Kelsea Ballerini Talks Breakup Advice and Her Biggest Beauty Regret

Covergirl / Jamie McCarthy

Kelsea Ballerini has had a wild year. After going through a public divorce in November 2022, the country singer spent 2023 promoting a studio album, wrapping up a tour, and turning 30. Breakups are hard, but “the only way out is through,” Ballerini tells POPSUGAR. “Letting yourself feel it all, not comparing the healing journey that you have to anyone else’s, that’s the thing I really had to check myself on.”

Despite her jam-packed schedule, the star still somehow had time to team up with CoverGirl for its first celebrity product collaboration since 2017. (Ballerini has been an ambassador for the brand since March 2022.) Together, they launched a limited-edition makeup collection, Exhibitionist Liquid Glitter Eyeshadows, which will feature six different glittery shades.

For Ballerini, the partnership with CoverGirl felt natural. “I remember playing in my mom’s makeup, and whenever I was allowed to start wearing it myself, she would bring me to the drugstore and I would go straight to CoverGirl,” Ballerini says. “That was the brand that I had seen the commercials and in the magazines of ‘easy, breezy, beautiful,’ and it felt approachable and affordable and all the things that made sense to my little-kid brain.”

Ballerini was allowed to start experimenting with beauty in middle school, but it wasn’t an immediate free-for-all. “It was one thing a year,” Ballerini says. “It started with tinted ChapStick, and then it went to clear mascara, then it went to concealer, kind of out of necessity because I was having some skin issues, and then the next year it was [colored] mascara. That was kind of when I was like, all right, I’m allowed to wear makeup now.”

Looking back, although she had a slow introduction to makeup, Ballerini says the one mistake she made was never using blush. “I didn’t believe in blush for a long time, and even when I started doing red carpets and early tours and stuff, I would not let anyone touch me with blush. I don’t know why I really had it out for blush; I love it now. I will rarely leave the house without a little color on my cheeks. That’s my biggest beauty mishap. A lot of photos of me exist where I just didn’t have anything going on.”

It isn’t every day that you get the opportunity to ask someone who performs in front of thousands of people on a regular basis what their concert-proof makeup tips are, but Ballerini has an all-encompassing one-word answer. “Glitter,” she says. “I’m being silly, but I am serious. Where am I not putting the glitter? I’ve always loved it, but especially now that I get to be on stage and kind of this dramatic version of myself, you’re not going to catch me on stage without it. It’s my Hannah Montana mechanism.”

When it comes to expressing herself in ways other than makeup – and glitter – Ballerini recently started getting tattoos again after taking a brief hiatus. “I wanted a wave [design] for a long time and didn’t get it, then made some life changes in the last year and a half, and that really sparked my journey of tattoos again,” she says. Ballerini followed up the wave ink on her hip with a mountain range with birds to commemorate her song “Mountain of the View.” She just added another tattoo, a hummingbird, which no one has seen yet. “She’s incredible. She’s getting her debut at the VMAs, and I’m so excited.”

There are a few tattoos, however, that Ballerini might not keep forever – although she has no regrets. “I stand by my life,” she says, before adding the caveat that can be applied to almost anything: “I think if things no longer suit you, you’re allowed to change your mind.”

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