“I like to look like I’m freezing cold,” says LA-born musician and record producer Doja Cat of her attraction to the kind of “cartoon-esque” makeup that requires doubled-up blush and leaves plenty of room for winter sniffles. For her, the final result is a success when “I look like I just woke up and blew my nose.” Still, this version of just-woke-up beauty involves pro moves like "minibaking," faux freckles, and a skincare prep routine that hovers around 10 steps. The rapper says she learned her secrets from the internet, the same place she discovered the e-girl aesthetic. “I remember being on Pinterest, I didn’t even know what e-girl was,” she says of the “super cute” genre where “it looked like they were sick, but it was intentional. I could see they were wearing a lot of makeup.”
As she rolls out her skincare staples, Doja Cat shows her loyalty to the brand Tatcha, whose Japanese products have gained a following of their own. She starts the process by lathering up with The Deep Cleanse and The Rice Polish: Classic foaming enzyme powder before another round of exfoliation comes with Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel. After a mist of straight-up witch hazel, she applies Tatcha’s The Essence with a few soft smacks to her skin. “When you slap your face, you’re bringing kind of the blood to the surface,” she notes. Slathering on Violet-C Brightening Serum and Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum (which doubles as a lip balm) she admits “you’re supposed to be pretty gentle, but I’m not.” Then, with an extended acrylic nail tip, a single serving of The Dewy Skin Cream is scooped out of its tub and topped with Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen and a few drops of Biossance Sugarcane Squalane Face Oil. Why the extra step after so many hydrating layers? “Put an oil on top of your moisturizer, it holds it down all day,” she explains of the trick that’s “gonna make you look sweaty, but that’s okay.”
Years of experimenting in front of the vanity have fine-tuned Doja Cat’s skills to match her evolving styles. “I started doing makeup when I was thirteen, I wore a lot of eyeliner–a lot–like Amy Winehouse,” she remembers. Before the next level of cosmetics begins, it’s time to clean one universal tool: the Beauty Blender Pro. What she calls her “favorite thing in the whole world” (aka Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil) refreshes the squishy foam sponge and “works better than anything I’ve ever tried.” To even out skin tone, Becca’s Undereye Brightening Color Corrector lays a base before two pumps of Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation and a few dots of Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer. “This isn’t necessarily baking… it kind of is—it’s like a mini bake,” she says as she sets the layers with Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder before shaping out cheekbones with Fenty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer topped with a punchy pink NARS blush, which is the real key to the look. “I just start packing it onto my nose,” Doja Cat explains as she “scrubs” in the color with a brush. A few dots of Nars Liquid Blush in Torrid further brighten the freezing cold look, while CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops act as a highlighter dabbed onto cheekbones, chin, and cupid’s bow.
For the eyes, “Spock” brows are drawn on with a pencil before a generous dusting of powder mattifies arches. A few coats of Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara—“which is fire”—go on before a black liquid liner wing. Using a set called Bae from her own lash line with Icy Wifey Cosmetics, Doja Cat trims the fringe before gluing it to her natural set. “It’s like a spaced-out, sort of doll-like lash,” she notes, following it up with a layer of Icy Wifey Cosmetics Glitter Chrome on lids. “It’s like a peacocky sort of moment,” she says. “It’s like very blue at certain angles and very pink at others.” A surprising twist? Her skill for creating faux freckles using Freck OG longwear freckle makeup. “It’s so easy,” she explains as she dots it on, picks up the color with the pad of her finger, and stamps the excess onto features like supernatural constellations. Blush is buffed into lips for a soft fade that “can kind of make you look like you’ve had a popsicle or something” before Sugar Pill’s Liquid Lip Color is feathered out for an ombre finish.
And with a curl-and-toss of her 40-inch electric pink “mermaid” lengths, the look is complete. According to Doja Cat, the process of applying makeup is about the experience. If it takes an hour and a half on a day that can handle a leisurely pace, all the better. “Because I enjoy doing it,” she points out. “If I have time I will take my time.”
Doja Cat in Fleur du Mal robe.
Originally Appeared on Vogue