“I’ve been working on my music career for a long time. When I finished school, everyone was going to university, and I was like, ‘Shit, I need to do something!’ I found a job at a management company, which is how I figured out that I wanted to be the main act and not behind the scenes. It wasn’t easy because I don’t play an instrument, so I needed a producer who could help me. But eventually, I just built up momentum and met people. It’s all about being a social butterfly.
I used to hate my hair. I always wanted it to be straight. I just thought it was annoying and frizzy. When you’re younger, you don’t really know how to manage it when it's like this. Now it is so much less upkeep because I know what to do. I get in the shower, wash with Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Smoothing Shampoo, use Bumble and bumble Prep, their Curl Conscious Calming Creme, Kiehl's Stylist Series Creme with Silk Groom on top of that, and then Bumble and bumble Dryspun Finish. Sometimes I put a bit of oil in it to make it soft, then I diffuse it and leave it alone. If I don’t do that, it gets really dried-out and frizzy.
I used to straighten it occasionally, but not often because I couldn’t be bothered. I have so much hair, so straightening takes a long time. I mean, if I look at photos of myself with straight hair, it’s hilarious. I look like a different person. I did a shoot recently where they straightened my hair, and I freaked out. It was weird. I had this dead hair. To contrast, a few months ago, I did a shoot with ES Magazine where they did this wicked, massive hair on me. I wouldn’t necessarily wear it like that in my own life, but it was inspiring. I was like, ‘OK cool, that looks good.’ I would like to try something like that now.
My sister is older, and she always did this amazing slick eyeliner with MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy. It was this perfect brown-y bronze liner, and she would always use it. I used to find it fascinating, so I just studied her when she did it and then would try it myself. I became obsessed with eyeliner. Now, I use MAC Liquid Eye Liner in Boot Black. I don’t line the inside of my eye, just on top. I use the Bobbi Brown Nude On Nude Palette because it has a lot of browns and golds. And on my lashes, I wear waterproof mascara because I cry when I laugh—and I laugh a lot. Mine is from MAC. I love MAC. I’m loyal.
When I'm stressed, I get pimples. I didn’t care that much about my face before, but I do now. For skincare, I use my Clarisonic, a toner, and Roxanne Rizzo's Firming Face & Eye Serum. I have sensitive skin, and I was getting loads of blemishes as a reaction to all the different products I used. My skin was really bad. Roxanne Rizzo's products were the first things that really cleared it up. I even have the Mineral Mud Mask. It keeps my face from falling off.
And if I matte out my freckles with makeup, I think I look weird, so I try not to hide them. I use MAC's Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35—it's more like a moisturizer because it's really light. Occasionally I’ll do some contouring, and that’s it. I don’t like blush because I think I’ve got a natural light-pink tone that comes through. I used to wear more bronzer, but I realized how ancient it made me look. I really hate the sun, actually. I don’t like being really hot, and my skin hates it.
Lipstick doesn't really suit me. For shoots or when I go out, I use it—but if I use it all the time, it makes me look really old, so I keep it natural with nude or a natural pink. Though I did just do a shoot where they did a big, red lip, and it looked amazing.
There’s a girl called Jenny Longworth who does nails for a lot of artists like Jessie J. I switch my nails up all the time. I just shot a video yesterday, so I got new nails done for that.
For the stage, I take it up a notch. I think a lot more about how I’m going to make my face and hair pop, but I have to be careful. Because as much as I want people to recognize me for my hair, I also want them to recognize me more for my voice. I think I’ve been quite lucky in that I haven’t had to make too many changes to myself. Obviously, there have been adaptations and things that I’ve altered, but I haven’t changed completely. I’ve stayed myself.”
—as told to ITG
Jess Glynne photographed by Tom Newton on June 2, 2015.