All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Ongoing pandemic aside, Kim Petras is having quite the year. The 29-year-old singer has had a devout following since her 2017 debut thanks to her high-energy bops but has remained sort of a hidden gem for in-the-know pop fans and the LGBTQ+ community. But now, after two much-discussed red-carpet appearances, at this year’s VMAs and Met gala, the rest of the world is finally starting to catch on.
Her outfits aren’t the only thing that have people talking, either—Petras’s newest single, the dancy “Future Starts Now” and its accompanying video, is already a fan favorite after dropping in early October. “‘Future Starts Now’ was kind of the first song that was like, ‘This is the album. This is the direction I want to go into sonically,’” Petras tells Glamour. “The Airbnb that we’d moved into had this old painting of the Eiffel Tower, and I was watching this anime called Japan Sinks, which is about the end of the world and how to adjust to it, and that’s what lockdown kind of felt like. It felt like adjusting to a new life and getting past the anxiety and fear and just, you know, rolling with it and making the best of it. So I kind of put those two together.”
“The entire album, I was seeing the Eiffel Tower sink and me climbing up it,” she continues. “That was the most epic image and what I wrote the entire album in my head with, so we did that for the video. I really fought to make that happen, in a good way. I feel really, really proud of it. I think it’s a big step up as a performer and working with the camera and doing dance and choreography, which I’ve always wanted to do. This is the first video where I feel like I’m on top of my game, you know? I had the vision and fought for it, so I feel like this is my proudest moment.”
Hot off the new video, we caught up with Petras to chat her beauty essentials, her current favorite music, and the women who inspire her for Glamour‘s Big Beauty Questions.
Glamour: What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
Kim Petras: Oh, I swear by, as with everything, high-low. I think there are incredible products that are inexpensive—in a drugstore, from an organic store, anything. I do my research, and I’ll find out whatever product is good. I don’t think just because something is expensive, it’s necessarily good or works for your skin. I think like that with everything. I have things from Goodwill that I love, and I have things from Prada that I love. Everyone’s unique. Your skin is unique, and you just got to find out what products work for you. I always think about Karl Lagerfeld saying that some of the worst styling he’s ever seen is from some of the richest people he’s ever met. So, high-low, trying out everything and sticking by what works for you.
What about a beauty rule you think is B.S.?
Every single one! I think beauty is up to what you think is beautiful, and not what everyone else thinks is beautiful. Makeup is there to express yourself, not to hide under. If you want to, you can. There really are no rules. I don’t think that only one thing is beautiful or will ever be. So yeah, I don’t think there’s any rules. I think they’re all bullshit.
You’ve been playing with a lot of fun beauty looks recently, from Fashion Week to the Met ball to touring. Do you have a recent favorite?
Oooh, I think my VMA, full Richard Quinn gimp-mask outfit was kind of a big moment. I was definitely a little bit scared and nervous of how people would react to it. But I think that look looked really incredible in all the photos and pictures. I’ve always wanted to wear fashion that’s not traditionally beautiful. I want to push what people think is beautiful. I think that look was beautiful. Other people may think it’s hideous, but that’s exactly what I want. Pushing people to think and not just see one thing as beautiful is beautiful. That’s something that’s important to me because I felt like I was crazy as a kid in school. People would make fun of me for the way I dressed, for the things that I thought were beautiful. I want to show my fans that anything they think is beautiful is beautiful. Who cares if anyone doesn’t like it? You do, and that’s enough.
Is there a beauty product that you can’t go onstage without using?
There’s a ton. I definitely think onstage you have to put on a little more because the lights eat up everything. I go harder on my eyebrows. The Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pencil has always been my number one, the holy grail beauty product, because brows are very important to me. Lashes…I’m not blessed with long, beautiful natural lashes and they would disappear onstage anyways, so false lashes. And usually some kind of loose powder that mattes everything down. In real life I like a more glowy and dewy finish, but onstage you’ll just look sweaty. You have to really matte it down so you don’t look like you’re drenched in sweat. All the lights will reflect off your skin, so I use very minimal highlighter and reflective things, usually. Sometimes I go crazy on glitter and stuff. Matting it down, going ham on the brows, and going ham on the lashes—that’s my three most important things.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Okay, fill in the blank. I love my hair…
I love my hair healthy. I constantly try to keep up. I wear a lot of wigs, honestly, because all the styling would really damage my hair. So I love wearing wigs. I love having extensions. Onstage, when light is shining on your head, it fries it, you know? So I do anything to protect my hair, take care of my hair, and I use a ton of hair masks. I love my hair healthy.
You travel constantly or, at least, did prepandemic. What city or country gives you the greatest beauty inspiration?
Paris. I’ve loved Paris since I was a kid, going with my family, then going by myself when I was a teenager. I think there’s a real sense of individuality there that I love. That’s exactly what I was saying earlier—you know, fashion and style isn’t necessarily just hot or beautiful. People there really get that it’s about expressing yourself. I feel very beautiful in Paris and excited. Also, New York. New York is the same thing. I think people don’t look at you crazy if you wear something crazy and people just kind of appreciate it. I love that.
You can use only three products for the rest of your life. What are they and why?
Oh my God. Olaplex for my hair. It’s really for bleached hair. I mean, then I can’t use bleach—I gotta pick bleach as well. I want perfume, so I’m going to pick Tom Ford’s White Suede. I want an eyebrow pencil, so I’m going to pick Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil in Taupe. And I want smooth skin. I have dry skin, so I have to moisturize a lot, so I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. I guess I would smell bad because I wouldn’t be able to use deodorant. But also I wouldn’t be able to bleach my hair, so it would be healthy!
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Moisturizing Cream
What’s your go-to getting ready music?
It’s always different. I sometimes put on movie music. The soundtrack to Death Proof is one of my favorites to get ready to. The Drive soundtrack. Sometimes I listen to horror music. I listen to, like, the It Follows soundtrack. So, soundtracks! I love listening to them. And then a classic for me, I always listen to Drake while getting ready.
What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
To cuddle up with my dogs and watch a series. I just watched all of Squid Game with my dogs on my couch. I’m obsessed. I think just being home with my dogs, watching something, and ordering in some food is always going to be my favorite thing to do at the end of the day. I love to party, I love to go out, and I love to do what I do. But sometimes I do so much very social stuff that I just need to turn my phone off and watch something with my dogs and eat pad thai.
What’s your perfume and why?
It’s Tom Ford White Suede. It smells like a new pair of shoes. It smells like fresh suede leather, and it’s everything. I love Tom Ford scents. I love that he does leather and metal and tobacco and these kind of stranger smells that aren’t necessarily feminine or masculine that are just, you know, interesting. For me, a new pair of shoes, opening up that box is the best smell in the world. It might be disgusting to say that I want to smell like shoes, but I guess not. It smells like a Manolo Blahnik shoe store, like the boutique. I love it.
What’s the last Instagram or Tiktok rabbit hole you went down?
I’m all about design. I love architecture. I love fashion. For the VMA performance I dipped my hair in silicone, so I got obsessed with what people make out of silicone and jewelry that people make out of silicone and what an amazing material it is. It can be very sturdy, it can look like slime, it can look very sleek, it can do so many things. I went down a whole silicone rabbit hole where I just looked at the stuff that people create with it. I think it’s a very cool material that is underused. I look at weird shit. I look at design archives and fashion shows from the ’70s and things like that.
You’ve got $20 and free roam of a drugstore. What do you buy?
Chapstick. Actually, no, you know what, fuck Chapstick. Something I buy at the drugstore is Weleda Skin Food. I’d buy Weleda Skin Food and some Takis.
Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream
If you could change one thing about beauty perceptions on social media and in Hollywood, what would that be?
I think beauty perceptions are drastically changing, which is great. I like when people are unique and original. That’s something that’s beautiful to me—if someone is their own person with their own point of view, and their own sense of style, and doesn’t really care about whatever everyone else does. I think a lot of Instagram and TikTok ideas of what is good style or what is beautiful are a lot of the same things that everybody thinks is, you know, the cool thing to wear or to do. I think it’s beautiful to have your own thing and think your own things are beautiful. People with an opinion are beautiful to me, rather than people who just fit into what’s beautiful and cool at the moment.
Who are the women who inspire you the most right now?
Goldie Hawn, I just went through a phase where I was watching all of Goldie Hawn’s old movies. I always think she has been so cool and an ageless person. I am very obsessed with Marlene Dietrich at the moment; she’s kind of one of the only German Hollywood stars that was really iconic and honestly changed a lot of things. I’m listening to her audiobook, that her daughter made about her. It’s very interesting.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.