Country music star Carly Pearce has had a self-described “up-and-down” of a year. On the upside: The small-town Kentucky native’s “I Hope You’re Happy Now” hit number-one on country radio (to the tune of 50 million–plus streams), and her follow-up, just-released single, “Next Girl,” is on an equally impressive run. On the downside: A much-publicized divorce from singer Michael Ray and adjusting after the death of her longtime producer. Through it all, she says, music, reading and running—with a side of some “in-her-blood” beauty—have helped keep her centered.
You grew up in a small town. Has beauty always been part of your life?
It has always been a HUGE part of my life. My grandmother and mother were both cosmetologists—my grandmother owned a beauty salon at one time and worked for years in other salons, while my mom worked in many salons, for Revlon and also worked in skin care. It’s in my blood!
What’s been the biggest change to your beauty routine during the stay-at-home?
Being in the entertainment industry, your skin takes a beating. I think the biggest change has been truly letting my skin REST and BREATHE for the first time in years. Makeup-free days, proper rest…it’s been really good.
Under normal circumstances, you’re on the road a lot. What are some of the best beauty tricks you’ve been introduced to by your glam squad?
I think the biggest things I’ve learned from my glam squad would be doing your eye makeup before your foundation so that your eye shadow doesn’t get everywhere on your face, how to use individual lashes, and the wonders of a crimper for your hair to get beach waves.
What are you doing during all of this to stay centered?
I love to read, so I have been doing a lot of that. I’ve also been diving into writing and recording new music, which has been super therapeutic for me.
You turned 30 this year—any surprises?
Oh gosh, many! I’ve had a lot of things happen to me this year, but the thing that continues to surprise me is how strong I am and how much country music is a healer. I dove straight into music and I truly think it saved me this year.
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