It feels like Dua Lipa’s been sitting atop the pop music charts for ages, but the 27-year-old London-born singer actually came into the public’s consciousness just a few years ago. Since then, she’s released hit after hit, toured the world, hosted two seasons of a successful podcast, and become the face of YSL Beauty’s fragrances, a role that’s taken her to exotic locations even the most famous stars don’t often visit.
Ahead of a launch party to celebrate the release of Libre Le Parfum — a warm and spicy new fragrance that features a heady mix of lavender, orange blossom, and saffron — YSL Beauty invited me to Paris to chat with Lipa about red carpets, beauty secrets, and more. Read our conversation below.
Of all of the glamorous events that you get to attend, is there one particular occasion that you look forward to the most?
My goodness...I think the Brits and the Grammys — those are my two music award shows that I get very excited about. For red carpets, in general, I always like to push the boat out a little bit more, just for fun. We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think I get the opportunity to really let go [for red carpet events].
Since you get to experiment with so many different looks, is there a trend you’re hesitant to try?
Honestly, no. I’m super open to trying anything.
What are some of your earliest beauty memories?
Probably when it just went wrong. Discovering makeup was a whole thing. You always end up using too much of everything, and now I’m at that point in my life where I’m like, ‘Less, less, less.’ I think that works better for me.
It [used to be] a lot of dark eyebrow pencil, a lot of blush, and a lot of foundation. I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got to f*cking rein it in. I got to rein it in. It’s too much.’ But it’s all trial and error and it’s fun.
What’s your favorite part about working with YSL Beauty and being the face of its fragrances?
I feel like the campaign, the fragrance, and what the brand stands for all go hand in hand. Every time that it goes in my diary that we’re about to do a campaign or something, I get very excited because we always go on the craziest adventures, and we find the most unique and unexpected places all over the world.
This recent campaign that we did, we went to Tenerife and I’d never been there before. We drove far away, we went to these black sand beaches, and sat on the top of a lighthouse. And I was like, ‘Literally, there’s no other reason I would do this.’ It’s mind-blowing. I feel so much and I come back really grounded and spiritual, almost, from one of these adventures. It’s pretty powerful — when you’re there and the waves are crashing in, and you’re completely alone on the top of this lighthouse. There’s a lot of power that comes with it.
That’s fitting for a fragrance that’s all about freedom.
What could be more freeing than having an eagle land on your back? You feel so one with nature, and it’s beautiful.
When you smell the new iteration of the fragrance, what are the first three words that come to your mind?
Oh my God. I think the first one is sexy for sure. It’s just got a fun, nighttime energy to it. So I’d say sexy, strong — and mysterious.
Beauty-wise, who inspires you?
My friends. I always love sitting down and talking with friends about what they use and they like. Discovering new products with your girlfriends is the best way to do it.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.