Red-Lipped Maven: Andra Day Talks Beauty

Jason Kempin/BET/Getty Images for BET

The ESSENCE Festival newcomer gives us the scoop on rockabilly culture, red lips and Lucille Ball.

Virginia Lowman Jul, 02, 2015

New to the Essence Music Festival stage this year is, YouTube sensation turned soulful jazz darling, Andra Day; the California native who took this year’s BET Awards by storm with her new song, “Rise Up.” The fresh-faced singer whose beauty and musical style channel old hollywood as a cross between Billie Holiday and Lena Horn took a break in between shows to give us the scoop on rockabilly culture, red lips, and Lucille Ball.

ESSENCE: Andra, You’re obviously a beauty girl. Who would you say are your beauty icons?

Andra Day: I definitely take influence from Old Hollywood beauty; people like Lena Horn, Dorothy Dandridge and Lucille Ball. I’m also inspired by Rockabilly culture, which is kind of a big thing here in Southern California. I fell in love with is because its such a stand out look; the bold lips and curls tied with a headscarf. Wherever you go with it, it’s a look that screams, “I’ve arrived.”

ESSENCE: Do you have a standard beauty look, or are you very beauty-fluid?

Day: I do have a standard beauty look, and it’s not very subtle either! I like eyeliner out to my eyebrows and bold lips. My main go-to lipsticks are MAC Lady Danger or YSL’s Le Orange; when I pair it with cherry lip liner it gives me the look I want.

ESSENCE: Name three beauty items that you absolutely must have with you at all times.

Day: Definitely a bandana to tie my hair up. Otherwise, I’d have to comb it and that would be a nightmare! I also need to keep eye liner and a red lipstick.

ESSENCE: Is there a beauty treatment that you dread doing?

Day: Plucking my eyebrows! It’s the one thing that when it’s time to do it I’m really just like, “can we just leave them how they are?”

ESSENCE: No one likes waxing! What about skincare, would you say it’s a big deal or are you more makeup focused?

Day: I’m definitely much more skin care focused. It’s important because I have acne prone skin. I use moisturizer that has sunscreen and an acne treatment built in so it keeps any skin issues at bay. So, that happens every morning, and at nighttime, I like to use face wipes with vitamin E.

ESSENCE: As a beauty girl, what are your thoughts on nail art? Friend or foe?

Day: I actually like to keep my nails a solid color since everything else is so highly stylized. I typically want my nail to be a solid to compliment the rest of my look. If I’m up to it, sometimes I’ll do a stripe down the middle of my nail in a contrasting color.

ESSENCE: Do you have a signature scent?

Day: Yes. I love Jimmy Choo’s Flash fragrance.

ESSENCE: Do you have an alter ego and if so, what color lipstick does she wear?

Day: I do have an alter ego, although, I feel like I’m sharing it with everyone now. So, I guess now my alter ego is changing. She’s super chill and she doesn’t wear lipstick. I think my alter ego is the opposite of my usual makeup look. She just likes comfy sweats and a clean face.


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