Beauty Around the Clock: Christina Aguilera

The Xeomin ambassador on her approach to injectables, mom life, and why she used to trim her brows with nail scissors.

Christina aguilera alongside a graphic of a clock
(Image credit: Future)

Welcome to Beauty Around the Clock, Marie Claire's weekly peek into the daily lives of some of the most game-changing women in their industries. Ever wonder how they get it all done in a day? Here's your answer.

I don’t know what I was expecting Christina Aguilera to tell me about her beauty routine. To some degree, I anticipated that it would be over the top and extravagant in the best way possible. Every picture, post, or album cover that comes to recent memory includes either a perfect cat eye, red lip, dip-dyed ends, or, lest we not forget, thin eyebrows. When the pop star popped on my Zoom screen, my prediction seemed to be on track. Her skin was flawless, not a single root was popping out of her platinum blonde hair, and her neon orange acrylics were manicured to perfection. 

But my preconceived notions went right out the window when the “Genie in a Bottle” singer started talking about beauty. She’s busy—she’s a mom of two, recently released her ninth studio album Aguilera, and has multiple businesses in the works. Saving time is her biggest priority and her routine is simple. “I'm not a 50 step beauty person. I have no time for that. Most people don’t. We're all constantly being sold different things and products and it’s mind boggling.  My time is precious. I love just being with my kids. I like to snuggle, and write, and play my Nintendo Switch,” the Grammy winner exclusively tells Marie Claire

That in mind, she believes in simple makeup and skincare, while going all in on a handful of treatments that save her time in the long run. Brow tinting, lash lifting, and most importantly, XEOMIN, an injectable created by MERZ Aesthetics, fall into the latter camp. “Why not make life a little bit easier?” the singer says about her approach to injectables. “We all have hectic, crazy lives, so I support anything that gives us a little help in our daily routine. I think that it's important to take any shame out of what we all are doing and try to make it an open conversation. XEOMIN is something so easy and so simple that I can just do and feel good about. We owe it to ourselves to feel our best.” 

To get the down low on the rest of Aguilera’s surprisingly relatable beauty routine, read ahead. From scooping up lip balms (and holiday-themed goodies) at the drugstore to learning how to braid her daughter’s hair, The Voice alum gets into all the details of her day, ahead. 

Rise & Shine 

I'm the one that gives the wake up calls in the morning. I do like to stay up late and sleep in late, so this is a big undertaking. I have different snooze alarms though too—I give everybody four different wake up times. Then, the kids have to be out the door and ready for school. 

Once the kids have everything they need, then it’s about me. Sometimes I’ll focus on what I have to do for work, but my lifestyle is across the board. It could be a studio day. I could be on the road or getting things ready for one of my businesses. We have a lot going on.   

Morning Maintenance

Sometimes I wash my face the first thing in the morning, sometimes I do not. But moisture is going on no matter what. My skin tends to naturally lean to the drier side—always has. And so depending on what climates I’m traveling to, or how many planes I’m on, it can be crazy dry. 

Fitness Fix 

I like to do things that make me feel good mentally when I work out. I don't like to feel isolated or secluded. If I’m in front of a mirror doing weights, I feel like I'm in rehearsal and it's work. I like to get out of my head. I love fresh air, so I prefer hikes when I can get into nature. I love doing yoga outside. Yoga was a big game changer. My life has always been very fast paced and on the go, so yoga really allowed me to stop the clock and slow down mentally. It lets me breathe into my body, stretch, and get into stagnant energy.

Power Start 

I've never been a breakfast person per se. That's not really my thing. I'm more of a lunch and dinner person, but I've been really into ceviche. That’s been my favorite thing. It’s spicy, not peppery, but has a little kick. It’s my Latin side I think. 

Signature Look

It really depends on if I'm going to get my daughter from school or if I'm going to dinner on a date. But no matter what, I  think foundation is a base that I need to have in my life. Sometimes I can be a little red in my cheeks if I'm irritated at all or stressed—stress can do a number on you and your skin. There are two different  foundations that I go to. One is the Armani Luminous Silk. I'm a very tactile person too. I'm very sensitive with certain products,and picky with how they feel and they smell. That’s my more high end choice, but honestly Neutrogena foundation is so good. It's simple, but it freaking works. For a lighter, fresher face, I really love it. I'm just entering the world of brushes, too. I really don't like the texture of a sponge. Putting my foundation and concealer on with a brush that’s made for that has been a game changer. 

I like simplifying my brow situation, so I have an eyebrow person. I was never that person that had a brow person. Back in my 20s, I used nail scissors to do my eyebrows—I didn’t even use tweezers. I had thin brows—that was the thing. Kristofer Buckle did my makeup back then and he would laugh. He would always say, I can't believe you do that, but you kill it. You're really good at it. Now Damone Roberts does my brows and he's really great. I like a little dye on them so they’re a few shades darker than my actual hair. I like to get my lashes done too because there's nothing more I hate fussing with a false lash. 

Nailed It 

Normally for performances I do a chrome look because it just shines on stage and goes with anything. When I have press days or photo shoots, I have to have my nails go with whatever the outfits are. But, for the times when I don’t have to be so specific, I love looking down and seeing a bright color. It makes me happy.

Self Care Ritual 

I live for my epsom salts and my baths. I have so many different scents that I carry with me–everyone makes fun of me. I’ll go for rose for calming and lavender for sleep to moisturizing coconut to heavy duty menthol. If I’m congested, I’ll reach for eucalyptus—I’m across the board. I need them in my life; I’m obsessed with them. I also like different scented oils. They’re mentally refreshing. I’ll do little spritzes of rose oil. 

I have these long matchsticks that I travel with too. The routine of lighting them and hearing the sound comforts me. I'm a weirdo, but I think we all have our own things that comfort us. Some people might wanna fuss with the 50 step ritual beauty cleansing and that's awesome. That’s great. But I definitely like to be in a bathtub nodding off and just relaxing.

Signature Scent

My fiancées very picky with fragrances, so that’s always tricky. It’s so annoying honestly, but thank god we can agree on some. One of them is Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum—I like it because it’s a little musky. I don’t like hyper florals or vanillas. I’m into sexier, darker, moodier tones. I also have my own line and nothing can beat the original scent that I started with. 

Cheap-But-Chic 

I love a drugstore. I’m always drawn to whatever the holiday display is—whether it's Halloween or Christmas. I love junk shopping. It’s so fun and with kids I get an excuse to be extra child-like. Maybe I’ll grab a stuffed animal? A Hot Cheeto? Some gum? I like to browse. I’m such an eye candy person so maybe I’ll grab a new lip gloss or balm. I’m obsessed with my lips. I'm always putting stuff on my lips constantly. I like to have an array of 10 different things to bounce around with. 

Hair Help

I'm very religious about my hair dye and staying on top of my roots. I really don't like a rooty look on myself. I’ll experiment with different hairstyles, but I'm a true hyper blonde at heart. 

Anybody that knows me knows I can’t do my own hair. I can work my way around makeup, but hair and tools like that—it’s a different world. I’ve taken on the big task of doing my daughter's hair, which is really unheard of for me. You know you love your child when you are stepping out of your comfort zone. I've learned a lot about hair, but I need to set aside a lot of time for it in the morning because I’m not the fastest. I’ve learned how to get her part in the middle and do some braids. She’s so cute though. She knows it’s stressful for me, so she’s starting saying, like, Mama you’re getting better at this. 

Beauty Icon

You can't beat a classic Marilyn Monroe. But I do love creatives. I love people that have had an evolution of different looks and a free spirited style. My ultimate icons are probably Cher and Madonna—people that really just had fun and were fearless throughout their career. I like the vets, the people that have been through the gamut of experimentation. 

Backup Career 

I would have been a party planner. I live for festive birthdays so planning kid parties, adult parties, trying to be kids—I love it all. For my 37th birthday I had an “Express Your Inner Child” party where there were bouncy houses and Hello Kitty—it was a smorgasbord of living your best life as an adult child. I’m a kid at heart. 

Lights Out

I’m a horrible sleeper to be honest. I’m just a natural night owl. I have this thing where I can't rest until everyone else is taken care of and my daughter is sleeping. That time of night when the phones are shut off, I don't have people texting me, and the kids are in rest mode—that’s my me time. I could be tired all day and then all of a sudden I'm like, Ping! What's happening? That’s probably a big factor for me in not getting enough sleep. We also have like three dogs in our room. Two of them are golden labs. They’re climbing on top of me. There’s a lot happening and it becomes a restless night. 

Shop Christina's Favorite Products 

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.