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Through their love for bright makeup, visual storytelling and childhood hobbies, the singer keeps their creativity flowing.
Grace Gaustad first became acquainted with the world of makeup by eating flavoured lip gloss. At roughly four years old, they recall being enamoured with the eye-catching colours and tasty scents radiating from their mother’s vast collection of lip products. “I didn’t understand that that was not something to be doing,” the 20-year-old musician laughs, recalling their potentially poisonous hobby. But all these years later, this type of child-like curiosity has come in handy.
“I never really grew out of that childhood phase,” they say over Zoom, wearing Halloween-themed pyjamas emblazoned with bats, ghosts and stars. In fact, their approach to makeup — and music — is as experimental as ever. Regularly sporting face paint, glittery eyebrows and intricate eyeliner illustrations, their crafty looks are less like standard red-carpet glam and more akin to what a Euphoria character might wear. (And yes, they watch the show.)
With lyrics that explore gender identity, sexuality and self-esteem, Gaustad eschews labels in favour of fluidity — and fanciful face designs are a vital part of that artist ethos. Take their upcoming album, PILLBX: whts ur fantasy?, which is based on a series of adventures from Gaustad’s imagination. Each newly released single tells its own story, with detailed music video visuals to match.
“I think [makeup] should be a tool to express yourself and something you can do for fun,” they explain. This mentality inspired them to launch a beauty brand of their own. Bakeup, created in collaboration with their makeup artist, Jo Baker, is a virtual line of Instagram filters with physical products coming later this year. Their intention? To push back on the put-together expectations of glam. “We want to see the splatter paint and the tattooed eyes and the messiness of it all.”
Through their own beauty practices, Grace Gaustad preserves the playfulness that prompted them to sneak into their mother’s makeup bag years ago. Below, the star spoke with FASHION about abandoning beauty rules, Euphoria and their favourite Y2K trend. Plus, read on for a curated list of their favourite fashion and beauty products, from (non-edible) lip balm to cheerful socks.
How do you connect with your inner child?
Everyone who knows me jokes that I really never grew up. A lot of my hobbies are very childlike. I’m a huge fan of Legos. I’m a huge fan of colouring books. I have all brightly coloured socks. Even down to my eating habits — I’ll take chicken fingers and fries over just about anything. I never really grew out of that childhood phase. So even though there’s not a specific thing that I do to reconnect with my inner child, part of me feels like I really never lost that part of myself.
If you could be one Euphoria character, who would you be and why?
I would have to say Rue because she’s got a fighting spirit about her, and I think of myself that way. Rue struggles heavily with substance abuse, and although that’s not something I struggle with, I still have a lot of things that I’ve had to work through in my life. So I admire that warrior ability.
What’s your beauty philosophy?
Beauty is art. I would like to get away from the stigma of what beauty and glam are. The beauty community has been closed off to a large group of people for a long time, because it’s always been for women and it’s always catered to the most beautiful women in the world. But I don’t think that’s what beauty should be at all.
What’s your favourite Y2K trend?
The Juicy Couture tracksuits. I used to wear those religiously with my mom. We had every colour; we used to try to match them. I remember just being devastated when I grew out of them and then couldn’t find the same ones again.
How do you think makeup can have a positive impact on self-esteem?
I think a lot of people struggle with makeup when it’s about this glamour effect with the contour and the overdrawn lips and the very sharp eyebrows. That’s very hard to recreate. But once I started viewing makeup as an artistic outlet instead of something that always had to look a certain way, that’s really when it started to be a helpful tool for me. I think makeup can be really bad for your self-esteem if you’re using it to try to conceal parts of yourself. But when I learned to have fun with makeup, I realized that it can be great for self-esteem.
Gaustad shares a few of their must-haves, from colourful socks to moisturizer: