Songstress and beauty buff Jhene Aiko is on the verge of something brand-new. Her highly anticipated collaboration with Big Sean, Twenty88, dropped Friday, and while her “alter ego” in the pairing is wildly adventurous makeup-wise (see a “no-eyebrow look” soon to be released and a gold-tone wire molded down the bridge of her nose), the real Jhene is still all about romantic neutrals and messy, smoky “just rubbed” eyes.
Billboard asked the 28-year-old to give us her five tips to beauty success, and she dished about everything from eating well to her all-time favorite eye shadow shade, song and word (hint: they’re all “Creep”).
Your skin will show what you eat, so you better eat well.
For flawless makeup, you have got to take care of your skin, and healthy skin starts from the inside. Never drink soda. Always drink lots and lots of water and eat hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables. I didn’t really start taking care of my skin until a few years ago, and what I noticed was every now and then I’d eat really bad and then immediately have a breakout. I’d need to go somewhere or take pictures, and it didn’t matter how good the makeup was, you could still see all my blemishes in the pictures.
Do not pluck or tweeze your eyebrows.
I started plucking my eyebrows when I was really young, like 13. So now my eyebrows have a lot of spaces where the hair doesn’t grow anymore. I tell my daughter all the time: Never touch your eyebrows! You’re going to regret all the time not having them. Don’t overpluck and keep as natural a shape as possible. I like the Anastasia Brow Wiz. It’s a really thin brow pencil that really helps you re-create the hair, and it looks really natural.
The “messy makeup” look is the best look.
I really love when there’s minimal makeup, but my eyes have a “just-rubbed” look. I go darker in the corner and outer eye, blending that all around. Sometimes I’ll just do black all around, but, for me, it’s not about trying to make it perfect. Urban Decay’s “Naked” palette is the best for eyes, and it has every color that I need. “Creep” is the black I use, and it’s one of my favorite words. I love calling myself a creep.
The original beautyblender makes for a really natural foundation application and doesn’t look kinky. For under the eyes, to make them sharper so it has a little “winged” look to it, I use Kevin Aucoin’s “Sensual Skin Enhancer,” which is a concealer. I also use it in the corners of my eyes so they come in a little more and are sharp while the rest is messy.
As for my lip, I almost always go with nude shades. I love “PENNYROYAL” by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and MAC’s “STRIPDOWN” liner. I fill in my whole lip with pencil and then do a little lip balm. Sometimes a little lipgloss if I want the glossy look, but usually I like it to be more matte.
Find the best angle for your selfies and take lots of them, but don’t use them to criticize yourself.
To take a great selfie, you need to find the light. I love filters, but I don’t have a favorite because it just depends on the lighting used in the actual selfie. Once you find the light, you need to find the best angle for your face. Some people can really take the straight-on selfie, but that doesn’t always look like real life. The best angle I’ve found is where you tip the phone down just a tad bit since most people don’t see each other eye to eye.
Don’t ever take a selfie to criticize yourself. Instead of taking it, looking at it and, you know, stressing over what you don’t like about your face, just take it, be confident and let it shine!
Don’t be afraid to get crafty and creative with your look.
For my new collaboration Twenty88 with Big Sean, I definitely want to be dramatic and give people something that they’re not expecting to see from me. Both my makeup artist and I are very crafty and love colors. That’s something I explore in my daily life, but not really when it comes to makeup and performing solo. So this whole project is just a chance to explore fantasy and different sides of myself that people haven’t seen.