Katy Perry Talks Acne, Tumblr & Her New Makeup Line

Photo: Courtesy of COVERGIRL.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Katy Perry can seriously hang. Although until yesterday, this was nothing more than a theory. But last night, I got to spend time with the singer and witness her animated personality in the flesh. And guess what? I was totally right.

Perry invited me and a handful of other editors to celebrate the launch of her first collection of makeup with CoverGirl — a brand she has been the face of for years. The line, out this month, includes 11 demi-matte lipsticks and a blue mascara that the pop star helped formulate, name, and design.

During our round table-style discussion, Perry (aptly sporting a dramatic blue cat-eye) shared her thoughts on growing up as a born-again Christian, Coachella beauty, and the makeup trick she learned from Madonna, all while proving to be incredibly — for lack of a better word — chill.

What was your first memory of lipstick?
"I think it's about what [my] mom had in her purse. My mom was very strange. I grew up in a very sheltered household — born-again Christians, speaking tongues, part of that cult. No offense if anyone's still in it! I wasn't allowed to wear thongs, but I was allowed to wear lipstick. [My mom] called it rouge; she still does. It was nice-smelling, perfumed lipstick. Smells are important."

Which shade do you wear the most from the collection?
"That would be the one I called Kitty Purry, after my cat. They're all kind of cat-related — sorry if you're allergic. Kitty Purry is something I'd wear all the time, from day to night... But I love all of them. I love that there's a black lipstick on the market, or there's a powdery purple, or a blue mascara that's $6.99. You can experiment, and you don't have to buy the blue mascara that's $25, $35, or $45 — we all know which ones they are."

What was the product-creation process like?
"I always keep my eyes close to what's going on in youth culture, especially through Tumblr. It's my main source, because all the other social networks are a little narcissistic and Tumblr is just about sharing art with no negativity. I'm highly involved with anything I do. We worked on this for over a year. I begged them for this soft-touch [finish], I knew I wanted this Tumblr font, and the cat ears and names. As for the formula, I didn't want it to be just matte. Sometimes you wear [matte lipstick] that makes you look like you've been to both weekends of Coachella and you haven't had any water. I didn't want that, so that's why it's demi-matte. So this is the launch, but there will be more in the future. We're already working on spring 2017!"
Photo: Courtesy of COVERGIRL.

Have you learned any cool makeup hacks or tricks?
"One of the cool things I've seen [is when] makeup artists put a piece of tissue on top [of the lips] and then they put powder on the lips [to make the lipstick stay] on forever. And also, Marilyn Monroe would put a little highlighter [on the tip of her nose and Cupid's bow]. It makes you look kind of nymph-y and glowy. Who doesn't want to look nymph-y?!"

Is there anything in your beauty routine that always stays the same?

"Prepping of skin! Proactiv doesn't pay me anymore — I have no relationship with them besides the fact that they've helped me so much. When I was 23, I had really bad skin — I think it was stress, and just all of the attention and stuff like that. I had spent thousands and thousands of dollars on dermatologists and lasers, and then I started using [Proactiv] and I still use it to this day. I don't use the trio, just the exfoliant and the toner. I use a grape-seed oil [as my moisturizer]. One of my favorite things that I've implemented into my regimen is Shu Uemura oil, because it gets all my makeup off in one swoop. I was deathly afraid of oils, but Madonna's makeup artist showed it to me about eight years ago and she said, 'Madonna does this,' and I was like, 'Okay, I'll try it!'"

How do you express your identity through makeup?
"Obviously, if you don't first and foremost have that self-love and self-confidence, there's no highlighter in the world [that can give it to you]. There are a lot of people who walk into a room wearing no makeup, but they just have such a presence and an energy. It's very powerful, but I don't discriminate against a person that you can slice through their face because they're wearing so much makeup. I don't discriminate either way... I love experimenting and playing... I'm a chameleon when it comes to looks. One day, I'm really soft and pretty and Lolita; the next day, I'll rip your face off and look like a vampire. The rest of the days, I'm in an Adidas tracksuit. I'll wear a black-and-white Adidas tracksuit basically any day I'm not really doing all this, little-to-no makeup, and a hat. It's a way for me to deflect."
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