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Beauty And The Beat: “It’s All For A Good Cause: My Face,” Says Rock Icon Jennifer Herrema


Jennifer Herrema ranks pretty high up there on our girl crush list. Besides the impressive music résumé (she started the alt-rock band Royal Trux when she was just 16 and has gone on to front RTX and now, Black Bananas) and the fashion moments (there were the Calvin Klein ads at the height of the heroin chic era, followed most recently by an ongoing denim collaboration with Volcom), there’s her look, which despite years of hard partying hasn’t changed at all: Thick, eyelash-grazing fringe, smoky eyes, and a don’t-mess-with-me smirk still epitomize the nearly 40-year-old rock star. On the eve of Black Bananas’ debut album release, spoke with the music and style icon about how she’s maintained her beauty routine all these years, why she only uses dry shampoo, and her forthcoming collaboration with jewelry designer Pamela Love. Stumbling upon some juicy preliminary details about her new fragrance (that’s right; a signature scent is in the works) was a happy coincidence.

It’s hard to tell the Jennifer Herrema of 1988 apart from the Jennifer Herrema of 2012. What’s your age-defying secret?

You know, I have good genes. I chalk it up to my mom, she’s the same way. And I’m pretty healthy: I take a lot of vitamins, I eat super-healthy—I’m a vegetarian—I exercise a lot, and I spend a lot of money on face products. So part of it just might be psychological; I’ve willed myself into remaining the same via products and potions!

Tell me more about these alleged face products.

One is Euoko. They just use all sorts of really weird natural ingredients. The one that works really well, the Intense Lift Concentrate, was given to me as a gift. Then I was like, “Damn, this shit is awesome!” It’s super-expensive—it’s $500—but it lasted for a real long time, and I ended up buying it again for myself because it really is awesome. They do so much research, and it’s all for a good cause: my face.

How do you fit in exercise with touring, recording, and working on your various side projects?

In the summer months I surf, which is a major workout. Right now I’m just doing yoga and floor pilates. I also just completed a series of these vitamin B12 shots—they’re awesome—because I’m starting to feel sick. I went to a doctor across the street and he just straight up gave me a series of B12 shots—in the butt. They definitely helped my energy level, and I didn’t get sick.

What about your artfully messy tresses? Are they just a product of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, or is it something you actually have to work at?

I don’t wash my hair, pretty much; twice a week, that’s about it. Since I was a teenager on tour, I just always used [hair] powder to absorb the oil if necessary. But you can’t use that too much because it has a paradoxical effect—your scalp starts producing more oil. This one I just got, because it was at CVS, is called Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo. I used to use the Bumble and Bumble brown-colored one, but if you sweat onstage, you start sweating brown.

Ew. Moving on…You once told that you consider yourself a tomboy. How does that translate to your makeup arsenal?

I’ve never really mastered the skill of makeup application. I put the lotion on, and then I use the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation—that stuff is awesome. I don’t use lipstick because my mouth is big, so it looks like a comic book. I just use lip conditioner or clear gloss. For my eyes, it’s all mascara, and then, because I don’t use anything waterproof, it immediately gets smudged so it looks like I have liner on. I just got this mascara that’s pretty awesome called They’re Real! by Benefit. It smudges really fast, which doesn’t bother me.

If you put out a fragrance, what would it smell like?

I am putting out my own fragrance! It’s with Emmelie Brunetti—she has Hopi Botanicals and owns half of Fuct, the streetwear label—we’re going to do a custom scent. It’s going to be all-natural—it’s not going to have any synthetic scents in it. And then the illustrator that did all those awesome Eagles covers, he’s going to do all of the packaging. It’s going to be dope. This all came together in the past few weeks! I’ve been so busy…I just modeled the campaign for Hysteric Glamour for Spring 2012, and I was talking to the owner and we’re going to try to collaborate on something, too. That’s the way it is being an artist: There’s nothing going on for long amounts of time, and then all of the sudden it’s like, bam! Bam!

And you’ve got a collaboration with Pamela Love coming up, too. What’s it like working with people who have always viewed you as an inspiration?

It’s weird; they think of me as an icon and I just feel like their peer. But at the same time, I do have a large body of work—[I've been working] since I was 15—and I’m very humbled by the influence people have allowed me to bring into their world. It’s super-cool.

Beauty And The Beat