Kesha Opens Up About Her New Makeup Brand, Practicing Self-Care and Her Beauty Icon (Bowie!)
The pop star just launched her Kesha Rose Beauty line
Kesha is making her foray into the celebrity beauty world — and her new makeup brand is, fittingly, full of glitter and rainbows.
The pop star released her Kesha Rose Beauty line last Friday, and the products match the colorful and unconventional vibe the Grammy nominee has put on display since she rose to fame a decade ago with her breakout smash “TiK ToK.”
The singer — whose fourth LP, High Road, drops Jan. 31 — launched her Kesha Rose Beauty line with five new products: the 12-color Kesha Rose FTW Eyeshadow Palette, the Raising Hell red lipstick, the That B— lip gloss, and the Whatever Wherever eyeliner wands.
Ahead of the beauty line’s launch, Kesha, 32, spoke with PEOPLE about self-care, learning to love her freckles and the new brand.
“I’m kind of hesitant to call it a beauty line because it’s not about any sort of ideal or anyone else’s view of what beauty is,” Kesha (real name: Kesha Rose Sebert) tells PEOPLE. “It’s not about looking like you’ve been filtered a million times on Instagram and you’re perfectly symmetrical, perfect human being. It’s not about anyone else’s version of what you look like at all, it’s all about what the person putting on the makeup wants to do, what makes them happy.”
What does this makeup line mean to you?
It’s just a really fun line of makeup and it’s made for people to feel beautiful but not in any sort of way that society puts on you or the expectations that make you feel insecure. It’s all about feeling secure and happy and exactly who you are, just enhancing what makes you feel happy.
You’re already beautiful — this is meant to accentuate what you love about yourself. Just have fun and let how you feel on the inside shine on the outside and not feel like it’s about looking perfect or being “beautiful” for anybody else but yourself.
The line is named after you, obviously. Are you and your style the inspiration for Kesha Rose Beauty?
I was really inspired by color because — not to sound like a total hippie — but I feel kind of like my aura is usually the color that I want to do my eyes with. So if I’m feeling really indecisive I’ll put one eye blue and one eye green, and I just have all these really fun colors that I haven’t seen in this kind of palette. I wanted to find the perfect chartreuse, which is my favorite color.
Do you have a favorite product in the line?
My personal favorite is the lip gloss. When I have off days I’m not always into wearing makeup — some days I’m full glammed-up for the night but then on my days off I wear sunscreen and I wear just something on my lips to keep them moisturized — so I wanted to make the most amazing clear lip gloss that the planet has ever seen.
So I was thinking: What would I want if I was just not going to wear any makeup, nothing at all, what would I want? So it’s a rose hip oil-scented, lip-plumping, clear lip gloss that when you put it on, it works with your body’s pH and it makes everyone’s lips turn slightly different color of pink. So it gives it a little bit of color like you’re wearing a light pink, that’s how it looks on me but it’s different on everybody. It’s totally organic and cruelty-free. But with the lip gloss is like, I don’t leave home without it. It’s always in my purse or my pocket.
One word: glitter.
You know, I wear a lot of makeup especially onstage and I have so much fun with it and I think it’s such a fun way to express how you’re feeling. And obviously I like glitter and feel happy to have it on, feel happy to see people with it on. It’s kind of another staple of my life, glitter everywhere all over everything. You can find it in the weirdest places. So there is that element of the glitter!
Who are your beauty icons?
I mean, obviously David Bowie was a huge inspiration with the face painting and the androgyny and the color and never letting anyone put him in a box or define him. He always was so playful with clothing and in makeup and that was one of the main inspirations for the makeup line is that I really wanted to incorporate so many colors because I feel like I promised myself on the last record [2017’s Grammy-nominated Rainbow] I’ll find a rainbow. And I’ve done the hard work; I’ve done a lot of therapy, I’ve done a lot of working on myself that I finally feel like I’m living in that rainbow I promised myself five years ago. So I want people to just have fun and feel good and have it not be dependent on any external ideas or philosophies or anything that satisfies anyone except for themselves.
You’re a big proponent for self-care. What does self-care mean to you?
Self care comes in so many different forms for different people. I love working — I feel like my work is my life; it doesn’t feel like work. So for me, self-care is taking the time to pause and see my family and see my nieces and nephews and spend quality time playing with my cats. And it sounds really silly, but for me the best thing I could do is go jump in the ocean. I was in the ocean with a pony and I saw a seal. That’s self care!
It’s making sure you feel safe and happy and if you don’t, addressing why and addressing what could help with that. What could help you feel happier? For me I need help feeling more grounded and my family does that, animals do that for me, the ocean does that for me.
Lots of celebrities have makeup lines now: Why did you want to start one? And how is Kesha Rose Beauty different?
Well, I’m inspired obviously by my peers, especially the ones everybody knows about and even some you don’t. I just wanted a brand of beauty or makeup, whatever you want to call it, that doesn’t feel so serious. I love makeup and pretty much anything that’s cruelty-free I love. But I want to focus more on it’s beauty, it’s not perfection.
I encourage people to take a break and let your freckles show. It’s something I used to be really insecure about, was my freckles. Then I noticed when I post on Instagram where you can see my freckles, people really seemed to react positively to them because historically it would be an imperfection but now it’s almost like a unique part of myself that I’ve learned to love.
In your line of work, you’re photographed all the time. Where does your confidence come from, knowing you could be papped whenever you leave the house?
I’m not saying I walk out the door every day and feel confident because I certainly don’t. Some days I feel like I didn’t have time to take a shower, I couldn’t find my toothbrush — just the same as anybody else in the entire world. I think that I know I’m always trying to lead with kindness in my life and I’m always trying to bring truth and positivity to everything I do, that’s what gives me the most confidence.
Now I think that in my early twenties or teens it was all so outwardly based, it was all about how I looked on the outside and now I focus so much more on the inside of myself and my soul and my spirit. What my body needs, what my mind needs, if I need rest, if I need to go out and have just a wild night with my friends, I think all of that is important. It gives me confidence knowing that I’m trying to always step outside with good intentions.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned about beauty over the years?
We all have something we are either insecure about or mean to ourselves about. I especially have a really hard time. Sometimes I just am so mean to myself and I work every day to try not to be so mean to myself and just realize we’re all doing the best we can and we’re all human beings and just trying to be kind. Just being nice to yourself. I talk to a lot of my friends and it’s the hardest thing. It’s like, everyone is so lovely to each other but it’s really hard to just be nice to yourself. I’m not great at it, but I feel like it would make my life a lot easier if I could just be kind to myself every day, which I work on every single day.
I have little mantras on my mirror, like, “You’re the s—’ because my therapist told me to — and it makes me laugh. Being full of love and happiness is the point of life — I can’t take myself too seriously.
You have amazing skin. What’s your skincare routine?
I should be so much better with my skincare regiment. When I got back from [performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in October] it was 9 o’clock at night and I couldn’t be f—ed, so I just jumped in the pool and called that a shower. I think it’s about trying to remember to moisturize. Whenever I can remember to moisturize I do that and that’s like, if you can wash off the makeup and put on some moisturizer I feel like I have a successful evening routine.
Actually water is the main thing. I try to drink a s— ton of water.
And anything that has hyaluronic acid in it because that’s my main thing is I get dry skin because I play around in the sun too much — but also wearing sunscreen I’m really bad about but I should get better. I love a good sheet mask. And I use a jade roller on my face. They’re so fun, especially if you put it in the refrigerator and you feel like your under eyes are puffy, then it feels really good and they’re not even expensive but you feel really bougie!