“Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy,” Kesha sings in the opening lines of her 2009 breakout single ‘TiK ToK.’ It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since we first heard the glittery party anthem that launched her career. Two number one albums and Grammy nominations later, Kesha is still very much the same jubilant and fun-loving artist we met ten years ago. But these days, it’s safe to say Kesha wakes up in the morning feeling like…well, Kesha.
“I recently had my aura photo taken,” she tells ELLE.com, during a break on set from her latest secret project. “I was all these different colors, and that’s how I feel. I feel more attached to color than I do even my physical being.” Kesha’s love for color makes her latest venture all the more fitting: Kesha Rose Beauty, a collection of five eyeliners, eyeshadows, and lip products launching this week.
“I like to decorate the outside according to how I feel on the inside,” she adds. “If I’m feeling turquoise and pink, then I’ll do one eye turquoise, and one eye pink. And for me, that makes me feel happy. Then I’ll probably throw glitter on top because that’ll make me happy. Then I feel like my most genuine self.”
Ahead, Kesha talks her new makeup line, ten years of ‘Tik Tok,’ and why her cat and Post Malone might be best friends.
Who are your beauty icons?
My style icons are androgynous…Men, almost more so than women. I really look to David Bowie for just about everything style and makeup-wise. I would always think, Would this make David Bowie proud? Would Iggy Pop wear this? But when you go more classic, Grace Jones, Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot. I just love anyone who’s not afraid of color.
For this makeup line, I wanted to embrace a little more of my affinity towards color. I’m putting out a makeup line and what’s ironic is that I want people to feel beautiful when they’re wearing it, but not from an external place. There’s so many colors and different ways to wear each product, that I just y want people to play with it and use it incorrectly—because there is no correct way. And that’s always how I’ve had the most fun with makeup.
A big standout from the ‘Raising Hell Music Video’ are the ‘80s makeup looks. How did you create those looks?
Collaborating with my makeup artist Vittorio Masecchia. We talked about how we wanted to capture this essence of the televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker—this really extreme ’80s realness. We wanted to fully go there with the pink from the eye to the brow bone, and all the way down the cheek. Really not be afraid of taking on the mascara, and play the part of the character in that video. It’s a period piece. I just wanted to fully commit.
What’s your go-to product from Kesha Rose Beauty?
Depends on what I’m doing. At the AMAs red carpet, I did a black smokey eye: Black eyeliner mixed with Tonight from the FTW shadow palette for just a classically great, fun cat-eye, smokey eye look. I love the That B*tch Lip Gloss because it’s moisturizing. It smells good. It plumps your lips, and then it turns them a baby pink depending on the pH level of your skin.
You’ve been wearing these glittery, colorful makeup looks since the beginning of your career. So I have to ask: Have you watched the HBO show Euphoria?
I have heard so much about it. Totally honest. I’ve been traveling around and promoting shit and all this stuff. I haven’t had a chance to actually watch it yet. I really want to see it because everyone’s just been telling me it’s like makeup porn.
It became a huge beauty moment over the summer, with all these people wearing glitter and color. But you wore makeup looks like that ten years ago. You’re like the original Euphoria girl.
It’s just rigorous makeup! Just people not giving a fuck, not sticking to rules, and using a ton of glitter. That all appeals to me because I think of myself as a glitter queen. I’m obsessed with anything sparkly. I feel like I’m like a Christmas tree. The tattoos, the sparkles, and I wear light up shoes a lot. I decorate myself because it’s fun.
At the AMAs you sang ‘Raising Hell’ then surprised us all with ‘TiK ToK.’ What was it like creating that performance?
Well, it’s been ten years since Tik Tok came out, and it just felt like the right time to revamp it a bit. ‘Tik Tok’ was the first song that had my name on it that I was singing on the radio. I wanted to play my single that just came out this year, and then I wanted to throw back to ten years ago, when I was still a very joyous, happy person that was celebrating life in a nihilistic way. I’ve gotten so much shit for everything over the years. And at some point, once you’ve gotten enough shit for everything you do, you kind of stopped caring.
Did you see any artists you loved at the AMAs?
I was loving everything. I loved being there and I met Post Malone for the first time. I feel like he and my cat share a very kindred spirit. I took a picture of Mr. Peeps and I drew on all the same tattoos that Post has on his face. They just seem like they would be best friends.
Did you tell him that?
Amazing. What’d he say?
I think he just thought I was high. (laughs) I don’t know! He seems like he’s a good time guy. I also loved seeing Taylor Swift perform. It brought me and my mom to tears, just seeing how many smash songs she has.. She’s just so talented. Getting to see her, and her parents were there–that was a beautiful moment. I love Selena Gomez’s new song. I never actually got to meet her before, either. But I got to give her a big hug, and I think her new song is really brave.