Lip Art Vlada Haggerty
Before I became a makeup artist (MUA), I didn’t own much makeup. I think I owned even less than the average non-MUA, primarily because I didn’t know what I was doing, and it seemed an expensive hobby. Past Tense Me was right — it’s a costly obsession, to be sure — but I wish I’d learned a little more about having fun with makeup. It didn’t really occur to me, as it doesn’t occur to a lot of women, to own more than one or two lip products at a time. One neutral lip color was all I needed to keep my pucker looking good and avoiding the fear of people thinking I had some sort of an infection. (Can I wear purple lipstick? Should I? Where does one don purple lipstick without appearing too … too?)
If we’re going to be honest, one really doesn’t consider the mouth when thinking about the artistry of makeup. The entire face? Sure. Halloween makeup or special effects transformations? It would be rude to exclude that. The mouth is a smaller feature, and when it’s not being used for speaking, kissing, or eating, then we’re probably cracking jokes about duck lips or the recently defunct Kylie Jenner lip challenge, which led to some truly catastrophic results.
As it turns out, the lips are actually an incredible canvas for really stunning art as Vlada Haggerty, a rather Instafamous LA-based makeup artist and hair stylist (you can find her at @vladamua), has proven. Her art is so popular, in fact, that both Kylie Jenner and Britney Spears have reposted it on Instagram, although it should be noted that neither credited her work till they were bombarded with comment after comment to do so.
Her media generally consist of loose pigment mixed with a thick, sticky clear gloss (or even regular liquid lipstick and a very precise lip brush). Her work can take hours to create. This insistence for precision and perfection combined with a knowledge of photography and how to edit photos properly leaves no room for argument as to whether Vlada is a true artist. While she does create beautiful work on models and clients, her primary work is created, painstakingly, on her own lips.
What fascinates me most about her art is the whimsy of it — that she should have chosen lip art as her specialty in the first place, the fun and creativity she so beautifully illustrates, and the unusual products she may utilize from time to time (such as sprinkles, Swarovski crystals, or even nail decals), all sealed with a sticky, dripping, viscose layer of clear gloss.
While there are certainly other makeup artists who specialize in lip art, there is something so flawless and clean about Vlada Haggerty’s that it sticks out to me more than others. You may purchase prints of her most popular lip art creations online at her Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/VladamuaPrints.