Katy Perry: "It's The People That Dare To Suck That Start The Trends"

Courtesy of Covergirl.
Katy Perry wearing the new Katy Kat Lip Gloss in Indigo Cat.
It's not like Katy Perry to filter herself — not in 2008, when her debut single 'I Kissed A Girl' unceremoniously made cherry Chapstick sexy, and not in 2018. That's how, for a decade, she's managed to push the conversation forward by being fearlessly, unabashedly herself — through her music, her politics, her makeup, and during our phone call... which ran 15 minutes longer than her team allotted.
"Trends change so fast, so it's all about going out on a limb," she tells me, her words picking up speed as she gets excited. "Like, remember when Pharrell wore that hat and everyone was like, Whaaat? We all did that emoji with the hand on the chin, but it's the people that dare to suck that start the trends. Trying a new haircut or beauty regimen or style, that's just fun. It keeps me interested."
The next big trend she's predicting, though, is a major throwback — with a modern Katy Perry twist. Ahead, she talks about her new lip gloss collection with CoverGirl, her real thoughts on plastic surgery, the secret to her now blemish-free skin, and more.
The Two Things That Really Changed Her Skin
You probably remember the 2010 Proactiv commercial, in which Perry boasted its efficacy in treating her acne — which she swears is all true. "They do not pay me to say that! It actually solved my acne problem,'' she laughs. "I used to have really, really bad skin in my early 20s when things were starting to pop off, so it was stress-related and my body was changing from coming out of the teenage years. I remember I was doing laser treatments, trying different ointments, going to very expensive facialists, and nothing worked. Someone recommended I try the Proactiv cleanser and I thought, 'No way, no how will that fix anything.' And I’ve been using it for 10 years and it's been incredible. I don’t break out because of that."
But she says it's also about what she puts in her body that's really made a difference: "I love food, and sometimes if I'm in a bad mood, all I'll want is the classic ice cream from McDonalds that tastes the same no matter what country you're in," she says. "But that quick dopamine hit that makes you feel good for one second turns on you in the long run. In the past year, I’ve eaten better than I have ever eaten — less fast food, less sugar — and the sustainability of my body is so much better. My face just glows."
Why She's Giving Lip Gloss A Second Chance
"I was such a matte lip person — I would only use a pencil," Perry says. "But this year I started to use a lot more gloss because I realized it makes your lips look bigger without having to do any injections." Not that this means her 12-piece collection of Covergirl Katy Kat Gloss is the kind you'd wear in the early 2000s. "You mean, the lip gloss that your hair would get stuck to and then make streaks across your cheeks?" she laughs. "Listen, I was such a big fan of those Dior glosses, so I get it. And I liked the look of MAC's Lip Glass, I just didn’t like the feel. It was more of a constant annoyance."
Perry says this formula has the same high shine, but isn't sticky; she swears it feels like satin on your lips. The best part is the color range, which includes Candy Kat (bubblegum pink), Cateloupe (brownish-nude), Purrple Paws (violet), White Catillac (opaque white), Wine Feline (deep scarlet), Catnip (lilac purple), Cobalt Kitty (aquamarine blue), Kitty Karma (bright fuchsia), Tabby Tease (coral), Ninth Life (brick red), Pounce (light lavender), and Indigo Kat (which is, well, indigo).
Shades (from left): Kitty Karma, Cobalt Kitty, Indigo Cat, White Cadillac.
"With all my collections, I always try and push the boundaries, to try new things," she says. "This one has all the colors you want, but I've also got a really interesting blue and a white that looks great on all skin tones. That way you can experiment with color for only $10. Plus, the packaging is really cute — it has a cat head cap that makes it a great conversation starter."
On Those Plastic Surgery Rumors
It's the recurring tabloid story of the last decade: Perry getting lots of plastic surgery. But this couldn't be farther from the truth — and even if it were, why the hell should it matter? For the record, "I haven't had any," she says. "I've done lasers and got [filler] injections under my eyes for the hollowing — which I'd recommend for everyone who wants a solution for their dark circles — but all of my assets are real. People tend to think they are fake, but it doesn't really matter."
She adds: "We're getting away from that negative stigma about physical alterations. Of course, always be your authentic self — but if someone wants a nose job that makes them feel better, and they love their profile more because of it, it's like 'Go ahead!' Do whatever makes you feel better about yourself. Stay in therapy, but get it, girl."
What She Learned From Having A Pixie
For a long time, Perry's revolving door of bright hair colors has been her personal brand, but she's found the most freedom in chopping it. "Cutting my hair meant I didn't have to hide behind it," she says. "My face really stands out [now], and I actually feel a lot prettier with my short hair. I've really gotten to know my face better."
The Damaging Effects Of Social Media
On December 13, Perry tweeted, "i can’t wait till instagram culture is over so we can all be ourselves again" — and it's a sentiment that still rings true to her today. "A lot of us are living for that picture, and then the currency is the like," she explains. "It's hard because I'd rather not care about that and just live my life. We buy clothing and products or pose a certain way or go to an event to get a picture — it's not good for us as a society. I think it's actually the decline of civilization if we're going extreme about it. We have to find a balance, and I'm trying to find my own personal balance with it because I'm just as much a victim as everybody else."

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series