Quarantine has thrown all of our schedules into flux, but chart-topping "My Type" rapper and reigning Icy Grl Saweetie has only gotten busier. In between photoshoots, recording sessions, and prepping for the rollout of her highly anticipated debut album, Pretty Bitch Music, the Bay Area native has been squeezing in moments of self-care and rest where she can.
"I have little things that get me through my day, whether it's a pumpkin spice coffee, ginger tea — food and drinks make me really happy," Saweetie, born Diamonté Harper, recently told NYLON over the phone with a laugh. It's her trademark, down-to-earth attitude; as we chat, the rapper recalls her middle school crush calling her a "pizza face" when she had an acne breakout, and admits her mom doesn't like her signature fluffy lashes. But you'd be mistaken to think her low-key vibe translates to her own beauty routine — Saweetie is known for rocking endless high glam looks, from the sexy and refined to the wild and imaginative. A few days before we spoke, she unveiled a leopard print buzzcut on Instagram to celebrate the release of her Jhene Aiko-featured single, "Back To The Streets," leading her to declare PBM a "bald era."
With her chart-topping singles, including the Too $hort-sampling "Tap In," quickly becoming mega hits, Saweetie knows how to give the people what they want. In addition to music, she's a savvy businesswoman, and recently unveiled her third collection with PrettyLittleThing. The "Pretty Planet" collaboration is an earth-tone heavy collection with a range of styles from formal to casual, bringing Saweetie's high style to an affordable price point. "I feel like the older girls are going to appreciate it, because it's literally any outfit for any occasion," she said. If anyone knows how to dress for any occasion, it's Saweetie.
Ahead, Saweetie tells us about her favorite skincare products (including the one that saved her in middle school), glam looks and explains why her favorite thing is making other people feel pretty.
What has been keeping you occupied during quarantine?
I'm so busy that, I'm just busy. I'm occupied with work, with performances, with shooting visuals, getting ready for Pretty Bitch Music. I'm so grateful, because I don't have to keep myself occupied, my music keeps me occupied. We're just preparing for such a massive launch for my debut album. So I guess what keeps me busy is being in glam, recording, photoshoots, shooting videos, writing sessions with me and my team. We're all super busy and so grateful for that.
How do you make time for your self-care, beauty and wellness routines?
You know what, I don't. Can I say that? But I have little things that get me through my day, whether it's a pumpkin spice coffee, ginger tea, food and drinks make me really happy [laughs]. But I think just eating great food throughout the day, and tea and coffee, that's my self-care. When it comes to body, just drinking a lot of water. Taking my ginger shots, my turmeric shots, and then face masks — and that's how I do my self-care. I haven't set time aside to do it, although I should, but just throughout the day those are some of the things I do.
What are some of your favorite face masks?
I love GlamGlow and I love Tatcha and Ole Henrickson. On a normal week, I'll probably face mask two or three times a week. But when I have, oh my gosh, last week was so crazy. We literally didn't get any sleep, but I worked six days straight — a campaign shoot for PrettyLittleThing, two music videos, photoshoots. And I face masked every night. I did a detox mask, only because I'm on set every day with towels and makeup on my face. I didn't want to break out. So it works on my skin. I have oily skin, but I literally get a detox every night.
With all the heavy makeup from photoshoots, how else do you keep your skin healthy?
Ole Henrickson has this green line. It's called Balance. It's for oily people, and I'm hella oily. So in the morning I normally use that for my day. I use the whole package. They have cleanser, toner and face lotion. And then at night I like to do a lighter product, so I might use Clé de Peau. I'm so horrible at remembering the names. Clé de Peau for a high-end brand. But the Glow that's the lighter brand, oh my gosh, their line is so fresh. When it comes to facial products, it's like a candy store to me, so I like using multiple products, especially if it smells good. But you know, not like the bad smells good, where it's like products that you shouldn't be using. Stuff that's good for your skin.
The more natural, cleaner products.
Has skincare always been part of your routine? When did you start learning about how to take care of your skin?
Well, when I was in fifth grade, I realized, I mean, obviously I looked in the mirror every day, but I realized there was a problem. Oh my gosh, it was so embarrassing. This boy I liked called me a pizza face. And I'm like, "What the fuck is that?" In my fifth grade year old head. But I was really oily, and I was breaking out because I was going through puberty.
Unfortunately for me, I was one of those kids that, or even today, if I don't wash my face, I'll break out. So when my mom saw that, she told me that I had to washing my face with face wash. So Clean and Clear really did the job for me. Shoutout to them, also Cetaphil's line. Cleansing has always been my morning and night routine because if I don't I'll break out.
You're often getting glam for work — do you still like to do your own makeup?
I don't like to do my makeup when I have a busy schedule, because I like getting glam hair and makeup. If I have like decisions to make, whether it's approving a merchant line or going through a music video shot list. So I'll get glam and then work at the same time, but I love to do my makeup when I'm just trying to hurry up, because I do my makeup a lot quicker.
But some products that I really love to use, I love NARS, the Taj Mahal blush, I feel like it makes me look like a doll. I don't know why, but blush, it's just a great touch. I don't think pink blush looks good on me, only orange blush. So every time I get a new makeup girl, I'm like, "Absolutely no pink blush on me."
And then when it comes to the skin, I love NARS. I use Syracuse. And then I love Tarte for the concealer. And I also try Crayon Case, it's by Supa Cent. It's very much lightweight, I love using it for my lighter makeup days. Fenty Beauty is also good. Mac, I love their studio powders, Bobbi Brown, love them as well, Cover FX for the highlighter. Urban Decay. I use everything. I'm not married to any product. MAC lip liners are the bomb. My lipgloss is Dazzleglass by MAC. I love trying everything.
What would you consider your iciest glam look?
I love me a good cut crease with a winged eye. And if it's icy, of course I got some glitter on top. But it makes my eyes look super snatched. And then with some really big lashes. My mom hates my fake lashes. She says that they close up my eyes, but I love it because it makes me feel like a cat. So definitely a bomb eyeshadow, a mean cat eye and big ass lashes.
Do you prefer lashes or lash extensions?
I prefer lash extensions. It just sucks when it's time to get a fill, because then they start doing criss-crosses on top of your eye. I love when it's natural coming out of your eyes, and the thick lash band strips. So definitely lash extensions. But if I do wear lashes, I like WAHLASH, it's my auntie's line and it's so good, it's me. So I normally keep those lashes in.
You recently debuted a leopard print buzzcut on Instagram.
I did that the day "Back to the Streets" came out. I think Pretty Bitch Music is a bald era. I don't know why I feel so sexy when my hair is super short. It makes me, just makes me feel so womanly, girly and feminine for some reason.
It looks super cute. Have you been having to take care of your short hair in a different way?
Yeah, girl, I wash it almost every night.
Are you giving wigs a break?
Yeah. I just want a wig for some length, but I love my wild look.
As thee Pretty Bitch, do you see yourself as a beauty icon or role model for others looking to step up their look?
I would always get my friends ready in college. I would paint their nails, do their hair and do their makeup before they'd go on a date. I don't know, seeing someone transformed is always super exciting to me. I like making other women feel beautiful. So definitely, I could definitely see myself as being a role model when it comes to beauty.
Fashion, too — you have a new line out with PrettyLittleThing!
Oh my gosh. This collection is so grown and chic and majestic. They brought my vision to life. So I really appreciate them for that, and letting me have creative control. We wanted to create a pretty planet, so we built out this planet where all these bomb looks are being served.
I feel like the older girls are going to appreciate it because it's literally any outfit for any occasion. I mean, we're in quarantine, so we can't really go anywhere. But there's bomber jackets, there's bikini tops, sweatpants, t-shirts. And everything has this nude, brown mocha latte palette. So it could definitely be switched around and worn in many different ways. It's cute, I'm excited for this collection.