Singer and rapper Lizzo, 31, is one of the buzziest acts in music right now, what with her fierce lyrics, outspoken personality and fashion presence. She is also about to cross over into film, with a role in “Hustlers,” out Sept. 13. Lizzo, who is an Urban Decay brand ambassador, lives in Los Angeles. Here, she dishes on her skin rehab, impossible standards and what she does first thing in the morning.
On waking up
I’m real bizarre, but I believe in water first thing. Water is really important for face and hair. I go to the bathroom and, believe or not, hit myself with some Evian spray to the face.
Out of skin rehab
So I was on the road, and I was sleeping in my makeup a bunch. It was so embarrassing. What am I, a child? And I was waking up and thinking I’m invincible, nothing can happen to me! Then one day my face broke out — not even broke out in acne, but red and irritated. I was like, “Oh my God, this is what happens when you party all night and you don’t wash off your makeup.”
I went through skin rehab. Listen, I was in face masks — the Peter Thomas Roth green tea face mask — literally every night. It was really scary. I thought my skin would never come back. I told my makeup artist, Alexx Mayo: I really have to get serious about my skin care, and he introduced me to the Sunday Riley products.
I have the C.E.O. Glow oil — it’s so sick. There’s vitamin C and turmeric in it. I’m obsessed with the way vitamin C smells — like oranges. I love oils in general. Black girls, we’re always using cocoa butter, coconut oil and shea butter on our bodies. I’m an oily bitch.
If it’s night, I use Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip face wash. I have the whole Sunday Riley system now. I don’t mix systems. I would mix if I felt like it, but if it works for me, I don’t mess with it.
I just went to Hawaii and got burned because I didn’t use sunscreen. So I’ve been really adamant about having some kind of SPF in my tinted moisturizer. Right now, I use the Laura Mercier and the Nars ones. I do the tinted moisturizer, and then I do concealer — the Urban Decay Stay Naked.
Then I do mascara. I use Urban Decay Perversion. I used to do lash extensions, but my eyes got really swollen. So instead of the falsies, I just build a lash. You just got to take some time with it. Build a lash, baby.
I used to do highlighter, but then I stopped on my days off because (a) I’ve been using the Glow oil, and I think that works better, and (b) lately, when I put highlighter on, it’s too much. I’m really into my skin looking naked. I’m trying to honor that my skin looks so good now and rock it.
I have Urban Decay brow powder. It’s hard to find a realistic color for my brows that’s thick enough but also has the right texture to look like the hair on my brows. Eyebrow pencils can be a weird color. This is so easy to apply.
Team Lizzo is extremely collaborative. We’re always trying to find the next fantasy. If you see me onstage, the look came from someone’s fantasy, whether it’s the hair, makeup or the outfit. We love the greats. We love Cher and Diana Ross. Those women were so glam and daring and bold. They were both really slim women, so to see those iconic looks on a bigger body is really interesting and new.
We find a really cool way to present that, but yeah, we pull from our culture, too. We pull from what we know, and we just make it work. And Alexx has techniques to make it stay. Or I just dip my face in a tub of Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray and put a dryer to it. Ha! Shellac it on.
Natural hair don’t care
I’ve been really excited about my natural hair journey. I’ve been trying to rock more wigs — Dare to Have Hair has been amazing — to let my real hair breathe instead of putting in all these extensions and stuff and straightening my hair. My hairstylist Shelby Swain puts the Mane Choice Daily Hair Dressing in my hair every time she’s about to braid me down for my wigs. It smells really good — it’s got a lemon scent.
Then, you know, we got to do the baby hairs. I have Instant Control, which is better on my edges than what I used to use. I’ve gotten into DevaCurl shampoo. It’s really dope and smells so good. I also use Innersense. It’s a super-clean beauty brand. I went to the Curl Doctor — he’s based here in LA — and he brings curls back to life. He cut all my curls individually and put me on Innersense.
I’m just getting hip to the skin on top of your head being as important as your face. There are pores there. They can get clogged. Shelby has this steamer that I sit underneath, and we’ll put a little peppermint oil and jojoba oil and steam my scalp. That’s my favorite new hair practice.
Smelling like Rihanna
I wear Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. I heard Rihanna uses it. No, that’s just me being silly. The scent is insane. The idea is that it grabs your pheromones and your body’s oils. It smells really good on me, not to toot my own horn. Toot toot!
Cup half full
I love massage and acupuncture, and I go to a chiropractor. I get cups. I have a massage girl that comes to my house. I found her on the Soothe app. I’m giving all these people props. Tell them to give me a discount.
My acupuncturist lives in Minneapolis. I lived in Minneapolis for five years, and whenever I’m there, I go. I used to get really bad anxiety, and I would get tingling in my hands. I was like, “I’m going to die!” She would say, “No, you’re just anxious.” She put needles in there, and the tingling was gone. It worked. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t force it.
I have a couple nail techs I really love. On the West Coast I go to Andrea — she’s @nailfiestudio — and on the East Coast I see Eri, which is @erierilady. My wood-grain nails at the BET awards was my favorite look. Eri did that.
I don’t care about impossible standards, and I don’t like beating myself up because I didn’t accomplish something for the day, but I’m very active. I’m performing a high-energy show — high cardio for an hour, every night.
I’ve been working out with my trainer Marcus — I met him at Gold’s Gym — for the last two years. We do what he calls total body fitness. We do calisthenics, we do steps, we do a lot of planks, and we do a lot of football drills. We do heavy rope for cardio. I feel stronger for doing it.
It’s important to have a healthy relationship with food, no matter what. I feel like people look at bigger people and assume they’re unhealthy, but they don’t look at smaller people and assume they’re unhealthy. I feel like my body type doesn’t really dictate what healthy is. It’s what is happening on the inside.
I love eating fresh food. My goal is to have a garden where I just eat out of the garden. I’m not good at it, but somebody in my life will be a green thumb. Oprah isn’t out there planting seeds. Actually maybe she is! I want a garden, though, really badly.