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Kelsea Ballerini

kelsea 1

Singer/songwriter Kelsea Ballerini is taking Nashville by storm. Hot off the heels of her self-titled EP, the charming Tennessee native just released her debut album last week, titled The First Time. We caught up with the “Love Me Like You Mean It” songstress to talk about her music, mane, makeup and more! See what the captivating country star has to say right here…

Congrats on your debut album, The First Time! Can you tell us about your new music?
I feel like it’s a snapshot of my life from [age] 12, when I first started writing songs, to now—it’s a bunch of my stories and the highs and lows that I’ve experienced. I’m so excited to put it out there!

So, you not only sang on your record, but you wrote songs too…
The most honest stuff and the stuff that I feel good singing about, is the stuff that I write, because it’s stuff that’s true to me. So, I’m really proud that I was able to write or co-write the whole record.

kelsea 3


It seems you already have some celebrity admirers…how does it feel to have Taylor Swift tweet about you?
It was crazy—I couldn’t believe it was real! Taylor’s first album was such a big influence for me because she was writing songs and telling her stories. I was 12 when it came out, and I remember listening to that thinking, I write songs too, I wonder if I can do that one day?

For your “Love Me Like You Mean It” video, you had some really cute braids! Is that a style you rock regularly?
Yeah, totally. I love braids! I learned to do it at the shoot, so now I’m trying to do it by myself. I love fun, little hair things like that.

We usually see you with gorgeous, beachy waves—are they natural?
No! I have such thin, straight—just like the cleanest, finest hair ever. I swear by RUSK texture spray; it’s basically this texture-y, waxy stuff. That’s how I get anything to stay in my hair, because it’s just so thin…[and] I use a curling wand.

kelsea 2You say you have thin hair, but it looks so full!
I swear by clip-in extensions; they’re my favorite thing ever! I just take them in and out whenever I want. The extensions only add a couple inches, but for me, they hold the volume and the curl better than my normal hair.

Do you ever switch up that beautiful blonde color?
I naturally have really dirty blonde hair, so I definitely get it highlighted. I’ve switched a lot between ombre and the sun kissed look. Going into summertime, I’ll go a little bit blonder, but in the winter, I love ombre; it just looks natural.

How would you describe your hair vibe?
More minimal. My favorite look is relaxed, beachy [and] natural. I love braids and occasionally I’ll throw on a floppy hat—those are the best for a bad hair day or ‘I didn’t have time to shower this morning’…throw a hat on and everyone thinks my hair is clean!

Do you have any favorite hair products?
I use Bedhead Colour Combat Dumb Blonde Leave In Conditioner. Everyday I do something to my hair, whether I curl it, straighten it or whatever, so I try to use that as much as I can—to help it not fall out of my head!

Let’s talk beauty. Are you into makeup?
I love to play with makeup. If I wasn’t doing music, I would be a hair and makeup artist, hands down. I love it. When I have to dress up, I spend hours trying to find new tricks and stuff on my makeup.

kelsea 4What’s your go-to makeup look?
I love the natural, glowy look. I love Naked by Urban Decay because it gives you the coverage that you need, but still keeps that natural look. And then, I use a bronzer blush on my cheeks and a little bit of mascara.

What’s your favorite feature to play up?
I like eyes; eyes are fun. I’m not a huge eye shadow girl, unless I get dressed up, so I just love lashes. I use a lot of mascara!

Does your stage makeup vary from your everyday makeup?
For stage make-up, I definitely put it on a little darker. I have the original Naked palette, so I use the smoky grey and the purple eye shadows, then I do lashes.

You sound like a pro! Do you have any makeup tips?
I swear by the Beauty Blender. For my foundation, I just put a little on the outside of my hands and dip the Beauty Blender in it—that way it’s not too caked on and it still gives you coverage.

What about makeup brands, do you have a favorite?
Urban Decay is definitely my favorite and I use a lot of Smashbox. Baked Fusion Soft Lights (from Smashbox) is a bronzer, highlighter and blush all in one—it’s like a little color wheel. It’s real glowy; I love it. I use it everyday.

There’s no doubt, we love Kelsea like we mean it! Here, we delve a bit deeper into the life and styling of the promising Nashville newcomer…

On her 3 must-have beauty items…
“Softlips chapstick, my Dior mascara and the Urban Decay Naked Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder—in case I get a little shiny.”

On her styling techniques…
“I do my own hair for most stuff, but every time I get my hair done, I try to learn all the tips and stuff, so when I am out by myself I can still make it look good.”

On her music obsessions…
“Kelly Clarkson is my favorite artist of all time, Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy” is one of my favorite songs of all time and lately, I’ve been super obsessed with the Little Big Town record and the new Imagine Dragons record.”

On discovering new makeup tips…
“YouTube is great for teaching you how to do cool smoky eyes and how to contour.”

Photos: Partial upsweep: Robert Chavers; all others: Jeremy Ryan/all courtesy Black River Entertainment.

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