Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh, new beauty series where you’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favorite celebrities. They’ll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute routine product lineup they can’t live without, the one good-skin tip they’ll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy.
Up next, we’re getting to know Bebe Rexha, whose new album Better Mistakes, was released earlier this month. (Psst! A Night With Bebe Rexha: The Better Mistakes Livestream Concert takes place on Thursday, May 20 at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here!) As a fellow product junkie and beauty enthusiast, she’s answering all of our rapid-fire questions and sharing her best-kept beauty secrets below. Enjoy!
If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few staple beauty products you’d apply?
Oh, wow, okay. I would do moisturizer for sure. If I had to rush, rush, I have two La Mer products that I really love. I always start with The Treatment Lotion ($115). It has this soothing, watery consistency, and I put it all over my face. And then I’ll add The Moisturizing Soft Cream ($95). That’s skin, and then I would just throw on some Tarte Shape Tape Concealer ($27)—so good—and then maybe a quick eyebrow, like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($23), and that’s it. I have super dark circles, and I feel like a good concealer, an eyebrow, and well-moisturized skin is all I need to be good to go.
On days when you’re not working or you’re just staying in, what does your skincare routine look like?
I’m always moisturizing. When I’m using my La Mer products properly, I’ll do the full four steps; The Treatment Lotion ($115), The Concentrate ($200) which is a serum, The Moisturizing Soft Cream ($95), and then I’ll do The Eye Concentrate Eye Cream ($235). I just love to saturate my skin with cream, and then I also like to throw a hair treatment on.
Oh, what do you like for your hair? I’m sure you’re constantly dealing with styling and heat-inflicted damage.
Oh, god, yeah. And if you’re like me and you’re going to bleach your hair, you’re going to have damage no matter what.
I’m a diehard bleacher as well, so I feel your pain.
It’s intense! I am usually an Olaplex girl, I love doing their treatments, but I’ve also been doing masks from Kérastase lately as well. Oh! I also started using this vitamin-infused hair treatment, it’s called Vitiv, and it’s amazing. It has tons of vitamins in it and you put it on right after you wash. Actually, the best thing to do is to apply it, and then blow-dry your hair as soon as possible afterward because the heat really seals in all of the nourishing ingredients. It’s amazing. There’s another brand that makes great products for damaged hair—K18—I love the Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask ($75).
Do you have any “guilty pleasure” beauty practices or products you love?
Honestly, I really love doing a bath with bath salts and essential oils. I don’t use my La Mer Body Lotion ($200) too often, but when I do want to be a little extra, I’ll put that all over my body. Or sometimes I just use it on my hands as a hand cream. It sounds really extra though, I mean, it’s like a $200 bottle of body lotion! [Laughs]
Luckily a little goes a long way with that stuff. Is there anything about your beauty routine that would surprise people?
I mean, not really! I will say that sometimes when I’m really tired, and I don’t have time to wash my face, I have a little trick. It's actually something I learned from a makeup artist back when I worked in retail and sold perfume. He’s like, “Listen, if you’re super tired and you can’t even wash your face, and you just use a makeup wipe, the one thing you should still always do is moisturize.” So, sometimes when I’m really exhausted, I don’t really go in with the soap and water. I know it’s not the greatest, but I’ll just use a couple of face wipes and then moisturize my skin really well. That’s key for me!
Except there is actually this one tool I’ve been loving lately. Where is it? Oh my god, I use and try so many different things—they’re these vials that are filled with vitamin C that you break, and they come with a special little wand. Do you know what I’m talking about? That actually really works and helps tighten and brighten.
Oh! I totally know what you’re talking about. The set from facialist Georgia Louise?
Yeah, that’s it! Georgia Louse! The C+/ - Pure Ampoules Plus Ionic Wand ($280). It's actually really good for a day when I have more time to do a special treatment. Or if I have a photoshoot, I like this one mask… Damn, what is the name of it? It’s definitely not for anyone who’s vegan because it’s made with growth factors from grass-fed cows. [Laughs] Wait, let me ask my assistant, hold on. Okay, it’s called the Colostrum Mask by Linda Ross! She’s my facialist here in L.A.
Have you always been super into beauty and trying out products?
You know, my mom was always all about makeup and skincare and haircare and body care. So I think that kind of got passed down to me.
It does seem like you have a lot of fun experimenting with makeup and hair, in particular. What’s your favorite part about experimenting with different looks?
I love being able to express myself in different ways. It’s funny because I have moods. Like, I’ll want a smoky eye one day, and then for a month straight I’ll want eyeliner. And then a month later, I don’t want any liner! It’s really all about my mood and how I’m feeling.
Do you have any all-time favorite beauty moments from performances or red carpets?
I really loved my beauty look from the 2018 Victoria’s Secret fashion show when I was wearing this amazing red dress. I thought it was really cool. And, fun fact, I was wearing foundation from my face all the way down to my legs. Mario Dedivanovic did my makeup, and he used Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick ($48) all over my legs, and it was incredible. Now I do it all the time. You take the stick and you kind of melt it in your hands. You can even mix it with a little lotion if you want lighter coverage, but I personally like it heavier, especially for award shows or events when I want more of an airbrushed effect. You literally break a piece of the foundation stick off, you melt it in your hands a bit, and then you just really have to go in there for a second on your legs. It legit makes your skin look airbrushed!
I think you read my mind because I was going to ask you what tips and tricks you’ve picked up as a performer.
Yeah! The only thing is that after you do it, you’re going to want to powder it—really make sure to put a nice setting powder on it. I like to use one from Laura Mercier or Make Up For Ever, but you can also use something a little cheaper from the drugstore. It gets expensive using those powders over your entire body! But yeah, it’s the best, and I love to do it. I think it’s best to pick two good colors for the foundation that will work for your skin tone—one for the summer when you might be a little darker and one for the winter when you might be a little lighter. Oh, and then right on the top of the calf, I’ll do a little bit of highlight for some shine, it’s really good.
What else… tips and tricks…I mean, I do have some favorite makeup products that I’ve been so obsessed with, but I don’t know if that’s what your question was really about. [Laughs.]
No, go for it! We can go in any direction here.
Well, I have a good luck charm that I always bring on set with me, it’s Dior's Backstage Rosy Glow Blush ($37). It is the most amazing blush color, it works on every skin tone, it’s so pretty, and I just love it. For application, I add it to the top of my cheekbones and then I go around the eye and even somewhat underneath the eye. It’s this really cool way to lift the face upward, almost like a mini facelift. It’s kind of incredible!
That’s such a great tip because I think a lot of people assume they have to apply blush on the apples of their cheeks. But in reality, that doesn’t work for every face shape.
No! It pulls your face down! Okay, and I do have another favorite thing that I love. I’ve even gotten my makeup artist Ash K Holm onto it, and I asked her recently, Ash, do you use this on Kim [Kardashian] now? [Laughs]. And she does! I literally have gotten six people onto this! It’s the Nikita Dragun Beauty Transformation Face Powder ($35). After you set your eyes, you get a little brush (because it’s very pigmented) and you go in and just hit the inner corners of your eyes super lightly. I have a hard time with my under-eyes because they’re so dark, but it perfectly lightens up my circles. It’s incredible the way it picks up and reflects the light. As I said, I’ve gotten at least five major makeup artists onto this stuff.
Haha, so you’re just influencing everyone then!
I literally… I swear on everything [laughs] have influenced so many makeup artists! But then, one thing I love about working with Ash, in particular, is that she always wants the best for her clients, and she really doesn’t mind sharing and swapping tips and tricks with me. She wants me to feel comfortable, and I just love that about her.
You’re obviously well known for being an amazing singer and artist. How has your singing career influenced your approach to beauty?
I have definitely gotten more comfortable in my skin. At one point, it was kind of unhealthy, and I really felt like my sense of self-worth was totally based on the way that I looked. So yeah, I’ve gotten more comfortable, and a little bit lazier, but like, if I want to eat a healthy meal or really take care of my skin, I do it from a place of love now. And hey, I’ve been eating chips and popcorn while we’ve been talking, and do I feel kinda meh about it? Yeah, but then I’m kind of just like, “Fuck it. I wanted it, my body wanted it,” and so I honored that. I just follow my heart.
What does self-care look like for you? If you could have a whole day just to yourself, how would you unwind?
I wish I could say that I would sleep in, but I honestly don’t sleep much. I would take two or three baths. I love baths, and I do them all of the time. I would probably order an incredible pizza, make myself a really yummy salad, maybe get a glass of wine, watch some movies, play some vinyls—I love vinyls and I’ve been collecting them—and then I’d just make a delicious little dessert or something.
Wow, that literally sounds like the perfect day.
I know! I love it.
When do you feel most beautiful or confident and why?
I feel really confident after a workout. My endorphins are going off, I feel like I’m just doing something good for myself, and I just love that feeling of taking care of myself. It feels really good.
Totally, and I know you started to touch on this earlier, but it seems like every generation inherits more and more societal pressure to look and present themself in a certain way. What’s your advice for anyone who struggles to feel beautiful or empowered?
I always say this, and I hope I can keep getting this out there, self-love is not something that, one day, you’re just going to wake up and say, “I feel perfect; I feel beautiful.” Self-love is going to be a constant journey. It’s interesting because I’ve noticed I always give compliments to other people when they’re looking good, but I don’t give myself compliments. So, I’ve been working on saying nice things about myself even if I feel a little bloated, or I’ve gained a little weight, or I indulged in a heavy meal. I say things like “I love myself even though I gained a certain amount of weight,” “I love myself even with my little flubby belly or my thick thighs.” It goes a long way. Just telling yourself every single day that you love yourself, it will get in your head and become more ingrained.
Definitely. We’re our harshest critics for sure.
Yep, and you know what, we have to be our best cheerleaders.
One hundred percent. Okay, well somehow we’re already to the last question. What’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?
Hmmm, my Unfiltered beauty philosophy… You know, when it comes to beauty routines, there’s just so much chatter. “Do this, don’t do that, try this, don’t try that.” It’s a billion-dollar industry, and I would say this: Do what’s best for you.
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