Dua Lipa on beauty, going ginger, and making activism ‘accessible’

“When something happens in the world, people have this immediate reaction to have to speak up,” says Dua Lipa, speaking over Zoom from New York. “I think knowledge is much more important than impulse reaction. I think learning about something and then speaking up on it should be valued more.”

It’s this belief that is at the heart of Lipa’s cultural platform Service95, a venture that comprises a newsletter, podcast and book club. From resource lists to help readers understand the situation in Afghanistan and investigations into transphobia in UK politics, to recommendations for queer-affirming beauty salons and travel guides to Beirut, the platform aims to tell important stories from around the world through an unbiased lens. “We’re giving information so people can learn about different things that I think it’s important to know about, and make activism accessible,” she says. “That is the main idea behind it, bringing information and then letting people decide for themselves.”

That Lipa is heading up this venture while simultaneously maintaining her status as one of the biggest pop stars of the moment and launching a budding acting career proves she is the ultimate celebrity symbol for our hustle-culture, multi-hyphenate-obsessed times, when labels have gone out the window and everyone is doing everything. In the last year alone, she also co-hosted the Met Gala, released a capsule collection as a guest designer for Versace, wrote a Grammy and Golden Globes-nominated song for Barbie, and recently started releasing music from her upcoming third album, which she describes as a “sonic departure” from her last record, Future Nostalgia, and “more psychedelic as a genre than anything else I’ve ever done”.

Amidst all of that, she has somehow found the time to step into the role of newly appointed global make-up ambassador for YSL Beauty. Having worked with the brand fronting the Libre fragrance franchise since 2019, this new position sees Lipa appear in a YSL Beauty make-up campaign for the first time, as the face for a new lip collection ‘Loveshine’. Comprising two high-shine formulas – a lip gloss stick and a lipstick – and a wide range of shades, the collection, which launches tomorrow, is for anyone who wants their lips to feel soft, hydrated, plump and juicy.

Here Lipa speaks to Dazed about the new Loveshine collection, changing up her hair, what we can expect from her new album, and how it felt asking Apple’s Tim Cook hard questions about child labour practices.

Your relationship with YSL Beauty has spanned years, why do you think you’re so creatively connected to the brand?
Dua Lipa: I really resonate with the Saint Laurent woman. I really feel like there’s such a duality in my personal style, and the Saint Laurent woman’s; of having a very hyper-feminine side to it, but then also having a masculine energy as well. I love the juxtaposition, I love being able to have two different styles or moods, depending on how I feel. And I think that for me really resonates and I feel very much at home there.

And now you’re the new face of the make-up. What can you tell us about the Loveshine collection?
Dua Lipa: Well, I’m just a big fan of lipstick overall. If I didn’t wear any make-up whatsoever, lipstick is one thing I can’t leave the house without. I really love ‘Festival’, the Candy Glaze Loveshine colour that I use. It’s a nude-y brown, which is something that is my go-to. I love that it gives me the colour that I want, it gives me the shine, it gives the hydration and the moisture. It looks like a lipstick, it feels like an oil. It’s very juicy and glossy. My approach to beauty and make-up is quite low maintenance, so when I have something that’s an all-in-one like this, it’s a perfect product for me. I’m a big, big fan of it.

It’s the best of all worlds?
Dua Lipa: Exactly!

What’s your relationship with make-up? Throughout your life, has it changed?
Dua Lipa: Yeah, it’s changed. I think when I was younger, I was experimenting with make-up, all the make-up, trying to figure out what works for me, really dark brows and a lot of mascara. It’s evolved, now I’m trying to look at ways to just accentuate my features. I think less is more. I feel like I’ve figured it out now, my everyday look, which wasn’t the case when I was younger, so I feel much better in the way I do my make-up now.

You recently dyed your hair red – why the change?
Dua Lipa: I love a change. I think it’s always fun. It feels like a fresh start. Also because I just started releasing new music and when I was working in the studio and working on the songs I just felt like I really resonated with the colour red. Also the colour blue but I felt like red is a much safer option [laughs]. I just love it. When I was younger, my mom always had red hair. And I feel like it naturally really goes with my skin tone and I feel really good in it. It’s a very different experience from my peroxide blonde that I had for my last record, much less traumatic for sure.

Do you feel different as a redhead? Have you taken on a new persona?
Dua Lipa: No, I feel like it’s just a real extension of myself. I don’t know what it is about the red hair but when I wake up in the morning and I look at myself in the mirror, it’s not like the shock horror that I had when I saw myself with blonde hair. A very different experience for sure!

You mentioned you’ve got new music coming out. You have a new album, what can you tell us about it?
Dua Lipa: It’s quite a sonic departure from my last record. Most of this album was kind of made like a band, I really wanted the organic instrumentation to be prevalent in this new record. I spent so much of my last year on tour and every time I go on tour I fall in love with the live versions of my songs, more than the album versions. And so I really wanted that energy to come across in my new record, so much more of just that real live organic instrumentation. It’s definitely more psychedelic as a genre than anything else I’ve ever done. So I’m excited. I like being a little bit out of my comfort zone, trying out new things, exploring a different sound, but at the same time staying true to my pop world because I love that. Pop music has always been something that I’ve felt very connected to. So this is my way of exploring a new aspect of it.

How wonderful that you fall in love with and discover new sides of your music on tour because it could so easily go the other way and grow tired of them, performing the same songs over and over.
Dua Lipa: Yeah, I really love touring. I love being on stage and experiencing different crowds and also getting to explore different cities and different cultures. I have so much fun when I’m on the road. It can be a gruelling experience because it is really intense and there is a lot of travel and you have to stay really fit and really motivated and ready for every night. But I think if you manage to find really fun aspects of it, it can become the most enjoyable experience ever. So I really try to keep that.

You have a newsletter, Service 95, as well as a podcast and a book club. Why was it important to you to launch that platform and have that different side to your career?
Dua Lipa: Well, before I had my music career – and of course I always wanted to do music – I had a blog. It was called Dua Daily and I would post my outfits, or what I was doing, or share my recommendations. It’s always just been a part of my life, it’s something that I’ve always loved doing. I love having lists and discovering new things. This is a much more refined and professional version of that, where I get to commission stories from all over the world. I’m constantly learning new things. I’m discovering so many things alongside the whole Service95 team, and with my fans and listeners. I feel like it’s just given me such a different perspective on the world.

I think also having a platform, I’ve always felt that it’s important to touch on topics around the world but with a more journalistic, unbiased approach where we’re just giving information so people can learn about different things that I think it’s important to know about. And make activism accessible. I talk about this a lot – when something happens in the world, people have this immediate reaction to have to speak up. I think knowledge is much more important than impulse reaction. I think learning about something and then speaking up on it should be valued more, rather than speaking on something quickly and then discovering it later. So that is the main idea behind it, bringing information and then letting people decide for themselves.

You recently interviewed Tim Cook on your podcast and I think you were the first person to ask him directly about child labour practices at Apple. How do you feel when you’re asking these hard questions and holding people to account?
Dua Lipa: First of all, I feel very lucky that Tim was open to having a conversation with me. I think I’d be doing a disservice to myself, and everyone else, if I didn’t ask the hard questions and even if they are difficult, I think it’s something that we should just speak about more freely. Tim was super generous and open and he was ready and willing to answer my questions whatever they were. I don’t know. I think conversations are important and having difficult conversations is just a big part of life, and we need to have those. So yeah, it felt like a no-brainer.

Dazed – February 24

Current Projects
Planet of the Koalaroos (202?)
Role: Vicky (Rumoured)
A live-action comedy spoof inspired by Planet of the Apes and featuring humanoid kangaroos and koala bears, collectively known as the Koalaroos and ruling a post-apocalyptic Earth where only Australia has survived and few humans remain in that land down under of Kylie Minogue, Aborigines, shrimp on the barbie, Fosters beer, and random violence...

The Cincinnati Spin (2025)
Role: Unknown
A young female reporter, recently divorced and down on her luck, gets a chance to write an article for the cover of Time Magazine, in which she finds herself becoming the very story.

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty (2024)
Role: Brand Ambassador
Dua Lipa is a brand ambassador for YSL Beauty, launching YSL LOVESHINE, their brand new makeup collection.

Radical Optimism (2024)
Dua Lipa's uncoming third studio album will be released on May 3rd.

Argylle (2024)
Role: LaGrange
A reclusive author who writes espionage novels about a secret agent and a global spy syndicate realizes the plot of the new book she's writing starts to mirror real-world events, in real time.

Service95 (Since 2022)
Dua Lipa's global platform which includes a website, a weekly newsletter, podcast, and book club.
Tour Dates
  • June 5 | Waldbühne | Berlin, Germany
  • June 9 | Arena Pula | Pula, Croatia
  • June 12 | Arènes de Nîmes | Nîmes, France
  • June 13 | Arènes de Nîmes | Nîmes, France
  • June 28 | GLASTONBURY | Somerset, England
  • July 4 | Open'er Festival | Gdynia, Poland
  • July 6 | Rock Werchter | Werchter, Belgium
  • July 10 | Mad Cool Festival | Madrid, Spain
  • July 12 | NOS Alive Festival | Oeiras, Portugal
  • October 17 | The Royal Albert Hall | London. England
  • Service95 Book Club: May

    Dua's pick for May is Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski.
    See past book club picks.
    Family Sites