Timed with his appointment as YSL Beauty’s new ambassador, Glossy spoke with pop star and actor Troye Sivan about his own beauty journey.
Did you ever imagine you’d have a beauty contract?
“[Makeup and fashion], and expressing myself in that way, was something that I was so terrified of as a kid, because I didn’t want people to think I was gay. And now I am gay and I’m really happy about that. Once I started to release that and let myself explore and play, I found a really deep love for fashion and beauty. And so, this is a dream come true. In my early life, it was probably a secret dream. But now, I’m really thankful. What a fun job to come and play with makeup and get dressed up.”
What has been your journey to letting yourself experiment with beauty and makeup?
“It was definitely a hurdle that I had to overcome of, like, leftover baggage from growing up in the closet. So it had to happen really gradually. I think back to when I shot the music video for ‘Bloom.’ That day was a huge day for me. I remember being petrified, [then] seeing myself in the mirror and feeling powerful, and being scared of that. The feeling I got was so empowering and intoxicating, and that started me on the journey — and then also to be able to work with such incredible makeup artists.
With my own makeup, it’s been a trial-and-error journey. It’s a lot of watching YouTube makeup tutorials. When I’m doing my own makeup, I’m not trying to conceal anything, I’m just trying to accentuate things and give me a little pep in my step and a little boost of confidence.”
Do you wear makeup most days?
“I would say so. I feel like myself once I’ve filled in my brows. If I’ve got something where I want to look more presentable, I will put a little concealer under my eyes and maybe a little bit of something to give my face some more warmth, because I can get very pale. My everyday is no-makeup makeup.”
What are your essentials?
“First, it’s all about skin care. I really try and take care of my skin.”
Wait — please drop the skin-care routine.
“A beauty hack that I realized by accident is steam. I steam my face all the time. I started doing it because of sinus issues, and I was like, ‘My skin looks so shiny and tight. I think it’s the steam.’ It’s lots of sleep and water and steam.
And then, it’s the Bare Look Tint [Nu Bare Look Tint Hydrating Skin Tint Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid]. It’s buildable, but it’s also kind of sheer when you first put it on, so that’s perfect for for everyday use. You still 100% look like yourself. You look like you have skin, like a human, but your complexion is so even and you look really fresh and well-rested. Then, it’s obviously summertime at the moment in America, so I’ve been having fun — maybe I’ll accentuate it with the Balmy Tint [Nu Lip & Cheek Balmy Tint with Hyaluronic Acid] and put a little tiny bit on my cheeks and across the bridge of my nose to give that sun-kissed vibe.”
Do you think there’s been more progress for men who want to wear makeup, whether gay or straight?
“Totally. Something that has bugged me in the past is that there are brands that have tried to do the ‘makeup for men’ thing. And I’m like, ‘Guys, it’s just makeup, relax.’ It’s never really been gendered, to me. Regardless of what it is — I don’t care if it’s the boldest eyeshadow or lip — it’s [still] makeup for men and makeup for women; it’s makeup for everyone.
We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a really long way to go. I would love to see more risks being taken on red carpets, or even just on the streets. The street is probably the most inspiring place; that’s where you see the coolest looks.”
What do you want your fans to get from this partnership? What do you hope that they take away from seeing you as a face of YSL Beauty?
“What resonated with me about the the new line is that it’s just about enhancing what everyone already has and confidence from within. That’s what makeup has done for me, in the past. It changes the way you feel from the inside out … but it has to start with you. That is really clear in this campaign. I hope everyone can be like, ‘Oh, wait. You know, I really love this about my face,’ or, ‘I want to show this off.’ And then however you want to approach that is awesome.”
Have you been playing with bolder makeup looks?
“If I’m going for a bold look, I always feel more comfortable when someone else is doing my makeup, because I’m not that good at it. I love to play, but in the safety of someone else’s hands. For me, it’s mostly on a shoot or a video. But I feel really confident in my everyday look. [Fashion and beauty] are also such an extension of the creativity of whatever I’m making. When I’m writing a song, sometimes I’m thinking about the video and what I want to wear, and what I want to look like. I’ll be mood-boarding makeup artists and makeup looks for months before a project. And then, in my everyday life, I keep it very low-key, and try to look cute and fresh.”
What are your tips for guys who want to start experimenting more with beauty?
“Just don’t be scared of it. It’s a rite of passage: Anyone who is starting to wear makeup os going to go out of the house looking crazy. You’re gonna do your makeup in one mirror, and then you’ll go out and see yourself and be like, ‘Oh, my God.’ But you will get better. It’s not that deep. Just let yourself go, and let yourself play, and let yourself explore.
The thing that I’m always seeking with makeup is that it’s not necessarily a look; [rather] it’s that feeling of, ‘Wow, I feel good.’ It’s just so transformative. And once people start to play and start to feel that, it opens the door to so much.”
Where do you draw inspiration for your makeup?
“Creativity feels like the same muscle. At the moment, I’m shooting a TV show, and it feels so similar to making music and songwriting, which also feels very similar to making a music video. It all itches the same part of my brain, and it’s literally what I live for and what I want to dedicate my entire life to. It is kind of a similar process, in that what I’m always trying to do is make people feel something, whatever that’s empowered or sad. You can do that through makeup, and you can do that through music, and you can do that through film and TV. [For beauty inspiration] the Pinterest algorithm is fire. It’s so good. You can really deep dive. It reminds me of Tumblr back in the day. I get a lot of inspiration on there.”
One last thing: On TikTok, you’ve made a lot of funny videos about your song ‘Angel Baby’ and what it’s about. Care to elaborate?
“In one of the [videos] I made about ‘Angel Baby,’ I have a 5-year-old son and a husband, and I asked a guy out on a date. And he was like, ‘Aren’t you married? Don’t you have a kid?, And I was like, ‘No…’ This is fully a lie. I need to be careful. Some people take it seriously.”