"If Kylie [Jenner] were to walk out of the door and wear absolutely no makeup, sweatpants, and a tank top, people would be like, 'Look how ugly [she] is. Oh my God, she's so disgusting and she's such a mess walking out like that," Madison Beer says of the struggles of keeping up appearances in Hollywood. "People are just used to seeing her so put together, so I feel like she can't win, no matter what she does, whether she's wearing a pile of makeup on her face and a gown, or she's wearing leggings and a t-shirt, people will always have something to say."
It's this same world of celebrity-ism and the price tag that accompanies fame, a just-shy-of-17-year-old Beer is quickly adjusting to herself. In 2012, as Beer was entering her teenage years, she was uploading cover song videos on YouTube when Justin Bieber conspicuously tweeted a link that would change her life. Almost overnight, Beer, found herself with a growing list of loyal fans (Currently around 9 million, across all her different accounts) and a record deal on J.B.'s label. She's since been dubbed as the pop phenomenon's protégé, just as Justin himself was Usher's protégé not too long before that.
On set for her MIMI cover shoot in Venice Beach, CA, Beer tells us that Justin is heavily involved with her career and debut album she's been working on ever since. And yes, it's been a while.
"I think it's been really awesome, but of course, Justin's so busy that it's hard to really get his full attention all the time. So it's like a waiting process — but he's so talented and creative and he has such a good ear for music and that's why I always send him stuff before it comes out, just to make sure he likes it," Beer says.
It's clearly apparent that Beer holds a lot of trust in Bieber — a trust that has never wavered — even during a highly publicized dark period, when Bieber was arrested for a DUI and involved in assault allegations, causing further speculation around his alcohol and drug abuse.
"When all the bad stuff was happening with him, all I thought was What was your 19-year-old son doing?" Beer says about Bieber. "If you were to have a video camera around your 19-year-old son, you're going to tell me that he wasn't doing stuff close to this…like, really? No, your son was doing the same kind of stuff."
"He's a great kid and he has a good heart and everyone makes mistakes. Right now he is so focused on his music, fans, and life. It's just so amazing and really refreshing to see someone who was so, like, lost, to really be so happy again."
Credits: Suit by Kempner
Since her career takeoff, the so-freakin'-gorgeous-it-hurts Beer — who was born in Long Island, NY and spent time between NYC and Miami — has released singles and corresponding music videos for "Melodies" and "Unbreakable". She's working on a video concept for her latest single, "Something Sweet" which she describes as "a little edgier, a little bit more mature, and definitely in the direction that I want to be in."
And even though the debut album has taken a considerable amount of time, Madison promises it will be released this year. "I will probably release the album in mid-2016," she says. "It's very me," she continues. "I like a lot of weird songs. I'm trying to incorporate what I like into the album and every song sounds like a different genre, honestly. I'm trying to tie everything together and it's coming along great."
Currently managed by Scooter Braun (who groomed both Bieber and Ariana Grande), Madison has quickly learned the ropes from two of contemporary music's biggest stars. But the biggest lesson yet may (at least, in our beauty-obsessed eyes) come from her pal Grande, who urged Beer not to play around with her hair color too much.
"She's told me not to dye my hair a million times because she did that — changed her hair from red to brown to blonde — and that just killed her hair. So [Grande] warned me not to dye my hair."
If she was going to make that drastic hair change, it would be Lady Gaga-inspired at the moment. "I've been dying over Gaga in American Horror Story...she really kills it every single time with the platinum, platinum blonde hair and she even dyed her eyebrows platinum to match. If I were ever to make a drastic change, that's probably what I would do," she says.
For today's shoot, however, we've chosen a 1970s, Greenwich Village-era Patty Smith as the inspiration for Beer — an edge and roughness to compliment Madison's doll-like, almost-too-perfect features (seriously this chick could give us all a lesson in lashes).
As a girl in middle school, Beer is embarrassed to admit she would wear color eyeliner all the time — "blues and greens and purples just to try to make my eyes look a little more bright. And I used to use, a stick eyeliner and draw wings with it and it was just not cute," she laughs. "I still bite my nails though, I think that's pretty gross."
While Madison credits her mom with inspiring her fashion style, her obsession with all things beauty and makeup was born around the time she was 12, when she started experimenting with makeup and getting it done professionally (lucky girl). "I feel like with makeup, I really picked it up on my own. There's no one really in my family — my grandma is probably the closest — who loves makeup like I do."
When she's doing it herself, Beer's makeup routine consists of a Nars Concealer and a Nars Foundation — "I like gold and orange-y kinds of eye shadow right now," she says. "I also like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit. It's really nice, it feels good on your skin and it stays, like, all day long." For eyes, it's all about a L'Oreal's Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner and more importantly for Madison, "I always make sure my lashes look cute," she says.
It's obvious that Beer, even at such a young age, not only has her beauty game down, but just like Rihanna — whose style Beer says she worships — she's a style chameleon and we're about to see a lot more of her in magazines, on TV, and dominating the web.
"Not every girl who wears makeup feels like, "Oh, I'm so ugly without it." I wear makeup because it's fun to put on and I feel pretty with it on." It's that same playfulness and yearning to feel pretty that drives Beer to constantly experiment with wigs, as demonstrated quite often on her Instagram page.
"There's this guy on Instagram, his name is TokyoStylez...he makes the sickest, most insane wigs I have ever seen in my life. They all have your natural root color as the roots on the wig…so it really does look natural. I have stalked him on Instagram a million, trillion times."
Credits: Sweater by Topshop
But her everyday beauty inspiration doesn't stop there. "I go on Tumblr every day [to get inspired]. There's a website called theclassyissue.com — and it's literally just a website about fashion and girls. You know, I am the kind of girl who loves looking at hot girls. Like, I just am so mesmerized by some girls, like, "How are you so hot?" I don't understand it," she says on her admiration for beauty.
When it comes to boys, "I feel like I am more attracted to brunette boys. And like, I have a brunette guy [Ed note: Madison is dating Jack Gilinsky of Jack & Jack] who has light eyes. That's killer. My boyfriend is the typical pretty boy, I think he is so gorgeous and I feel like he's my type, for sure," she says. Yeah, they're pretty much the most perfect looking couple ever….could you imagine their kids?
Yeah, Madison can too. Although she notes she's not ready for kids right now, the wise-beyond-her-years Beer says she already thinks about having kids and loves the idea of it.
Hair by Chad Wood | Makeup by Amber Dreadon | Manicure by Kait Mosh | Styled by Alex Sweterlitsch