Lady Gaga's Beauty Secrets Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her “beauty secrets”—and to a beauty editor, they’re (mostly) horrifying

Lady Gaga Grammy Awards 2010 Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

Lady Gaga’s idea of “beauty” may already horrify you. (Yellow/pink/purple hair, lightening-bolt eye makeup, a hat made out of meat [to match the dress] … the examples are too numerous to count.)

But that’s okay. The music biz is not about real life, and pushing the boundaries is par for the course. She just takes it that little bit further than the Rihannas and Katy Perrys.

Non, what I take issue with are her actual beauty TIPS—revealed in the next issue of People, and now being praised with such adjectives as “normal,” “refreshing” and “regular-girl.”

I may not be a “regular girl” (unless regular girls own 627 lipsticks) but I sure HOPE these beauty practices are not mainstream. If they are, then clearly I have a lot more work to do, don’t I?

Let’s discuss.

Gaga Grooming No-No #1: Bleaching your hair… again and again and again

This is Gaga’s natural colour:

Stefani Germanotta Lady Gaga Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

And, well, lifting it to this level is not small potatoes.

Lady Gaga hair Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

Not to say that you can’t, or shouldn’t. But when you U R DOIN IT WRONG, it falls out. Oh yes:

“Gaga says she misses her brown hair because the bleach is so damaging to her hair: she has to ‘get a chemical haircut because my blonde hair is falling out.’”

Now, my understanding of what a “chemical haircut” is must be different from Gaga’s. Because it’s definitely not something you willingly “get.” (It happens when the hair is so damaged that it snaps right off.) This is why wigs were invented for people who like to have a new hair colour every month.

And this is why I implore Gaga (and maybe you too) to please abide by these rules:

1. Dramatic colour changes (i.e. differences of more than a few levels, such as from brunette to platinum blonde or vice versa) should be done at the salon, not at home.

2. No matter who is doing your hair, if it’s a permanent colour, you really just want to touch up the roots only. PLEASE make sure not to run it through the lengths of your hair more than once every six months or so. (This tip courtesy of celebrity colourist and new girl crush Marie Robinson, who will be starring in an exclusive BEAUTY EDITOR vid real soon—she’s a new spokesperson for Clairol. Her hair is naturally “salt and pepper,” but dyed as blonde as Gaga’s  and in incredible condition.)

kerastase chronologiste 300x199 Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying3. Demi-permanent colour can be safely used all over about once a month, since it only penetrates the hair cuticle just slightly and fades after about 28 shampoos. (And semis don’t penetrate at all—they wash out after six.) Both types won’t lift colour though—they’re more about changing the tone.

4. PLEASE masque up and use colour-protective hair prodz. It will help tame the damage and your colour will stay true for longer. The big daddy of all hair treatments is Chronologiste from Kérastase, which I reviewed here—I just had my hair coloured using another brand’s prodz, and this was the one exception where they deviated from the line. It’s that good.

5. Try not to blow-dry or use heat stylers at all, if possible.

Seriously, I bet if Gaga did all of these things, her hair would NOT be falling out.

Gaga Grooming No-No #2: Sleeping with makeup on

Let’s just SAY you felt like wearing this much makeup.

Lady Gaga pink eyeshadow Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

Wouldn’t it drive you crazy to leave it on—smearing all over your sheets and seeping into your pores—overnight? Again, not in Gaga’s case:

“Though her mother taught her to wash her face with Ivory soap, Gaga admits she goes to bed every night with her makeup on! ‘That is not good for your skin, but I’m blessed with good genes.’”

Sorry, but good genes or not, this isn’t a good idea.

1. Even if you are one of those people who could plunge headfirst into a vat of oil, eat a steady diet of grease, salt and sugar and smoke like a chimney—and yet never break out—not washing your face before bed is just inviting trouble. (Also? I hate you. Just kidding.) You’re suffocating it, so over time, it’s just not going to be as fresh and glowy. More like dull and waxy.

2. For the rest of us, it’s a recipe for clogged pores, breakouts and bacteria-laden skin. Ewww…

3. Even if you don’t break out, you still don’t want to have all of that dirt and oil and makeup sitting there on top of your skin because your skin does most of its repair work at night. Surely you want to do all you can to help that along, yes? Well, removing makeup (and also exfoliating) allows for maximum penetration of all the hydrating and other skin-beautifying ingredients in your topical products. They’re not nearly as effective if you’re just applying them in the a.m.

3. At the very least, use a cleansing wipe. (Keep a pack on your bedside table if you have a lot of late nights.) I’m in love with these puppies from Yes to Blueberries:

Yes to Blueberries Facial Towelettes Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

Got all that, Gaga?

The one Gaga grooming tip to actually follow

Lady Gaga sunglasses Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying

Surprise! It’s wearing sunscreen—and all beauty editors most definitely approve.

“She carries sunblock around with her, and practices safe sun habits: ‘I don’t like to tan my face because it’s bad for wrinkles.’”


Plus! Bonus sunscreen tips (from someone who has JUST wrapped a magazine story on sun care):

La Roche Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream Eeks! Lady Gaga has revealed her beauty secrets—and to a beauty editor, theyre (mostly) horrifying1. They ALL only last for two hours, max—yep, even if they’re SPF 40 million. (Just kidding. The highest is SPF 110 but you get diminishing returns in terms of protection after SPF 30, so I suggest not bothering with anything higher than that.)

2. The chemical ones need to go on bare skin (i.e. before moisturizer) because they work by being ABSORBED into the body. It’s not proven that this means they’re harmful or cancer-causing, etc., but if that grosses you out, use a physical block… but they need to go on LAST. As in, after your moisturizer… and even as the last step in your makeup, if you can do that too (such as with a mineral SPF powder).

3. SPF makeup is a great way to get around the (totally unrealistic) advice dermatologists always spout about messing up your makeup by reapplying a goopy, greasy white sunscreen every two hours. Like we’re gonna do THAT. Invest in foundation or powder with built-in SPF and it won’t be nearly as annoying to slick more on before you head out at lunchtime or for your walk home.

So tell me:

What do you think of Lady Gaga’s beauty habits?
Fess up—are you guilty of any of these yourself? (I won’t judge.)
Do you wear sunscreen every day? If not, why not?


Monday, March 21/2011 at 4:25 pm

I love the La Roche Sunscreen! I need to start wearing more sunscreen, I’ve always worn an SPF moisturizer, but I should probably step it up I’m sure my skin is already pretty sun damaged.

Lauren from ChickAdvisor


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:50 pm

Apparently the SPF is diluted when it’s mixed into a moisturizer so it’s not really as effective as a sunscreen would be with the same number. But you are probably fine unless you’re spending time in the direct sunlight .


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 2:27 am

The effective of an spf is tested in its vehicle, aka the product. So if a moisturizer claims it contains spf 30, then it does. It is diluted if you take a straight up sunscreen product and mix it with a moisturizer.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 2:07 pm

Sorry, let me clarify – diluted was the wrong word. I checked my notes again and it has to do with how much we apply – i.e. in real life people rarely use the amount they do in the labs when they come up with the SPF numbers. So with regular moisturizers and makeup that includes SPF, you’re likely to not put as much as on as you would with a regular sunscreen at the beach, say. (Although across the board nobody ever uses enough sunscreen, period.) The derms I’ve spoken with say that if you’re going to be outdoors during the midday sun, a regular sunscreen is much better to use than relying on makeup or moisturizer with SPF built-in.


Tuesday, April 5/2011 at 10:56 am

Just a quick note. As someone who’s had a very minor case of skin cancer … La Roche Posay is HIGHLY recommended by derms and oncologists. Good pick, Michelle!!

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:50 am

Yes derms do seem to recommend La Roche Posay… although lately a couple have been recommending mineral sunblocks too, which is encouraging. Just spoke to a Toronto derm the other day who says they provide a better block and are less irritating on sensitive skin.

Monday, March 21/2011 at 4:41 pm

I’d never heard about sunscreens lasting only two hours! I feel cheated, haha. I’ve been wearing Shiseido’s sunblock every day for a few months now and I assumed it was all the protection I needed since I don’t go out in the sun all that much to start with. Reapplying throughout the day wouldn’t be a huge deal since I don’t mind the texture of my sunscreen at all, but what poses a problem is that I usually use both liquid and powder makeup. I’m getting the feeling that reapplying my liquid foundation (which is an SPF 15, I think?) over my powder blush would feel and look quite icky… so I’m a bit at a loss here. (I guess that only means I should finally make the switch to cream blushes, right?)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:54 pm

I know, right? They really should put that on the bottles.

The reapplication issue is a pain, I know. I wouldn’t worry too much if you’re not spending a ton of time in the direct sunlight – eg if you’re only outside before 9am and after 3pm then it’s probably not a big deal. But for strong midday sun what I would do is get a mineral powder with SPF in it – Colorescience is one brand that’s really good and available at a lot of dermatologists’ offices. That is if you want to stick with powders… Clinique makes foundation with SPF in it and I believe Avene has an SPF 50 cream makeup compact.

I really love cream blushes though! What’s the powder you are using? Have you ever tried YSL’s cream blushes? So. Amazing.


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 5:24 pm

I’m using Laura Mercier’s powder blush with a Stila cream foundation, so the mix of textures was stumping me a little. I just remembered that the Shiseido clerk told me their sunscreen can be used on top of makeup, which horrified me at the time, but now it makes sense. And I’ll probably upgrade to a cream blush when my budget allows and keep the powders for night outings when the sun isn’t an issue. :) Thanks a lot, I can’t wait to give YSL’s blush a try now!


Monday, March 21/2011 at 5:26 pm

It kind of looks like Gaga’s hair is a part of her costume in the first picture


Monday, March 21/2011 at 10:23 pm

I also wear Shiseido’s sunscreen (the one in the blue bottle that was at Sephora this past summer…if that narrows it down.)

Question: should I put it on before moisturizer or last? I’m so confused about this natural sunscreen thing.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 11:00 pm

Shiseido’s is a blend of chemical + mineral, so good question! Check your bottle to be certain, but from quickly googling it, looks like the highest ingredient is zinc oxide (16.3% – vs. octinoxate 7.4% and titanium dioxide 2.2%). So I’d be inclined to put it on as your last skincare step before makeup. It probably doesn’t matter too much since you have a bit of everything… but if you can skip moisturizer with it, that would probably be even better because then there wouldn’t be any oils to prevent the chemical part from absorbing as well.

Does that make sense? I hope so!


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 11:58 pm

It does! And thanks for doing extra research!!! Tres helpful!


Makeup Morsels
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 12:10 am

NYOOOO to #2 nononono. Even on nights when I’m flat-out exhausted, I still remove my makeup. What is she doing?? o.O I’m glad she advocates spf though, a surprisingly amount of my friends only wear it when they go to the beach. I, on the other hand, wear it 24/7, even when it’s raining and I’m inside the whole day (it’s not that I think UV rays will penetrate the walls of my house, it’s just that I’m so in the habit of doing it).


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 11:05 pm

Good on you! I know lots of people who don’t wear it either (and from the look of their skin, they should!! But I don’t tell them that)


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 8:04 pm

I never leave my house without sunscreen. I even wear sunscreen on the back of my hands and my toes. But as much as I cant live without it, it’s almost impossible to reapply it during the day. Let’s say you are joining your colleagues for lunch, you are not gonna make them wait until you’re done reapplying sunscreen. Having your boss/ colleagues spotting you applying sunscreen instead of rushing back to work is not a good idea either. So my advice is bring your shades and carry a thin cardigan :3


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:26 pm

Well it only lasts 2 hours, tops – no matter what SPF strength – so maybe a better strategy would be to not bother with it in on the way to work (since the sun isn’t strong until 10-11am)… and then do something like a mineral SPF powder or foundation if you’re heading out midday. I’m with you – I wouldn’t want to be applying greasy sunscreen…but when it’s in makeup, it’s a lot easier.

Shades and cardi also helpful too of course! And hats!


Elle Sia
Thursday, March 24/2011 at 4:57 am

Hey just wondering if you could link your other works on this site as well? I’m sure we’d all love to see your articles!!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for your interest! I don’t know how many of them are online… but you can check the May issue of FASHION, March Chatelaine (I think?) and March and April FLARE for a few recent beauty stories of mine. :-)
I tend to get amnesia about what I’ve written though since for magazines you have to file 3-4 months before it actually comes out on newsstands.


Thursday, March 24/2011 at 12:18 pm

Umm… I am embarrassed to say that I am one of those people who only wears sunscreen in the warmer months. Since I am barely outside in the winter, I always figure it’s just a waste of time, plus my make-up has SPF in it. Buuuut…. you’ve convinced me! I am going to start wearing my facial sunscreen year round!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:31 pm

Yay! I don’t think we need to go crazy with it but definitely if you’re going to be outside for a while, it’s a good idea – no matter what the weather.


Friday, March 25/2011 at 11:43 pm

I’m actually super paranoid now about my sunscreen only lasting for 2 hours?! WTF? I wear spf 50 on my face every single day yet I leave for work way before the sun comes up so by the time I’m outside again its already worn off! So not ok! Now what am I supposed to do? Stay inside until I’m 80 and hope for no wrinkles? UGH!
Although I’m not sure I really believe the whole ‘over 30spf doesn’t work better’ statement. I’m really pale and burn somewhat easy and when I wear spf 30 I burn WAY faster than when I wear a much higher spf….. So how does that make sense?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, March 26/2011 at 9:59 am

It would have to be psychological. There is a difference between SPF 15 and SPF 30, yes – SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB rays whereas SPF 30 is 97%. But after that it kind of plateaus and you’re only getting extra protection of like 1% or less. (eg SPF 60 only gives you 98%…. meanwhile you’re putting more of the chemicals on your skin to be absorbed.)
You could definitely skip SPF if you’re travelling to work before there is any sun! If you do go outside between 11-3 then I would look into tinted moisturizers/foundations/powders with SPF and apply them 10 mins before. If you’re not outside until after 3pm, then you really don’t need anything.


Saturday, April 9/2011 at 1:48 am

Kathryn – its completely true. Here in Australia, its actually difficult to find sunscreens over SPF30, and recently our Cancer Council released a report saying everything Michelle has detailed below. The Australian Cancer Council recommends using a SPF30+ sunscreen in our summers, so I can’t possibly see how a 40 or 50+ one would be necessary in Canada (and yes, I’ve done summers in both countries!)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, April 15/2011 at 8:29 pm

I thought Australia banned the sale of anything higher than SPF 30? (And I always figure Australians know their stuff when it comes to sun protection!)


Sunday, March 18/2012 at 10:15 pm

I can’t wear sunscreen! Well, technically, I can, but I’m vitamin D deficient, and my doc suggests soaking up as much sun as possible without getting burnt. Plus, where I’m from there are only about 3-4 months of warm sunny weather. I almost ALWAYS take my makeup off though. There are a couple of times that I’m guilty of falling asleep with it on, but I always wake up with a new zit or something. I can also say that I’ve only permanently dyed my hair once, and since then I’ve used demis. I’m young and have good features now, but if don’t take care of what I have, I won’t have such good features when I’m older.


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