Having someone who loves makeup representing a cosmetics company is a really good idea. Underwood's sincere enthusiasm for the products was instantly palpable when we met her in Nashville on one of the coldest mornings anyone in Tennessee could remember. She wore a black jumpsuit that gave us some serious outfit envy, accented with vibrant orange nails and orange heels (and, endearingly, a Fitbit).
Later that day, she gave a group of freezing beauty editors a tour of the Grand Ole Opry, generously entertaining us with stories about Loretta Lynn grabbing her rear the first time they met (among other gems). She totally won us over with her down-to-earth, friendly demeanor. And, as for her hair and makeup situation? We were just about dying to pick her brain about it — and, lucky for us, she was very willing to share.
First of all, congratulations on working with Almay! What about the brand attracted you? Do you have any favorite products?
"I love their whole approach to beauty. And, I’ve been buying their stuff for years, so it was already a staple in my life. I love their approach to natural beauty. As for my favorite things? In the winter I love the CC cream, and the skin-tone-matching makeup is a life saver."
People love the fact that you do your own makeup. What do you think is so compelling about that?
"Because it’s normal. Throughout my career and my life, I really hope people feel like I’m just a normal person with a really cool job. I do like putting my own makeup on. I like painting my own nails. I like doing laundry and buying groceries and just being a person."
What's your personal philosophy about beauty?
"I think it’s important to play every once in a while. If you do see something and you’re like, 'Oh, I could never pull that off,' why not give it a shot? It’s there to have fun with."
I've noticed that all the food in Nashville tastes like butter. Are you still vegan, and is it hard to keep that up around here?
"I do my best. I’ve been vegetarian for almost 10 years. Sometimes cheese gets the best of me. But, I feel better when I don’t eat dairy. We definitely have a lot of BBQ around here, but I feel like this area is getting so much better. We have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's now."
Everyone is talking about ultra-blonde being the hottest hair color for 2014. I can't help but notice that you're way ahead of the game!
"I haven’t colored my hair in six months. This is all me."
Do you watch the show Nashville? Does it feel authentic to you?
"I do keep up with it, somewhat. There’s a lot about the music industry that it’s kind of like, well, that wouldn’t really happen. And, the characters do go hang out at the Bluebird Cafe an awful lot. I mean, people go there for a purpose, they don’t just go there three times a week to hang out. And, not everybody’s sleeping with each other like they do on the show. It’s not that dramatic."
Are there any spring beauty trends that you’re excited for?
"I love getting colors back. I feel like the winter is all about brown and gray and maroons, which is great, but it’s just really nice when things are brightening up. Actually today I was like, I’m going to usher in spring! That's how I decided on these shoes. I was like, 'Let’s add some color to this.'"
I noticed! I'm loving your orange details.
"I feel like orange makes me look tan. So, I go for oranges or neon pinks or greens — anything that makes you feel like you’re ready for spring."
What do you do to take care of your skin on the road?
"I feel like I am pretty lucky — Almay is really, really wonderful for people with sensitive skin. Mine’s not too sensitive, but I do think it’s really important to get all that makeup off at the end of the day. One of my best friends sleeps in her makeup, and I'm always like, 'How and why would you do that?' Just why. But, she has great skin actually. So, different strokes for different folks I guess, but it’s important to have some good cleansing action."
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