The music video for “Bejeweled”—which dropped last night at midnight, naturally—finds Taylor Swift taking on the role of Cinderella in a Swiftian (and very sparkly) twist on the classic fairytale. There are step sisters (Haim sisters), an Academy Award-winning stepmother (Laura Dern), and a producer-turned-prince (Jack Antonoff). And, along with transforming into the tale’s queen, make-up artist Pat McGrath served up the video’s visual feast of bejewelled beauty.
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“The process was very much like preparing for a haute couture show,” says McGrath, who looked to couture runways past, along with showgirls from history, film, and story, to dream up the video’s make-up. McGrath and her team worked with Swift to sample every single shade of crystal, eyeshadow, liquid liner, lash and shape. “Taylor is obsessed with the make-up,” says McGrath, who used the wealth of Pat McGrath Labs offerings in her kit. “Her knowledge is kind of incredible.”
In the video, Swifterella (or House Wench Taylor, as the credits call her) takes the elevator from the basement to the penthouse; her bare face and braid crown are exchanged for a jewelled and colourful cat-eye courtesy of McGrath. All the better to match the gemstones that float in the air and bedeck bodysuits and boots! Next comes a ’20s-inspired coif, trademark red lip, sapphire tears and Dita Von Teese. Finally, on the 13th floor, Swift goes full flapper, surrounded by a cadre of showgirls, each in their own McGrath eye moment. Queen Pat looks on from her throne—red lips painted in LiquiLust Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick in Elson 4—pleased with the show (and, we imagine, with her handiwork).
“The Bejeweled beauty is all about exaggeration, elegance, and extravagance,” says McGrath, who relied on shadows from the Mothership X: Moonlit Seduction Palette and the Mothership IV: Decadence Palette, as well as her line’s sumptuous onyx eyeliners, to create the assemblage of eye adornments. McGrath notes that she’s already seen fans and followers trying their hand at the aesthetic and sharing on social media. “All of Taylor’s looks are perfect for holiday,” she says. “It really was about a celebration. A celebration in all things Taylor, but also a celebration in beauty, of being daring, having fun, being bejewelled, shimmer, and glitter. It really was an explosion of all the joy.”
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As for taking a turn behind the camera, under Swift’s directorial eye? “Taylor managed everything with pure grace and she was kind, thoughtful, and a joy to work with—really a creative force,” says McGrath. “I mean it’s something else to watch. She’s a legend.” Mid-call, McGrath pauses to confer with a team member—they’re in the process of recreating one of Swift’s looks. “It’s going to be amazing,” Queen Pat assures. Then, as a final note: “And lots of sparkle!”
This story was originally published on British Vogue.