Refinery29 presents the first IRL taping of beauty podcast, Gloss Angeles. Co-hosts Sara Tan and Kirbie Johnson sit down with the Gwen Stefani in front of a live studio audience.
Gwen Stefani didn’t have the support of everyone when starting her cosmetics line, GXVE. In fact, many of her nearest and dearest suggested she retire. “My dad told me not to do it,” Stefani revealed at the Gloss Angeles IRL taping presented by Refinery29 at Vice Studios. “Everyone was saying, ‘Don’t do it, Gwen! Just go sail away to Oklahoma and make out with Blake. Don’t work anymore.’ But I feel if I’m not creative in some way, that’s my purpose. I have to do that.”
Stefani has been creating consistently since she catapulted to fame in 1995 as the frontwoman of No Doubt. Tragic Kingdom was the soundtrack to so many people’s formative years — “Spiderwebs” and “Don’t Speak” likely narrate a generation’s core memories. She’s won three Grammy awards, has launched countless fashion lines, is currently a judge on the hit television show The Voice — where she met husband Blake Shelton — and had a residency in Vegas. She’s sold over 30 million albums worldwide. And perhaps most importantly, she’s a mother to three boys. She could easily retire now at 53 with a list of accomplishments and successes as long as a CVS receipt. Instead, she’s throwing herself into her first love, beauty.
“Everyone was saying, ‘Don’t do it, Gwen! Just go sail away to Oklahoma and make out with Blake. Don’t work anymore.’"
“I feel so kind of cocky about this line,” she playfully revealed, saying she’s never been too boastful of her past accomplishments and focuses on staying humble. “With [GXVE], I feel people can trust me on it because there’s so much history. This was before music — this is from when I was a kid.”
Stefani recalled going to a friend’s house as a child and asking if they could play with her mother’s Mary Kay stash, burning said friend on the neck with a curling iron; burning eyeliner in 7th grade to get the perfect smudge, and falling in love with the transformative properties of cosmetics in the process. She worked at makeup counters like Borghese and Ultima II as a teenager. This affinity for cosmetics translated to when she hit the road with No Doubt and ultimately landed her professional contracts with brands like Urban Decay, L’Oreal Paris, and Revlon.
“With makeup, I just felt like, when I did the Urban Decay collab — even when I did the Revlon and L’Oreal thing, I was like, ‘You guys got the right girl! You guys should pay me more because I can really talk about makeup,” said Stefani. “I really love doing this. You don’t really know who you got here.”
Stefani launched GXVE in early 2022, after developing the brand for four years. “Starting a beauty line is quite scary in your 50s,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Okay, now I gotta put my face out there more? [But] I don’t care. I know that there’s young girls that wanna learn from me, that can learn from me; there’s women that are my age and older that are gonna learn from me, and that’s my time to give back.”
GXVE was named after the feeling Stefani said she got when painting clients’ faces at her makeup counter jobs. “That emotion that they had — that, ‘I didn’t know if I could feel or look like this’; makeup is so much giving. Not only to yourself, but also when you share that.”
“That emotion that they had — that, ‘I didn’t know if I could feel or look like this’; makeup is so much giving. Not only to yourself, but also when you share that.”
The singer-songwriter touched on how early in her career, her hair colour was a result of a broken heart, why she loves the makeup community, and revealed a new product in the works that will launch in January. Attendees of the live podcast taping went home with their own to test before the product actually debuts next month.
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