Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Lorde's lipstick smear is already a legend

Lorde at the American awards. Photo / AP
Lorde at the American awards. Photo / AP

Forget smashing guitars on stage, Lorde's televised lipstick smear is being hailed as the Kiwi teen singing sensation's new rockstar signature.

The Yellow Flicker Beat singer has attracted the attention of an influential beauty magazine which lauded the dramatic closing moments to her American Music Awards performance as "a guitar-smash end note for the show".

Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O'Connor, finished the live performance of her latest hit single by balling her left fist and dragging the back of her hand across her purple lips, leaving two warpaint-like stripes on her cheek.

The single plays over the credits of America's current No 1 movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.

Allure magazine likened the action to a punk rock move and a protest against perfect beauty.

"And really, it echoed a tradition of rock and roll ladies purposely mussing up their pretty to prove that they can have it but don't want it all the time," it said.

Time magazine also hailed the performance from Lorde, saying she stole the show and prompted a front row freakout from popstar friend Taylor Swift when she drastically altered her makeup.

Mum Sonja Yelich, who energetically seat danced her way through the performance beside Swift, later posted the picture of her daughter sporting the lipstick smear with the simple message: "Icon".

References were made to Courtney Love's grunge lipstick, Debbie Harry's "intentionally haphazard cut and dye" and soul singer Amy Winehouse's sloppy winged eye liner but Allure said this was a carefully choreographed theatrical moment.

- Herald on Sunday

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