Miya Folick wears her heart on her nails.
Right after a big break-up, the Los Angeles-based musician decided to paint them blood red, and she wore that color for a year after. Her 2015 EP, Strange Darling, features one hand of nails she polished herself—as a rightie, she could only paint her left—and the cover for her May 2019 single, “Malibu Barbie,” showcases a set of pink acrylics. Folick’s entrancing songs interrogate love, anxiety, and trauma (the track “Deadbody” is something of a #MeToo anthem: “The alternative title for this song was ‘Dear, Harvey,’” she wrote on Instagram), while her pared-back yet open-minded approach to beauty is evident in every visual accompaniment, be it a music video or Instagram post.
“When I made Strange Darling, I was finding myself in an active way, really trying a lot of things, and a lot of those things were beauty related,” Folick says. “I was wearing makeup for the first time, doing beauty for the first time, trying out what it felt like to wear more revealing clothing.” Growing up, she wore her hair down to her hips, and prided herself on taking a natural approach to beauty. This year, her choppy pixie cut has fluttered between shades of magenta, Starburst pink, and faded platinum. “I think makeup and beauty and nails is all so interesting, because as women...I feel like we’re not allowed to do anything without it meaning we care too much about other people’s opinions,” she says. Still, Folick is experimenting in the face of such societal tension.
She’s on the phone while she walks the 40 minutes to Modo Yoga (she and her girlfriend, Kristine Flaherty, the musician known as K. Flay, agree that walking in L.A. is totally possible—those who don’t consider it might just be lazy). It’s a brief stationary moment ahead of a packed fall schedule: Folick is currently on tour with Bishop Briggs, and headlining her own shows around the country. Last week, she released a haunting cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s tearjerker, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” Amidst all the movement, Folick stays centered with daily workouts and a beauty routine composed of only the essentials. Here, she breaks down the key steps for simple, on-the-go wellness.
Pack light, with small luxuries: “I think it’s important to have a beauty ritual that is extremely simple but that incorporates certain luxuries. So for me, when I go on tour, I bring the Japanese kind of exfoliation towel, but I cut it in half so it dries really easily. And then I bring Cetaphil moisturizer and face wash.” Folick also swears by Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen, and rosewater spray. “Misting my face with rosewater spray makes me feel like I went to the spa.”
You can always find a bag of lettuce: “I make sure that they always have carrots and broccoli and hummus for me to eat [backstage]...If I’m in a particularly desperate moment on the road, I’ll just find a grocery store and buy a bag of lettuce and eat it out of the bag. Like, in certain areas of America that are food deserts, I’m just at Walmart buying a bag of lettuce, dipping it in hummus.”
A workout studio serves as a safe space: “I have ClassPass, which I can use pretty much everywhere. And there are certain exercise classes that I’m familiar with and that are chains. They make me feel at home and safe in these random cities all over the world. Like right now I’m walking to Modo in L.A., but there’s a Modo in Montreal, there’s a Modo in New York. I go to them and it feels safe. When I can go to yoga on tour that’s the best day.”
Trust yourself on a tattoo: “I have a few that are text, and I just get them when I feel like it. I have a pretty good balance between trying to pick things that I like and care about, but also not overthinking things too much. Sometimes I just feel like getting a tattoo, and I just get one...Right now, what I want to get is something really beautifully floral. Because I don’t really have a lot of color, and I don’t really have a lot of things that are just pretty. Most of my tattoos are just text, or kind of more meaningful tattoos I guess, but I want something that’s purely beautiful, like flowers.
It’s pretty much been all different people. It’s kind of just been when I get one I get it from a different person. But the floral one, my ideal person to get it from is this woman Jess Chen, in Toronto. [Her work is] just so delicate, and the colors are so beautiful.”
Originally Appeared on Vogue