Jhené Aiko, Singer


"Oh, you want to talk about when I commented on Instagram about Fraxel? That’s so funny. Yeah, I get Fraxel. I was really broken out at the time and had a lot of acne scars, and I think I was looking to get a medical peel. I went and did a consultation at a place near me, and [the doctor] was like, ‘Oh, we have this laser called Fraxel, it might actually be better for you.’ It does 'micro-scabbing'—from far away you kind of just look brown, but when you look up close it’s a tiny graph of scabs. And you have to keep your face covered for seven days while it heals. I’ve never been afraid to try whatever, but I freaked out. As soon as it starts flaking off, you see the new skin underneath—it’s definitely worth it. Your face just keeps getting smoother and smoother, even as weeks go by. I’ve also done the vampire facial—the microneedling. I’ll do Fraxel, wait four weeks, and then do vampire, and it’s just the ultimate combo. I do microdermabrasion with Dr. Lancer, but there’s no downtime with that. That’s something I might do before a big event. For home I have an LED mask that looks like a robot thing. I think it has seven different colors—red is for plumping and collagen, blue is for acne and killing germs, and those are the most popular. I always travel with it. And now I use Active by iS Clinical to fight acne. It’s a serum, but I also use it as a spot treatment.

When I was like 13 I signed my record deal. Before I went on my first tour I sat down with a makeup artist, and she showed me step-by-step how to do everything. That was before everyone knew how to do makeup, you know? Before YouTube and all of that. As I would get my makeup done by other people, I would pick up on the things I liked and the things I didn’t like. It took me a while to realize I don’t like a black line on the inside, or on top. It made my eyes look so small! A makeup artist used this Nars Sheer Glow, and it’s the most perfect. It feels like there’s nothing on your face, and it matches me perfectly. I’ve used other things where by the end of the night it looked chalky, or weird, or didn’t last. I use Syracuse, but when I have a tan I have to mix Syracuse and Cadiz, otherwise my face doesn’t match my body. [My makeup artist] Juanice gave me this little palette to mix them, like what painters use to mix their paints on. I really stick to makeup looks I know that I like, especially if I only have a certain amount of time to get ready. I don’t want to try something new that I might hate—I’ll do that on an off day, you know? I would say I try and give myself a good five hours [before an event], so as not to rush. I like it to be calm and quiet, without too much movement going on. Especially if I’m doing my own makeup, I can’t get distracted. I’ll put on 'Blonde' by Frank Ocean—I listen to the whole album like it’s one song, you know? You can’t do that with every album. Or I play 'Astroworld,' if I need energy. I burn Palo Santo or incense, even when I’m traveling. And I always bring my own mirror—I got this from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Before primer, I use Embryolisse Smooth Radiant Complexion Cream. A makeup artist in Paris actually gave me that. It doesn’t have a tint, but it has a sparkle or something to it, so underneath anything it gives you a glow. I even use it under my sunblock. After that, I use Dr. Brandt’s Pore Refiner Primer, and then I do my eyebrows. I use Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Brow, which I use so often that I literally end up finishing it faster than they stock it. It’s always so hard to find. I usually use neutral colors on my eyes, and then I’ll use The Loose Shimmer Shadow in the corners as a highlight. I have all of them—it comes in four shades. For tonight, I knew I wanted to do something with my eyes that was colorful and different. I use Dior Maximizer 3D mascara, the white one, or I’ll do lashes, like tonight. These are Huda. My favorite makeup product is the Dior Ultra-Gloss. I usually do a little combo of a few of them, but my favorite is this one, No. 2. It has a slight tint, but it’s kind of the same color as my lips—I don’t usually do a lip color. I contour on my cheeks, forehead, and nose with a MAC Mineralize Skinfinish bronzer and this Hourglass double-sided brush—I only use one side of it. And then I like this Sephora Pro Fan for my highlighter, which is Laura Mercier in Addiction.

My hair is naturally curly, so I use Devacurl products when I’m just doing a wash and go. But for this hairstyle, I use the Architect Leave-In from Kérastase and the Bumble and Bumble hairspray. Daniel curled it with the nano-titanium one inch—I can’t curl my own hair. Well, with water, yes. [Laughs] But I don’t know how to use a curling iron. I don’t like the look of my natural hair with makeup—I like to have nothing on my face with curly hair. But I always wear makeup when my hair is straight. I don’t know what it is, it’s weird. But when my hair is straight I’m always like, ‘Ah, this doesn’t look right! I need to put on makeup!’ I’ll tell you about one of my fragrances—it’s called Faith. A woman from Venice [makes it], and I’ve only seen it in places on Abbot Kinney. It’s a very soft smell—someone once told me it smells like a fresh bible. I usually put that on, and mix it with my secret sauce. I don’t want everyone walking around smelling like me!

I like fashion events more than music stuff, but my favorite parties are the birthday and holiday parties my friend throws in LA. I met him when I was on tour with Drake, he was the tour manager, and it turned out that he and Chrissy, my best friend for 15 years, grew up on the same street. It’s all connected! We became close on tour—we just had the same vibe, being from the west side of LA. I love those parties because I’m always really comfortable, and I end up seeing a lot of people I know from growing up. If I have something that I’ve been wanting to wear, it's the best. Last time it was these vintage Vivienne Westwood high-waisted trouser type of pants, with a Jean Paul Gautier top from What Goes Around Comes Around. I actually wore that outfit to something where I didn’t take pictures, and I was so happy because that means I can wear it again. When you see it, you’ll know—you’ll be like, ‘That’s what she was talking about!’ I always struggle with what to wear in the cold—usually I just don’t go out. I have a daughter who’s 10, and we like to stay home and watch Disney movies, order Postmates. Crossroads is my favorite place to Postmates from—it’s vegan, but they have an Impossible Burger that tastes just like In-N-Out. It’s perfect.

When I get home at night I put on a cartoon—Rick and Morty is one of my favorites. And I’ll usually steal my daughter’s snack chips. I get the big bag of the assorted flavors, and I’ll just raid it. Whoops! I did her makeup for Halloween—she was Cleopatra, and I gave her my eyeliner that I always do, and eyeshadow, bronzer, the whole thing. It was maybe four products, and I was like, ‘You can have this.’ She’s definitely into makeup, but I let her know she’s beautiful without it. For a while she would come downstairs and have a full face of bronzer on, and I was like, ‘Where are you going? What is this?’ But I won’t be strict with her when she’s old enough to go out—because I’m going to go with her!"

—as told to ITG

Jhené Aiko photographed by Tom Newton before Dior's Guggenheim International Gala on November 14, 2018.