Alisa Xayalith of The Naked and Famous Did the Exact Opposite of What Was Expected of Her

On the third day of Firefly—so hot not even a double shower could wash away the second skin of sweat/sunscreen/bug spray/miscellaneous filth one accrues at a camping-heavy music festival—Alisa Xayalith of The Naked and Famous is flitting around, unbothered as Fitzgerald’s Jordan Baker, in a field feet from a tent under which roadies are already wilting in their black skinny jeans. Being an artist with an air-conditioned dressing room helps, but in achieving life cool, so does having a strong sense of self. Here, Xayalith talks turning her male bandmates onto concealer, what it’s like being an immigrant in America, and her responsibilities as one of the few Asian women in music.


On not letting anybody else do her eyeliner:

“I have over the years, through trial and error, had many makeup artists do my makeup for photo shoots and stuff. A lot of them aren’t used to doing makeup on Asian faces, so I’ve always let them do the base, the shadows, and whatever. But when it comes to the liquid eyeliner, I’m like, ‘Hold the phone, I’m really sorry, but do you mind if I do this myself because I don’t want you to waste your time trying to perfect something on me that I won’t end up being happy with?’ It’s really hard to do so I’ve just learned tricks along the way, and now I only do my own makeup.”

Buy It: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner,

On a red lip that doesn’t smear or disintegrate seconds into a set:

“Usually I use a lip pencil. I go between MAC or NARS lipliner, then I have a Stila red matte liquid lipstick that has stood the test of time for me because it doesn’t come off after I play a long, 75-minute, sweaty, rock show. I’ve done the test.”

Buy It: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick,


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