Glow Up: Tinashe Discusses Her New Outlook On Beauty Standards
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Styling: Yasi Guilani Makeup: Marlaine Reiner Hair: Nina Potts Photographed by Raven B. Varona
Do you remember the first time you started playing around with makeup?
Around age 7 or 8. My mom had makeup, but I personally only had maybe some lip balm—nothing fun. But my cousin had this palette that had blue and green glitter. So whenever I would go to my cousin’s house, I would do our makeup because we also used to pretend to be twins, because that’s what you do when you and your cousins are around the same age.
Has your connection with makeup and beauty changed over the last few years?
The biggest way that it has changed recently is with this particular era. I really wanted to solidify this era visually as something fresh and something new because I was playing so much with the concept of persona and identity. So I really wanted to have a new look. I haven’t had my hair blonde in a long time.
The last time I remember you being blonde was the Aquarius era.
I was blonde for a second in 2017, but literally for a hot second. I didn't fully embody her. So yeah, it's been since my Aquarius album Era. That's when my hair was this honey, bronze blonde. It has led me on the journey of things people don't talk about enough when you change your hair color, you have to change how you do your makeup. So, in terms of what colors you use and how much makeup you wear, I definitely feel like the lighter shade of hair makes it really easy for me to just lead into a natural beauty with no lashes and very fresh skin-forward. Glowy and healthy, which is very much close to my day-to-day because I don't really wear makeup when I'm not working.
You consciously have to think about what works aesthetically or what look you're trying to give, depending on your hair color.
Absolutely. It just changes you. It's in the way that people classically talk about; you change your hair color and you have a new persona. I really feel like that is true in a lot of ways because you start moving differently. You'd make little tweaks and you just start. You just embody something fresh.
Tinashe’s BB/ANG3L album reflects her personal and musical evolution. Photographed by Raven B. Varona
I would love to know the fun of embodying identities for each album era.
I think one of the beauties of being an artist—and some of the artists that I really admire do this—is continuously reinventing yourself. I think that’s exciting and smart. When it comes to having longevity, and also keeping it interesting for yourself, that’s another huge part of it that we don’t talk about enough. I get bored doing the same vibe all the time, feeling like I’m wearing the same thing all the time, performing the same songs all the time. To evolve as a person, I love to switch it up. I’m always craving new and next. So in reflecting that musically, I always want to also reflect that in my look and what I’m presenting from a visual standpoint.
Even though you love to play around and change up your looks, the core is still Tinashe.
Thank you. I am the thread of connectivity and I don't necessarily need to explain that to people anymore. Because I do feel that early on in my career, people would be like, “You're a little confused. What genre is it? What vibe is it?” As human beings, we're so multifaceted. We have so many different things that we're both inspired by and that we could like completely contrary things. I think being able to embody that as an artist and reflect that real human experience is important. Evolution is always dope.
Looking back at all of your eras, do you have any favorites?
My Aquarius [2014 album] era—that hair color was just a perfect honey-brown blonde. It’s different than the one I have now. It was perfect. The ‘2 On’ music video with the curly hair was a really iconic look. I think about the [2019 album] cover of Songs for You with the three pigtails and the black bikini top. With my music videos, the one that really stood out to me was ‘All Hands On Deck’ where I was wearing this black latex ballerina outfit and spray-painted white paint on my legs. That was a vibe. More recently, I definitely think of this era as being very iconic visually in terms of beauty and really leaning into that naturalness and showing the freckles. It’s very up close and personal, real and raw. I think that’s gonna be a standout in terms of my other projects.
What’s your beauty routine like?
It’s reflective of my life in many ways. I am constantly switching it up. People always say you’re supposed to use one skincare, or a few products all the time. But I fill up my drawer with all different types of skincare that I love. Whatever I’m feeling that day, I’m like, ‘Hmm, some hyaluronic acid serum today. That sounds nice. I’m feeling vitamin C.’ I just literally pick and choose whatever I want. The thing that I do use every day is sunscreen. I switch up my facial cleansers and moisturizers. Sometimes I wear face oil, sometimes I don’t. So my beauty routine is very varied and very with my mood. But I do love skincare. It’s a really fun and important part of self-care.
When do you feel most beautiful?
Probably onstage when I’m performing, when I get in that mode where I just zone out and I’m in the moment completely. Whether I’m shooting a music video or I’m in rehearsal, I’m just fully immersed in my performance. It feels the most natural.