Courtesy of e.l.f. cosmetics
Meghan Trainor wants you to know that working moms can have it all—so much so that the “Mother” (no pun intended) singer credits having had children for her recent success.
“Before I had kids, what was I doing? What was I doing with all my time?” says Trainor, who also considers children to be bearers of good fortune. “I'm accomplishing so much [now] because I feel like I have to. Literally, I got pregnant with [my son] Barry, and then I heard about this opportunity with E.L.F.”
The opportunity in question is none other than an E.L.F. Cosmetics Super Bowl ad, in which Trainor stars alongside the Suits cast and Judge Judy—the latter of whom actually inspired one of her songs. “Like Hilary Duff said, ‘Babies bring luck.’ And they do!” she continues. “They bring the best life ever. And I've never looked better!”
Of course, before children, Trainor wasn't doing so bad (and, contrary to her own admission, was still plenty busy). In 2014 you seriously couldn't leave the house without hearing Trainor's debut single “All About That Bass”—and that was long before the height of music streaming or “trending” sound bites on social media.
That said, neither Trainor nor her music have had trouble keeping up. “Made You Look” and “Mother” have both become viral TikTok trends, Trainor has judged for The Voice UK and Australian Idol, and she has written a book on motherhood called Dear Future Mama: A TMI Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood From Your Bestie.
Still, Trainor still sees “All About That Bass” as the start of it all.
“I look at it as my first-born…it's my baby,” she says. “Every time I look up and realize how incredible and how blessed I am, when getting to do a big game commercial with E.L.F. Cosmetics, I'm like, ‘This is because that one song that I wrote in 45 minutes that was 10 years old. This all stemmed from that.’”
Ahead, Meghan Trainor talks to Glamour about motherhood and “mom guilt,” her ideal date night, her desert-island beauty products, filming with E.L.F., and more.
Glamour: What was it like working with such an iconic cast for the E.L.F. ad? You have Judge Judy, the cast of Suits, Benito Skinner…
Meghan Trainor: Oh, my heart was palpitating. I was like, “How am I here?” Also, I was just fangirling all day long. I screamed a lot. I lost my voice. I was just like, “Ah, I love you.” Yeah, I especially was so excited because I love…Oh gosh, I love Benny Drama so much too. So I was a superfan. I mean, Judge Judy is a reason…she was an inspiration to my song “Lips Are Movin’.” She doesn't even know it! I was going to tell her, but she was so busy working that I was like, “I can't tell her.” But my dad heard her say that once and I was like, “That's cool. I'm going to put that in a song.” So it was a big full-circle moment. My whole family was there watching me be there. It was so cool.
Other than that, what was your favorite part of filming the E.L.F. Super Bowl ad?
I got to work with Ronald [Gladden from Jury Duty]. I got to do skits and act with the actors from Suits, so I was so nervous. I was sweating! I shouldn't say that, but I had pads in my armpits I was so nervous. I wanted to make everyone proud and laugh and happy, and I got to do these skits with these real actors and I was acting with them and I made them laugh and I was like, I got to live my reporter dreams!
I was born destined to be a reporter, an E.L.F. Cosmetics reporter, so I got to keep this character and be this person. That was the fun part for me. We got to play around and freestyle and I was so nervous, but it was so good, and I've never been more proud of myself. My husband, who is an actor, got to watch and he was like, “You're doing so good!”
Since this was a beauty ad, what are three desert-island beauty products that you think every busy parent should have?
This goes with me everywhere: my Reviver Lip Oil and mine's the rose quartz one, Pink Quartz one. Pink Quartz, this is what I'm wearing right now; it's so gorgeous. I always say this one wrong too. Halo Glow Filter. Let me say it again, bro. The viral one, the Liquid Filter, I use every day. Yeah, the foundation and the lips for the desert island. You need lips. You can figure out [the rest of your complexion] out on the desert island.
E.L.F. Glow Reviver Lip Oil
E.L.F. Halo Glow Liquid Filter
What’s a beauty trend that you're loving right now?
I loved Kylie [Jenner] at the Golden Globes with no lashes. I loved it. She's so pretty and was just like, I'm rocking just my lashes right now. I love this clean look. I do this all the time. And people are like, “Who did your makeup?” I'm like, “Me.” I think they're shocked when you don't have fake lashes. They're like, “How do you still look so pretty?” So for my clean-girl mascara look, I use E.L.F. Lash Xtndr Mascara. They’re cruelty-free, man. You don't get that a lot, you know?
E.L.F. Lash Xtndr Tubing Mascara
So when you say “clean girl,” you mean it.
Yes! I’m a clean girl. My skin is so sensitive too. I need it.
And what’s one beauty rule that you swear by?
I'm a big believer in: There are no rules. It's like music—you can do whatever you want and it's whatever. I've learned with my friends and my mom. Everyone does makeup completely differently. I've seen my friend smother on foundation with her hands, and I'm like, “It's not sunscreen,” but it looks so good on her. But I do believe in eyebrows. I believe fully that eyebrows can change your life because I've seen it happen to me. I used to not have eyebrows, and now that I do, they just contour my face so well.
Yeah, I've gone through the eyebrow phase too. I’m so glad that they’re back. Ten years ago, they were not there. Really grateful for now. It was a hard time.
Before I had makeup [on], I was on the “All About That Bass” music video [set] and I was like, “What are you doing?” And makeup artist was like, “I'm doing your eyebrows.” And I was like, "But what do you mean? What are those?”
I was going to ask about that! It’s now been 10 years since “All About That Bass” was released. Has this song taken on a new meaning to you, especially now that you're a mom?
Oh, man. Yeah, I look at that song as my first-born.… [That song] was my baby, and just all her accomplishments and everything…. Every time I look up and realize how incredible and how blessed I am when I'm doing a big game commercial with E.L.F. Cosmetics, I'm like, “This is because that one song that I wrote in 45 minutes that was 10 years old; this all stemmed from that.” So everything I do in life, I always think back to that song and go, “Thanks, you.” You know?
How do you tune out all of the critics and noise? There’s so much pressure on women, and especially moms, to “age” the right way or “parent” the right way. Everyone has an opinion.
Oh, I'm affected by them, for sure. I'm writing this new album, and it's like, [sings]. I have a lot of songs that are just like, “I love me, I'm so proud of me. I'm doing great,” because I wish I thought just like that. So I play these songs for me in the gym every day, like, “You're doing great, focus here.” Because it can get very difficult. That's also why I play on different apps on my phone, like Duolingo. I'm like, “Why am I comparing myself instead of learning a new language?” Let's do this. And it becomes addicting. So I try to distract myself in those ways. So taking breaks, finding other activities, trying to live in the moment.
It's easier to live in the moment when you have babies. That's all they do. That's all they know how to do. They're literally doing that. My therapist was like, “Watch your baby just be.” I'm like, “Excuse me?” She's like, “Just watch, watch your baby just be.” And he be being; he just be. And I do it with him. I'm like, “We're just living.”
“Just be!” That’s the ultimate advice.
It's the hardest thing to do, and it's awesome when you can do it.
On the subject of parenting, you’ve never been one to shy away from sharing “TMI.” It was even in the title of your book on parenting. How do you feel about being TMI in the first place? Is there really such thing?
I just like when I feel less alone in life, especially being a woman. Our bodies are insane, dude, we could do so much, but we can also…some weird stuff can happen to us and when no one talks about it, you're like, “Am I broken?” So that's why I've been trying to be more TMI and more vocal about everything with my body just because I hope it helps someone else out there, because it helps me when I hear others talk about it.
So your ad is airing during the Super Bowl. What’s your favorite game-day snack?
I'm a chip girl. I need a crunch. Riley loves chips now because of me. So yeah, any type of chip is my good snack. My husband's the sweets, and I'm the salty.
It’s an important balance.
It is. We need each other.
On that note: The ad airs right before Valentine’s Day. Do you two have Valentine’s Day traditions or plans?
I like to leave [Valentine’s Day] up to him. He's very romantic. He likes to get multiple cards on events like that and it's very sweet. And somehow we're together 24/7, so I don't know when he has time to get these cards because I always forget, or I have my mom go get me some. But gosh, Valentine's Day. I'm tricky because I don't like going out. I get restaurant anxiety of, What am I going to order? Am I going to like it? Am I going to have a tummy ache?
So usually, well, our favorite thing, we have date night every single night because we get to go to bed early because our kids are done by 7:30, they're asleep. So we are running to bed at 8:00 p.m. And we go Chicago Med—we love anything by Dick Wolf. And we crush that while doing Duolingo, trying to learn Spanish. And that's our dream night.
Finally, what is one piece of advice that you would give your younger self?
My younger self, I've been saying this a lot lately. I don't know if this is good, but before I had kids, what were you doing? What was I doing with all my time? You know what I mean? I'm accomplishing so much because I feel like I have to…. Like, bedtime is 6:30; I got to get the kids' dinner at 5:30…. It's so scheduled now. But before them, how was I not working this hard? What was I doing? I had so much time.
I told my producer friend who—he doesn't have kids yet—I'm like, “Hey, get it all done now. Work now. Because when you have kids, you're going to be like, 'Oh no, I want to be with them for dinner and bath time.' So work has to be on hold right now.” But it's a tough balance and I get the mom guilt. I'm really hard on myself with that. You know how babies can't speak and they smile for others? I take it all personally. I'm like, “Oh, he's not making eye contact with me. He doesn't know who I am!” My husband's like, “Yes, he does, you're okay.” So my mom guilt is very intense, and I have to reel it back sometimes. I'd give myself advice of, I don't know: Learn how to time-manage because it's about to get crazy.
That’s amazing, and actually makes me really excited to be a mom. You sell it well.
It's the best. Like Hilary Duff said, “Babies bring luck.” And they do. They bring the best life ever. I've aged backward since having two kids. I've never looked better because I'm so focused on making my body healthy and giving it cruelty-free makeup, with E.L.F. Cosmetics and good food, nutrition, and healthy workout routines. And I wasn't that person before kids. It's like they ignited my fire and gave me a whole new purpose in life to be the best me possible. So have kids, y'all.
It’s so nice to hear someone speak so fondly of being a working mom!
When I was pregnant, everyone's like, “Buckle up. It's over now. Now it's their life.” I was like, “That's opposite, dude.” All the good things in life. Literally, I got pregnant with Barry and then I heard about this opportunity and I was like, “What? A big game commercial?” When I was pregnant, or when I just had him, that's what it was.
So I guess babies really do bring luck.
Yeah, they bring you luck and confidence. And beauty!
Danielle Sinay is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @daniellesinay.
Originally Appeared on Glamour