It’s not often that you find a female rapper with fearless confidence, clear self expression and no need to show off her womenly assets. Jean Grae is a lady and she’ll be the first to let you know that.
We got the opportunity to chat with the veteran rap star at the “Lyricist Lounge” and ZUUS event in Brooklyn last week. She was in good company with MeLo-X, Pharoahe Monch and Kool Herc on hand for the taping. But we came for less musical purposes. We came to talk beauty and fashion.
Her five favorite beauty and fashion finds, below:
1. Argan oil, “I’m trying to grow my hair out. It looks great and smells amazing especially in the winter.”
2. Camel colored floor length cashmere coat, “Got it for $20. I don’t play with the thrifting.”
3. Black wool high waist skirt, “Good winter stuff.”
4. Joyce Leslie velvet combat boots, “These are brilliant. Everywhere I go people ask me where I got them. I’m not the person to not tell you where I got something. I share.”
5. A petty coat from Reminiscence in Flatiron, NYC.
On how her style has evolved through the years: “A lot of my general style in my teens and early 20s was very New York hip hop. Looking back on some of those choices.. it was very… there was a lot of weird sizing. I don’t know what we were doing. It made people more aware of the culture and the music. For me, immediately getting on stage, I was already dressing like that but I would really overplay it to be like, ‘I don’t want you looking at me. I want you to be listening to me.’ In my 20s, I wanted to be a grown woman and dress and do what I want to do. I don’t necessarily do more revealing things on stage because it’s like I’m going to work. I want to be able to move around on stage and be comfortable. But in my normal life, I’m very all over the place.”
On her fashion icons: “I go to like Hunter Thompson and on the opposite end is Dorothy Dandridge or Katharine Hepburn, I like iconic woman and men in style. It kind of goes everywhere. You know, Sid Vicious one day.. I love looks and themes, costume parties and going all out.”
On where she shops internationally: “You have to know certain places to get things and where to go [in each city] and you put things together that way. My mom really, really loved shopping. When I was young we had great thrift stores in our neighborhood. So anywhere I go I’m like, ‘where’s the second hand shop?’ There are times when I want to get an item or two that is expensive. But I love thrifting, vintage shopping and finding special pieces to mix and match.”
On what beauty products she loves: “I have sensitive skin but I love lotions and soaps. I’ll have 98 pomades. I adore cosmetics, whether it’s natural or something I’ve seen by doing research. I’m also a big fan of doing natural beauty remedies. If you ever get a breakout, get pink grapefruit or citrus Airborne, grind down a ton, get some lemon, apple cider and water to make a skin paste.”
On her secret beauty talent: “I love nail polishes and I do a lot of nail art. I’ll do designs, everything. I did snowmen on my nails the other day with carrots and a little pipe with smoke. I have serious skills.”