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“Yes, every night,” continues Gaga. “On Cornelia Street, at Palma — the other waiters got so mad, because they had full careers at the restaurant, and then I came in in my little heels — you always make more money in heels. And I never did the romantic tables, because the girlfriends would get mad.”
“There you go,” Lauper says wisely.
As an aside, Gaga adds, “Did you know WWD was my first cover? Ever! It was about five years ago, and I was at Lollapalooza, and you guys took my photo and asked if you could do a story. It was before anyone knew who I was. So this is very special for us.”
Lauper, 56, has a similar story to tell. “I did a Women’s Wear thing where everyone wore white, and I got so excited that I even did my hair white,” she says. “Everything was white — my hair, my nails, the suit, the shoes, everything. But then when I saw myself, I didn’t fit in. I kind of looked like Martha Washington.”
Neither Lauper nor Gaga has ever wasted too much time trying to conform to any particular standard look, Gaga’s Convent of the Sacred Heart school uniform notwithstanding. “When I was young, I felt like a freak in school — and I had to put my makeup on when I got home before I went to bed because I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup in school,” she recalls. “When I walked around the corner and saw Boy George in the window [of a MAC store], I said, ‘I feel just like that!’ Why is that attitude nowhere else? And RuPaul, and Pamela Anderson.…I said, ‘Gosh, I feel just like that.’ And when I saw David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper for the first time — I felt just like that. That’s why I think MAC is so important; they cater to that inside of you that feels like a freak sometimes, that wants to raise your freak flag.”
Gaga also has fond memories of watching her mother’s morning beauty routine: “I’d sit on the toilet and watch her set her hair every morning — she’d put in a curler and hand one to me, and I’d be trying to pin them in and they would be falling everywhere. Next, she’d hand me the lipstick and I’d put it on. That was my first relationship with beauty — I was six years old — and if you can believe it, my mother’s name is Cindy. What I’m hoping, with this [MAC] campaign, is to create this mother-daughter energy, where mothers feel that they can buy the lipstick for their daughters — ‘Here’s your first lipstick, and let me explain to you what it means.’”
“Easy!” Lauper mock-huffs at the mother reference. Gaga backpedals with a laugh: “Obviously, you couldn’t be my mother, Cyndi!” Lauper swats back, “Of course I could! Ga, you’re 23. You could be my kid, easy.”
Regardless of their age difference, the two pop stars clearly feel committed to their roles as the new spokeswoman for the MAC AIDS Fund.
“I love to use my fame to get other points across,” says Gaga. “That’s part of who I am.”
Each has created a lipstick for the cause. While Gaga and Lauper are both head over heels for Russian Red (the matte tomato red perhaps best known for being Madonna’s favorite shade in the Eighties) — “It’s in my bag right now!” exclaims Gaga — and Lauper is rather fond of the collection MAC did with Dame Edna, they’re equally excited over creating their own lipstick shades. “I do love to mix Russian Red and Lady Danger,” says Lauper. “But what really sells is the softer colors, because they’re easier to wear.”
Gaga concurs: “Every woman can relate.”
They are wearing their creations: Lauper’s is a light coral red, Gaga’s a bubble-gummy pink. Both retail for $14 and will be available in MAC stores in North America beginning today (global markets will get the colors in March). For the first time in Viva Glam history, the lipsticks are named for the women who created them, and their signatures are scrawled on the lipstick tubes. “In the Eighties, I put lipstick everywhere, not just on my lips,” reminiscences Lauper.