Janelle Monáe’s new album, The Electric Lady, drops today, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a CD release since *N Sync’s No Strings Attached when I was in fourth grade. I’ve been counting the days since May, when her video for “Q.U.E.E.N” premiered.
The song, which manages to blend clever social commentary with a funky baseline, was danceable and catchy, and it instantly became my summer jam. But the video? ICONIC.
The fringed lady tuxes, the sci-fi sexy mini dresses, the mod realness and French art-house film references, the powdered dude-babe statue musicians? Like, stop. I can’t breathe.
Ever since, I’ve wanted nothing but to steal Janelle’s androgynously fierce looks. And in honor of the hottest album of 2013 (I said it) I finally did it.
First, I wanted to cop the classic Janelle Monáe style. The red lips, the amazing pouf:
I started out by mimicking her surprisingly simple makeup look. I picked up the e.l.f. Studio Makeup Clutch palette for only 10 bucks to achieve both the looks I’m doing here.
I brushed a warm beige shadow across my entire lid. Then I tapped a gold color onto the inner third of my eyes. Finally, I blended a coppery brown into my creases. The palette is not intensely pigmented, so the look is very subtle.
To finish off, I lined all the way around my including my waterline with Tarte Skinny SmolderEyes Waterproof Liner in onyx.
The look is crazy-easy to finish off with a coat of mascara, a brush of bronzer, and a swipe of your favorite red lipstick. I used Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in Coral, which, despite its name, is actually just a warm red.
The real star in Janelle’s look, though, is the gravity-defying pompadour she rocks in the front. I don’t have the same hair texture as her, so I had to resort to a little trickery to get the same voluminous pouf effect.
I started by sectioning off my hair into two parts. Leaving out the front portion to the left of my part, I pulled the rest up into a super-high ponytail.
I twisted the ponytail, bringing it forward across the top of my head, and pinning the ends under to form a sort of oblong bun directly on top of my head. This bun served as the “stuffing” for my pouf.
Then, I took the section I left out and lifted it vertically where I wanted my pouf to be. I twisted it about halfway down the length of my hair, pushing it forward to create extra volume before pinning it in place.
I took the part I twisted and tucked it underneath the poufed bit, pinning it along the top of the oblong bun.
Then I threw on a (sadly non-fringed) jacket and the look was complete!
I also wanted to try the fabulous mod look from the video...
I transitioned to one look from the other by first taking out the pouf and removing my red lipstick (sad face), and patting some shimmery vanilla eyeshadow onto the center of my lids.
I created the cut crease look buy tracing my crease with my eyeliner pencil, and then blending it out with matte black eyeshadow, making sure to connect my regular eyeliner wing all the way up to meet the “wing” of the crease.
I added a little of the peachy gold blush from the elf palette on the apples of my cheeks and finished with Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Lychee, a pale nude-pink lipstick.
To finish this look off, I wanted to copy the awesome pixie wig Janelle and her backup singers are wearing, but because my hair is long, I had to fake it.
I created a super-deep part, pulling hair tight across my forehead to achieve faux side-swept bangs. I combed the rest of my hair back with a wet comb, pulling it into a super-tight bun, which I then rolled and tucked under, pinning it place to create a sleek updo.
Now I’m off to go listen to some righteous new jams.