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How 6 Musicians Used Makeup To Make Their Videos More Powerful

How 6 Musicians Used Makeup To Make Their Videos More Powerful

There’s a reason why I choose to watch MVs instead of listening to songs on Spotify. It’s interesting to study how a song’s visuals enhance the meaning of its lyrics. It was just the other day that I noticed how beauty does much of the weightlifting in that area. It’s an art—linking the two to one another—and that inspired me to do a little bit of my own research over the weekend. I’ve put together a line-up of songs that have employed visually-appealing aesthetics into their videos to support their lyrics’ mood, theme, and emotion. Ahead—the very best (IMO).

Confusion, Gotye

This one’s a masterpiece in that it employs colours to convey the death of a relationship. Gotye is naked at the start of the MV, and this is indicative of his vulnerability with regard to what has happened. As the song progresses, colours come into bloom on his body (more like cut his skin recklessly), and he grows bitter and distressed over the course of a few seconds. He blends in with the wall behind him, and loses himself to his heartbreak and confusion. Kimbra appears mid-way, and starts off with colours dissecting parts of her body. The paints start to fade from her skin once she acknowledges all the pain that the relationship brought her. And, soon, she’s naked while Gotye remains committed to his anger, and so, stricken with colours.

Toxicity, Billie Eilish

Billie is seen drinking a thick, dark liquid (probably likened to poison) out of a glass at the start of the video—which spews out of her eyes just seconds after, and soaks her shirt in streams of jet-black. The song describes what it’s like to be with someone who’s toxic for you, and you, having had enough, wanting them to leave you alone. Billie tries holding onto the person by consuming that liquid (hesitantly but not without hope), and by the end of it, she’s consumed by it instead. Notice how the liquid has flooded the floor in the last couple of shots.

Power (Literally), Little Mix

Little Mix’s Power asserts that women have just as much power in a relationship as a man. The song tracks their commitment to challenging gender-specific roles, and thrives on lyrics that remind girls that they’re a force to be reckoned with. The band waltzes around the city in power-packed ensembles punctuated by rhinestone-encrusted brows and eyes, extravagant ‘dos, and glitter-laden lids—and features the queens of drag, in all of their show-stopping glory, reinforcing the song’s message alongside the girls.

Struggle, Melanie Martinez

Martinez’ Mrs. Potato Head is hard-hitting in that it tracks the life of a woman succumbing to media’s portrayal of beauty without thinking about how these standards are ever-changing and superficial. She buys into all that’s marketed to her in an attempt to fit in, and hold onto the man she’s with. Her skin is stricken with ink-marks before her body is dissected and altered according to what’s conventionally regarded as beautiful, and she ends up with a doll-like, made-up face that’s not hers—and not one she likes or recognises.

Revenge, Taylor Swift

Look What You Made Me Do alludes to karma, and is addressed to those who’ve wronged Taylor in the past. Many speculate that the MV is a response to her high-profile detractors namely Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (courtesy of the singer’s feud with the two). The video adheres to this idea, and displays visuals that indicate that the ‘old’ Taylor is dead: cue Taylor’s full-fledged zombie alter-ego at the beginning; sky-high ponytails, slicked-back hair, curls reminiscent of the ’70s, and shaggy ‘dos replacing her bangs; outlandish gold-coloured nails; and dark, smoldering eyes driving home the fact that Taylor’s disposed off her past-self completely.

Addiction, Tove Lo

This one displays self-sabotage in love through visuals of Tove’s makeup. The MV starts with shots of the singer’s hours-old makeup sitting on her face from the night before—ready for another layer to be packed on before she repeats her routine. Notice how her makeup is reflective of her feelings—her lipstick wears off almost immediately; her cheeks are tear-stricken; and her eyes are tired and puffy throughout the night.

This assortment of tear-jerking, eye-widening, and soul-searching medleys are testament to the fact that beauty plays quite an important role in enhancing a musician’s work. There are a bunch of other MVs that do just that, but these reign supreme.

Featured: YouTube

16 Jun 2022

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