Ask the up-and-coming singer-songwriter Freya Ridings to describe her attitude toward beauty products in one word, and she will tell you without hesitation: obsessed. Our newest addition to Byrdie's list of 2018 beauty muses to watch is the rising London-based musician, whose soulful voice you may have stumbled across on Spotify in the form of a career-making cover of "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And if not, trust us, it's worth a listen.
But what's also worth a listen is the 23-year-old's litany of beauty product recommendations: Spending the last couple years touring her music around the world has made Ridings a bit of a makeup and skincare experimenter. "Doing shows and touring has made me want to take my skin and health a lot more seriously," she tells me in a sultry British accent over the phone from the UK. "And getting to do my makeup for shows is so exciting and liberating. They're looks that you wouldn't normally do on a day-to-day basis."
Always on the hunt for under-the-radar beauty know-how, we grilled Ridings for her best tips and product recommendations, and she did not disappoint. Read on to discover the indie singer's favorite British drugstore makeup dupes, acne-fighting skincare, budge-proof glitter eye shadow, and more.
What are some of your favorite makeup products to use while performing?
I've really been enjoying the Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow ($24). I find it the quickest and most effective way to get that intense glitter eye. When you're going on stage, it's been my favorite thing, but it's a bit showier. Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner ($20) is also a go-to.
I've also really been loving a natural, glowy, quite dewy look. That's my obsession of the moment. So I really love Marc Jacobs golden liquid highlight ($44). I mix a pump of that in with my Eve Lom tinted moisturizer. I think that stuff is discontinued, which is so sad. But I just got the Laura Mercier one yesterday because I needed something similar, and I've heard such good things about that one.
What other musicians inspire your on-stage beauty look?
I'm a huge fan of Adele—she pulls off that slick look amazingly. And Florence [Welch]. She is has a really natural look. Sometimes she'll do a bold eye or something to tie in with her outfit. She always looks divine.
How do you prep your skin for a show?
I've always had problem skin—I had eczema growing up. So I've been really enjoying more natural, botanical products. I'm obsessed with Sunday Riley. And with different acids: glycolic, salicylic, hyaluronic. I'm really loving lactic acid, especially Sunday Riley Good Genes ($158). That was a transforming product for me. It really renews my skin. I've also really been loving the Murad salicylic acid collection. They've got a cleanser ($30) and a clay mask ($38) and a salicylic acid solution ($42) you can put under makeup. So I've really been loving that. And SPF. I always have to put on SPF because I'm a redhead.
What's your go-to makeup routine on a day you're not performing?
I mix a drop of Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. Oil ($80) with my tinted moisturizer and apply a sheer layer of that. I also really love Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21). I love the natural strokes you can get with that. And I really, really love Charlotte Tilbury's bronze and highlight—the Filmstar palette ($51). I'm not that big a fan of an intense highlight, but Champagne Pop ($19) from Becca is my glowy go-to. I haven't found a highlighter that's better. I also just got some Tom Ford eye shadows that I'm absolutely loving. Then just some mascara and a swipe of Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk ($34) on my lips. Love a matte lip. There's also this lip balm ($3) from Nivea that tastes like vanilla and is my absolute favorite. And then I just set it all with Caudalie's Beauty Elixir ($49), which is the one thing I can't live without—for traveling, for before stage, after stage. It's just the best.
Are there any British beauty brands you love?
Sleek is a drugstore makeup brand that makes incredible eye shadows. Like the most pigmented I've ever seen. I have all of the Too Faced palettes, and I'd say Sleek's are just as good, which is great because they're way cheaper. Also, there's a brand called Collection—I use its Lasting Perfection Concealer ($5) literally every day. It's my go-to concealer. It's like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer but way cheaper.
If you could give a piece of beauty advice to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
Salicylic acid. It sounds scary, but use it to wash your face. It will get rid of your pimples. If I had learned about that earlier, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. ■
Want more secrets from our new beauty muses? Don't miss the unique fitness routine of up-and-coming actress Melissa Barrera.