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Beauty And The Beat: Z Berg Goes From The Like To Jjamz—And Finds The Perfect Red Lipstick In The Process

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Just to be clear, this is not Z Berg’s first rodeo; she toured the world heavily with her all-girl group, The Like, in the early aughts. But when it came time to head out with Jjamz, the newly formed, indie-pop five-piece she fronts with band mates that hail from established acts like Maroon 5, Phantom Planet, and Rilo Kiley, Berg decided to wipe the slate clean—stylistically, at least. The Angeleno has ditched the sixties baby-doll dresses and Twiggy-esque bob you may remember as her onetime signatures and has gone back into the recesses of her closet to unearth things she hasn’t worn for ages—”and that closet has recesses,” she assures us. Part of that self-liberation came from no longer being in an all-girl group where onstage outfits were coordinated. “It’s nice to dress up and be like, ‘Oh wow, I’m the girly girl,” the singer explains in a whiskey-soaked voice. While crossing the country promoting Jjamz’s debut album, Suicide Pact, Berg called in from “somewhere in Texas” to talk with Style.com about finding the perfect red lipstick, avoiding pants at all costs, and a secret stash of “fancy lingerie” that gets her through those long, long weeks on the road.

This is the band’s first official tour—how has it been so far?
We’re driving from Austin to Billings, Montana. It’s a 24-hour drive—you’re lucky you caught me at the beginning, while I’m still sane! So far it has been really, really fun. Being on tour with my best friends, you can’t fuck with that. Strangely, it hasn’t been that different [from touring with The Like], only it takes a lot less time to get ready—I stopped wearing really heavy eye makeup, so it takes off 20 minutes of getting-ready time.

Why did you ditch the smoky eye?
I have such a habit of changing my look constantly, and people very rarely recognize me. I’m talking personal friends—I get double takes because I look so different. The last year of The Like, I was trying so hard to stick to one specific look. So then when we decided to take a break, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m not putting this eye makeup on.’ I’ve been wearing eye makeup practically every day since I was 11!

So, what’s your new look going to be?
I’ve been very serious with a red lip every day, and maybe a little bit of mascara. If you’re blond, you can’t wear much eye makeup if you wear red lipstick. I’ve chosen darkness. I’ve gone over to the lipstick side.

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