I could sing you every single Kelly Rowland verse that ever existed. I've been a fan of the megastar since we all knew and loved her as one-third of Destiny's Child. Since her teenage singing stardom, she's evolved into the most incredible businesswoman, author, mom, wife, fashion and beauty icon, and all-around inspiration to women everywhere. Unsurprisingly, my heart was pounding as I walked into the room anticipating my five minutes with her. I grew up remixing her performance dances for my elementary school talent show, and as a 26-year-old woman, I was about to sit down at the same table with her for an intimate chat. Life is wild.
Rowland is a Schick F.a.b. ambassador, and to celebrate the success of the bi-directional razor, we chatted about all things beauty. Naturally, we discussed what it's like being a woman of color who is a beauty consumer and what that means in 2018. We touched on diversity, her very own soon-to-be makeup line, the moments she feels the most beautiful, and more.
On the Shift Toward Diversity in the Beauty Industry
Rowland did not hesitate to speak her mind when I asked her to share her honest thoughts on the recent shift toward more inclusivity in the beauty space—especially when it comes to expanding shade ranges to suit all skin tones. "One, the beauty industry knew they had to," Rowland began. "Two, it goes to show how strong Black women are as a consumer. Three, Black women are a billion-dollar business. Black women buy products, believe in them, and stick by them. They knew all along that it was necessary. It's just so awesome to watch Rihanna come in and be a Black woman and even surpass the numbers that other people have had. We should all celebrate her, and I'm excited about continuously watching her flourish. Before we had Fashion Fair, Iman Cosmetics—I still use Iman and love it. Those were the main two lines that we had. And now you’ve got AJ Crimson doing a line. Do you know what I mean? There are just so many people who are coming out with makeup lines that speak to us, and it’s really delightful—especially Black-owned makeup lines."
On Her Struggle With Finding a Foundation Shade to Match Her Skin Tone
Rowland shares the same story as many women with deep skin tones. Before it was a beauty trend to carry 40 shades in foundation lines, brown-skinned women were offered a mere two, sometimes three, limiting shades to choose from. And more often than not, those shades did not suit the complexities of our complexions. Rowland looks back on a time that felt humiliating for her during her Destiny's Child days. I asked if it was ever a challenge for her to find a foundation for her skin tone, and she responded, "Always, always, always. It was frustrating for me because Destiny’s Child traveled so early, so I was dealing with this as a young girl," she said. "I remember one specific time when someone made me way too pink. Like, way too pink to where, when the camera flashed, it looked white and my neck was another color. I remember being so embarrassed and trying to fix it. It got to the point where I wiped most of my makeup off. I tried to find out what I could do for my own face and then started paying attention to what the makeup artists were doing. So I had to go through the whole process, trying to learn how to contour my face, and I was too damn young for that. I shouldn’t have been contouring my face, you know what I mean? At that age, I should've been embracing my full cheeks and wearing simple, beautiful makeup."
On Her Beauty Muse
Without having to ask, Rowland poured out her love for 14-year-old actress Marsai Martin. "One of my favorite people to look at now is actually Marsai Martin from Black-ish," she said. "She's actually my beauty muse. I'm literally, oh my God, what is she gonna do next? Okay, I’m going to try pinker cheeks today. She’s made me want to go lighter with my makeup even though I am older. I don’t know, it’s just something about her that is just a light, and she’s so special. I actually told her that the other day on Instagram how beautiful she is, and I hope she truly knows that. She's so amazing to me."
On Her Future Makeup Line for Women of Color
Back in 2016, Rowland announced she had a makeup line in the works and made it clear that she'd have the "chocolate girls covered." Alongside her long-term makeup artist, Sheika Daley, the two have been dreaming up the line together. My ears have been perked up ever since I heard the news, and here's an update: "It takes a lot of work, a lot of money, and I’d really love to get some help actually with funding, to be completely honest," shared Rowland. "It’s such a huge task to take on, which myself and Sheika have learned. We’ve spent a lot of our own money in testing, and now we have some beautiful products that we’ve started with so far that we know work. Now we’re just looking for someone to partner up with. Another reason that I wanted to do a line is that I felt like so many chocolate women like myself are covering up, and I feel like we don’t have to. I'm still learning that. Like today, I only used concealer, and I wanted to challenge myself to do that. There's so much I want to do, but I'm going to shut up until it's done. I just get so excited!"
On What Makes Her Feel the Most Beautiful
The biggest smile came across her face. "Honestly, when I'm with my husband and my son at home and we're just hanging out together," Rowland said when I asked her what makes her feel her best. "I'm so happy when I'm with them. It makes me feel full of light, and I feel beautiful at that moment."
On Her Must-Have Makeup Products
"I've been using the tester concealer from my own line my makeup artist gave me, and I love it. I wear lashes form Elora Lane, which is Sheika’s subscription lash service that I actually invested in. I'm really into Kevyn Aucoin, and it's what I'm wearing right now. It's the perfect pinky-nude for my skin tone. I love Jessica Alba’s Magic Balm for just a beautiful sheen on the eyes."
Shop Rowland's favorite beauty products below!