Photo: Getty Images Christopher Polk
When Carrie Underwood appeared on the 4th season of American Idol nine years ago, she was a pretty, wide-eyed small town girl from Oklahoma who had never been on an airplane. What a difference a decade makes. Since winning Idol, the singer, and now Brand Ambassador for Almay, has been on a meteoric rise. Carrie has had 18 number one singles, sold 15 million albums, won six Grammys, and just this week won Favorite Country Female Artist at the American Music Awards. It never stops. Add to all that, the spring arrival of a baby boy with husband, hockey player Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators. I loved talking to Carrie about her serious makeup skills (she does it herself) and why she never leaves the house barefaced.
BB: Hey, Carrie. Nice to meet you on the phone.
CU: You too! Can I just say I am nervous to talk to you about makeup! [Laughs].
BB: But I hear you are amazing with makeup!
CU: I have always loved it. I had teenage sisters when I was very little, so I have great memories of watching them and my mom put on a ton of makeup in the morning. Occasionally I got into theirs without them knowing. (laughs)
BB: Were you allowed to wear makeup?
CU: I was probably actually one of the kids that actually started wearing makeup a little bit younger. If I had a daughter I might have her hold off for a little while longer, but it gave me more time to learn.
BB: Was your makeup subtle and nice or were you wearing blue eyeshadow and sparkly everything?
CU: (Laughs)I do remember having blue mascara and green mascara. And blue eye shadow of course. Things that didn’t exactly look too good!
BB: Is it true you do your own makeup before your performances?
CU: When I am on tour I enjoy doing my own hair and makeup. There are just so many people on the road, and it’s kind of therapeutic for me to be able to sit on my butt, and have all my things, and it’s quiet. It’s my time to play.
Carrie getting ready for the CMAA awards. Instagram @Carrieunderwood
BB: What are some of your favorite products that really work?
CU: Almay’s Butter Kiss Lipstick ($6) is like a lip treatment. The color really wears throughout the day, so that is my new favorite. Something that I need after a show or the red carpet is to take my eye makeup off, and Almay’s Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($6) really do the trick.
BB: I know those pads well. They are great. Especially after a photo shoot they really do take everything off.
CU: The remover sticks are also absolutely incredible. I feel like everybody should have those. I am sure you don’t, because you are a professional, but I am an offender of getting mascara in places where it shouldn’t be, like the bridge of my nose and around my eyes. So those are lifesavers.
BB: Do you wear makeup when you are not on stage?
CU: I don’t think I ever have makeup-free days, to be honest. I wear makeup for me. I don’t want to walk by a mirror and feel like I haven’t given some sort of effort. I just feel better when I have a little on.
BB: I know you live in Nashville. What’s it like being a high profile person there? Are there paparazzi following you or can you go about your day?
CU: Nashville is really not bad at all for photographers or things like that. But I will say, if I have to make a late night run to the grocery store or pharmacy, the one time I actually don’t have makeup on is the one time everybody will notice me and want to take pictures, so that’s also why I do try to wear makeup. I am a shy person, naturally, so sometimes I forget what I do for my job and I will be at the grocery store and I will be like, “Why is that person trying to take a picture of me? Oh yeah, now I remember.” [Laughs]
BB: What was it like being an overnight star with American Idol? How did you stay grounded?
CU: I grew up in a really small town and I have really hard working, amazing parents. I feel really fortunate that I got to finish high school and go to college and have that foundation under me before everything happened for me. I got to grow up and that’s really important. And I have the most amazing friends.
BB: And are your friends in or out of the business?
CU: Mostly out. There are some people that I definitely consider closest and might work around music but they are not other celebrities. I mean, I do have other celebrity friends, but everybody is so busy. It’s hard to get to hang out with a lot of other people who do what you do.
BB: Do you travel a lot with your husband? Do you get to go with him to his games, or does he get to travel when you are on tour?
CU: Not too much. We both travel so much separately just for work, but he will come with me a little bit when I am on tour and I have summer dates. But that is really hard for him too because he is like, “I don’t know what I am doing out here, I don’t have a purpose out here!” (laughs) And living on a bus isn’t the easiest thing in the world!
BB: Is it nerve-wracking watching him play hockey? Those pucks, man, those are pretty quick.
CU: I think it is pretty hot watching him out on the ice actually! I am pretty confident in my husband’s ability to take care of himself.
BB: I know that you are expecting a baby boy, and I am the mother of three boys. I just want to wish you good luck with all that, because there is nothing better than being a mom.
CU: Thank you! We’re excited.
BB: You are a vegan. Have you had any cravings for other things now? Because I remember what I craved when I was pregnant and it wasn’t always healthy.
CU: I have been vegetarian for about ten years now. With pregnancy, I am definitely going more on the vegetarian side, but as soon as I am not pregnant anymore I will go back to being vegan. I don’t think I am craving anything too crazy. I try to keep it as healthy as possible and try to take care of myself. And, you know, putting good things in!
BB: I know you are a big supporter of the troops, so I just wanted to congratulate you on that. Any other philanthropic causes that mean a lot to you?
CU: I am definitely all about helping out my hometown. I really do come from a small place, 4,500 people in my entire town, so that’s where a lot of my time and energy goes—to just making things better. Musical equipment for the schools, computer labs, and getting things for the fire department. I also started an animal shelter.
BB: Anything else that you haven’t done that you would like to do besides raising a family?
CU: I just love to sing and I like the things that come along with that. I like to travel and I like to be on stage. I like to meet people. I am really happy with the life that I am living, so as long as I can keep that going I’ll be a happy girl.
BB: When are you going on tour again? Like two years from now?
CU: Oh golly! Hopefully not that long, but I’ll be able to keep playing.
BB: Well you are definitely one lucky, confident girl and it was a pleasure talking to. I wish you a lot of luck with the baby.
CU: Thanks Bobbi!