For Rita Ora, Wellness Starts By Putting Down the Phone

Rita Ora wearing a custom red dress
Rita Ora wearing custom Lanvin atop the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Frederic Monceau.

Paris, which is currently playing host to a particularly joyous fashion week, is once again bursting with energy—and where better to celebrate that than atop the Eiffel Tower? Rita Ora aptly chose the monument to kick off the “Iconic People in Iconic Places” music series, bringing along four custom looks by Lanvin, Miu Miu, Fendi, and Alexandre Vauthier. “The fitting process was a very ‘pinch me’ moment,” the U.K. superstar tells W ahead of the concert film’s Thursday night premiere. “I wanted to share my love for this city with my fans around the world and give them a moment to sing and dance.”

The IRL audience may not have been able to tell when she was 1,000 feet up in the air, but rest assured: Ora was on full Lancôme ambassador duty, most prominently with her go-to confidence booster: a bold red lip (courtesy of L’Absolu Rouge Drama Ink). Not that Ora has been having much trouble with confidence these days. Here, she opens up about the pressure (or lately, lack thereof) to maintain a certain appearance and shares her wellness and skincare routines.

You’ve played at so many famed venues over the years, and this one is particularly historic. I have to ask: Do you get nervous before you perform?

Performing is one of my favorite parts of my job. I love the energy of the crowds, moving around the stage and interacting with my band. I don’t really get nervous anymore—I just get really excited. I have an insane amount of energy before I hit the stage. I do a lot of stretching and vocal exercises to get myself centered and both physically and mentally prepared, and then I’m ready to go!

How often do you do your own makeup? Are you confident in your skills?

I’ve had the privilege of learning from some of the best makeup artists in the business just by watching them work. It’s really helped me feel confident in putting my own looks together, which I do pretty often. In my everyday life, I’m much more stripped back when it comes to makeup. It’s really important to give my skin a break if I’m not performing or making an appearance. On a normal day, I’ll keep my look pretty low-key, but mascara and eyeliner are musts. Of course, if I’m going to dinner, I might do a bold red lip, which always gives me an extra boost of confidence. Even if my look is a bit more stripped back that day, I’ll immediately feel like I can take on anything.

Let’s get into skincare. What type of skin do you have?

I have combination skin, and unfortunately am prone to breaking out if I do a lot of appearances in a row or if I’m on tour. It’s super important for me to use products that are soothing. La Mer has an incredible skincare line that really helps keep my skin looking fresh. I’m also a big fan of using a light therapy face mask, which helps to kill bacteria and calms inflammation.

What’s your morning skincare routine?

Typically I’ll use a light foam cleanser in the mornings, maybe do some light exfoliation—and I say light because you really want to be careful and not overdo it. Then I’ll put on some moisturizer and, of course, under-eye cream. Never skip the under-eye cream!

What about your morning wellness routine?

I won’t lie: I’m a fan of the snooze button, so I like to do a little extra sleeping whenever I can. After I wake up, I do some light stretching just to get myself going and then I like to do affirmations. I think it’s really important to start the day off with positive energy. I usually do all that before my morning skincare, and then it’s off to breakfast! I would say the most important part of my wellness routine is not going straight to my phone in the morning. I like to take my time and really get myself centered before I go into work mode. After breakfast, I shower and then head to the gym for cardio and weights.

Do you take any supplements?

I do! I feel supplements are really important and keep me functioning at a high level. I take a probiotic and vitamins C, D and E. If I’ve done a lot physically during the day, like an intense workout, I’ll take magnesium and zinc for my muscles.

What is your evening skincare routine on a regular off night?

I’ll start off with a makeup remover, then move to a face scrub. I’ll use that with a cloth, which I think is just the best and most efficient method to make sure my skin is clean. Up next are the oils and night creams, which truly are essential. Hydrating your skin at night is so important.

On nights you perform, you’re under a lot of heat, perspiration, and let’s face it: makeup. What do you do and use to help your skin breathe at night?

Lancôme has an excellent makeup remover that gets everything off, including glitter. After I remove the makeup, I use a high-intensity moisturizer at night, which really helps my skin stay hydrated while I sleep.

Rita Ora in a custom look atop the Eiffel Tower.

Photo by Frederic Monceau

Are you a good sleeper?

I’m a fairly good sleeper. I think one of the keys to good sleep is keeping a nighttime routine. I try to go to bed at the same time every night and have certain essential oils and incense that I light before I go to sleep. Those scents are really a signal to my body that it’s time for rest and relaxation. It brings a sort of calmness and gets me into a peaceful state of mind.

Do you ever feel pressure to look a certain way, or to be presentable as soon as you walk out the door?

When I was first starting out, I did feel a lot of pressure to look a certain way and it was overwhelming. But my perspective has shifted as I’ve gotten older, and the pressure has started to fade. I think as we age, we start to reevaluate how we look at life and what is important to us. In the last few years, I’ve really started to focus on my mental and physical health. I feel much more comfortable in my own skin and I’m in such a good space as a result. When I go out to dinner with friends, what’s important is how I feel in what I’m wearing and the makeup I have on.