In the age of virtual performances, we haven’t seen much via our screens from singer and songwriter Kehlani. That was, until May 10. Her debut livestream show titled It Was Live Until It Wasn’t, marked the first time that her hit album It Was Good Until It Wasn’t, was performed in full. Tens of thousands flocked to see what the crooner was going to deliver, and it comes as no surprise that she didn’t disappoint. Marked by smooth vocals, seamless choreography, and cameos from Lucky Daye and Masego, the showcase proved well-worth the wait. And while when it came to the looks of the evening Kehlani kept it simple, with just a cream suit and sleek ponytail, her makeup look took a bit of a different approach. That is, thanks to Lime Crime Makeup.
The brand of choice for the performance is one whose personality mirrors Kehlani’s. “Lime Crime is fun and energetic and youthful,” she tells ESSENCE. “It doesn’t feel like super serious. But on the same tip, I like that all the products are clean. It’s like this cool juxtaposition of like fun, but also still really good for the environment and the world.” Kehlani makes it clear, however, that while she loves the brand, she can’t take credit for that standout beat. “It was my makeup artist [Pircilla Pae],” Kehlani says. “She’s incredible. She got the idea to throw some color on there because I was wearing all white and it all just came together. I’m not like a makeup artist, so I sometimes have a hard time with coming up with things myself. I just prefer people who are good at what they do to be good at what they do.”
Crafting the smoldering look, Pae coated the lid in two shades from Lime Crime’s Venus XL Eyeshadow Palette: Eden and Love. From there, she etched that subtle yet so-noticeable light blue liner in the crease and inner corner using the Venus Pigmented Liquid Eyeliner in Butterfly. For lips, Pae coated Kehlani’s lips with the Wet Cherry Lip Gloss in Naked Cherry and Bitter Cherry for a high-shine appearance that could withstand the mixed lighting. “At the live show and I was able to perform through it and stay glowy without it looking like sweat from the performance,” Kehlani says. “It didn’t feel like the glow and makeup were competing.”
And while the singer loved the look, she admits it’s not one she daily wears. “I see makeup more like tidying up,” she says. “I don’t get a lot of sleep so I have bags under my eyes, I have acne scars, my eyebrows aren’t always done. So it’s really just like cleaning up and pretty much making me look awake.”
But when Kehlani thinks about beauty as a whole, products aren’t actually considered at all. “My definition of beauty is all internal,” she says. “I think it’s compassion and patience and a willingness to be taught. It’s being nonjudgmental and being kind, I think all of those things are beauty.” She’s already making sure that she instills that in her 2-year-old daughter Adeya Nomi. “I want to show her that you’re only as beautiful as the beauty that you exude, that’s where it’s really at.”
Ahead, shop Kehlani’s entire makeup look from “It Was Live Until It Wasn’t.”