August 30 2014

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Beauty And The Beat: Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic Bears Her “Redheaded Soul”


Ana Matronic, singer of the glam-pop four-piece Scissor Sisters, is no stranger to glitter, sequins, and gravity-defying updos. But the single best beauty tip she’s ever received is remarkably simple: Stay out of the sun. “My mom gave me that advice and I more or less listened to it—and she was right!” says the red-haired stunner, whose skin is free of lines and obvious damage even after many a year spent on the outdoor music festival circuit. “When you’re in the sun, wear sunblock and a hat—Kiehl’s SPF 50 is the best sunblock I’ve ever used,” she adds. With a new album—Magic Hour, the band’s fourth—set for release later this month, followed by a slew of U.S. live shows this summer, the newly svelte Matronic (whose real name is Ana Lynch) shared a few more secrets with, including what it’s like to slim down in the public eye, why wearing wigs is sometimes easier than getting a dye job, and why one lucky New Yorker might come across a bag full of her undergarments.

The first things that come up when you Google search your name are these stories about you losing weight. Is it strange that, of all of your accomplishments, that’s what makes news?
Yeah, it kind of was. [The weight loss] happened very gradually, over the period of a few years. Those few years I wasn’t really in the public eye, [and then when] I came back, people were like, Who is that? I understand that people have a natural curiosity about how I did it, but I do believe that it’s the least interesting thing about me. I have a lot better things to talk about than weight loss! It all comes down to exercise, and that was something that I never used to do. It’s something that I do for myself regularly. And I highly recommend it for everyone, and for all aspects of your life, mental as well as physical.

Could it be that because you’re in such a visual band, people are always going to be paying attention to your looks?
Yeah, I think that comes with the territory. Being in the business, people scrutinize your look, and we’re a band that has really heavy image play. I love being glamorous and beautiful and wearing wigs and all sorts of crazy makeup and costumes and all that. But yeah, I also have a very expansive view of beauty, and I believe it comes in all shapes and sizes—that’s always been our message as a band. That said, we also believe you can create whoever you want to be.

The band’s sound has evolved from album to album; has your personal style changed with it?
I definitely have what I believe to be a set style. I always have a bit of an eye to vintage styles and classic Hollywood—I’ve always been inspired by that since I was a little girl—so there’s always going to be a nod to classic starlets, whether it’s Ginger Rogers or Lauren Bacall. That said, I love futuristic things and I love that people are dressing like it’s the twenty-first century. I will always love sixties futurism, Pierre Cardin and Courrèges, things like that.

Do you collect a lot of vintage?
Yes, I collect Lucite and I love Liberty things and anything Art Nouveau. If it’s really precious I won’t bring it on tour because there’s always a chance of losing things. But you never know, things get lost all the time; I just left almost all of my undergarments and a few pairs of shoes and a bunch of jewelry in the back of the cab coming from a shoot. They’re gone…it was really annoying!

That is annoying. At least with red hair, you could lose all of your clothing and still have a “look.” Are you a natural redhead?
I’m more of a strawberry blonde. I’ve gotten more fiery as I’ve gotten older—go figure! But my mom is a redhead, so I’m a carrier. I definitely have a redheaded soul.

Is it hard to maintain your color while you’re on tour?
It’s a complete pain in the ass and I have tried every single kind of mousse and colored hair spray, and I just sat in a salon for three hours to get six processes to even out the colors. It’s a constant struggle with red hair, it’s a bitch. And that’s why I wear a lot of wigs. Hurray for hairpieces! I have very fine hair as well, so with sweat it will just stick to my face and look very unattractive. [I do] hairpieces, lashes, the whole nine yards.

Please tell me you tour with someone who helps you with all that backstage.

I’ve always done it myself! I did have some help on our last tour, but I always do my own face for every show—I’m always putting on my own lashes, I prefer to do that. I’ve been putting my own makeup on my face for, oh God, a long time, and I know it pretty well. It’s all part of a ritual for getting ready; it’s nice to sit and have that time and think about what I’m going to say on stage.

What will you be packing when Scissor Sisters hit the road next month?
I’m really big into essential oils, so I always travel with lavender essential oil. It’s amazing for my skin—I have combination skin. I make my own blends. My soap of choice is this amazing local brand called Nubian Heritage, they do African Black soaps, they do coconut and papaya soups. I get them locally at the beauty supply in Brooklyn and they’re really inexpensive. And then there’s another company out of the Bay Area called Beauty Naturally. It’s only available online but they have really great papaya masks that are great for after [being on an] airplane. And I have to give a shout-out to the most amazing product line, Project Fig—it’s the first all-natural shaving line formulated for ladies grooming. It’s really, really amazing. They have the best shave gel and a hair-growth inhibitor. I like to keep [my beauty routine] as natural as possible!

Beauty And The Beat