“I grew up loving music like everybody loved music, but I had no plan to be in a band. I went to college for painting and drawing, and then I went to grad school at the Rhode Island School of Design for teaching. I was living in Providence and then I started writing songs. I don’t really know why! It was coming from a place that’s still kind of mysterious to me, and I didn’t think anyone would want to hear them except maybe a couple of friends. Marty and Joe [of Wet] happened to be in that group, and we slowly started working on it—no intention of doing it full time.
So I was at RISD, keeping in touch with them, emailing back and forth. We’d send songs we were writing, and they really liked the demos I was sending. I think there’s something about those songs that were written during that time, like “You’re The Best” and “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl.” They were made before there was a label, before there was anyone else. Writing Don't You was overwhelming, there were so many people involved. Everybody we work with is amazing, but we don’t want to lose sight of our vision. That’s what I’m focused on most right now. Oh, and I did finish my Master’s. So if I wanted to teach art, I still could!
Now we’re on tour and it’s exhausting. You’re never home, and it’s hard to get comfortable, so I’ve found a lot of comfort in my routines—washing my hair, washing my face, flossing, all of that stuff is so important when you’re living that kind of life. At the end of the day, I wash my face with La Roche-Posay Effaclar, which is pretty strong but it helps me not break out. Then I put on Weleda Almond Oil. My skin is really reactive—like if I drink, I turn really red, and my skin gets splotchy—and that really helps calm it down.
My moisturizer is just the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion, which also doesn’t break me out. I had a lot of pimples when I was younger and now that I’m older, I’m just praying to fucking God that it’s over. So a lot of my skincare is based on what doesn’t break me out. Actually, my favorite moisturizer ever was this lightweight Burt’s Bees Cotton Day Moisturizer. It’s at CVS, cheap, light, doesn’t make me break out, and it’s great for sensitive skin. I really recommend that. I haven’t been using it for some reason, but that’s what I would be using normally.
In the morning I just rinse my face with water, so I can keep those natural oils on my face, and then I put on sunscreen—just the La Roche-Posay Antihelios 60. It’s a matte sunscreen, so it dries and it almost looks like I’m wearing makeup. My mom is always warning me about not putting chemicals on my face, and I think she has a point, but maybe it’s more important to protect yourself from the sun. I guess with skin and makeup products, it’s really just weighing out the pros and cons. I don’t want to be wrinkled and I know the sun is damaging, so I use sunscreen.
I love this stuff—RMS "Un" Cover Up in 33. And it’s coconut oil-based, which I like. Sometimes I’ll mix it in with my Aveda Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. It feels nice, and it matches my skin. My mom is half Japanese and my skin tone is really unique. It’s hard to find makeup that’s the right shade, but the RMS and the Aveda are good. I like when makeup artists will apply a bronzer or a blush on me, but generally I just feel too made up wearing it daily.
Somebody just gave me this No7 Stay Perfect Mascara… I was complaining about how I don’t like to wear anything on my lashes because it crumbles off. It’s tube mascara, and it doesn’t come off at all until you use warm water. Makeup artists are always telling me to fill in my brows, but it makes me look so severe. I just look not delicate at all! But lip color I like. Dr. Hauschka’s Lipstick Novum in Sand makes me look tan. And I love the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie, which is another kind of ‘90s brown. I guess I like that ‘90s-looking makeup—kind of plain with a brownish lip and maybe mascara. That’s a good look.
Shorter hair works better for my face. I usually do a bob, all the same length—it’s easy to take care of and it feels fresh. My friend Owen Gould is a hairdresser and he cuts it. Sometimes he dyes it, or I’ll just go to CVS and get stuff to do it myself. My hair is naturally really dark brown, but I like it a little lighter.
I wash my hair every other day, sometimes every day, but I try not to. It just looks crazy when I don’t wash it! It’s just ugly. I like my hair to be clean. It’s also really thick, so it’ll dry straight or curly, depending on the weather. Generally, it’s puffy and it needs to be calmed down. So I’ll use the Davines Love Curl Cream, or the DevaCurl Styling Cream. The idea is to make my hair look heavier and weighed down, rather than out and frizzy and crazy.
I use this Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant as perfume—people say natural deodorant doesn’t work, but it works fine for me. I put coconut oil on my body, and then I go out into the world. Just the act of putting on lotion feels like you’re paying attention to yourself. That’s why I do it, just to take a few minutes to take care of and acknowledge myself. I can’t imagine putting much more time into my routines than I do now. Shaving my legs is such a fucking hassle. I only want to do it if it feels good—some beauty stuff feels good, and some of it I’m just bored of and annoying that I have to do it. I can’t imagine spending too much time on it. Maybe when I get older?”
—as told to ITG