Perhaps the best part of a H.E.R. song—save the intricate melodies and sway-worthy beats—is the lyrics that make you feel like you know her. The artist’s songs all have a personal bend that makes it feel like she’s your friend letting you in on a secret. Case in point: wedding-favorite “Best Part” or hit collaboration with Bryson Tiller “Could’ve Been.”
Then there’s the artist’s public persona, an image enrobed in an enigmatic quality that matches the depth of her music. She’s rarely, if ever, spotted without a signature pair of shades on (the singer even performs in them), lending her a certain air of mystery. Through everything, she stays true to herself without following fad music trends, which is part of the reason for her smash success in the industry.
Though the artist hasn’t released new music since 2021 (let’s not forget she’s halfway to an EGOT), she revealed to me that now that she’s done touring she’s knee-deep in her next project. “I’m doing all-female collaborations,” H.E.R. says. “I’m excited for people to hear that. I know they’ve been waiting on it. I’ve been saving them for a really special moment.”
H.E.R. has found herself going back to her roots lately for inspiration, listening to the song “Losing” from her first project on repeat. “I’m just getting back to that focus that I had and how connected I was to my truth,” she says. “I’ve been trying to get back to that. My first project has been a reminder for me.”
Another way that H.E.R. is staying true to herself is by representing a brand that coincides with her beliefs. As an ambassador for L’Oréal, H.E.R. is able to work with a brand that she feels aligned with. I caught up with her ahead of the brand’s annual Women of Worth event, which celebrates the philanthropic achievements of 10 nonprofit leaders who are committed to helping communities across the country.
“It’s really cool to be a part of something like this,” H.E.R. says. “You go throughout life, and you [wonder], ‘How can I create change? How can I help? How can I use my platform?’ That’s exactly what this event is about. That’s what L’Oréal is about—extending your platform and showing up and being the support that I think we all need. These women are really actively creating change. This is actually the work and not just saying you’re about change, but being about it.”
Being able to work with L’Oréal is a dream come true for H.E.R. “I’ve always been a L’Oréal girl,” she says. “I never thought I would be able to work with a beauty brand.”
Beauty means a lot to the singer, as she’s always used it as a mirror for her emotions. “It’s really about the inside and what makes you feel good on the inside,” she says. She reveals that she lets her feelings dictate how she dresses and presents herself.
This, of course, makes sense. If you live for award shows, you’ll know that H.E.R.’s looks are often one of the highlights of the red carpet. She’s not afraid to play around and experiment with makeup, like the bold eyeshadow look she wore to perform with Alica Keys or the graphic cat eye she sported at the Oscars, and it pays off in spades. “I recently tried a new eyeliner look that I’m obsessed with,” she says. “It’s been a trend, and I finally did it myself. But I went to Doja Cat’s birthday party, and I did this liner look. The liner kind of extends the inner corner of your eye.”
This kind of creative approach to beauty is one of the things that makes H.E.R.’s partnership with L’Oréal so seamless. It feels like she and the brand are a natural match, particularly when it comes to her natural-hair journey. “My curls have been flourishing lately because of all the L’Oréal curl products,” she says. “I think more recently we’ve just now had proper products for curly hair, and there [are] options. It’s not a one product fits all. L’Oréal really nailed it with the cleanser and the leave-in conditioner. Those are my favorite.”
She’s also partial to the brand’s iconic Voluminous Mascara, which is among the products she insists she wouldn’t leave the house without. Also on her list? Red lipstick and a pair of sunglasses. “I’m always gonna say the shades,” she says with a laugh.
As we patiently await her upcoming project, we can count on one thing: H.E.R. will always keep things interesting, and she’ll do it with a pair of shades on.