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“Azealia’s Coming Up In The World!” Banks Talks Beauty


In case you somehow missed it, Azealia Banks is fashion’s latest obsession. The Harlem-bred rapper has sung for the houses of Mugler and Lagerfeld, starred in Alexander Wang’s latest T campaign, and, just this week, unofficially opened NYFW with a raucous SPIN show. Yesterday, Yung Rapunxel—as the well-coiffed Banks’ nearly 200,000 Twitter followers have come to know her—debuted her latest music-fashion crossover project: a limited-edition MAC lipstick of the same name. “I’m a huge makeup fan,” Banks told us yesterday as the Fashion’s Night Out madness threatened to close in on her from outside the MAC store on Broadway in Soho (thank God for that double-paned glass window barrier). “I always make the joke that I’m a tomboy, but I’m not really. I’m very much into my hair and my makeup”—a fact that is evident to anyone whose ever met the petite 21-year-old in person; her long, aubergine locks dangle well past her waist and her eyes are rarely without a slick of metallic eye shadow and a strip of fake lashes (“I don’t have patience for the individual ones,” she admits). Here, Banks filled us in on some of her other beauty essentials—including the Rihanna-inspired tatts and the Paris manicure address you may want to write down before PFW gets under way.

How did your relationship with MAC come about?
I had a meeting with them about two months ago. I’m always changing my hair, and when I met with them I had this purple hair. I did [it] for Splendor in the Grass [the music festival] in Australia. This is gonna be my color for the fall. And when you have such strong hair, you need to match it, you know; I can’t wear a red lip with purple hair! So I said we should do this purple lipstick.

Let’s talk about that hair. It is long. What’s the maintenance like?
The maintenance is so easy! People think it’s so hard, but it’s really not. I use Dove Intensive Care shampoo and conditioner and their leave-in and that’s it. Those are my three products. And I use Biosilk when I straighten it and curl it and stuff. I wash my hair twice a week; one is a co-wash, and at the end of the week, it’s with shampoo and stuff. I feel like the more you condition your hair, the better it is.

And those nails? The color is a perfect match for your hair and lipstick at the moment. How often do you switch them up?
My nails are acrylic—they’re fake! I do them. It’s kind of like therapy. You know how some people sit down to read a book? I’ll sit down to do my nails. I can do acrylics and all that stuff. I’m self-taught. I’ve been meaning to soak this set off forever but I just haven’t had time! Once one breaks I soak them off and get a new one.

That must be a pain on tour.
Well, there are acrylic nail places everywhere. My Yelp App is very handy—I just type in “acrylic nails.”

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