Proof That Kehlani Is This Year's Biggest Beauty Risk-Taker

Everyone's comfort zone is different, especially when it pertains to beauty. Some people request their go-to haircut or wear pink lip gloss about as routinely as we slip into a pair of sweatpants at the end of a long workday. But there are also those who live unapologetically outside of an average comfort zone, choosing to approach hair and makeup with a zero-fucks-given attitude that's rife with experimentation. As for up-and-coming R&B singer Kehlani? Well, she ranks high on the latter list.

If you're unfamiliar with her beauty ethos, just know that it's epic: Kehlani wears enough wigs to rival the rainbow color collection sitting in Kylie Jenner's closet and her makeup skills resemble the precision of a veteran YouTube star. But it wasn't always this way.

"Growing up, I wasn’t really able to afford makeup," she tells us in an exclusive interview. "I’ve always been a tomboy — a little rough around the edges. I have a lot of tattoos. I couldn’t afford to try different looks, so now that I’m able to, I’ve watched videos and am learning and experimenting. It's an art form, really, so it takes practice."

Brands are, obviously, taking note. Today, Kehlani announced a huge partnership with Make Up For Ever, a brand that has just as many badass, boundary-pushing fans as the singer. Click through the slides ahead to see her best beauty looks from 2016 to today and you'll see why it's a match made in beauty heaven.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
"Oh, this is from the Grammy's. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t like this one. The makeup didn’t feel like me; I tend to keep to a more natural palette. I think this photo makes me look old!

"One thing [I learned] is that you shouldn’t ever be afraid to just do you. There’s this pressure out there on girls to have makeup that looks like 'Instagram makeup, but whatever makes you feel happy and pretty and great, do that. Makeup or not, it doesn't matter."
Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage.
"This one was definitely very cool. That was right after I cut [my hair] short for the first time. I was at the premiere for Suicide Squad and [my hairstylist] wanted to do my natural hair, which was cool. My makeup was just clean, sexy, dewy — which is kind of what I tend to go for because it just looks very fresh. People easily confuse tattoos for looking dirty. I get told that all the time, but obviously that’s not the truth. It’s crazy."
Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images.
"I was at a radio station and this was the first time I did any type of pastel or lavender wig. I did my makeup really light here, kept it very simple. I actually always do my own makeup because I don’t like the feeling of someone else doing it — having them going through the whole thing — and then me not liking it in the end. You don’t want to just take it off because that’s someone’s art and their work. I feel too bad. So I just do it myself because I know what I want my face to look like, you know?"
"My hair is really dark blue here. I was at a listening party for my new album. I have a really fun hairstylist who suggests some really out-there and fun colors and I kind of just let him go crazy with it. He makes the wigs from scratch, too. I tend to only wear lipstick when I'm offstage because when I’m performing, I always put my lips all over the mic and it ends up smearing all over my face. [Laughs.]"
"This was for a show, I think we were in Norway. This is probably the most natural length my hair has been before we cut it. It’s this honey brown, kind of orange color. I think my brows were a little heavy in this picture [laughs] but no, I like my makeup. I like how warm it is."
"I love this peachy hair color we did — it might be my favorite. Coachella gives this cool opportunity to experiment and switch up your hair and makeup — to do something you’d never be able to normally do. So we just went all out and used lots of color and sparkles."
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