It’s a drizzly winter afternoon—New York at its least hospitable—and Lola Leon has discovered refuge in a bowl of red-sauce pasta. The musician and mannequin is tucked right into a quiet desk at SoHo’s Sant Ambroeus, refueling after a late evening in Ridgewood working along with her producer and buddy Eartheater. An incognito Leon seems to be the a part of an off-duty dancer: naked face, black sweatshirt, hair scraped again right into a bun. “It’s actually giving, my hair is so soiled that it’s the one factor I can do with it proper now,” she says between languid bites of penne. Even a set of cherry crimson nails reads as against-type. “For those who see me frequently, I’m normally lacking, like, three,” she provides with a droll, down-tempo supply.
The 26-year-old is within the swing of self-reinvention. Her acquainted first title, Lourdes (given by dad and mom Madonna and Carlos Leon), has fallen by the wayside. After shrugging off music as a doable pursuit—she as a substitute studied dance at SUNY Buy—Leon made her means onto the scene final yr, with a summer season single that heralded the November launch of Go, her debut EP. If a style for mononyms runs within the household, the musician has landed on Lolahol. I ask if the epithet has taken on a special depth of which means within the months since she coined it. “I simply assume that the title itself is depth,” Leon says, leaning into the literalism alongside the anomaly. “Eartheater calls it ‘Lola’s lair.’ It’s sort of simply, like, inviting folks into my world, perhaps into my mind a bit of bit. My spirals.”
Leon’s newest function, although, is extra surface-level than subterranean. This spring, she seems in her first-ever make-up marketing campaign, representing the most recent basis from Make Up For Ever. Referred to as HD Pores and skin, it’s a velvet-finish powder system designed for adjustable protection—the type of factor one can dial down or stipple on as wanted, with the belief that it’s going to behave accordingly. “That’s what’s essential to me: I don’t wish to seem like a wreck underneath lights, sweating, in the midst of the warmth,” Leon says, hinting at upcoming efficiency dates. The waterproof basis, packaged in an iPhone-slim compact, fits an unpredictable evening out. However discovering the fitting product for a given pores and skin sort and scenario is a trial-and-error course of—emphasis on the error, she jokes. “Once I was youthful and first began utilizing make-up, I’d simply put probably the most insane quantity of basis in my fingers, rub my fingers collectively, after which smear it throughout my face,” the musician recollects. “It was such a thick coating, however I simply felt that that regarded good in my thoughts.” The behavior wasn’t sufficient to make her swear off the stuff. “I feel beginning with a clear base and having the whole lot be even is essential.”
Magnificence nonetheless has its hazards. The identical brows that dominate the Make Up For Ever marketing campaign portraits—excessive, neat hedges framing Leon’s chestnut eyes—are “a catastrophe proper now,” she laments. “I used to be dermaplaning, a.okay.a. shaving your face, and I shaved off the start of my complete eyebrow. So I’m simply trying loopy for a pair weeks, nevertheless it’s okay.” Fortunately the mishap adopted her latest runway flip for Luis De Javier’s New York Trend Week debut, held inside a storied former synagogue. “I felt actually fortunate to be there,” she tells me, singling out the impressed casting and well-matched seems to be, styled by Patti Wilson. Leon modeled a strapless crimson leather-based minidress, with satan horns protruding from the bust; seen amongst a smattering of tattoos was her personal lanky satan above the fitting elbow. “I don’t know,” she smiles. “Individuals say that I could be a little prickly, so the horns make sense.”
Self-defense looks like an attendant mechanism for a well-known upbringing. Hiccups have a means of changing into tabloid catnip, as when Leon, a former Marc Jacobs marketing campaign star, arrived tardy to the designer’s February vogue present. (She made it inside, she assures me.) “Clearly I respect Marc and all of the work that he does, however I feel when persons are making a narrative out of one thing, they’re going to simply sort of run with no matter they assume goes to be fascinating and gossipy.” Jacobs’s present touchingly paid homage to the late Vivienne Westwood: knitwear twisted into “tit prime” rosettes, voluptuous attire, coats with upturned collars and fashions’ arms folded tightly throughout their chests. To Leon, the stiff outerwear was a reminder that “you sort of need to be hypervigilant and hyperaware similtaneously minding your personal enterprise.”
However inside that exoskeleton, there’s a way of cheek. I deliver up a lyric in “Lock&Key” (“No sleep, subsequent aircraft, no sleep, make up”), which appears to replicate the harried tempo of a sure sort of life. “That’s a Woman Gaga reference,” Leon factors out, referring to an interview clip turned soundbite that swept the web. “I used to be like, Oh my god, I’ve to make use of some elements of this. It was simply too humorous and too camp to not.” There’s a shade of actuality within the phrases: “I adore it once I even have the fucking time to do my complete face,” she says, explaining that it’s normally a hasty scenario. “[Makeup] actually has the flexibility to, like, make you’re feeling like a special sort of bitch.”