Doja Cat is certain to deliver on two fronts: an award-winning pop hit and a unique makeup and fashion moment.
The Grammy-winning singer has performed at fashion events, but her otherworldly makeup looks have taken the spotlight away from the runway and onto her front row seat in recent fashion seasons.
Typical makeup steps include foundation, blush, bronzer, mascara, and a lip, but photographers captured the 27-year-old “Planet Her” artist bathed in gold paint, covered in 30,000 Swarovski crystals at Schiaparelli, posing with studded brows, and displaying a literal take on a “beat face” as she wore artificial bruises and cuts on her face and body.
“All of my makeup has a story, and there are exactly 0 rules,” Doja Cat responded to criticism of her all-gold fashion week look on Twitter.
“I think our culture is shifting away from the rigorous confines of standard beauty,” says Laurel Charleston, who created several Doja Cat fashion week makeup looks, including the icy blue face she wore to the Monot show in Paris.
Doja Cat’s brow erasure power
Doja Cat’s influence is frequently on the cutting edge of beauty, sharing a space with fellow stars Lady Gaga, Rico Nasty, and Grace Jones.
On Instagram Live in August, she stunned fans by showing off a new buzz cut and shaving off her brows. The singer’s decision, which was met with concern from her social media followers at first, became another way for her to creatively distinguish herself as she substituted colourful, intricate, and sometimes heart-shaped designs for her missing arches.
The absence of the star’s brows stands in stark contrast to makeup’s recent emphasis on the facial feature.
Headlines, products, and YouTube tutorials have all drawn attention to the “perfect brow.” Zendaya and Cara Delevingne are regarded as some of the ideal brow archetypes. And brow procedures such as lamination, tinting, and microblading entered the cosmetic realm.
Charleston claims that the emphasis on the brow is shifting.
“There’s no brow now,” they say. “I believe that removing the brow is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to simply extend your canvas. Most people believe that the eyes and possibly the lip are the best places to experiment with your face. People are gradually broadening their canvas by shaving their brows.”
The expanding role of makeup in fashion
Sophia Sinot, 24, created Doja Cat’s studded brow look for the Givenchy Spring/Summer 2023 show. Sinot collaborated with the “Say So” singer for the first time at Paris Fashion Week after the singer surprised her with a follow on Instagram. Sinot’s “glitch in the universe” moment came before she created Doja Cat’s bruised Balenciaga look, complete with a faux black eye and lip and brow cuts.
“We had no idea the models in the Balenciaga show had the same kind of aesthetic with the bruised eyes,” Sinot says, adding that Doja Cat’s team called her while they were watching the show on Instagram Live to inform her of the coincidence. “That was not at all planned. It was bizarre.”
Charleston claims that makeup has begun to take a back seat in the fashion world; they want to shift the emphasis to “naturally gorgeous models” who only need “a little Vaseline on their skin and push them down the runway.”
Charleston frequently uses their entire face with a full palette of colour on Instagram to create immersive looks inspired by designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier. They hope to see more of that creative freedom in fashion.
“I really want to show the world that makeup can be a fashion extension rather than just an accent,” they say.
TikTok users imitate Doja Cat’s makeup.
Users on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have been mimicking some of Doja Cat’s imaginative looks since her fashion month cosmetic display. On Twitter, some users have even received a thumbs up from the singer.
Doja Cat tweeted, “Check out Deb’s video,” with a link to a TikTok from @beatsbydeb, a 23-year-old self-taught makeup artist who recreated one of Charleston’s looks for Doja Cat’s New York Fashion Week look at Vogue World.
There is “nothing more flattering,” according to Charleston, than having other artists recreate their work.
“Every one I see, I click on it, I comment, and I’m (going to) hype you up because that’s so cool,” they say. “I want to inspire everyone to continue experimenting with makeup and pushing their own limits.”
According to Sinot, the eclectic makeup trend is making a splash.
“A lot of people nowadays (are starting) to appreciate looking a little weirder, freakier, edgier, or grungier, rather than always flawless and perfect,” she says. “That’s something I really like, something I adore. I’ve always admired the freedom of makeup.”