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Makeup Artist Gucci Westman Shares the Story of How She Created Taylor Swift’s Classic Red Lip Look

How Makeup Artist Gucci Westman Created Taylor Swift s Classic Red Lip
Gucci Westman, Taylor Swift. Getty Images (2)

Taylor Swift may be a mastermind when it comes to music, but makeup artist Gucci Westman is the architect behind the singer’s most iconic beauty look.

Westman, 52, opened up about how she created Swift’s classic red lip on the Tuesday, April 2, episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna. She recalled wanting to do a red lip for Swift’s April 2009 Allure cover because she “hadn’t seen her in a red lip before.” However, the pop star’s look had to get a particular person’s stamp of approval.

“Her mom, [Andrea Swift], if I’m allowed to say this, was like, ‘Well, Taylor doesn’t wear red,’” Westman explained to cohosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb. “And I was like ‘Please, can I just try?’”

Westman was ultimately able to change Andrea’s mind, resulting in Taylor, 34, sporting red lipstick on the magazine’s cover. “And the rest is history,” Bush Hager, 42, quipped on Tuesday.

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Westman followed up the Taylor talk by showing viewers how they can achieve the look for themselves. “You can kind of make it your own thing,” she explained while applying a red lip color on a model. “So, it can be either you put it on with your finger, you put it on with a brush, you put it on from the bullet, and you can dab it, you can make it a stain. There’s just many ways to [apply it].”

After praising Westman for giving the model a gorgeous makeup look, Bush Hager noted, “Red lips are good for anybody.”

Over the years, Westman has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz. In addition to doing Gwyneth Paltrow’s makeup for her 2018 nuptials with Brad Falchuk, Westman recently teamed up with Anne Hathaway for her April 2024 Vanity Fair cover.

How Makeup Artist Gucci Westman Created Taylor Swift s Classic Red Lip
Taylor Swift. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Westman posted a throwback photo of Taylor’s Allure cover via Instagram in November 2021, writing, “This look was inspired by Vargas girls & I sent Taylor home with her own tube afterwards ✨. So many other fun moments followed.” The post also included a behind-the-scenes shot of Westman applying the lip color on the “Lavender Haze” singer.

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Westman went on to work with Swift again for her February 2012 Vogue cover. “Fun fact, we shot this cover on the eve of [Taylor’s] 22nd birthday,” the Westman Atelier founder revealed in an April 2022 YouTube video. “This was Taylor’s, kind of, like, big transition from country into pop, and that was a big deal. And I think that that transition in her personal life and her career really, sort of, also sparked that we wanted to make this cover really, kind of, feel like this is the new Taylor.’”

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Inspired by stars such as Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree, the ’60s and ’70s-inspired cover featured Swift sporting a large floppy hat, heavy eyeliner, a nude lip and bangs. “People were used to seeing Taylor Swift with a red lip because, actually, I was the first person to do a red lip on her. … After that, she was never seen without a red lip, so that was pretty cool,” Westman stated.

She ended the video by calling Taylor “incredible,” adding, “[I] look forward to everything else that you’re gonna do. So, good luck and we’ll be rooting for you.”

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