'I'm from Sweden, but right now I'm here for my first show in New York ever. I'm really excited about it. I had actually taken a break from music for a while—not from writing or creating, but just from the industry with the pressure of having to sell music. I went back to my hometown, worked on some new material, moved to Stockholm where I teamed up with some people who worked with me to release my latest EP, Borderline. Then I'll have a full-length album called Kiddo, out in March. It’s material that's been lingering with me for a long time...I mean, it’s a name that I’ve been called many, many times—for better and for worse. So I identify with that word, and I think that it represents the music in that way because the album is very playful.
Today, I'm denim-on-denim. You know that picture of Britney and Justin? I love that picture—I think it’s hilarious. When it comes to what I wear, I tend to not think so much of fashion, but more about character. It’s about what sides of myself I want to bring forward and which of my characteristics I can enhance through clothes. What clothing I wear should amplify the message in my music I'm trying to communicate.
When I’m on tour, I keep it very simple. On stage, I sweat a lot, so my go-to for base is MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation because it stays, and it doesn’t come off on my clothes and stuff. I’ve been keeping my makeup quite neutral for a while now—barely anything. I usually just run some brown mascara through my eyebrows and on my lashes. Just a little bit. Right now I’m using Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara in Black/Brown, which I apply to both my lashes and brows . It’s waterproof until a certain temperature—so it’s good...it doesn’t come off until I want it to. [Laughs] I like my brows to be sort of brushed out and not drawn in. And then I just add some shimmer on my lids, all the way up to my brow. I like cream eye shadow—it’s simpler to use. Anything I can put on with my fingers is really nice.
I get inspiration from a lot of different places. I tend to get stuck in front of makeup tutorials on YouTube. I think it’s so soothing to watch them. I just recently discovered this whole Korean makeup and skincare thing, too. They seem to know their shit. I mean, when I'm on point—when I'm really sticking to my routine—it's like four steps, tops. But the videos I watch will go up to 10!
In Japan, while I was shooting a music video for 'Ego,' I had a makeup artist do a facial massage on me, and it was really, really good. It’s such a good thing for your skin—you get the blood circulation going, makeup sits better on the skin, and it's almost like this act of drainage that pulls all the toxins out from your face by doing these movements, so I've been doing them ever since...not every day because I’m lazy, but I do it every night now-and-then, and I find that it really makes a difference. I bought a bunch of sheet face masks there too, which are really good at moisturizing. Asians seem to have gotten the whole skincare thing. I think I bought five packages with a bunch of different ones. I like to put them on when I'm on the plane. You sort of look like a masked murderer when you wear them, but they feel so good!
I end up ordering a lot of things from the Internet because that’s easier, and you can find anything on there. I think that a lot of the stuff Swedish people use comes from other countries. People just seem to be very lucky there—they already have a good complexion. I don’t—I have to work for it. I have this sort of skin that I really have to keep in balance all the time and be particular about what I use to not mess it up. So it’s important for me to moisturize because when I moisturize, I don’t break out. I also exfoliate to keep it fresh—I've been using Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant for a couple of years. I think it works well because you can use it every day, and it’s not too harsh. The difference is so big. If my skin looks dull, I exfoliate once and it's just better afterward.
I came up with this hairstyle the other day, and I kind of like it and kept it this way. I just started doing braids, and then it was like, what should I do with the rest? OK let's just do a bun and then...oh this looks kind of cool.[Laughs] I think braids on me look a little bit better if I don't use all the hair...it looks a little bit more gangster if it’s not as thick of a braid. It’s a bit more cute if the braids are really thick, but that can be nice at times.
I find that oil is something very good for my hair. It’s really funny cause I always thought it just makes your hair greasy—and then I shot my 'Borderline' video outside...It was freezing and I was supposed to have this 'wet look,' and we couldn’t use water because my hair would freeze off, so we used oil instead. We used a ton to make it look really, really wet. Two hours later, all the oil had disappeared, and I thought, OK, my hair really needed that! Now, I use Moroccanoil Treatment after I wash my hair and apply it from my ears down and just let it soak in.”
—as told to ITG
Tove Styrke photographed by Tom Newton. Read more of The Face here.