Don’t call it a comeback. Yes, Ashanti is back front and center at all the hottest events and red carpets coast to coast, but the Guiness world-record holder has hardly taken a back seat in the past few years. She’s been busy with a recurring role on Army Wives and running her own production company, Written Entertainment. Ashanti has also been in the studio gearing up for her new album, Braveheart, and making her rounds on the promo trial in a bevy of fierce beauty looks.
We caught up with the star to dig into her beauty bag and find out firsthand the makeup essentials that she won’t leave home without.
ESSENCE: What’s one of your favorite beauty trends right now?
Ashanti: I love matte lipstick especially with summer coming up. You don’t want your lipstick to bleed in the hot weather. I have on a limited color by MAC right now.
ESSENCE: For this album and everything that you’re doing now, what would you say is your beauty philosophy these days?
Ashanti: More natural. When you mix natural and fashion together you can come up with something dope. Don’t overdo it too much with whatever you’re doing. Personally when I’m not on stage I’m usually wearing a ponytail, bun, lip gloss, Jays or some flip flops.
ESSENCE: You’ve been traveling and entertaining for so long, what are some behind-the-scenes makeup secrets you’ve learned?
Ashanti: Bronzer is great for everything. Shading and making it look natural with a little pizzazz to it. You can put it on your cheekbones, eyes, legs and your shoulders and when the light hits you it gives you a ‘pow.’ Also, highlighting under the brows. If you put a little concealer and then dap your eye shadow on top it makes it stay longer and pops it out.
ESSENCE: Do you have any makeup items in your bag that you never leave home without?
Ashanti: I have a nail polish in here called Butler Please. I don’t go without my perfume, I have a mixed lotion. I have a hot apple cider in here. All MAC lip gloss and lipstick and definitely crazy glue in case your nail cracks. I have some beta in here for the edges. My new thing that I’ve been on tastes gross but if you put it in juice it tastes good. It’s called Green Vibrance and it’s a bunch of wheat grass, frozen broccoli, kale, everything grinded up. You put it in a shake or juice and it gives you your greens for the day. I have a five hour energy. I’ve even got lashes in here. [Laughs]