We tried Lady Gaga’s new makeup line—is it worth it?
Watch as we dive in.
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I’m a little monster—at least in the context of how Lady Gaga refers to her fanbase. I’ve listened to all of her albums, sat mesmerized by her Netflix documentary, “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” and took a trip to the movie theater to see “A Star Is Born.” For Gaga, I’m off the deep end.
When the singer-songwriter-turned-actress decided to tack on “makeup brand founder” with her latest project, Haus Laboratories, I had to test the makeup for myself—both as a fan and as Reviewed’s resident beauty writer. Gaga announced Haus Labs in an Instagram video, saying: “The last thing the world needs is another beauty brand, but that’s too bad. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but at Haus Laboratories, we say beauty is how you see yourself.”
She posted a photo of herself wearing the makeup that same day and captioned it, in part, “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.”
Before even laying our eyes on the products, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a Gaga creation and to experiment with what she says makes her feel most confident and beautiful.
What is Haus Laboratories?
Aside from being another beauty brand that “no one wants,” Haus Laboratories is cruelty-free (meaning that neither the products nor their ingredients are tested on animals) and vegan (no ingredients come from animal sources).
The company partnered with Amazon to bring the line to consumers but is also available for sale directly from Haus Labs. During pre-order, the brand offered six three-piece collections that included a liquid eyeshadow, pencil lip liner, and lip gloss. Each $49 kit has its own color theme and cheeky name. At the time of publication, Haus Labs had added a liquid eyeliner, an “eye armor kit” that includes the liquid eyeliner and winged eyeliner stickers, and an “armor masque” that resembles a lace (temporary) tattoo to wear around the eyes.
What does Lady Gaga’s makeup claim to do?
Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer: Haus Labs claims the eyeshadows are a “weightless, smudge-proof, liquid-to-powder formula” that is easy to layer and blend. The site also describes the shadows as flake- and transfer-proof. They come in six shimmery shades: Chained Ballerina (deep black with multi-color pearl), Rose B*tch (soft mauve with silver pearl), Aphrodite (champagne with multi-color pearl), Legend (yellow gold pearl), Dynasty (emerald green with multi-color pearl), and Biker (gunmetal with silver pearl).
RIP Lip Liner: Aside from being a “lip liner to die for,” the pencils claim to be long-wearing, waterproof, weightless, smudge-proof, and flake-proof. The pencil also “will not tug on the lips” and won’t feather, or bleed onto skin around the edges. This product comes in six shades: En Pointe (peach neutral), Ride (mid-tone rose), Drag (mid-tone plum), Rule (spiced terracotta), Myth (mid-tone neutral mauve), and Slayer (deep burgundy wine).
Le Riot Lip Gloss: The gloss doesn’t make any bold claims, with the description stating, “Le Riot Lip Gloss offers a spectrum of finishes including shine, shimmer, pearl, and pure pigment so you can design a look that’s all your own.” It comes in six colors: Entrance (sheer with light pink pearl), Scream (burgundy wine), Corset (neutral peach), Attitude (terracotta with golden pearl), Venus (peachy pink), and Blaze (rose).
How did we test Haus Labs makeup?
I’m Jessica, Reviewed’s lifestyle writer. My co-testers include Naidin Concul-Ticas, Reviewed’s editorial graphic designer, and Valerie Li, the kitchen and cooking staff writer. We all consider ourselves makeup enthusiasts who are comfortable applying and wearing all sorts of products. We have different skin tones, makeup preferences, and areas of expertise. For example, I’d say the thing I’m best at when it comes to makeup is evening my complexion, as I got used to covering up acne scarring. Naidin says she’s great at drawing winged eyeliner, ever since she learned at age 11. Valerie agrees that she can apply eyeliner any time, any place (even on the moving subway), but she also feels that contouring is one of her better skills.
To start, each of us picked out the kit we found most intriguing and pre-ordered them over a month before Haus Labs’ official launch date. I chose the set called Rose B*tch, which includes a liquid eyeshadow in "Rose B*tch," described as soft mauve with a silver pearl; a lip liner in "Drag," described as a mid-tone plum; and a lip gloss in "Entranced," described as sheer pink with a light pink pearl.
Naidin chose a kit called Dynasty, which includes the liquid eyeshadow in “Dynasty,” described as an emerald green with a multi-color pearl; a lip liner in “Rule,” described as spiced terracotta; and a lip gloss in “Attitude,” described as a terracotta with a golden pearl.
Valerie’s kit, Chained Ballerina, includes an eyeshadow in "Chained Ballerina," described as a deep black with multi-color pearl; a lip liner in "En Pointe," described as peach neutral; and a lip gloss in "Corset," also described as peach neutral.
Once we received our respective kits, we planned an all-day wear test. We put the makeup on at the office one morning, mostly without any supplemental tools, besides our mirrors. We took photos wearing the makeup and went about our typical days, which included bopping around the office and commuting to our homes via public transportation. Before washing our faces at the end of the day, each of us snapped a selfie to document how well it lasted.
How easy was the Lady Gaga makeup to apply?
Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer: The eyeshadow resembles concealer or lip gloss: It’s in a tube with a wand that has a doe-foot applicator. We each popped the color on our eyelids using the wand and then blended and spread it with our fingers. Naidin had eyeshadow brushes with her, so she gave those a try, too. (Another note: Naidin and I both were wearing a base layer of powder eyeshadow.)
The consistency of the shadow is unexpected and takes some getting used to; it’s creamy but not runny and spreads out into a thin layer, drying in seconds to a powdery finish. It blended very easily, with mine creating a sheer-looking wash of glittery mauve all over my lid. To pump the color up a notch, I went in with it a second time, concentrating only on my lid. You could definitely see the color and glitter on my lid, but I was expecting even more of a bang in terms of color payoff, especially since Gaga is known for dramatic makeup looks.
Naidin, who wore a second eyeshadow from her own collection to see how it blended with Gaga's, felt similarly to me: “It was fine to apply, just a little weird texture to get used to. To my surprise, It blended pretty well for a liquid eyeshadow. I wouldn’t wear this emerald green color every day but definitely nice for special occasions.”
Valerie, however, felt her black eyeshadow wasn’t intuitive at all: “I think I messed it up. It should include a brush or something as guidance. I'm not sure how noticeable it was [to others], but when I put it on, I got a little drop on my upper right eyelid and it was not in the eyeshadow area. It was so awkward looking [to me].” After using the shadow again for a group photoshoot, though, Valerie said, "The liquid eyeshadow got much easier to apply after I became more familiar with the texture."
RIP Lip Liner: In my experience, pencil lip liners are not as creamy as crayon-like retractable ones, so I wasn’t surprised that I found Haus Labs’ version drying rather than moisturizing on my lips. It clung to dry patches—not cute. Despite the claims, I found that the pencil tugged at my lips rather than glided smoothly as I drew it on. Nevertheless, I put the plum liner all over my lips, instead of just outlining them, for more color impact, because my gloss is a sheer pink that the lip liner would show through.
Naidin loved her lip pencil: “I’m very comfortable with lip liners, so this was easy to put on. I applied it all over my lips and I actually really liked the terracotta color, as is [without the gloss on top].”
Valerie says her peach lip liner was way more intuitive than the eyeshadow: “[Applying] it almost feels like a no-brainer for me. I think the color didn't really show on my face, as my skin color has a yellow undertone and both the lip liner and lip gloss are orange-y nude.”
Le Riot Lip Gloss: The lip glosses are packaged similarly to the eyeshadows but have a doe-foot applicator that has more of a dip to match the curvature of your lips. I liked this because the applicator felt specifically tailored for its purpose, but it also meant that the wand grabbed more product from the tube than needed for one sweep across the lips. The formula was very thick—I needed to wipe the doe-foot on the sides of the tube before applying it to make the application process more controlled and less messy. Once on, the gloss wasn’t too sticky and the sheer pink melded nicely with the plum liner to take on shiny purple tone.
Naidin doesn’t love lip gloss to begin with but thought her terracotta-colored one was fine for what it is: “It had a nice color to it and I liked how it felt on my lips. The applicator is a weird shape—at first, I didn’t know which side was the right side to put it on. I liked this to try, but it’s not something I would wear, but that’s because I’m not a gloss type of girl.”
Valerie wasn’t a huge fan of the peach lip gloss: “I’m not sure about the glossy look. The texture is on the heavier side in comparison to lip glosses I’ve used before. I like the color on other people who can pull it off, but I honestly don’t think it looked good on me.”
How did the Lady Gaga makeup last?
Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer: I wore the makeup for about nine hours before easily removing what was left of it with a cotton pad doused in micellar water. The shadow wore off a bit but surprisingly hadn’t creased—my eyeshadow almost always creases, regardless of formula. My main complaint is that there was glitter fallout underneath my eyes and on my top lashes. I even noticed that super-fine glitter had migrated from my lids and caught the light during the day, causing me to be aware of its presence while I was working on my computer.
Naidin noted a little bit of creasing after wearing the shadow for about seven hours, but the color remained moderately intact. When it came time to remove the makeup, Naidin agreed that it was a cinch: “I'm shocked at how easily this comes off. I used one makeup wipe maybe two times and the eyeshadow came right off! I had to wash my face after to remove any leftover glitter on my face. But very easy. No hassle at all.”
Valerie, who wore her kit for 11 hours, says her shadow wore off a noticeable amount, but what was left was also easy to remove: “I used eye makeup remover and cotton pads, then makeup remover wipes. I was so worried that I would get glitter all over me. It wasn’t bad, though.”
RIP Lip Liner and Le Riot Lip Gloss: None of us had any remnants of either lip product left by the end of our respective days. Both Naidin and Valerie wiped off their lip liner and lip gloss prior to eating lunch that day, as that felt most comfortable for them. (In the photo above, Valerie is wearing her own lipstick.) I kept both products on through lunch, but the gloss was completely worn off post-eats. The lip liner remained somewhat intact but was completely gone by the time I took my “after” photo. My typical go-to lip products don’t last through lunch or even longer than a few hours without reapplying, so this performance was in line with my expectations.
Did Lady Gaga’s makeup make us feel beautiful?
Since the brand is all about feeling beautiful in your own unique way, we each reflected on what it felt like to wear the makeup.
I liked the purple tones that came in my kit, but it was slightly outside of my comfort zone, as I tend to lean toward a warmer color palette with gold, shimmery eyeshadow and peachy lips. For this reason, I didn’t feel as confident as I would have in my typical makeup. I could have chosen a kit called Haus of Goddess with a champagne eyeshadow, mauve lip liner, and peachy-pink gloss. I instead went with a kit that was more out of my ordinary because, well, it’s Gaga—go bold or go home. And it was fun to play with makeup, instead of just sticking to my status quo of neutrals.
Naidin sung a different tune from me: “Wearing the makeup felt fun and exciting, mostly because I never wear liquid eyeshadow, especially a glittery one. I felt quite glamorous and everyone in the office kept complimenting me and saying how nice it looked. Even when I got a coffee at the end of the day the barista said he loved my eye makeup! So I feel very confident and pretty!”
Valerie says the kit isn’t likely to be part of her everyday makeup: “I did not feel confident wearing the Lady Gaga makeup because I'm not a glitter person and I kind of feel like the glitters made me stand out—which I don't want. I also felt a bit insecure because I have Asian eyes and, in our culture, we want to make our eyes bigger, but in the most natural way possible. The liquid eyeshadow is heavy and glittery so it was too hard to manage my eye look.”
Is Haus Laboratories worth it?
My take? No, sadly. The quality of the products was fine, and maybe I wouldn’t bat an eye if they were sold in the drugstore at cheaper prices, but the current price tag of $49 per kit doesn’t match up with my experience. For $20, the price of one Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer, I want the eyeshadow to pack a punch pigmentation-wise and only have minimal, if any, fallout. At $16, I think the lip liner should either come with a sharpener or be retractable. I’d also prefer it be creamier and easier to blend into the lips. The gloss, priced at $18, is fine, but my color was sheer, making it nothing special. If I’d chosen a kit with a colored gloss that impressed me with its opacity, my opinion may be different.
Naidin agrees that the makeup isn’t worth the price tag: “I had very high exceptions because almost every celebrity is coming out with makeup these days, like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Millie Bobby Brown. So when I heard Lady Gaga was coming out with something, it had to be good. But when I used the kit, I was a little disappointed. I was expecting more pizzazz. I am not a gloss girl so I was a little disappointed with the gloss—I wished there was a matte lipstick option or liquid matte. I also wished the eyeshadow was more pigmented, but maybe I didn’t put enough coats. It was fun to use and try but I would say its not worth it, especially for the price tag.”
Valerie says she won’t restock her Haus Labs products when she runs out: “The lip gloss looks cheap and it didn’t hold its texture overtime. It completely disappeared after a few hours of wearing. Also, the liquid eyeshadow... I messed it up the first time, and oh boy—there was no turning back. I tried to wipe it, fix it, and do whatever it took to get it off but it just didn’t come off [until I used makeup remover that night]. Although the first kit I tried was a bit of a disappointment, I think the brand itself is heading to a good start. Maybe, if we give it some time, it’ll eventually have better products.”
If you’re a mega-fan of Gaga and want to support the line, I wouldn’t steer you away from giving it a try, but I’d suggest you think of this makeup as simply fun—not your new daily go-tos.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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