Behind Lykke Li's Bewitchingly Beautiful Look in Her "Gunshot" Music Video
The solace one can take amidst the portrait of obliterating heartbreak depicted in I Never Learn, Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li’s third full-length album, lies in the notion that a love of equal magnitude must have preceded it. If you have yet to listen to the record, which dropped in May, the track titles (e.g. "Love Me Like I'm Not Made Of Stone" and "Never Gonna Love Again") are like preambles to the 33-minute volume of deeply realized sadness.
"Gunshot," Li's latest single, is about "the moment when it's just gone forever," she has said and in the recently released music video, the singer transforms into a harrowing, dancing zombie-like figure who has reached the breaking point of sanity.
"I had watched Great Expectations and had the image of Miss Havisham stuck in my head," says makeup extraordinaire Ozzy Salvatierra, who has collaborated with Li since her 2008 debut album, Youth Novels. "I wanted Lykke to no longer see herself and instead get lost in the character she had already developed through the music."
Although the video is dark, it's hard to take your eyes off of Li. Here, Salvatierra sheds light on the look he crafted and gives us the inside scoop behind what went down on the remote Parisian set.
1. "At first we made the skin less white and less severe but directors Fleur & Manu wanted Lykke to look a little crazier," says Salvatierra, who blended FACE Atelier Pro ($34; faceatelier.com) with a foundation that matched the singer's natural skin tone. "She had never done a dance video before and when we put more makeup on, she said, 'OK, I can really do this.'"
2. "There is nothing on Lykke's lips except for Egyptian Magic ($38; birchbox.com). It's like an all-natural Vaseline made of olive oil, royal bee pollen, and you can put it on your skin as an amazing moisturizer, too. Unlike baby oil, which sits on top of the skin, it absorbs into your pores."
3. "Instead of going goth, I wanted to bring out the beautiful green that's in Lykke's eyes. MAKE's burgundy shadows ($25; barneys.com) and Chanel's burgundy mascara ($30; chanel.com) give you the intensity without the heaviness and cheapness that sometimes happens when people with light eyes and light hair wear black product."
4. "If you want to get a more intense color when you're working with eyeshadow, add some water to it," says Salvatierra. "Working with a wet shadow is a lot like painting with watercolor. You can blend it really well but you also have to work quickly."
5. "We wanted Lykke to look like she was standing in a moment of insanity, a moment when vanity was kind of pushed aside—so there was no blending when it came to the blush. I just dipped a really big brush into Makeup Forever's powder ($34; sephora.com) and did a severe line across the cheek bone."
6. At the end of the two-day shoot, Lykke washed away the makeup but she left with a different kind of color. Notes Salvatierra: "She had been jumping on cars, running through ditches, and had motorcycles jumping over her without a stunt double. When the shoot wrapped, and she counted her bruises—we all said, 'Well, that's a sign of a good shoot!'"
Watch Lykke's video below, and catch more tunes that are currently on our radar here!