In my last post, I recreated some easy interpretations of some popular American Horror Story looks: Michael Langdon from Apocalypse and Montana Duke from 1984. As we reach the end of October and Halloween is quickly nearing, I decided to go with a more over-the-top, costume approach with my favorite American Horror Story character: Lady Gaga as The Countess. Hotel was definitely one of my favorite seasons almost completely because of Gaga, so, naturally, this has been one of my favorite looks to recreate over the years. I’ve had a bit of practice, and if you don’t have light eyebrows, the look gets a bit more difficult to replicate, but it’s still a super fun look to pull off.
The Bleached Brows Look
If you have light eyebrows, then you’re set. If you’re like me, and you have coarse, black eyebrows, you’re gonna need to go to the craft aisle and buy one of those 50-cent glue sticks you probably haven’t touched in years. My personal favorite (as well as most drag queens) is the Elmer’s Disappearing Purple Glue Stick. Covering your brows may sound really difficult and even a little dangerous, but after a couple of tries you should have it down. This tutorial doesn’t call for a super smooth surface like some drag looks; the brows just need to be lightened a bit.
P.S. I promise your eyebrows won’t fall out, mine are still perfectly intact two days later as I type this.
Once you have your glue stick, you need to clean your brows of any makeup or oil using micellar water or a makeup wipe: whatever you use to take your makeup off will work as long as it's oil-free.
Coat your brows in one direction and make sure to shape them with an eyebrow spoolie as you go.
Press the glue into the hairs with something flat – a lot of people use old credit cards or spoons.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 a couple of times until you have a semi-smooth surface to work with: this is subjective. As long as you feel like your eyebrows are covered enough to make a shade lighter, you’re good to go!
Set with a loose powder. I use the classic Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder.
If covering your brows didn’t work out the first time, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube from makeup artists and drag queens alike. If you’re feeling brave and tired of the glue stick, you can always just bleach your brows!
Becoming "The Countess"
If you already had light brows, you can make them lighter with some light setting powder, or just leave them be and line them with concealer. If you had to cover them, line them with concealer first to shape your new brows, then add lighter pigment to them with light brown or cream eyeshadow. I couldn’t get mine super light this time around, but they’re much lighter than my natural shade.
Create the shape of the shadow on your lid. Gaga’s shadow follows the outer corner of her eye, pointing up to her brows, and goes back into her crease to create dimension. Start building this shape with a light brown as a base – I used the shade “Matt Evans” from The Balm’s Meet Matt(e) Trimony palette.
Start layering reddish-pink tones on top of the base shape – I used the shades “Matt Lopez,” a peachy-pink, and “Matt Kumar,” a brick red, from the same palette as I used in the last step. Blend out with the lighter peach shade, and focus the darker red in the crease and closer to your lash line.
Create a soft eyeliner wing, starting from the middle of your lid and going out with a dark brown eyeshadow. Using the same palette, I used the shade “Matt Reed.” It’s good to do this with an angled brush and keep your strokes soft to not make the wing too dark.
Smoke out your bottom lash line. I layered all the shades used previously to add dimension to my lower lid, starting with the lightest and going up; keep the darker shades close to your lash line.
Add a lash that gives you a winged effect. They can be super dramatic or subtle, whatever you choose, but they should follow the shape of the eyeshadow. I went with Kiss’s Blowout Lash card in Pixie 02.
Create hollowed-out cheekbones with contour. Not all of us were blessed with Lady Gaga’s bone structure, and I definitely was not. However, her intense cheekbones add something to the look, and it’s not hard to emulate with contour. Using your favorite contour palette, focus the darkest shade right where your cheekbones begin at your ear. Blend out from here at an angle all the way to the corners of your mouth.
Top off with a red lip. Gaga’s Countess always has a voluptuous colored lip, and to achieve this, all you need is a lip liner and matching lipstick. You can make your lips appear to be larger by raising your cupid’s bow with liner, but keeping in line with your natural lips for the rest. I used Wet n’ Wild’s PerfectPout Gel Lip Liner in “Red the Scene” and filled it in with Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in “Uncensored.”
I hope this tutorial allows you to feel your whole Lady Gaga fantasy this Halloween! You can top the look off with a blonde wig, lots of jewelry, any extravagant dress, and even a little bit of fake blood if you’re feeling adventurous. If you decide to try this look yourself, be sure to tag @krnl_lf on Instagram!