Beauty, in all its nuances, has always been a part of Selena Gomez’s world. “Being in different facets of the industry, it’s been really fun to play with [beauty] because it makes a character when you’re on set, it creates something magical,” says the triple-threat performer and mental health advocate who, on September 3, launched Rare Beauty, her new, long-awaited makeup line. “I was heavily involved in the entire process because I also care so much about mental health and I believe it’s a part of your self-esteem, it’s a part of the way you see yourself,” says Gomez of crystalizing self-love and self-expression as brand codes.
On a late summer’s day at her home in Los Angeles, Gomez is taking Vogue inside her day-to-night beauty routine, from her tried-and-true cat-eye trick to re-creating the deep fuchsia lip she wore in her “Ice Cream” music video with K-pop supergroup Blackpink.
The way Gomez sees it, there’s no cutting corners: A lit-from-within glow begins with a dedicated skin-care routine. “When you’re taking care of your skin, you’re taking care of your body, and your mind, and soul—I think it’s all connected,” says Gomez. And as someone who deals with acne, she sees a direct correlation between stress and breakouts. “I try not to pick at anything—something that’s hard!” she admits. After cleansing her face, Gomez massages Tatcha’s cult-favorite Dewy Skin Moisturizer into her face (“It’s so thick and yummy that you actually don’t have to use that much!” she says), then layers on a veil of Drunk Elephant sunscreen. “I like to put sunscreen on, not only because it’s important to keeping your skin looking fresh, but I have Lupus, so being in the sun is kind of difficult for me,” explains Gomez, who continues to be candid about the realities of living with an autoimmune condition.
Her complexion prep complete, Gomez then dots on and blends in her Rare Beauty Touch Weightless Foundation, adding a brightening layer of concealer under the eyes in two different shades. Then, taking a page out of her makeup artist Hung Vanngo’s book, Gomez taps and blends her bright, rosy Soft Pinch Liquid Blush on the tops of the cheeks. “It lifts your cheekbones a bit,” she says of the strategic placement, which “also doesn’t make you look all red and sunburned.” Adding further definition with Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer, she swipes on the earthy pigment in a number three shape down the face, sculpting the temples, cheekbones, and jawline in one fell swoop.
Turning her attention eye-level, Gomez whips out the Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Scandalust, washing the lids in a nude, before adding a shimmering pink to the center and smoking it out. Then, she braces herself for the ever-tricky-to-perfect cat-eye. Armed with her “favorite, favorite” Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner, she demonstrates her go-to eyeliner hack: Look straight in the mirror, hold the tip of the pen above the pupil on the top lash line, and draw outwards, tracing where the wing will be before you fill it in. Bulls-eye! After swirling highlighter on the high planes of the face, as well as along the collarbones, she uses her Blot & Glow touch-up kit to mattify excess shine. “Watch this part, it’s heaven!” says Gomez as she paints her pout in the bold fuchsia Ascend shade of her creamy, matte Lip Souffle lipstick. A pink to end all pinks, indeed.
“I believe makeup should be [an accessory] to complement what’s beautiful about you,” says Gomez, who hopes her new beauty line will empower her fans to embrace their individuality. “I just think that you’re special, you’re supposed to be who you are,” she adds. “I’ve met thousands of people in my life and I wish that they can see what I see them.”
Originally published on Vogue.com