Ever wanted to go through a celeb’s makeup bag? We spoke to Lights about her signature look, beauty routine & more
“I don’t do anything the way it’s supposed to be done.”
I’ve barely sat down before Lights warns me that her approach to makeup is just a whole lot of trial and error, plus a sprinkling of YOLO. Luckily, that’s exactly what I like to hear before rummaging through someone’s makeup bag.
I’m sitting with the 27-year-old Canadian singer in a hotel lobby on a Monday morning, exchanging black eyeliner tips and suddenly I feel like we’re two high school students playing hooky. “I’ve used the same products for a long time, for years, honestly. I’m sure every makeup artist would cringe,” she tells me.
Lights is currently on tour promoting her third release, Little Machines, so she’s got her bus-to-stage to-photo shoot routine down. “I usually rely on a professional makeup artist for photo shoots, but I do my own stage makeup. Everything’s really dramatic and extreme. Really dramatic eyes, really dramatic cheekbones, so up close it looks a little wacko but from far away it looks really good.”
Even though she claims to not be a makeup junkie per se, she answers my questions confidently, with an “I do what I want, but thanks for your interest!” attitude.
Brows (which were, by the way, totally on fleek)
“I use Revlon ColorStay eyeliner in brown for my brows. I apply it, wipe the sides of it down and then use a small brush to define so they look less harsh.”
“I do a smoky eye pretty much every day. I always use a roll-out liner; I never mess with sharpeners, they’re too much of a mess when you’re on the road.
Recently I’ve been using the Miss Manga by L’Oreal. It’s got a hinge on the actual stick so when you apply it, you don’t need a lot of pressure and it makes your lashes really long. It’s the best. Anything that gives me anime eyes, I’m into it.”
Anime eyes, indeed. Lights’ eyes are easily her most striking feature and she talks excitedly, so they become almost cartoonishly large as she speaks. At one point I share some of my own eyeliner tips (I’m a gel gal myself) and her eyes widen so enthusiastically I convince myself that I’ve just changed her entire life.
“I really like liquid liner because I feel like it’s art. There’s a bit of a knack to the curves, so you feel like you’re painting.
I also have this red eye shadow and sometimes I do just that and mascara, and it looks really cool. It sounds like you’d look kind of sick* but it gives you this sort of burnt eye look.”
*for the youths — she means physically ill
“Burt’s Bees lip chap. That’s it. If I do use a lipstick it’s M.A.C Pink Nouveau, which is a really nice pink. The only thing is I can’t really wear lipstick on stage because it gets all over the microphone and your face.” (Editor’s note: this must be the celeb equivalent of eating a burger while wearing lipstick.)
“I don’t really wear a lot on my skin because I feel like it’s a vicious cycle. As soon as I’m done a photo shoot I like to wash everything off because I want to let it breathe. The key is some cheek definition. I use bronzer under my cheekbones, which is probably not the proper use of bronzer.”
“Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Dust It Mattifying Powder is the best. I was introduced to it at a photo shoot last year. I swear it’s like powdered cement. You could have just come out of the shower and have the cleanest hair ever, and you use this and it gives you a lot of texture. And that’s what it’s all about — manageability and making sure I can swoop it over, because that’s how I always wear my hair.”
That signature hair swoop
“I’ve been wearing it like this for ten years because I have a really high forehead. I used to have a middle part and felt like my forehead was raging all the time. I just discovered that a comb-over is what I feel most comfortable in.”
Next beauty move?
“A pixie cut, probably. You can’t really grow out an asymmetrical cut like this.”
Least favourite trend?
“Since becoming a mother, I’ve become more comfortable going makeup-free. It changes your vibe a lot. I plan on teaching my daughter that makeup just accentuates what you love about yourself and what makes you think you’re beautiful.
I like my eyes so I put things on my eyes that make them pop more. You have to accentuate the parts of your body that you’re proud of; it’s not about hiding anything.”