In Nicki Minaj’s just-released, Steven Klein–directed music video for “Chun-Li,” the rapper channels the eponymous feminine fighter character, who first appeared in 1991’s Road Fighter II: The World Warrior and has since been a trailblazing determine within the gaming neighborhood—very like Minaj has been in hip-hop.
Taking cosplay to the following stage, the performer wears a dizzying array of futuristic Asian-inspired appears to be like—suppose architectural double knots secured with embellished chopsticks; a LED-light-trimmed, kimono-esque bodysuit—within the video’s dreamy, Technicolor sequences. And amid all of the scrumptious drama, Minaj’s make-up, particularly her directional embellished lips, by no means take a again seat. Not with the legendary magnificence mogul Pat McGrath on the inventive helm.
In collaboration with Minaj’s make-up artist Sheika Daley, McGrath created a slew of light-catching pouts, two of which have been reimagined from essentially the most Instagram-ready runway of Paris Trend Week. “I was really inspired by Chun-Li as a character,” explains McGrath, “and Margiela’s lip looks are always so sci-fi, it was perfect for Nicki and this video.”
First, McGrath riffed on the holographic pouts seen on the avant-garde style home’s runway this previous season, kicking an ultraviolet matte shade up a notch with a veil of gems. “There were thousands of Swarvoski crystals [used],” says McGrath of the high-impact look, which Minaj wore with lightened, alien-esque brows, winged liner, and spidery fringe. Subsequent up was one other ode to Spring 2018, with McGrath’s MatteTrance Lipstick in blue-red Elson used to attract a flocked form that shaped two hearts on Minaj’s mouth. A subversive, but romantic contact teamed with twin buns (a Chun-Li signature) and a mane of brushed-out, waist-length ringlets, the mix was equal components female and highly effective.
Minaj’s magnificence message for “Chun Li”? From spring to summer time, Instagram to the streets, let the lips have it, whether or not painted a surprising shade, forged in a geometrical form, or coated with glitter—and plenty of it.