Every now and then, the singer Janelle Monáe suffers from a career-induced beauty dilemma: “I’m really aggressive with my mic,” says the Grammy-nominated vocalist, who is known for her supercharged onstage performances, with a laugh. “Sometimes [it] can swipe off my lipstick.” Starting today, it is unlikely that she’ll have any trouble scoring a touch-up: Monáe has just been named the newest face of CoverGirl—a coveted beauty post that holds personal significance for the 26-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, native.
“Growing up and trying to find myself as a woman and experimenting with makeup, I’d go buy magazines,” she says. “I’d see Tyra Banks [in the CoverGirl ads] and I’d think, Wow, she’s beautiful. It never looked like she had on too much makeup. There was just something clean and classic about her face.”
Those words—clean, classic—seem to have stuck: These days, Monáe’s favorite onstage uniform is a crisp, fitted tuxedo with matching saddle shoes—and even her high-concept 1950s quiff seems like a wink at the enduring style of music legends like Elvis Presley or James Brown. “I take a minimalist approach to my wardrobe and I do the same with my makeup. I don’t look at [it] as a mask. I don’t overdo it,” says Monáe, who tends to prefer radiant skin, natural lashes, and a stroke of megawatt lip color to anything too trend-driven. “A bold [shade] of red or pink—something that pops—brings the whole look together.”
The singer, who does her own makeup for most major performances, has already started experimenting with CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Mascara. “I keep my eyes pretty simple but I like to make [my lashes] a little darker and thicker,” she says. She’s also been dipping into the company’s highly pigmented Lip Perfection line—introduced to her by makeup artist and CoverGirl global creative design director Pat McGrath on the Los Angeles set of her first print campaign two months ago. “She’s not only one of the most talented people in the universe but she’s also one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet,” says Monáe of bonding instantly with McGrath—who provided a quick solution to her mic-swiping lipstick quandary. “She told me to do the whole lip liner thing first so that it stains my mouth and makes the color last,” she says, before adding with a laugh: “Thank you, Pat!”
Star products aside, says Monáe, she looks forward to reaching young women who may be flipping through the pages of a magazine at home. “I believe in the idea of every woman finding their own beauty superpowers,” she says, sounding ever so slightly like Cindi Mayweather—the futuristic musical alter ego she made famous on her best-selling 2010 album, The ArchAndroid—for a moment. “I want to help redefine what it means to be a strong woman in the music and fashion worlds.”
Original article on: Vogue Daily