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The Haus of Gaga is not a glass-paneled manse carved into the Hollywood Hills, nor is it a magnificent leather citadel perched above a roaring sea, nor a makeup line brought to you by the magnanimity of Amazon (that would be Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories). The Haus of Gaga is a collective — Gaga’s creative team — that includes her makeup artist, hairstylist, and fashion designers who orbit their namesake Lady like a royal court orbiting a queen. Wherever Gaga goes, so goes the Haus, which is why she spent the day at her Allure cover shoot surrounded by a thicket of people who love her very much and who are also more or less employed by her.
(Gaga likes the term “Haus” for three reasons. 1. A haus is a home. 2. It refers to ’80s ballroom culture, where drag families were categorized by “house.” 3. The Bauhaus movement. “Bauhaus is functional art,” she says. “I’d consider makeup to be Bauhaus.”)
There’s Frederic Aspiras on the hair, Nicola Formichetti on the styling, and, on the makeup, Sarah Tanno, who has worked with the Lady “pretty much every day since 2014,” Tanno says. And now, she serves as the global artistry director for Haus Laboratories. In the intervening years, the two have grown to look nearly identical — all cheekbones and eyeliner framed by searing blonde hair — as if they’d undergone mitosis in reverse.
Tanno remembers the first time the two met when she was filling in for another artist: “I asked Gaga what she wanted, and she said, ‘Live your eyeliner, breathe your lipstick.’ ” So she gave her two black wings and candy lips (Yves Saint Laurent in Rose Tropical; Tanno kept the bullet). Now, for Gaga’s first Allure cover, the direction is a hair more literal: Gaga as Warrior Goddess, a contemporary Nike painted in blazing shades of treasure. Her eyes are made up of Gaga’s Haus Laboratories’ liquid shimmer Glam Attacks and her lips are blown glass by way of Le Riot Lip Gloss.
The Haus’s next gig: Tanno’s autumn wedding to one of Gaga’s longtime guitarists, with the rest of the crew (including Gaga, of course) in the bridal party. No word yet on her makeup, but it’ll probably shine.
Hot tip: Something we noticed on Tanno’s makeup table was a large bucket containing ice, a ReFa face roller, and a couple of undereye patches, all for optimum depuffing. Tanno also had a spacey Yusong facial massager on hand, which has a heat setting that’s designed to accelerate serum penetration in addition to improving circulation.