Not many 17-year-olds can make a suit look badass, but in her Alexander Wang jumpsuit, styled with a black lace Lonely Hearts bra running across the back and lush mess of long, thick curls (reminiscent of Alanis Morissette—minus the naked music video), that’s exactly the vibe Lorde puts out. In an industry filled with pop stars in marijuana-print leotards and ill-placed foam fingers, this New Zealand native seems like a godsend to mothers and fathers of angsty adolescents everywhere. “I feel really cool and really pretty in a suit—that’s my leotard,” she said. And to that mature sartorial decision I applaud. As for dealing with the pressures of the industry, Lorde’s response is that of a typical teenager, “I’m not really very good at listening to what other people want me to do, which is bad sometimes.” With a MAC collection launching in June—consisting of her signature vampy purple lip (Pure Heroine) and black liquid liner (Rapidblack)—I’d say that her selective hearing is working out just fine. Here, she reveals the one beauty trend she won’t try, the secret to those black-stained fingertips at the Grammys and the music royal who will never be “corny”, Amber Kallor writes for style.com.
Q. You have a signature look and your MAC collection is obviously modeled after it. How long have you been rocking the dark lips and liner?
A. It has definitely fine-tuned itself over time. When I was 12, 13, 14, I would wear a much stronger liquid eye and I wouldn’t wear lipstick so much. Then I started wearing a dark lip around 14, I reckon, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. It helps to work with a makeup artist because they understand subtlety.
Q. Have you dabbled with any other looks over the years?
A. I used to get these black circular stickers from the dollar store and I would stick them on the corners of my eyes for school. It was a little dramatic. I bought them once for a dress-up party and they kind of stuck.
Q. How many lipstick shades did you go through before finally landing on Pure Heroine?
A. I went through all of the dark purples that MAC had and I obviously wear a lot of the dark MAC shades. We loved the idea of making a lipstick called Pure Heroine, which was based on the shade Heroine, just a little darker. So we made up five different shades with five different finishes. I would try them out when I was going out to a party or out to lunch to see how they worked and how they felt. One of the things that was really important to me—because a lot of people who are going to be wearing it are teenage girls and they don’t have a makeup artist to help them apply it—is that it be easy to put on and press on lightly as a stain. I love matte lipsticks because they stay forever, but they dry you out and they are super-intense feeling, so I wanted something that felt a little lighter.
Q. What about tricks for keeping a dark lip budge-proof?
A. We put a liner underneath it, which I never do when I’m putting on my own makeup because I’m lazy, but I really take care with eating, drinking and talking. I’m always aware of the sides because that’s where it moves.
Q. What is your best tip for applying liquid liner?
A. A good rule of thumb is to make it thin until you get a quarter of the way into your lid, and then [turn the pen] and go parallel to your crease. As long as you keep in line with the crease, you’ll be fine.
Q. I can’t stop looking at your brows—I think they could rival Cara Delevingne’s.
A. I haven’t plucked them in three months. Amber (Dreadon, MAC senior artist) does some gel and brushes them, making the hairs all go in one direction.
Q. You’ve made many interesting beauty moves thus far—including black fingertips at the Grammys. Is there a trend you’ll never try?
A. I kind of struggle with a smoky eye, and that’s one I haven’t found a way to make cool. I feel quite dirty—it’s not super-wearable.
Taylor Swift’s fifth LP, 1989, was influenced by some of the 24-year-old star’s beloved ...