Welcome to 29 Beauty Questions With…, where we grill the coolest celebrities, influencers, and personalities on the ins and outs of their beauty routines.
Hayley Williams is a singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and keyboardist in the Grammy Award-winning band Paramore. To say Williams is an '00s alt rock icon is putting it lightly: Known for her bright, fiery orange-red hair and vocal chops, she represents a cultural — and beauty — shift for an entire generation of angsty teens.
Williams’s unabashedly bold approach to hair color and cut led to her launching Good Dye Young alongside her longtime hair stylist and makeup artist, Brian O’Connor, in 2016. It was a natural move for Williams and O’Connor, who’d become best friends over years of creative collaboration. The duo developed GDY as a 100% vegan and cruelty-free hair color and care brand with a vision to create a community around self-expression, color, and joy about being who you are.
With their May 8th debut into all ULTA Beauty locations nationwide, Good Dye Young is looking to further bolster its community, tap into the ULTA consumer base and expand its US footprint. The vegan offerings, ranging from the best-selling Lightening Kit, Semi-Perm in a range of shades and DYEPosit hues, will fall into ULTA’s Conscious Beauty category. Good Dye Young offers clean, thoughtful formulas and sustainable packaging at an affordable and approachable level for all.
Here, Williams takes time away from her UK tour to walk us through her beauty routine, including the mascara she’s used for nearly 15 years, her expensive AF skin-care routine, and how she maintains her iconic hair color.
The following interview was told to Amanda Mitchell and has been edited for length and clarity.
1. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
If I wake up on a particularly depressed day, I just groan into the darkness. If I wake up, and I'm excited and I feel like I slept well, I jump out of bed and play with my dog immediately.
2. What’s your morning skin-care routine?
I'm new to this — I know that a lot of people have talked about their skin-care routines for a while, but I just splash my face with water and go straight into a serum. I'm big on vitamin C and vitamin E. I love the SkinCeuticals one that people rave about, but I'm trying a new one by SkinMedica right now that my skin seems to like. So, I do a Biologique Recherche little watery serum, then a C and E serum, and then I sunscreen, and that's it.
3. Do you have a favorite facial sunscreen?
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4. Are you a shower or bath person? AM or PM?
Bath, bath, bath, bath. I'm looking at two or three times a day right now. Look, unfortunately we are not saving water in this household. We are doing a lot of other things — we don't use paper towels anymore, we use reusable facial pads. But the water, unfortunately… On tour though, I have to sacrifice a bit — but you know what, if I do get a tub in the hotel room, I'm living in it, I’m sleeping in there.
5. What's your favorite complexion product?
I'm really low maintenance nowadays, since I don't break out as much as I used to. My favorite for the longest time was the Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint. Sadly, even the lightest one was a little too dark for me, so I just mixed it with my Elta MD. But I’m really interested to try this new SPF from Lesse.
6. Do you have a go-to lip (or lip combo)?
I'm a fan of lip pencils all day long. I love a lip pencil. There’s not really a particular style that I'm going for — I just like matte, and then I'll put Aquaphor or Burt's Bees on top of it. I'm not brand-loyal when it comes to this. Brian and I use a lot of Lawless lip liners on tour, so I'll usually steal one from the case to go back home with, but that's my vibe. He says I like “granny mod” colors.
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7. What's your brow routine?
I don't touch my brows anymore. If you were born at a certain time, there was a point in your life where you had none. I was born in the late '80s, so around Y2K, my puberty was happening and I was just like, "I don't need these," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, I am still suffering that fucking fatal mistake that I made.
But I don't touch them. I let them get messy because I read that those girls in Beverly Hills, the ones with the messy brows, they're famous for them, they just don't touch theirs. So I say, "You know what? I salute you, and I won't touch these things for years."
8. You have 5 minutes to do your makeup — what are you using?
I’m putting on sunscreen, making sure my hair is brushed, putting on a cap, and walking out the door. Oh, I'm brushing my teeth also. I use a new toothpaste called Hello. I love the paste. I don't like a gel — I like a paste.
9. What is your favorite makeup product that costs less than $20?
My favorite makeup product that costs less than $20 is the green-and-pink Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. When I first started touring, Agyness Deyn was my favorite model, and she used it. She also talked about the clear one. We were sweating a lot, playing a lot of outdoor stages, so I picked up both. Sometimes I would tint my lashes and use the clear, but for a long time it was always just the blackest black Great Lash. It might run a bit, but I'm not out here trying to win a beauty contest on stage.
Other than that, it’s the tinted lip balm from Burt's Bees. I don't need much if my lips look alive. If they're not, like right now, they're the same color as my skin because I'm not sleeping.
10. What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a beauty product?
When I used to break out a lot, I was only wearing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation because a makeup artist told me to. That was the most that I'd spent at the time. I was 19, and even though the band was starting to make money, that was a big deal to me. I was like, "Well, I mean, this is what I have to spend my money on."
Also, finding the foundation when we were overseas was always a thing, and it was always more expensive. That was a big deal for me. Now, it's either a Biologique Recherche product for my skin or a fragrance. Brian has a whole kit that we use on tour, and I'm so ready to not wear makeup when we go home that I really don't spend much.
11. What part of your beauty routine makes you feel most confident?
I would say it's probably fragrance. I don't do it every day, so I can really tell there's a difference. My family didn't have a lot of money growing up, and fragrance wasn’t something I knew much about. That wasn't a thing. My mom would have Clinique Happy samples from the magazines. That's what I remember as a kid being the first fragrance I ever smelled, except for my nana. When we'd visit my nana, she wore Oscar de la Renta until the day she died. She was so sweet and glamorous. But Mom wasn't really a high-maintenance glam person. She was always beautiful and always looked great, but she did a lot with a little. I just didn't have a lot of beauty products around me.
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Now, putting on my favorite fragrance and a lotion that goes with that, that feels really great. I think also just taking a bath and actually shaving my legs makes me feel like a sexy bitch. I literally have a tattoo that says "shave me," because on tour you just need something to remind you.
12. What's your wash day hair routine?
When Brian and I created Good Dye Young, we started with hair dye but ventured into hair care not too long after. I was really excited, because Brian, when we're home, he's working behind the chair. He's a professional hairstylist and hair colorist, and he just knows his shit, so I had no worries when we took our first steps into hair care. I was like, "Oh, he's gonna have this in the bag."
My favorite product that we make is the pre-wash — I use it twice a week when we are doing tours because when we're playing shows, there's a lot of product going in this hair. Sometimes there's weaves, sometimes we're adding color, we're adding other products that make texture. So my hair will just get buildup really fast, and then you add a show to that, it's sweaty. The pre-wash has grapefruit and rosemary. It’s just such a fresh, amazing essential oil fragrance, and then you really do feel cleaner. Then I'll follow that up with Good Dye Young's wash and Good Dye Young's rinse. The rinse is so slippery and creamy, I'll just leave it in my hair like a mask almost every time, because my hair's really fine and stick straight.
As a kid, I always thought I needed less conditioner and less moisture. I'm learning now in my 30s that even if I'm breaking out, or if my hair's oily, it doesn't matter: moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture. Brian's been trying to tell me this for 10 years. I'll also do an oil and a scalp serum — I'm not brand-loyal yet because I know I'm waiting on us to create one, so I skip around. I've tried all the trendy TikTok ones. Brian put my partner, Taylor [York], on to Pattern Beauty because he's a curly girl. When I run out of my shit, I will straight up use his thick-ass conditioner in my hair, and I fucking love it, it's great. I love the smell. It's the only hair product that I'll really use besides our own stuff, and it's awesome. Tracee Ellis Ross is also a bit of a hero, and I just am obsessed with her face and her voice and everything about her.
13. How do you style your hair at home?
It's really not a whole lot. My favorite thing is when I put it up in a certain type of bun while it's damp. Then there are certain mornings when things are going right, and I take down the bun and I have the waves, and I'm just on top of the world. But if you asked me to braid my hair wet or dry, it's not pretty. Really, it's so sad. This is where Brian found me in this universe, because he knew that my ass needed help.
14. What are your favorite at-home devices?
My mom had an LED mask and I thought it was pretty good, but I want to try the Solawave one and the Dr. Dennis Gross. I have the Solawave wand because our bass player, Joey, is just the hottest bitch you know, and his skin is perfect — he put us on to the Solawave, and I love it. He’s using True Botanicals, he’s using facial mists all day long. Me and Brian are always in awe. My other favorite device, since it dropped, is the Dyson Blow Dryer. I think it's great and worth it. I use a Theragun all the time, and I always have a heating pad next to the bed. I love a heated blanket or a heating pad.
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15. What's your body product of choice (body lotion, body oil?)
I use the Kate McLeod Body Stone — it's so good. I bought my mom that for Christmas and Mother's Day last year. There's one that's more grounding, and that's the one that I use. Of course, I forgot to take the bag I put it in on this tour, so it really sucked. I recently discovered Costa Brazil, and that has been my fragrance of choice now through the winter. I'm hoping that I can pull it off in the summertime. It's just such a cozy smell, creamy but it's not annoying. It's not like a full gourmand lunch to me. I love the lotion, and I love just the perfume. I also always carry around the Tata Harper stress relief roller. I use it as a perfume too sometimes, but the added benefit of mental clarity that it gives you is really great.
16. Tell us about your signature scent.
Before finding Costa Brazil, I would've said that I smell like sandalwood and some kind of citrusy note. For a long time I wore D.S. & Durga Radio Bombay. I still keep it in my bag, and will use that if I just want an extra pick-me-up. It’s very spicy and has a little citrus and a little of that mystery variant that you just don't know what it is, especially on different people.
D.S. & Durga make some of my favorite fragrances. Also, when I get stressed, I'll just go to a website and read fragrance notes. It really calms me down. That's how I discovered Costa Brazil. It's the first fragrance I've worn that's as creamy as it is, that has that base note that's just like, mushy. Yuzu and feijoa, which is a citrus from New Zealand, are my two favorite notes.
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Grounding Stone Solid Refillable Body Mois...
17. Do you have a go-to nail polish color or nail art design?
My nail design is chipped black at all times.
18. What’s your evening skin-care routine?
I use a couple of Biologique Recherche products, like the 1950 Pigm 400, I love that. I love the amniotic fluid serum. I'm not loyal to one yet, but I love a vitamin C serum. My skin really brightens up with that. I'm also using the Biologique Recherche Hydrovit. As you can see, there's a lot of money going out the window to this French brand. Thank God we're on tour, because I'll be back to CeraVe in just a second.
19. Where is your favorite place to find beauty inspiration?
Usually Japanese hair salons on Instagram. I love finding those and sending tons of pictures to Brian until the point that he's overwhelmed and can't keep up. I also really love seeing what people at shows do, especially young people because they're never following trends; they're always breaking rules.
Traveling will really inspire you. Japan's always three years ahead. When I was a teenager, we were coming to the UK a lot, and in Manchester there was this girl that had a big, solid green circle over her eye, and that was it — the other eye was clean. That inspired the “Hard Times” music video makeup. I think traveling is a great way to get inspired because you get out of your own bubble and you see shit that you just wouldn't think about.
20. What treatments do you do?
I got Botox once on this line between my brows that came from nowhere. I hated it because I couldn’t look angry; I just looked like I was fine with everything all the time. That said, it’s a funny feeling getting older in the public eye. I’m not opposed to doing minimal shit, but I’d rather stick to more relaxing treatments and the occasional microderm.
21. How much do you think you spend on beauty a month?
Not too much anymore. I buy new whenever I need and I only get a facial every few months. I do buy more expensive stuff now, and maybe that’s why I’m a little pickier and more responsible with using up what I have.
22. What's the best beauty treatment you’ve ever gotten?
Gua sha and facial massage from a really trusted practitioner. I looked visibly relieved and like someone that had all her priorities sorted.
23. What's the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
“Beauty’s where you find it.” Thanks, baby Madonna.
24. What's the worst beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Any article in any beauty magazine that centers the male gaze.
25. Biggest beauty regret?
Worrying too much about having acne in my early 20s.
26. Fave beauty hack?
I am my favorite beauty hack.
27. What makeup products can we find in your bag?
28. Who is your beauty icon?
Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez, and my Granny.
29. Whose celeb beauty routine are you curious about?
Is it rude to say no one’s?
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