VV: Do you think that heartbreak theme has helped your fellow U.K. star Adele?
E: I don’t think we are even on the same page as far as music. She does what she does. I do what I do. I’m just happy we’re both here releasing records in a climate that doesn’t let you release records after the first album. I’m just happy I get my third album, official fourth, but third album, second worldwide.
Do you believe in marriage?
Do you want to get married?
Hell yes! I would be a fantastic wife. [Laughs]
I’m all in.
Ride or die?
Yeah, I will have slept for three hours and still go and try to find some kind of food or check my dude. I’m real attentive, and I definitely have one of these [referring to her big heart]. And it’s to my detriment.
Have you been close before or thought you were close to getting married?
I thought I was. He actually proposed to me minus the ring, so it kind of was like, Are we really…
The “Thank You” guy?
Yeah. Minus the ring. When you’re ready to really holler, I guess yes… When you’re serious, let me know. And that was part of the thing. I tried to always look at us and he would only see him. And even when he tried to look at us, he could still only see him. So it was kind of like, we ain’t on the same path. We’re not on the same page.
What’s the hardest thing about being in a relationship and being famous?
You’re carrying some kind of weight whichever way it goes, you know? If they don’t understand your life, they look at you like you’re you. You should be happy. And when they get into your life and they see you, they’re like, Well, I did all of this for you that no one else sees. So you can’t win either way. You’re going to pay for it for who you are somehow. I won’t complain. I love my life, I love my job, I love what the hell I do, and I love who I am. This is my existence. This is what I do. But it’s a tough thing to have to deal with always having that hung over your head, that feeling of well, he might throw that at me that he cooked for me today, like that’s not standard. I didn’t cook for him the entire week because, well, I’m me and I should be lucky that somebody wants to do that for me.
The spoken interludes on the album remind me of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
That was intentional. I think people need to talk. They need to have the conversation that [Lauryn’s] album had. They need to have that pull together that the album had and remind people that skits are fun, too. And it reminded me that I wasn’t alone, again. If you’re in a relationship and I’m who I am, sometimes I had to ride that out alone. Not a lot of people supported it. A lot of people were like, “What are you doing with him?” And then some people were like, “Well, you don’t deserve him.” And it was like, what? We like each other so what’s wrong with that? To a point, I felt alone a lot. So it just reminded me that we’re all going through the same shit. It was just five of my friends in a room talking in my front room. As much as we’re busy and we’re friends, my life is drastically different from theirs. So it just reminded me that I’m not too far off emotionally from what everyone else in the world is dealing with.
Let’s talk beauty. What hairstyles did you rock when you were younger?
I had everything. I had a blonde Mohican. I had a bowl cut with blue stripes in it, purple stripes in it. I had the fingers ways, the pushed up waves. I had short-slicked Halle Berry. I had the short-slicked Nia Long. I’ve had every hairstyle—braids, you name it.
What’s your favorite look?
My favorite look is when I had a bob cut like Regina King in Friday. It was slick, smooth and it moved. It just went from side to side. I was proud of that [laughs].
Worst hair experience?
This lady gave me like a spaceship. My hair gets really thick if you don’t relax it properly so I think she reckoned she relaxed it but she cut my hair into a space ship, a flying saucer kind of haircut. Do you remember the earlier Cynthia in Sex and the City when she started in the ’80s? Well, it looked like that but it was dry and brown. Ooh child, I was so angry. I think I tied it down.
What’s your facial cleansing routine?
Mario Badescu cucumber facial soap—all his products. I get a clearing facial every month just to re-up and clear up skin. As much makeup as I wear, and as much as I have to be turned up every single day, I try to take it down once a month. Take it all off.
Celebrities have access to so many different regimens and procedures. What’s your favorite?
The crystal, clearing thing is pretty good. It’s at Bliss Spa, if you go to a W Hotel. It’s the best most affordable clearing mask, scrub, peel, whatever. They run $500 and up, but this one is like $200 and you’ll see the difference. Your skin will actually lift a shade because it’s just a bunch of dead skin, especially for Black skin. It’s the absolute best.
Do you do your own make-up?
Do you have a favorite line?
Make Up Forever is pretty incredible for all skin tones. Oh my God, they have every shade. A lot of people say MAC, but I say Make Up Forever. I’m going against the grain. I like NARS as well, as far as lipsticks, eye shadows and body oils.
Are you a frugal person?
I am, when it comes to things I know I can get for cheap. I’m definitely the girl that’s like, “Oh, that’s in Wal-Mart. I’ll go in Wal-Mart and buy that.” I love my shoes; I love my products—I don’t skimp on that. Because I know I will use them everyday. Shoes I collect them. Their products you can give them to your kids.
How many shoes would you say you have?
Someone told me I need an intervention.
What’s your favorite type of shoe?
At the moment, sky-high stiletto wedges or platforms. I’m all about that. I’m short; I’m like 5’5, 5’6 or something. I look short, too. People always think I’m taller than I really am so I’m always in heels. Put me in the sky; let’s go.