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“Amazing day with @gwenstefani celebrating the launch of the ultimate beauty collab! #udxgwen” (Photo: Instagram)
Gwen Stefani rose to stardom in 1995 singing, “I’m just a girl in the world,” and 20 years, many awards, several fashion and beauty lines, and three children later, the star is still very much a girl’s girl. The kind of talented, stylish, creative and down to earth person you can relate to on multiple levels, with possibly the most fun (and well, girly) part being makeup and the art and process of getting ready.
“I’ve always been into makeup from a very young age,” Stefani tells Yahoo Beauty. “I would run home from school and be like, ‘Let’s play makeup!’ I was crazy about it.” She still is, and her love of beauty is apparent in the trendsetting hair and makeup looks she’s donned throughout her illustrious career. From doing her own stage look in the back of a tour bus and getting ready for the red carpet with her longtime glam team to creating her own line of Harajuku Lovers fragrances and previously serving as a face of L'Oréal, the singer is clearly a beauty aficionado.
Finally, Stefani’s love of makeup has come full circle as she’s applying her passion for beauty to creating her own product — namely, an eyeshadow palette with edgy makeup brand Urban Decay. Filled with the pop star’s favorite and most-often worn shades of shadow, the limited edition UD | Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (available November 22 for $58 at Sephora, UrbanDecay.com, Ulta Beauty, and Macy’s) reads like a peek into her makeup bag.
“I wanted it to be things I really use,” Stefani says of the mostly neutral shades, peppered with several jewel tone shadows. 12 of the included colors are new to the brand, while three are from the existing Urban Decay shadow collection.
Here, Stefani talks about how makeup helps set the tone of her day and why getting ready to go out is often more fun than the party itself.
Yahoo Beauty: You’ve said in the past that you don’t feel energized until you’ve put your makeup on, can you tell me more about that?
Gwen Stefani: Energy is hard to find these days, right? For anyone, especially moms. Makeup for me is definitely part of the process of making yourself feel ready. I have this new song called “Warpaint.” It’s all about like, “OK, how am I gonna face the day? Who am I today? What am I feeling like? And what needs to happen to make me go out there and feel good?” I feel so lucky that there is makeup and we get to go do that, and we have different versions of ourselves.
As a mom of three with an incredibly busy career, how do you manage to have your makeup look so on point even when off duty?
It’s paint by numbers, really. I mean, I was on a tour bus in a band putting makeup on in a compact. I can do [makeup] so fast. I’ve got it down. I just throw it on. It’s almost like the harder you try the worse it looks. And I kind of wear, basically, the same makeup I’ve worn since high school.
I think the biggest gift that’s come through the success that I’ve had, is that it’s enabled me to meet people like Gregory [Arlt, Stefani’s makeup artist] and people that are so talented, and having the opportunity work with them. That’s when I started evolving and growing and doing things that I didn’t think I could do or didn’t know about, and I feel really grateful for that. When you meet other people who are in a lane with their specific thing that they’re passionate about, like literally, Danilo, [Stefani’s hair stylist] he cannot talk about anything but hair and same thing with Gregory. It’s amazing to be around people that are so passionate. I love that.
The UD | Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette will be available November 22 for $58. (Photo: Urban Decay)
Your Instagram is so fun to follow. A recent caption with your longtime glam team Gregory (Arlt) and Danilo, said “hair and makeup, my favorite game.” Has the getting ready process always been fun for you from the very beginning of your career? Or even earlier on?
No, it’s my favorite part. I’ve always liked to go out, but because I like to get ready to go out. Once I’m there, I do my appearance and then I’m done and ready to go back. I think I love getting ready because it’s a creative process. It’s hard to really pinpoint why you like something, you just do, and so for me to be able to do this [eye shadow palette] has been crazy.
Your eye shadow palette with Urban Decay has a gorgeous array of neutrals. Are these inspired by the colors you wear on a daily basis?
It was quite selfish — it was all about what would I wear? Nothing about it was considerate to anyone else. And they were into that. They wanted it to be real. We started with: What are my favorite things, digging through my scummy makeup at home trying to figure out the stuff I can’t live without. If you really look at my makeup style, it’s quite simple. It’s like, I don’t wear a lot of shadow, but yet I kind of do. I don’t wear a lot of color. I tried to make a palette that was like if I had to just take this, it would all be right here.
Everything you need is in there and it’s so wearable because that’s what I wear. This [Steady] is my base color for my lid. I wanted to make sure I had some bright colors and an accent color. This dark brown shade is really good for a smoky eye. I don’t really do a smoky eye very often, unless Gregory is doing it for me. It’s all really simple and super usable and wearable. The shadows are quite dense and so pigmented, but soft and go on easily.
As a true makeup fan, what was it like being on the product creation side?
I’ve wanted to do it for so long but, there was never the right fit or opportunity — it just never happened. So when Urban Decay came along, it was just the perfect timing. You know how things work out how they should? Those girls really built that company up. They’re Orange County girls just like me, and they have the same aesthetic as I do. I just think it’s a perfect fit and timing. It’s just a dream come true and working with them, with people who are so good at what they do, and so passionate, it was just a fun process.
I was super involved in the entire thing from the packaging, choosing the colors, testing the colors, making sure they were right. I just wanted it to be real. And that’s what I love about these girls [Wende Zomnir and Urban Decay] too, they just live it. I feel like we’re around the same age and I feel like when I was doing my band they were down [in Orange County], doing this, making it come to life. It’s synchronicity.