Selena Gomez is really good at doing her makeup. I can tell when I'm introduced to her in a penthouse hotel suite just east of Bryant Park where she's hosting a Rare Beauty event for beauty editors and TikTok influencers.
I'm not surprised that it looks like Gomez had her glam done professionally (because she probably did). But the way she talks to us about her own face — explaining how a pigmented blush keeps her face from getting "blown out" in pictures, and applying it "really high" makes her cheekbones appear "more structured" — makes me think that she knows, and really loves, makeup.
Gomez is candid though, explaining that her relationship with makeup is complicated: Today, it's is fun, empowering. But growing up, it was often used as a tool to manipulate her face — to make her look older or younger — which, understandably, messed with her head.
"I've been having my makeup done since I was seven years old," Gomez says, touching on a toxic aspect of child stardom that takes me back to when I was watching her on Wizards of Waverly Place. "I feel like that kind of messed with me. I was so young working on a Disney show. I had professionals doing my makeup, and suddenly I looked 25 when I was 16. It all made me question my own beauty."
Everyone in the room is nodding. Feeling insecure is relatable, especially in today's visual, comparative world where social media impacts our mental health and how we feel about the way we look. "I've been a victim to wanting to change my face," Gomez says. "To do things because I've seen such intense trends."
"I've been having my makeup done since I was seven years old — I feel like that kind of messed with me."
What helped Gomez gain confidence was reminding herself that wearing makeup is a personal choice, and one that should spark joy. "Now, in my everyday life, it's really important for me to use products that I like," she explains. One being blush, specifically her Rare Beauty Soft Pinch liquid blush, which she says was "such a big seller" last year, that she wanted to create even more shades. The three latest just dropped at Sephora.
At the end of December, Rare Beauty will also release a brand-new cream bronzer stick as well as a white soy-wax scented candle, which Gomez uses as a reminder to take "a little self-care break." Also, very important.