The One Thing
Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.
If the curtain bangs, bold cat-eye, and vibey new single, "Vicious," didn’t give it away, I can confirm: Sabrina Carpenter is ridiculously cool. She's also ridiculously busy. With her fifth album Emails I Can't Send coming out July 15, and several other projects on the horizon (including starring roles in the upcoming films Emergency and Alice), Carpenter's swamped. "It's just a lot of balancing," she says, downplaying it.
But throughout our conversation, it's clear that she thrives under this kind of pressure, and what most people would consider overwhelming is her version of grounding. "Whether it’s being on set or being in the studio, I really love working," she explains. "It’s weirdly where I feel the most at home."
Of course, the pop star/actor/producer has days where she'd rather throw her phone in the ocean, but overall she's pretty damn committed to her balancing act. And that's a good thing, considering her schedule shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. She sums up her next few months, "I have Emergency coming out on Amazon, which I’m really excited about. And I have a few other projects that are in pre-production right now, which is really fun."
After almost every sentence, she reiterates her excitement about the future, tacking it on like an overused yet endearing exclamation point. "I’m really in that phase of my life where I want to be able to try as much as I possibly can and not take anything too seriously," she tells me, and I believe her.
Still, in the midst of all this exploration and celebrity, there are some things that the 22-year-old always comes back to: beauty routines, skin-saving products, and everyday rituals that have given her a sense of continuity in her ever-changing schedule. Luckily, she gave Byrdie all the deets, even at the risk of selling out some of her go-tos.
The One Mask That Saved Her Skin
"I always get afraid to name products because I’m like, 'Are people gonna buy these now, and then there won't be any left?' That’s how I feel about these Dr. Jart+ Sheet Masks ($9).
"For a while, anytime that I was dealing with acne (I feel like I’ve really gotten things under control at this point), these masks were what I would use weekly. They would always help clear up my skin."
The One Thing That Keeps Her Grounded
"Family and friends. I have sisters, so they really do not let me not be grounded. I think they keep me in check. It’s very easy to lose yourself and get lost in the maze of what you’re doing, so having people there to be like, 'Hey, it’s not a big deal,’ is really helpful to me.
"Also, doing the things that I love—the things that make me really happy—helps me stay grounded. Most of the time, it’s working."
The One Person She Looks To For Brow Inspiration
"I take a lot of inspiration from icons that have always embraced their natural features. I always look to Brooke Shields because she has such a strong brow, and I’ve always had a strong brow. When I was younger, it was something that I was made fun of for. Now, it has been really great to grow up and realize that my face would look so weird without them."
The Song That's On All Of Her Getting-Ready Playlists
"'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)' by Abba. It’s the best."
The One Product That's Always In Her Purse
The One Way She Prioritizes Self-Care
"My favorite form of self-care is sometimes just genuinely not doing anything and allowing myself to be bored. I think it's really important to have those moments with yourself.
"I always think that I’m most creative and most tender with myself when I'm bored. I spend a lot of time on the piano or just cleaning. I know that sounds lame, but cleaning up the space I'm in helps take my mind off of things. By the way, this is not me being like, 'I just love to Swiffer.' It's more reorganizing."
The One Movie That Inspired Her New Music Video
"Recently, I was watching Charlie's Angels, and I took a lot of inspiration from that for the beauty looks in my recent music video. I definitely look at old films, there are just so many incredible, iconic beauty looks in them."
The One Way She Unplugs
"I throw my phone in the ocean—no, but I genuinely do try to disconnect. I put my phone away and just live... go be with friends, go have dinner, and just enjoy conversation."
The One Step of Her Skincare Routine She Never Skips
"My favorite part of my skincare routine is probably moisturizer and serum. I put them on right before I go to sleep, and I think it’s just such a nice feeling."
The One Lip Balm She Loves
"I just started using a new lip balm last night. It’s called Lanolips 101 Ointment ($17), and it’s incredible. I put it on before I went to sleep. When I woke up after a full night's sleep, I was like, 'Wait, did I just reapply lip balm? What is this?' My lips were so juicy, supple, and soft. I was like, 'Holy crap, this is wild.' So I love that."
The Best Makeup Tip She Learned On Set
"Not necessarily lip contouring, but I love blending in your lip liner and your lipstick with a little brush to shape them a little more cleanly, but it also makes it look a bit more effortless. It's like you just blotted on some lipstick or something.
"I think using your fingers to apply makeup is also underrated. Sometimes, instead of doing this super precise, sharp everything, I really like to apply makeup as if I’m just playing."
The One Way She Keeps Her Bangs Fresh
"I kind of forget that I have bangs because they grow out every two days, so you just constantly have to cut them or trim them. I've been very lucky because at this point, my styling for my bangs—this sounds so annoying—but they kind of shape themselves now.
"They’re more curtain bangs, so I’ll dry them with a round brush. That’s the easiest way to get them to look how I want them to look. And if I don't like how my bangs look that day, I’ll be wearing a hat."
The Beauty Look That Makes Her Feel the Most Like Herself
"You would think that it would be natural dewy skin and a pinch of blush, which I do love. And I do that. Especially if I’m going to be out for the whole day or I'm spending a lot of time outside, I try not to wear as much makeup.
"But if it’s for a party or anything like that, I really love to take inspiration from the ‘60s. There have been so many great, iconic makeup looks from that time. Channeling that era, I like to play with my natural features and enhance them."