Kelsea Ballerini on the Power of Manifestation and Makeup
"I've always wanted to be a country singer. I've always wanted to be a CoverGirl."
Since the release of her debut single in 2014, singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini has earned herself several musical accolades, such as Country Music Awards, Grammy nominations and multiple #1 singles. But in a phone interview with FASHION, the singer revealed that one of her biggest dreams just came true last year, when she signed on to be the newest face of CoverGirl.
At the age of 14, Ballerini wrote in a journal that she dreamed of becoming a CoverGirl. Now, one year into her role as the face of the brand, Ballerini is living proof that manifestation is real. Though she’s a frequent (and hilarious) TikTok user, the country-pop star says she hasn’t yet come across #manifestationtok — the side of TikTok flooded with manifestation mantras and affirmations — but truth be told, she doesn’t seem to need it.
This CoverGirl has always been firm in her belief that she’d be a makeup artist if she weren’t a musician, and now she’s doing it all. From living her makeup artist fantasy as her own makeup artist on tour to becoming a CoverGirl and country music icon, Ballerini is as intuitive as she is talented.
Before signing off to go get glammed up (or to go “Hannah Montana” as she calls it) for her next performance, Ballerini caught up with FASHION to chat all things makeup and manifestation.
You’ve said in the past that you’d be a makeup artist if you weren’t a singer. Why is that?
“I just always found it to be a creative outlet, even when I was super young and before I was technically allowed to wear it outside of the house. My mom would let me play in her makeup bag and it was always a form of expressing myself. And then when I got older, before prom, dances, homecoming games and stuff like that, I’d do my friends’ makeup and it just became one of my love languages, really.”
What is your “desert island” makeup product that you can’t live without?
“Mascara! It always makes me look awake. It’s like coffee for your eyeballs, you know? For the longest time I would experiment with different mascaras and I did eyelash extensions but then I was like, this is not great for my lashes. I want to find something that really works. I grew up with CoverGirl mascara. As I got older and learned how to do my own makeup (I do it on tour now and everything), it’s just become my staple, especially Cleantopia [mascara].”
We’ve heard you manifested becoming a CoverGirl by writing about it in a journal as a teenager. Have you manifested anything else in your life?
“Before I really knew what the term manifesting was, I’ve just always believed in being really intentional about your dreams, what you want to align with, and just working towards it. Obviously, that takes work but it also takes actively calling to you and for you. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be a country singer. I’ve always wanted to be a CoverGirl. I’ve always wanted to drive a Jeep. I’ve always wanted to have a dog. Things like that I’ve always just put out there and worked towards.”
You only used CoverGirl products at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Why is it important for you to show young fans that great makeup products can be accessible and affordable?
“I like being able to show that CoverGirl makeup can go from being out and about, having a day of running errands, to being onstage. It can live throughout any part of your life.”
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What was it like working with the legendary Dolly Parton?
“We rehearsed in Nashville before we went to Vegas for the show, and it was 9AM on the dot — she walked in wearing full Dolly Parton glam, band ready, greeted everyone by name and led the charge for that rehearsal. [It was amazing] watching the amount of respect she commanded from her team and how comfortable she was. She was Dolly from the second she walked in the door. She’s someone who could be late and could be whatever she wanted to be, but still is just everything you’d want her to be. Lovely, kind, smart, thoughtful, mindful.”
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Speaking of early mornings: are you a morning or nighttime routine person?
“I am a gremlin in the mornings! Like genuinely until I have coffee and wash my face, I don’t classify myself as a person. It’s coffee first and then a very cold face wash. That will slowly help me come to life. So I don’t think I really enjoy [the routine] until it’s post-show, end of the day, taking off the glitter, foundation, and everything then really taking care of my skin. So the next day when I put it back on, I don’t have to cover anything up. It’s just time to play.”
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