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We’re constantly acquiring new tips and tricks from beauty biz experts, female celebrities, and notable influencers. But we mustn’t forget that beauty inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. And for me, music (and the people that make it) is a constant source of education—especially male rock stars.
Brilliant performers like Mick Jagger, Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix have more to offer us than great tunes and good genes, particularly in the beauty department.
Behold every beauty lesson I’ve learned from some of the most accomplished men in music.
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When it comes to swagger, this Brit has it in spades. Aside from reveling in his gorgeous locks and plump, all-natural lips (apologies, Kylie), I want to take a moment to reflect on his ability to perch a stylish topper on his head. The lesson? Skip your favorite dry shampoo for a day (mine is R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo, £27) and opt for a wide-brim hat to camouflage the fact that you haven’t washed it in a few days too many.
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Kurt Cobain, the man who made a cameo in all of my grunge-soaked fantasies, sported the original textured bob and lived-in color. Now we can scroll through our feeds and find well-lit photos of blondes with subtle, seemingly slept-in waves and piece-y chops. But just look through images of Nirvana’s front man and you’ll see the same thing. I have Cobain to thank for the Anh Co Tran bobs I dream about every night. I’ve learned I don’t have to worry about upkeep as much, because he certainly didn't, and his hair looked pretty darn stellar.
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The inimitable David Bowie taught us all so much about beauty. He was at the forefront of androgynous fashion during a time when very few people found it acceptable to dress however you please. He demonstrated how to wear glitter like a grown-up and show off your assets in unconventional outfits, and he even made an eye patch look covetable. The most important trait, though, was his ability to be authentic. It never felt like Bowie was anything but his true self. The beauty lesson he taught me was to simply do me.
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Though he’s not the first to come to mind when I think of rock stars, he is a jack-of-all-trades. So he counts. Pharrell is on another level when it comes to glowing skin. The 42-year-old producer (42!) has a wrinkle-free mug and doesn’t mind discussing how to care for it properly. In an interview with Into the Gloss, Pharrell explained, “You have to clean your face. You can’t sit around and assume it’s going to be okay. I wash my face every day—don’t be afraid to wash yours before you go to bed!” He added, “Years and years and years ago, Naomi Campbell pulled me aside and said, 'Listen, this is what you have to do—you have to go to a dermatologist.” Skincare advice from Naomi Campbell through the mouth of Pharrell? Chiiiic.
Jimi Hendrix is famous for a lot of things—his music and his untimely death—but I’ve always admired his natural curls. So much so that recently I’ve started to embrace my own (with help from Shu Uemura's Essence Absolue Oil, £40). Air-dried hair is a freeing experience, so who better to thank than the Are You Experienced man himself? Not that I don’t love myself a bouncy blow-out. I am a beauty girl after all, and we have to have options…
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Dubbed the swag (a swingy shag), Tyler’s signature ’do has made its way from the stage to the 2016 runways. The razored texture, long layers, and parted bangs are so divinely ’70s that it’s only natural that I’ve fallen in love with the look. Seems like Steven Tyler taught us all a lesson in cool-girl hair before the contemporary designers did. Recreate his texture with Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray (£39).
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Ombré hair color is a trend that gained major traction over the last few years, and it hasn't slowed down since. Though different iterations have popped up (sombré, dip-dye), the look is still wildly popular and consistently requested at salons. Enter: Jared Leto. The Oscar-winning actor and lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars has the most gorgeous ombré I've ever seen. So much so, that I've brought photos of it in with me to show my colorist. The lesson here is that good is hair is good hair—regardless of whose head it's on. Keep your highlights from fading with Christophe Robin's Shade Variation Care in Baby Blond (£38).
Fiending for another history lesson? Click over to find the best cult beauty products throughout history.