“I never know what triggers it and sometimes I can't prevent it,” Hailey Bieber tells me about the chronic skin condition that, until now, she's kept relatively private. “I have something called perioral dermatitis. I will wake up and have it really bad around my mouth and under my eyes.”
In an effort to avoid a flare-up — which looks like a red, bumpy, inflammatory rash that can impact more than 200,000 people in the U.S. each year — Bieber always travels with her own pillow and has taken to removing unnecessary ingredients from her skin and makeup routine. That is, as much as her modeling career allows it. “I have used something new on set before and I go home and have a rash under my eyes,” she says, noting that she thinks some makeup triggers it, as well as laundry detergent and many other everyday products.
It’s one of the reasons why the 22-year-old has maintained her longstanding gig as a clean beauty ambassador for bareMinerals. The line is free of potential irritants — including parabens, phthalates, chemical sunscreens, and more — which why she thinks her skin reacts to it so well. We sat down with Bieber last week, ahead of the brand’s 25th anniversary party in Los Angeles, to talk about her skin, her longstanding partnership, and the whirlwind year she's shared with her husband Justin Bieber.
Wearing a matching beige bodycon crop top and pencil skirt with strappy stiletto sandals, her hair smoothed into a retro flip and her long nails adorned with hearts for Valentine’s Day, Bieber is the picture of a polished spokesperson. But soon into our interview, it becomes clear that she’s more than professional; she's goofy, warm, and, like the rest of us, is open about being a contradiction of sorts. While she’s the face of a clean makeup line, she also loves to wear gel nail extensions, has more than 30 tattoos (and counting), and rarely objects to products a makeup artist wants to use on her in the name of artistry. It’s a reminder that beauty in 2020 is as nuanced as it is personal. “You have to find what works for you and what doesn't,” she says. “I've been on the journey.”
Keep scrolling for highlights from our sit-down interview, which, in true Bieber fashion, bounces from tattoo trends to ministry, clean beauty to nail art, and everything in-between.
Do you remember your first entry into clean beauty?
"Growing up, my mom made us eat organic and use organic shampoos and products; she was always really passionate about that. When you grow up you have to find what works for you and what doesn't. I've been on the journey. For me, the more our planet is under so much stress, so much pollution, so much devastation, the more conscious I have been about whether or not my products are harming the environment. It’s about learning."
As a model, how has this impacted your day-to-day?
"My skin is ultimately really sensitive; I have used something new on set before and I go home and have a rash under my eyes. I have something called perioral dermatitis. I will wake up and have it really bad around my mouth and under my eyes. I never know what triggers it and sometimes I can't prevent it, but I try to use things that are as clean as possible. Even if I sleep on a pillowcase at a hotel, I will wake up and have it really bad!"
Do you ever bring your own products to set?
"I don't because I don't want to offend a makeup artist. It's my face but it's their painting and I never want to be that person who's difficult, unless I know for a fact that this product makes me breakout or really gets my skin irritated."
You opened up recently about standing by your husband, Justin Bieber, who is battling Lyme disease. Has that experienced changed how you view and practice self-care?
"It taught me to think about what we can do to replenish the skin from the torment it went through from being ill. I'm passionate about using and talking about products for people who are struggling with keeping their skin healthy while they're battling something internal, whether it's hormones or they have an illness. If the insides are all inflamed and imbalanced, then the outside is going to be inflamed and imbalanced. I have seen it with my husband, and he's a guy, so that was new for me to learn how health affects a male's skin."
Do you think about self-care differently now?
"The one thing I think about differently now is that it never hurts to check off every box; to really go there and say, 'I feel like something's wrong,' then don't stop until you come to some kind of answer. My husband was battling for months and we didn't stop until he found the right person who was able to do lots of tests. He went through so much trying to figure out what was going on on the inside, and it just proved that you should never stop."
Tell me about the beauty products that you swear by right now.
"I always like things that you can keep in the fridge that feel cool, like collagen sheet masks. My go-to is the bareMinerals Hydrating Foundation Stick. I am not big on face makeup every day, so I will tap it in the areas I need it, like under my eyes or on a blemish. For lip, I use the [bareMinerals] hydrating lipstick every day. Sometimes, I will just tap one on and use it more of a stain or blush. I love the colors Energy, Purpose, and Memory. Insight is what I wear almost every day."
Let’s switch gears and talk about your tattoos. Do you have a favorite?
"My favorite tattoo is this little heart [on my collarbone]. It's dainty and cute. I don't have a tattoo that I regret because nothing is big enough to have been a terrible idea, which I’m happy about. I was nervous about doing my hand, but I ended up loving it."
What’s your most meaningful tattoo?
"Probably my parents’ wedding date. My parents are still married to this day and it was the first tattoo I ever got. I was scared they were going to get mad, but I was like, 'It's dedicated to you!' My dad [Stephen Baldwin] has a million, but my mom [Kennya Baldwin] only has one ankle tattoo and she's like, 'It was hooooorrible, it was so painful!' [laughs] Now I'm into the 30s of tattoos and I'm like, it's not that bad!”
What’s your next tattoo?
"I have one in mind that was actually said in a sermon I listened to yesterday at church. I don't want to say yet, but I will definitely post it when I get it done."
Let’s talk about your long nails. What’s your secret?
"I do [Gelish] PolyGel on my nails, then I get gel nail polish over it so it doesn't chip. Sometimes I will add a little bit of length; I always like them to be a little longer than my natural nail. I'm not big on designs but I thought these were cute for Valentine's day. I am always saving nail images on Instagram to do one day."
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