When Viktor & Rolf dreamed up Good Fortune (the first addition to its cult perfume dynasty in seven years) one face in particular sprang to mind. Bold with a dash of mystery, singer, songwriter and dancer FKA twigs exudes quiet confidence — much like the scent itself, which marries spirituality with potential and power.
The collaboration just made sense. Not least because twigs is a fragrance fanatic herself, but thanks to her love of all things beauty. From Instagram-worthy eye makeup to inventing hair trends, it's safe to say she's something of a pioneer. But her daily routine isn't as complicated — or expensive — as you might think.
Earlier this summer, we sat down with twigs, who divulged the ludicrously easy beauty tips she swears by.
On her earliest perfume memory
"I remember my mum had the Salvador Dali perfume with the nose and the lips — and I was obsessed with it as a kid. I used to spray it secretly when I went into my mum's room. She had lots of Parisian, old fashioned perfume bottles with the spray pump, and that's probably my earliest memory of perfume.
"My mum loves deep, spicy fragrances while I like more nutty, vanilla-based, or floral fragrances. But everyone's pheromones are different, and things smells different on everyone. My natural smell is very warm and deep and I can take slightly lighter, more natural fragrances. I just spray it everywhere, especially in my hair."
But when it comes to scents in general, it has to be her mum's tights. "I remember being really young (it was the '90s) and my mum would wear sheer tights — you know, the really shiny ones. I was very shy so I used to hold onto my mum's legs and put my face all over them. I just remember that her legs always smelt really good. I also just love the smell of cake. It smells like joy to me. Any cake — a birthday cake with buttery icing."
On the best beauty advice she's ever been given
While twigs is often made up in front of the camera, the one beauty rule she lives by is wearing as little makeup as possible on her days off.
"There's a choreographer called Kate Prince, who I danced with when I was 13," says twigs. "She looks so young. Like so young, it's insane. I remember bumping into her on the Tube not long ago. I asked, 'Kate, what is happening?' and she was like, 'Just don't wear makeup.' I'm glammed up now because this is a press event, but if you see me during the day, normally, I don't wear a scrap." She thinks it has something to do with pulling on your face all the time when putting it on and taking it off. "Instead, I might just use Egyptian Magic [a multipurpose cream] as a highlighter. That's my beauty tip."
On the simple routine that makes her skin so good
Twigs has dealt with acne for years, but one thing she finds helpful is being consistent with her skincare routine — and rarely introducing anything new. If it ain't broke...
"Sometimes I'll go and have a really nice facial and the facialist is on a sell at the end. I'm always like, 'No, I know what my skin likes,' and if I take one step away from that I can be bumpy. I stick to what I know. Even if I go out and have the most insane night clubbing, my friends will be sitting on my bed not taking their makeup off, and I'll do a full skincare routine. I love the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex — actually, all of their products. I also like the SkinCeuticals AGE Eye Complex. On my face, I use amla oil, which is a plant-based retinol and I mix that with some products by iS clinical."
On how she deals with bad skin days
All skin is good skin, says twigs.
"Sometimes, even if I'm having a breakout and I'm not wearing makeup, I think I look fresher. So what if there's a bit of redness? We're human and we live in a polluted society. It's real skin and all about taking the good days with the bad days. Some people have skin which you could put anything on — a soap bar, for example, and it'll be fine. I'm not like that! I don't have good skincare tips, other than accepting yourself and where you're at. Oh, and try not to pick...though it's so fun."
On the ultimate self-love advice
"We're all stuck in ourselves aren't we? What are you gonna do? That's just what it is, and you just have to accept what it is," muses twigs. Sometimes, though, she wants to go back in time. "I wish I was 13 now. There are so many different ways to accept each other and it has changed so much. In a way, even I'm learning and having a teenage renaissance because lots of things — even on myself — were considered not desirable. Now, they're vibey. Things change and we're all beautiful in our own way.
There's a photographer called Matthew Stone who shot me for an i-D magazine cover that I first did ten years ago. We used to play a game at the bus stop which we called: 'Find Something Beautiful In Everyone.' We'd sit at a bus stop and when people walked past, we'd find one beautiful thing about that person. It could be their hair, unusual eye colour or long legs. That's a good exercise to play because if you do that on other people, you can do it for yourself."
On the smartest beauty tips she's learned from the professionals
"All my tips are drag queen techniques," says twigs, who skips brow gel for some water, glycerin soap and a spoolie brush. "It makes the brow hairs stick up, but it doesn't flake like some eyebrow gels. Then, I just fill in the gaps."
Twigs bleaches her eyebrows a lot for work, but has the ultimate care tip: "For brows, there’s a brand called The OrganiGrowHairCo., and they do a product called Brow "Chica" Wow Wow. It's a rollerball oil, and because I'm so experimental with my brows, I put it on morning and night. I pluck them, bleach them, dye them lighter colours and then put some soap in them, so for brows, this oil is replenishing and makes them grow."
On why we should be wary of beauty trends
Twigs' biggest worry when it comes to fleeting beauty trends? That some involve changing your face forever.
"Even if it looks fab at the time, what about in five years' time when that look isn't 'in' anymore? Whatever 'in' is. It's a dangerous game. The beauty trend I'd like to see the back of is the obsession with wanting to look like the filtered version of ourselves. It's about whatever makes you happy, but also doing things for the right reasons. If you want to do something because it makes you feel good, I think go for it. But if it's out of pressure to fit in with the way that girls look now in this decade, it's a bit worrying."
On how to nail the '90s lip
When twigs wears makeup, she loves a '90s-inspired lip combo. "I love MAC's Lip Pencil in Chestnut on the outside and Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream in the centre. I also really like the Pat McGrath lip glosses, which are so stunning. The one I use is pink with a gold shimmer in it [Bronze Divinity]. I also really love Hourglass, which does a good clear gloss [Halo]. This over lip liner is nice."
On the self-care routine that makes her feel grounded
For twigs, self-care is as simple as jumping in the shower and slathering on body lotion. "I have a vigorous beauty routine, which I do morning and night, but I really love just having a shower and moisturising afterwards. I'm obsessed with shea butter. I think it's the gold of the earth — heaven sent.
"Being of Black heritage, I like looking at which plants and herbs are from Jamaica or Africa and then thinking I should be using these products because they're from the country I'm from. If I get out of the shower and I don't moisturise, I feel like I've got cling film wrap being stretched around my back!"
On her next hair colour
Twigs has been blonde, copper, blue and fiery red. But for now, she's going back to her roots. "I've headed back dark now, which is my natural colour. I've been copper and blonde most recently, but I feel very grounded and like I wanted to go back to the colour I was born with."
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