“Hello, Vogue… I’m going to be walking you through my daily skin-care routine and what I do to attempt to look fresh and beautiful every day,” Sam Smith says, smiling into the camera, wearing a plush robe and a single pearl earring. “When I was younger I definitely didn’t take care of my skin,” the 28-year-old English singer-songwriter admits. “From about 14 to 18 [years old], I had full makeup on every day to school… I would do my eyebrows and I’d put on fake eyelashes and contour and everything as a kid…” In the years since they burst onto the music scene, however—as the stress of a relentless schedule coupled with the wear and tear that comes with constant traveling began to wreak havoc on their skin—they began to see the importance of a daily skin-care routine (a splash of icy-cold water, cleanser, and two complexion-saving serums) that left them feeling fresh and ready for the day ahead.
“I came out when I was ten years old and when I hit 14 [or] 15, I started to really question my gender and started to really want to express myself in ways that I felt like I had to as a form of survival, to be honest. And makeup for me was the way to do that,” Smith says, going on to recall a particularly impactful experience at their local MAC makeup store. “I just remember feeling so left out, because I was like, ‘This shop isn’t for me. Makeup isn’t for me,’ and Narisa, this wonderful, wonderful person, basically taught me that makeup is for me, and it doesn’t matter whatever gender you are. It’s a form of expression and it feels nice…” Now, color cosmetics—be it in the form of a shiny lip lacquer from Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs or all-out glitter applied in strokes at eye level—have become an essential part of their ensemble. “Last year, when I changed my pronouns and really spoke out about my gender expression and my gender fluidity I started falling in love with makeup all over again…” they note.
After spritzing on Urban Decay’s Setting Spray, Smith pauses: “I haven’t actually spoken about this before… but I was losing my hair,” they reveal, explaining that, at the recommendation of their hairdresser, they decided to undergo a hair transplant surgery—a decision that left them with a fuller hairline, and a wide grin. “How stunning is it?” they ask of the results, as they apply a dollop of Shu Uemura’s finishing cream. Ultimately, however, Smith is quick to add that no procedure or product—not even their all-time favorite hyaluronic acid!—replaces the art of self-care: “You can put whatever you want on your face, but if you’re not looking after your mind, your heart, and your body, that also shows,” they muse. With that, they blow a kiss and are off—but not before one final piece of advice: “Look after your skin; look after yourself.”
Below, shop Sam Smith’s Beauty Secrets.