There are plenty of reasons for Kiesza to feel patriotic. The Calgary-born singer has just moved back to Toronto, after two years of being on tour and living in New York. And now, Kiesza is also M.A.C’s first Canadian collaboration outside of its Viva Glam series with Linda Evangelista, Pamela Anderson and K.D. Lang, which raised funds for those living with HIV/AIDS.
She first discovered her love of makeup by experimenting with the Canadian brand’s eyeshadows as a teenager. Kiesza’s partnership with M.A.C is an accolade previously given to the likes of Rihanna and Mariah Carey, and while that may be daunting for some, she’s up the challenge. She has actually tried and tested just about every lip colour in the rainbow. Even the ones that we’d frankly be a little too scared to try.
It wasn’t until she stumbled upon M.A.C’s golden brown “Photo” that she finally settled on her favourite hue. “I became obsessed with it. I tried it on once in a shop and was blown away. It’s almost a cinematic looking brown. I had just gone through a black lipstick faze and I was like yeah, black lipstick is amazing, but there are just some scenarios where you shouldn’t wear it. For those moments I probably want to wear a brown.”
So, when the folks at M.A.C asked her to create her own shade from scratch for their iconic bullet, you bet she went for an all-day-every-day brown. It’s named “Dearly Beloved” (after her new single), and is a ’90s-esque warm taupe with an underlying hint of mauve. On darker skintones it looks like an edgier, paler nude.
“When the shade Photo wears off, it wears off with a bit of a yellow hint,” she says “So if I’m going to dinner I wouldn’t necessarily wear it.” But Dearly Beloved is natural enough to let it fade and not worry about being left with an awkward lip line.
Kiesza is wearing the lipstick in her video for “Dearly Beloved,” not only because they share the same name, but because both are reminders of her close friend and singer-songwriter Alicia Lemke, better known as Alice and the Glass Lake, who died following a battle with leukemia in 2015.
“I didn’t know when I would be releasing my album at the time [of my collaboration with M.A.C], but I had just written “Dearly Beloved” and I loved the song,” she says. “It was really special because [Alicia’s] father was in the room with me when I wrote it.”
Kiesza’s M.A.C collaboration goes on sale at select stores and online from February 9 to March 23. It includes Lipstick in “Dearly Beloved,” Vamplify in “Thunder Kiss,” Liquidlast Liner and Big Brow Pencil in “Cork.”
How to wear brown lipstick like a pro:
We quizzed Kiesza and her personal makeup artist Vanessa Jarman on how to get the perfect brown lip. Here’s what we learnt…
1. Match the colour to your undertone
“Brown lipstick shades can be intimidating, especially if you’ve only just discovered what red works best for you. Lighter shades of browns are typically best on lighter skin,” says Vanessa. “If you have an olive skin tone and you want to try a lighter shade, it could be used as a nude. But generally, browns with grape or deep red undertones look great on any skin tone. These shades are perfect for achieving a vampy dark lip statement.”
2. Test the waters
Before Kiesza washes of her makeup at the end of the day, she’ll throw on a wild colour. It helps her try out new looks and get more comfortable with them. “And if it goes wrong,” she says, “I’ll just jump in the bath.”
3. Prep your lips
“In the winter, wearing a matte lipstick can feel a little tricky! Prepping your lips for this trend is key,” says Vanessa. “Make sure you are diligent in moisturizing them in the morning and night! If you plan on wearing a statement lip on Friday night, dedicate your Thursday evening to a lip scrub routine and extra moisturizing.”
4. Try this trick
“I always apply lipstick on the inside of my lips first and let it dry, because that tends to be the first area it rubs off,” says Kiesza. “I then apply it to the rest of my lip and add another layer on the inside.”
5. Make it pop
“Because browns are so earthly, matte textures may lay too flat on your skin,” says Vanessa. “If this happens, use a gloss over the top to brighten up your complexion.”
6. Wear natural browns at dinner parties
“I always wear nudes when I go to dinner because if it falls off, I want it to look natural,” says Kiesza. “‘Dearly Beloved’” is more of a natural brown base, so when it wears off it wears off it still looks natural.”
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