Home Beauty Lana Del Rey’s makeup artist Etienne Ortega breaks down the evolution of her lip look, her go-to lipstick, and how to achieve it for yourself.

Lana Del Rey’s makeup artist Etienne Ortega breaks down the evolution of her lip look, her go-to lipstick, and how to achieve it for yourself.

by белый

Her makeup artist breaks it all down.

Lana Del Rey has spent her career cultivating an air of retro romanticism — with a razor’s edge. “Just like the way that she expresses herself through her music and poetry, she just really feels to me like she belongs in the ‘50s or ‘60s,” says makeup artist Etienne Ortega, who has been working with Del Rey since 2020. “She’s just a dream.” From the velvety soft delivery of her sharply subversive lyrics to her penchant for pouty throwback beauty, the pop star has perfected a new kind of classic, and the approach extends to lip level.

The Evolution of Lana Del Rey's Signature Lip

Del Rey’s primary era of visual influence — a mid-’60s ode marked by overt allusions to Nancy Sinatra — was a time of big hair, cool tones, and ample eyeliner, notes that the pop star sticks to in the present tense.

The release of her 2012 album Born to Die served as an origin point for Del Rey's era-defining character, one entirely synonymous with festival culture and Tumblr girls. Del Rey's inaugural music video saw her sporting a flower crown (another sign of the times) and a red lip when on her throne, the dramatic pout juxtaposed by the barely-there pale pink worn in softer scenes. Though Del Rey did rock bold lips early on (particularly during her time spent with raven hair), from Ultraviolence on has been about bare and balmed lips or pinkish nudes and mauves edged in immaculate lip liner.

"Lana loves a cool-tone brown liner with a lighter center," says Ortega. Along with the defining line, Del Rey tends toward cooler lip shades, a menu of blanched pastels and deeper hues occasionally punctuated by a brick red or peachy pink moment. Over the last few years, a go-to look has emerged: the previously mentioned brown liner rimmed (generously) around a pink pout, featuring a matte or high-gloss finish depending on the day. "Her look has kind of become what Marilyn's was with the red lip. I feel like Lana has made her lip look like a signature that maybe in 40-50 years we’ll look back and be like, oh yes, the 'Lana lip!'"

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Her trademark pout featured at the first weekend of Coachella 2024, the lip grounding a makeup moment altered ever-so-slightly for the occasion. "I wanted to do something a little different without taking her too far from who she is because you could literally just sprinkle glitter on her and she’s done," says Ortega, who based the look on Del Rey's Swarovski-encrusted baby blue Dolce dresses. "Glowy" was the goal, one achieved via a warmer-than-usual palette of browns, peachy lids, and a golden cheek. "Someone who really knows her style would probably notice the difference in glam," says Ortega. "She looked so young — like, young and beautiful, no pun intended." Still, the Lana lip proved its prowess, pulling focus throughout her set.

Lana Del Rey's makeup artist Etienne Ortega breaks down the evolution of her lip look, her go-to lipstick, and how to achieve it for yourself.

How to Get the Lana Lip

Choosing the perfect lip liner is the key to unlocking your own Lana-inspired lip. Though Ortega typically reaches for his own Soft Contour Lip Liner in Cinnamon Girl (the shade named for Del Rey), Coachella called for Xola, a deeper brown. After prepping her lips with Blu Nectar Lip Oil to create a hyper-hydrated canvas, Ortega used Liquid Icon Hyper Gloss to diffuse the liner, creating a naturally mauve gloss that looked almost frosted beneath festival lights.

But what’s a standout lip look sans regular lip care? According to Ortega, Del Rey is a huge fan of lip scrubs (makeup artist Pamela Cochrane favored Sara Happ’s line of lip scrubs for Del Rey) and one unassuming drugstore staple. “She loves her Carmex,” he laughs. “That’s her go-to for regular life.”

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