EBONY.com sits down with Janelle Monae, as she gushes about her new role as the face of the mega-cosmetics powerhouse and her secret beauty muse!

EBONY: What was your first reaction when you found out you would be the newest COVER GIRL?

Janelle Monáe: Well, honestly I walked briskly into my studio, Wondaland, and started smashing the piano keys with my fingers. All my friends were there and asked what I was doing, I told them the great news and they joined in with me and started playing the instruments as crazy as they could! Together, we celebrated the possibilities this platform could provide. I felt and still feel very honored.

EBONY: What do you think it means for young women of color around the world to see another young African American woman as the newest face of COVERGIRL?

JM: I hope young women of color feel more empowered, more proud, and more inspired to embrace just how beautiful we are. I pray all women are encouraged to celebrate ourselves just the way we were made. Every woman truly is already a COVERGIRL! 

EBONY: With such a unique personal style that you’ve consistently defined on your own, how do you feel being the newest face of COVERGIRL will influence more women to define their own style?

JM: Well, COVERGIRL has been a huge supporter of my style and one of their mission statements is "Every woman is a COVERGIRL", which I love and have always believed! Hopefully the message is loud and clear: women you don't have to change who are to be a COVERGIRL. Just embrace your unique style, rock it with confidence because you are beautiful, you are electric, you are a COVERGIRL. 

EBONY: When did you take on your signature hairstyle and who was this look influenced by?

JM: I have been a lover of up-do's and pin up styles for quite some time now, there is just something classic yet futuristic about them at the same time. " Le Monáe" (my signature hairstyle) is a culmination of love, my thoughts & ideas, my natural texture, spirits of the future, ancient goddesses of the past, and rock ‘n roll. 

EBONY: Which COVERGIRL products are essentials in your everyday beauty routine?

JM: I love COVERGIRL LashBlast Volume Mascara for bold, full dark lashes, COVERGIRL LipPerfection Lip Color in Hot for my signature red lip, and COVERGIRL Queen Collection Natural Hue Bronzer for a sculpted, natural glow on my skin.

EBONY: Who is your very own beauty muse?

JM: Honestly it has to be my 3-year-old niece. She is super confident when she rises from the bed, hair wild and all. She's independent, extra helpful, and wants to be nice to everyone. She's so pure, untainted, and honest with her love. I just love her imagination too. She's very fearless! She naturally commands attention with her presence. 

With additional reporting by Geneva S. Thomas