To say that Dua Lipa‘s life has changed over the past few years would be a serious understatement. After the 2020 release of her second full-length album, Future Nostalgia, the London-born pop singer was catapulted into superstardom. Landing at the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world was forced to shut down and stay put, the album made Lipa a household name—with millions of fans and billions of streams on Spotify—and became a source of get-up-and groove positivity when things felt anything but positive. “It was the disco album that people listened to in their kitchen,” says Lipa. “[When it came out], we were in a pandemic, so I was at home, and I thought, ‘Cool, everyone is listening to my music.’ But I didn’t really understand just how many people [were listening].”

We recently met up with the Grammy-winning star in Paris at an intimate gathering to celebrate the launch of YSL Beauty’s Libre Le Parfum, a sister scent to Libre, the perfume that kicked off Lipa’s role as a brand ambassador. A warm floral that—like its predecessor—draws on notes of lavender and orange blossom, this new iteration also has a rich saffron accord for a bold, unexpected hit of spice. “I wore the original Libre fragrance for a long time,” says Lipa. “I’ve always been a one-perfume-for-everything kind of girl, but Libre Le Parfum has really broadened my horizons as it offers a new [olfactory] mood and stays on for so long. By the time you’re done dancing at the end of the night, you still smell really good.”

While musing about how her mum’s comforting scent inspired her to have her own go-to eau—“She smells like how I like my perfume: fresh, a bit woody and not too floral”—Lipa also shared the role that fragrance plays in getting her into the right headspace to perform in packed arenas night after night. “I love to put perfume on before I go  onstage,” she says.“It’s almost like a soundtrack that dictates a place, time and mood. Whenever you smell that scent again, it [brings you right back].”

The partnership between Lipa and YSL Beauty is a no-brainer—not only because of the performer’s impeccable personal style but also because the fashion house is known for its boundary-breaking juxtapositions of the masculine and the feminine and Lipa is no stranger to exploring both sides of her personality. “I’ve had to do more nurturing of my feminine side as my masculine side has been easier for me to tap into,” she says. Working in a male-dominated industry has taught Lipa how to hold her own in any situation she’s thrown into. “I’ve always felt like I’ve had to have this toughness and strength in order to be heard especially for songwriting, because a lot of producers are men—so my masculine side carries me into a room.”

As the 27-year-old’s star power keeps rising, so does the public’s perception of her. But even now that she’s achieved an impressive level of success, Lipa still has no regrets about being honest and transparent in her songwriting. “Very early on in my career, I just kind of let go of the what-ifs, and I [continue] to put it all out there and dive into my personal experiences when I write,” she says. “I had to let go of the scary thought of what people might think in order to get into the really honest bits about myself. I think surrender has been a big topic for me this year.”


“I would love, love, love to work with André 3000. I’m such a fan of Outkast, and I’m a fan of him as an artist. I’m just going to put it out into the universe.”


“Yoga is a big part of my life. It really helps me shut off, and it takes me away from everything that’s going on. It’s the one hour when I don’t think about anything and my mind is blank. I also like to meditate before bed as it helps me wind down after a really long day.”


“I love to read. I’m currently reading The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve read, like, four of his books. I started with Klara and the Sun and Never Let Me Go, which is a really, really good one.”


“[I always have] an eyelash curler and a brown lipstick. The other day, when my friends and I were randomly doing a ‘what’s in my bag’ thing, I pulled out eight lipsticks—and they were all the same colour. I was like, ‘Okay, this is a personality trait, it seems.’”


“It’s been a lot of trial and error figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for me. When I do my makeup, I like to get experimental and try different colours, and I think everyone should do that. Whether it’s makeup or skincare, it’s all just an experiment, so have fun with it. Beauty is meant to be expressive.”