Lady Gaga removed her make-up for a raw, unfiltered performance at the Oscars

lady gaga oscars performance no makeup
Lady Gaga's powerful make-up-free Oscars momentGetty Images

Chameleonic beauty is a sartorial code we've come to expect from Lady Gaga, so if anyone could take on the Academy Awards red carpet with striking, bright make-up, only to remove every inch of it inside, it's the inimitable singer-songwriter and actor.

Taking to the stage during the 2023 Oscars ceremony to perform a raw rendition of 'Hold my hand' – the Top Gun: Maverick track, which was nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) – Lady Gaga's pared-back aesthetic was as powerful as her performance.

lady gaga oscars performance no makeup
Rich Polk - Getty Images

Appearing completely make-up free, and dressed-down in a black T-shirt and ripped jeans, the song, which she described as "deeply personal for me", echoed her vocals and the message at large. "There are heroes all around us in assuming places, but you might find that you can be your own hero even if you feel broken inside," she said during the poignant introduction.

lady gaga oscars performance no makeup
Kevin Winter - Getty Images
2023 oscars best beauty looks
Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

In contrast, her bold beauty look when entering the awards was full-throttle Gaga. Combining luminous, lacquered red lips with sweeping candy-pink blush and intense smoky eyes, the make-up by Sarah Tanno mirrored the drama of her black Versace gown, while injecting colour into the look (and serving as a marketing moment for Haus Labs by Lady Gaga).

lady gaga oscars 2023 hair
ROBYN BECK - Getty Images

Far from an afterthought, Lady Gaga's hairstyle was cleverly styled to complement both looks on the night. Clearly a conscious decision, her French plait – which disappeared at the nape of her neck – was dual-toned, with dark roots blending into her blonde. While the details added interest and reflected her multifaceted nature, the style by Frederic Aspiras didn't detract from her statement make-up choices. Quite the contrary.

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