When summer has you slathering on SPF in hot, sticky weather, it's best to embrace a beauty look that really gives you a glow. Gone is the age of all-matte-everything. We've officially entered the glossy renaissance—and that's why we've tapped singer Tei Shi, fresh off the release of her first full-length album Crawl Space, to show just how this look is done.
We chatted with the singer about her new album, her confidence-boosting tricks, and her go-to beauty look.
How do you use your beauty routine to transform your identity?
I've always liked to play around with my appearance. I get really bored with my hair, and I feel like the alternative is either tattoos or something more extreme. I think it's fun and it's interesting to be able to separate work, or phases of being on the road, or making music, into different periods of time that you can really point to, based off of what you were doing with your appearance at the time.
Though she's owning her dark curly hair now, just two years ago Tei Shi sported a platinum blonde 'do in her music video for "Bassically."
Transformation is also a big theme on your album. What made you decide to incorporate recordings of you as a kid into your music?
It didn't really come together until I was finishing the album, but I had rediscovered these tapes of me as a kid, and I wanted to do something with them for my album. I recorded little bits of them and kept them in the back of my head, and when I was finishing the album and I was working out the track list, I narrowed it down to the three that I thought were the most stand-out moments for me.
You also toy a lot with feelings of self-doubt while pursuing your lifelong dream.
I think that's why those recordings struck me so much. It's funny, I think, when you revisit things from when you were little. Maybe you were a dramatic or an exaggerated version of yourself, but a lot of those basic raw feelings you're unafraid to share or express when you're a kid change over time when you're older. I can really relate to going up and down, and feeling really self-possessed and competent, and then plummeting and being like, "I'm the worst, and I don't think I'm any good."
Need a new anthem? "Keep Running" might be it.
I think that that's something that you go through a lot when you're creating or putting yourself out there, so it's definitely something that I still feel a lot of the time. That's one of the ways I've grown through making this album in the past couple of years, being able to put away those thoughts and conquering some of those doubts and insecurities.
You mention Britney Spears in one of the recordings on your album. What did you listen to growing up?
I listened to a lot of different stuff, but Britney Spears made an impression on everyone at that time. I based my idea of what a singer and a performer was on her. But I was listening to anything from Colombian and South American music and then also a lot of American music, too. My parents are big classic rock fans, and my dad really likes jazz, and then my older sisters were listening to pop music from late '80s, early '90s, so Prince and Michael Jackson, and then rock. There was a lot that I was surrounded by.
"I think these really powerful female icons are a unifying force. The message they give is to rely on yourself."
What do you do to feel powerful?
Music is something that I think most people turn to when they need to feel empowered. If I'm doing a show and I'm feeling like I need a pick-me-up, I'll listen to Rihanna. Rihanna is definitely a big one, and Beyoncé. I think these really powerful female icons are a unifying force. The message they give is to rely on yourself.
Do you have any favorite beauty tricks?
One thing that a makeup artist actually showed me is putting Vaseline on your eyelashes. Without mascara, it makes them stand out and catch light in a cool way. I love lip balm and Vaseline—putting it on my eyelids and using it to highlight.
To learn more about Tei Shi and see her on tour, visit tei-shi.com and follow her on Instagram @teishi.
Makeup by Andi Metro. Hair by Nate Rosenkraz.