to see what she brings to the table here. I’m definitely the kind of person who can be swayed by a pretty color collection regardless of what I already own.

    But if it’s not offered at Ulta, I’m unlikely to try it regardless of price point. I buy most midrange with points or with the promise of points.

  16. SG says:

    I haaaate empowerment marketing. Capitalism takes over everything pure! ugh

    • Naddie says:

      Hell yeah. Unless it’s obviouis artistic make up, there’s nothing empowering about covering your face to look better on a generalized point. It’s not up to me to make her experience valid, it is because it’s hers, but let’s not pretend the majority of women won’t feel insecure goint to a simple job interview without any make up, or a party, or anything social that’s not with intimate people. Every single woman I know feels “too pale”, “too ugly”, “too sickly” without make up, how is this empowerment?

  17. amp122076 says:

    BTW, who is the “they” she proclaims said she was weird?

  18. Texas says:

    Men don’t have to wear makeup to feel confident. I wish that I didn’t but I do. Makeup makes me feel so much prettier. If I don’t have it on, I feel naked. It is probably my generation (pushing 60) but I wish “beauty” was not so important to me.

    • Naddie says:

      Same, If I leave without lipstick I feel terrible all day. And I’m no make up fan, as I use only lipstick and ocasionally maskara.

  19. Kwill says:

    Kinda bad timing to launch exclusively with Amazon when you’re message is liberation lol. Add a couple more eye rolls on top for me.

  20. Peter says:

    Its about e empowering your brand to make money. How about levelling with the sheer amount of surgery and face work gaga had? She bought herself a whole new face ie nose, chin, lips.