“You are so beautiful!” is the first thing singer/songwriter/badass (we’re pretty sure that’s part of her title) Halsey exclaimed to us at The Saguaro Palm Springs. She was wearing a black velvet bodysuit held up by strands of pearls, and sweatpants (a decision she later joked about because, Palm Springs). Her hair was short and pink, not her signature blue. “I dyed my hair blue to be unique, and it did the opposite,” she said, “It became all people talked about. I decided to switch it up on everyone, and I started changing my hair all the time. It’s long; it’s short; it’s shaved; it’s a wig; it’s pink; it’s blonde.” It’s hard to keep up, I remarked. “Blonde is personally my favorite,” she shared on the color that, unlike pink, gives her freedom and a blank canvas to wear whatever she wants. “The hard thing with having pink hair, like I do right now, is putting on a red dress and thinking, ‘Oh, god. I look like Valentine’s Day,’” she quipped in a way that instantly made us feel like we’d known her for years.
Though the down-to-earth beauty wasn’t performing at Coachella, she hosted a Find Otherness event with Three Olives Vodka to kick off the first weekend. There, she told us about things like how she does her own makeup for the Grammys and VMAs, as well as photoshoots. “I shot with Ellen von Unwerth the other day and did my own makeup. That was really scary,” she confessed. Keep scrolling to see her sweat-proof beauty tips for Coachella, who inspired her festival attire, and the Instagram accounts she loves (you’ll want to follow them ASAP).
BYRDIE: Do you do your makeup differently for Coachella?
Halsey: For Coachella, one of the things I focus on is natural beauty with a little bit of quirkiness. Being in Indio or Joshua Tree or Palm Springs evokes these alien images. So I do a lot of holographic makeup or glossy makeup. Glossy makeup is great for Coachella because if you get sweaty, it looks like it’s on purpose. A smoky eye is really good because if it starts to smudge, again, it looks like it’s on purpose.
BYRDIE: Do you have a favorite product for Coachella?
H: One of my favorite products for Coachella right now is the Holographic Highlighter Stick ($15) by Milk. They’re a vegan, all-natural company, and they’re run by Milk Studios who are on the cutting edge of fashion and photography. It’s this purple, holographic alien highlight that makes everybody’s skin look like you’re a pixie.
BYRDIE: Do you mostly use natural products?
H: I try to as much as I can. The older I’m getting, the more sensitive my skin is starting to get.
BYRDIE: What are some natural remedies you use?
H: A lot of coconut oil, tea tree oil. I love activated charcoal, coffee as an exfoliator—apple cider vinegar is an awesome toner as well. My new lifesaver is such a no-brainer, but I didn’t think of it sooner for some reason: It’s green tea bags for getting rid of redness because I am starting to get stress-activated redness on my face.
BYRDIE: What are some of your favorite beauty brands?
H: I love all kinds of makeup products, and I love a lot of high-end makeup products like YSL, Dior, and Givenchy, but I try to keep it as natural as possible because when I am on tour, I wear so much makeup. So when I’m home, I need to give my skin a little bit of a break.
BYRDIE: Do you have a beauty mantra you live by?
H: You have to accept your face. That’s one thing I’ve learned from being in front of the camera, being on red carpets, and being in pictures all the time. Sometimes you see pictures of yourself, and it’s not the way you see yourself in your brain, but you have to realize that’s just what you look like, and you need to learn to love it. If your nose is shaped a certain way, don’t wish your nose was shaped a different way. Get to know your face, get to love your face, and figure out what kind of makeup trends best accentuate your face, style, and bone structure instead of trying to change your face.
Sometimes you see pictures of yourself, and it’s not the way you see yourself in your brain, but you have to realize that’s just what you look like, and you need to learn to love it.
BYRDIE: Who did you get your inspiration from for Coachella?
H: My inspiration for Coachella this year was 1990s, early-2000s Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera. It’s a lot of layering, a lot of plaid, a lot of that L.A.M.B.-inspired Harajuku girl. That’s why I have the pearls on now—kind of like the new age Madonna.
BYRDIE: Which Instagram accounts inspire you?
H: There’s one that’s really interesting that I love: @uglyworldwide. She has a shaved head and freckles, and she’s got a gap tooth. She’s a beautiful model who’s got such a unique sense of style. She’s modeled for Die Antwoord and tons of high-fashion brands. I like Taylor Elrod—she’s another model with a shaved head. Obviously, I love girls with shaved heads. Rihanna is a no-brainer. And then there’s one that’s Fruits magazine in Japan that showcases street style and Harajuku.