Beauty / Favourites

Singer and ‘Heartbreak High’ star Ayesha Madon talks music, beauty advice and the products she keeps with her on the go

Ayesha Madon is a creative in the sense beyond vocation. The Australian singer and actress had her big break in 2022 with the release of Netflix's Heartbreak High reboot, starring as whip smart high-schooler Amerie, and has since dialled into a creative career that's included supporting Meg Mac on an Australian tour, becoming an ambassador for Melbourne Fashion Week, and a soon-to-be released debut EP in 2024.

Madon's day-to-day has certainly kept pace, with a schedule that sees her flit between the recording studios, sets and award shows – while also finding downtime for friends and family. Her on-the-go essentials? A pair of headphones (she'll even listen to music between takes on set), "like, six shades of blush", and her trusted Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, a hydrating and lightweight daily moisturiser she uses under makeup and to bookend her beauty routine each day.

We catch up with Madon on-the-go to ask her about her upcoming debut EP, her musical hyper-fixations (she's a big fan of the Barbie Pool Party Mix Volume 1), and the most unusual, sentimental and trusted products in her beauty bag right now.


Left: MAISON ESSENTIELE top; LAURA MIERS rings. Right: ACNE STUDIOS jacket, top and jeans; talent's own necklace; SIR. earrings; LAURA MIERS rings.


I know music is a really big part of your life and career. Were you always interested in music, or was there a particular catalyst that ignited your passion for it?

I’ve wanted to make music ever since I can remember. There were a few core moments that really fed the hyper-fixation, like the end of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, getting the Barbie Pool Party Mix Volume 1 CD, and the fact that my siblings were also super musical but ever since I was little I’ve been singing and surrounded by instruments.


Do you use music as a way to tap into characters when you’re acting? And if so, what kind of music do you think your Heartbreak High character, Amerie, might have on her playlist?

I actually write down a different song for every scene that I wanna listen to when preparing my scene work. Listening to music is massive for me on set, to the point where sometimes I’ll only take off my headphones a second before they call action. The beautiful writers led by Hannah Carroll Chapman made us all playlists for our characters. I hope they don’t mind me sharing but here’s the one they made for Amerie:

What is something you’d like to do more of this year?

This year I’m excited to release a bunch of music. I have my first EP coming out this year, which has been a long time coming, so I’m very excited. I’m also in my "taking up class again" era so I’m going back to dance class, back to piano lessons, back to acting class and I wanna do an Ableton course too. It sounds lame, but I’m really excited to continue honing all my crafts.


Both: ACNE STUDIOS jacket, top and jeans; GIVENCHY bag; talent's own necklace; SIR. earrings; LAURA MIERS rings.


What’s something you’d like to do less of?

Well… maybe I’d like to be less self-critical. I think some people assume that the artists they follow are extremely legitimate, put together and confident because social media can be deceptive. But – full disclosure – I lack self confidence and I really want to believe in myself more and talk down to myself LESS. I think a lot of artists probably do.


What’s your beauty philosophy?

My beauty philosophy is that being aesthetically pleasing has very little practical function so, if you have cool insides, that’s the best type of beauty. Either that or "it’s in the eye of the beholder".


How do your favourite Kiehl's products fit into your routine when getting ready for a big event, or when you’re on the go?

The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream the first thing I put on in the morning, or before makeup, and the last thing I put on at night.


What’s the most unexpected item in your beauty bag?

Like, six different shades of blush and of course, my Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Barrier Balm.

Left: P. JOHNSON robe; ACNE STUDIOS necklace; LAURA MIERS earrings.


Do you have any sentimental beauty products in your makeup bag? One that reminds you of a special time or person?

I don’t. But, I haven’t washed my brushes for a long time so that’s kind of sentimental I guess?


Do you have any good beauty or wellness advice that you’ve taken on from your mum or older sister?

Yeah, actually! When I was a bit younger I remember trying on a bikini at the mall and saying to [my sister] Ava "I hate my stomach and don’t wanna wear it", and she really forced me to reflect on the way media has affected my expectations and learned biases on women’s bodies. She’s always emphasised to me that skinny is not the only body type that reflects being healthy or sexy, and encouraged me to accept and love my body and it’s natural fluctuations. It’s something I’m still up and down with – being in the deranged industry I’m in – but my big sister has always been a very fierce female advocate in my life when it comes to prioritising a positive body image.


What’s coming up for you that you’re really excited about?

I’ve said it but… my EP coming out this year! I could not be more excited. I’ve worked really long and hard for this moment and it’s going to be a really special, vulnerable moment for me. I’m so so SOOO excited to finally release music that represents me.


FASHION Thomas Townsend
TALENT Ayesha Madon
HAIR & MAKEUP Cherry Cheung

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Cover image credit: Left: MAISON ESSENTIELE top; talent's own necklace; LAURA MIERS rings. Right: MAISON ESSENTIELE top and pants; ACNE STUDIOS necklace; MEJURI ring.