Exclusive Q&A: Rita Ora and Karmin
Landing the cover of Rolling Stone is virtually every musician’s dream. And now for the first time the iconic music magazine is helping one aspiring songstress’s fantasy become a reality with its Rolling Stone “Women Who Rock” contest, presented by Garnier Fructis. Fans have pledged their votes for the most talented cover girl, and the competition is down to two artists (cast your vote here): Rita Ora and Karmin’s Amy Heidemann. London-based Rita Ora was recently signed by Jay-Z to Roc Nation/Columbia Records and already has three #1 singles in the UK. Karmin broke onto the music scene last year via YouTube after posting a cover of Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” The video instantly went viral and has already garnered nearly 72 million views. Karmin just released their debut album, Hello.
Ora and Karmin recently battled it out at the Rolling Stone Rock Room during Lollapalooza as they advanced to the final stage, and we got to chat with both about what it means to be a part of this contest and their favorite onstage beauty products (of course!). We also caught up with Peter Butler, the celebrity hairstylist responsible for their looks to get the scoop on everything needed to get their killer ‘dos.
KARMIN’S AMY HEIDEMANN AND RITA ORA
You are among the final two contestants battling it out to appear on the September cover of Rolling Stone’s “Women Who Rock” issue . What does it mean to your career and to you personally to be involved in this competition?
Karmin’s Amy Heidemann: It means the world. To think that one year ago we were just hopefuls making YouTube videos in a crappy apartment, to now having a shot at being on the cover of one of our favorite and most iconic music magazines of all time…insane! The first Rolling Stone cover is a major milestone in any musician’s career.
Rita Ora: I’m so happy everyone believes in me and in what I want to do, and wants to support me. I feel really inspired that I could possibly get a Rolling Stone cover at this stage of my career.
How have your beauty look and personal style evolved as you’ve become more well-known as an artist?
A.H.: I now have more resources. I’ve always been obsessed with makeup, hair and fashion (see our YouTube tutorials), but now we actually have the connections we need to make our dreams a reality. We started out as a retro-hip-hop-inspired-looking duo, but now we’re evolving a bit!
R.O.: I’ve been able to wear some amazing designers. It’s pushed my fashion boundaries further and let me creatively experiment through my clothes.
Who is your beauty icon?
A.H.: My beauty icon is Gwen Stefani. She always keeps people guessing and has mastered the “strong female” image in my opinion.
R.O.: Bianca Jagger is gorgeous. I love her effortlessly cool, glam look. Gwen Stefani is super cool as well. I love her blonde hair and red lips.
What are your go-to onstage beauty products?
A.H.: To look my best, I have some secret weapons. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara, Elite False Lashes (#6) and Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. The Oribe Spray is my hairstyle’s best friend. I use Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs when I’m in super-short shorts; it’s much easier than getting spray-tanned every week. I also love Cover FX Powder FX for touching up before meet-and-greets or interviews.
R.O.: Red lips by MAC, hairspray and shiny leg cream.
Performing can be physically demanding, and in the summer you also have to deal with the weather at outdoor venues. Is that something you anticipate as you prepare to perform, or do you just go with the flow and hope for the best?
A.H.: Oh my gosh, we have done summer shows where the stage is 106 degrees. It’s dangerous, especially when you’re dancing around on six-inch heels and rapping. I traded my disco pants for short-shorts and switched to waterproof eyeliner and mascara for outdoor shows.
R.O.: I try to eat healthy and stay in shape, but I love being tanned and looking glowing and shiny. It takes a lot of energy running up and down onstage!
What feature do you love to play up the most when performing: Eyes or lips? Hair or shoes?
A.H.: Definitely eyes and hair!
R.O.: Lips—I love red lips. And hair. I need fabulous hair and comfy shoes or sneakers so I can jump around and have loads of fun.
Do you have a signature scent?
A.H.: I get obsessed with new scents every couple of months. Usually earthy, woodsy, florals are my favorites. Right now, I’m wearing Kai by Gaye Straza Rappaport.
R.O.: Yes, Chanel Chance.
Any fantasies or secret hopes on how you will be styled for your Rolling Stone cover?
A.H.: Oh man, they could put me in a paper bag and I’d be happy! But seriously, I’m a fan of simplistic styling that really lets the artist stand out.
R.O.: I want to look like me, yet like no other shoots I’ve done. I want it to be iconic and strong.
What’s in your makeup bag today?
A.H.: Uh oh, here we go! Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment, Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Illuminator Instant Brightening Moisturizer, Chanel Perfection Lumière foundation in Beige Rose, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20, Cover FX Powder FX in E40, MAC Sheertone Blush in Pink Swoon, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin, Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara, Lancôme Artliner in Noir, Elite False Lashes #6, MAC eyeshadow quad with Phloof!, Sketch, Chrome Yellow and Electric Eel shadows, Anastasia Long Wearing Brow Tint in Universal Light, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl and Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage.
R.O.: Bobbi Brown bronzer, Ruby Woo Lipstick by MAC, liquid eyeliner and mascara.
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST PETER BUTLER
What products did you use on Rita for Lollapalooza?
Rita has a lot of hair that is quite blonde and rock-’n'-roll glam! I used Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment for shine and polish on her waves and set it with Garnier Fructis Volumizing Anti-Humidity Hairspray.
What about on Amy from Karmin?
Karmin was a lot of fun! We did a few looks on her and I mostly used a lot of Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray to control her waves and retro roll. I polished it off with the new Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray. It’s a great product—works like a texturizing spray with shine and a slight hold.
Both of these women mentioned Gwen Stefani as their beauty icons. How do you recommend getting Gwen’s look?
Gwen Stefani is a style and fashion icon. There is no one else like her. Her hair has been done so many ways, but she looks great with it off her face, with a pompadour updo in front and some hair down the back. Half up, half down is Gwen’s style.
I would blow it out with some volumizing spray (Oribe makes a great one for fine hair) and set the front in a few rollers for volume and leave the back straight. I would backcomb the top and use a volumizing hairspray to lock in the style, because she’s always moving. I’d maybe use a shine spray to gloss it up and there you have it!
Last, any tips for preserving bleached blonde color like Gwen’s?
The best color shampoo for light blonde hair is still Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo. It’s a classic and just kills any brassy tones. It’s perfect for cooling down any blonde!
Photos: Courtesy of Epic Records and Roc Nation