Decked out in a gold lamé leotard, caramel fishnets, and black studded boots, Lizzo surveyed the audience at an intimate concert in Downtown L.A.'s City Market Social House before leaning into the front row. "You are all so sexy," she purred."Do you think I look good right now, too?"
During her electrifying five-song set, Lizzo continued to lavish compliments on the crowd, pulling people up to dance and fawning over their looks — from gyrating fans she lovingly called "big girls" to a drag queen wearing a bright blonde, Dolly Parton-esque wig. By the end of the night, she had every single person belting out her lyrics — "No, I'm not a snack at all/Look, baby, I'm the whole damn meal" — and leaving us all feeling like we were the baddest bitches to have ever walked the face of the earth.
Lizzo, whose songs of self-love and unapologetic confidence have catapulted her to fame in the last five years, has just hit another major career milestone for an artist: a massive beauty contract. In her first campaign video with Urban Decay, Lizzo appears on screen posing for a typical beauty photoshoot before pushing away the crew, wiping off her makeup, and defining her own look. It's a powerful moment in an industry still plagued with outdated standards of what beauty should look like, and who should be invited to take part in it.
"When people send me photos of the storefront and the pictures in the stores, that is impactful to me," Lizzo tells me in a hotel suite hours before she took the stage at an event for the brand's Stay Naked Foundation launch. "I'm like, Wow, somebody is walking into the store to get some makeup and hopefully a girl is seeing a face that looks like hers and it’s inspiring and aspiring for her. Representation is the most important thing I can do as an artist."
For Lizzo, a makeup contract is a natural fit. As an artist and songwriter, she often punctuates her lyrics with relatable lines about beauty and its role in her life. There's her going-out anthem "Good As Hell" where she belts, "I do my hair toss, check my nails/Baby how you feelin'?/
Feeling good as hell." In her song "Truth Hurts," she describes the all-too-familiar post-breakup salon appointment: "Shampoo press, get you out of my hair." And throughout songs like "Lingerie," she consistently breaks down the rituals that make her feel sexy: "Hair down, moonlit/Look at my lipstick."
"My songs are a celebration of the beauty in self," explains Lizzo. "I sing actual things that happen to me — things we’ll say when we’re partying, when we’re drunk, when we’re crying, things I say in the mirror. I’m just trying to live a better life and a more beautiful life."
Lizzo's own approach to makeup is fluid, just like her sexuality. "The beauty of it is that sexuality can change every single day," Lizzo says. "It’s about not being afraid of who you are and also being aware that who you are can change. In the same way, I love to change up my makeup every single day. When we go into glam, my makeup artist says, Who are you today? Then he'll create a fantasy."
That fantasy is most often filled with glittering body oils and sensual, lacquered lips— a calling card for the performer whose approach to makeup could be summed up as: sex, sex, and more sex. "The tongue is like a sex organ, and the lips are a sexual feature," she says. "I want my lips to always look like I’m ready to suck a dick."
Her secret to keeping those glossy lips in place through singing, dancing, and a rigorous flute performance (as seen at the BET Awards)? "For all my flautists that love to rock a bold lip onstage, we put a matte lip first and then we secure it with Urban Decay eyeshadow that matches the lip color," says Lizzo, who currently prefers Urban Decay Vice Lipstick.
Despite her overwhelming confidence and stage presence, Lizzo is not without insecurities. Over the past year, she's been learning to become more comfortable wearing her natural hair publicly for the first time in her life, not only on Instagram, but on the red carpet as well.
"I’ve been slowly learning how to completely love myself," she says. "I love my jiggly arms, but I also have insecurities about my teeth and hair. In order to truly love myself, I have to really love every single thing. Hair is the final frontier for me. If I didn’t love that, I would be a liar. I wouldn’t truly, actually love myself. Even the things that people would think I would be insecure about, I find beauty, strength, and courage in."
At this stage of her evolution, Lizzo says she's more confident in what she calls her "fine self" than ever before. "I promise you, I will change as much as you will," she says. "When you're listening to my music, you're listening to stories of evolution."
Travel and accommodations were provided by Urban Decay for the purpose of writing this story. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.