I have been a fan of Lady Gaga since she released "Just Dance" in 2008. From that first single, it was clear to me that she was more than just your run-of-the-mill pop star: Lady Gaga is a true talent. She writes her own music and plays piano like a virtuoso. She has serious vocal chops that I envy (and I graduated with an opera degree!). Not only are the range and power of her voice phenomenal, but she also has the breath control to dance to choreographed moves while singing live . . . for several consecutive hours during her concerts. This is no small feat.
But I didn't join Gaga's legion of Little Monsters because of her credibility as a musician. It was her willingness to aggressively experiment with beauty. Her ever-changing wigs, wild nail art, and boundary-pushing makeup inspired me to take risks with my own look. In fact, during my senior year of college, I visited a beauty supply store, purchased a weft of hair extensions that matched my own strands, and wove it into a bow so I could channel her for Halloween.
Something changed, however, as Gaga began working on Artpop. Her edgy beauty looks didn't hit the same high notes that they once had, and it seemed like she hit a style slump. But after the release of her highly successful duet album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, little glimpses of the dramatic Gaga I fell in love with started to resurface. Glitter shadow, lace-front wigs, and long talons returned to her beauty routine.
After seeing her empowering performance at the 2016 Oscars, I can say that Lady Gaga is living — and seems to be loving — through a beauty renaissance. I think she has always been secure in her talent, but it feels like now she is truly confident in who she is, through and through. As her fans grow up with her, self-acceptance is an important lesson for them to learn.
A strong self-esteem shines brightly through any beauty style, but when it comes to Gaga, confidence makes her daring looks even more dynamic. Read on for photo evidence and to get tips on how to DIY Gaga's greatest hair and makeup creations.