Grammy Winner Joy Williams of The Civil Wars Opens Up Her Beauty Closet To Us

photo credit: Sarah Beaty of Eyeris Photography

*I am updating this post and re-sharing it because I am so proud of her for her Grammy win! Way to go!


It was during one of those rather awkward dinner parties in 2001 that I met miss Joy Williams. We had both just moved from the west coast to Nashville, and our conversation centered around being on our own for the first time and how incredible Nashville was.  The conversation led to coffee, the coffee led to friendship, and here we are ten years later.

Over the past decade I have had the privilege of watching her grow from a young 18-year-old singer into an internationally recognized, recording artist. Joy Williams, along with bandmate, John Paul White make up the intricately harmonized, country/folk duo, The Civil Wars.

This past year, The Civil Wars have performed on Jay Leno (twice), turned Country star Taylor Swift into a bona fide “super fan,” toured with the lovely Adele, and received two nominations for the CMT Music Awards. I would say it’s been a very good year so far!

Joy however is not just talented at singing and writing passionate songs that leave you in deep thought for days. Like most of us, she loves her makeup, and to be honest, she has always been really good at doing it. So I asked Joy if she could give us a peak into her beauty closet and share with us some of her tips and product must haves.




Q&A With Joy Williams

KS: What do you love most about being a part of The Civil Wars?

JW: The absolute creative freedom, the fun of collaborating, the travel, laughs on the road, the wonderful people we’ve been able to meet because of being in this duo, etc. There are too many things I love to pick just one thing.

KS: Your first full-length album, Barton Hollow, was released in February and really launched The Civil Wars to another level of success. Since then you have gotten the opportunity to rub shoulders with some well-known and elite celebrities. Who would you say has made an impact on you with their beauty and talent?

JW: I would say Taylor Swift and Adele have both made an impact on me. Taylor, for her sweet spirit, her absolute love of music, and her willingness to champion other artists like us. And Adele is a brilliant spirit, a generous soul, and a breath-taking singer to watch night after night. We loved being on tour with her, standing side stage and just watching her soar.

KS: What items are currently in your makeup bag?

JW: The question might need to be what items are currently NOT in my makeup bag. : ) I just opened it up, though, so here we go – L’Oreal True match super-blendable powder, Makeup Forever Creme de Camouflage full cover concealer, NARS blush in Orgasm, Altoids Small wintergreen mints, L’Oreal Million Lashes mascara in noir, eyelash curler, Rosebud lip salve, Tylenol, Band-Aids, a nail file and Visine. And a few ratty hair ties that look like they might date back to early 2001 when you and I first met…

KS:  What are your beauty essentials?

JW:  First off, moisturizer. Thanks to you, Kendra, I became a die hard fan of Skincueticals Daily Sun Defence Moisturizing Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen (SPF 20). But if I run out of that on the road, the first thing I run to get is Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin face lotion (SPF 15). You can find it normally in any drug or grocery store. Secondly, I am a huge fan of Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 20) in Nude. I use it every single day, and it gives a lightweight coverage that really evens everything out. Next up, concealer. Because let’s face it, early morning interviews + late night shows + constant travel = dark circles sometimes! I love Garnier’s Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle roller for tired eyes. After that, it’s time for a little lip stain –Tarte or Laura Mercier make great colors that last and last all day. I don’t like to bother with lipstick (and my main squeeze, Nate, doesn’t like getting color on his lips when I kiss him either), so I get the best of both worlds with those great lip stains. It also works great as a quick burst of natural color if I can’t find my blush. That’s the start of my daily routine…


KS: I remember clearly when Chanel Chance was your fragrance of choice. I kind of wanted to copy you (confession) so I settled for Chanel COCO Mademoiselle. Do you have a current favorite fragrance?

JW: After all these years, the truth comes out! 😉 You smelled great in CoCo Mademoiselle. I still get nostalgic whenever I smell someone wearing Chanel Chance. It takes me back to some very sweet times. I have since moved on to another fragrance, but a lady never tells… : )

KS: Have you ever had a major beauty crisis right before one of your shows?

JW: Thankfully, no… not yet. {insert sound of me knocking on wood here}

KS: How would you describe your signature Civil Wars makeup look? Does it differ from your every day look, or is it one in the same?

JW: My day to night look differs, for sure. I love to have a bit more of a moody, mysterious, smokey eyed look for our shows. MAC eyeshadow and pencils are my go-to’s to help accomplish the look. I use Typographic for the darkest of contouring in the crease of the lid, and then use Haux to blend. Then, for a liner, I love MAC’s Prunella Eye Kohl pencil. Haux and Prunella both have shades of purple to help bring out the green in your eyes, if you are more brown or hazel eyed like me.

KS: You always seem to have glowing skin, and I know it’s not all makeup.  What are your skincare favorites and must haves?

JW : Well, besides the moisturizers I mentioned above, my mantra is water, water, water and more water. I drink so much water that my bandmate, John Paul, has literally made fun of me at points. Staying hydrated is a big thing to keeping that glow. I do also have a bit of a secret weapon for helping rejuvenate skin: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum. The antioxidants, vitamins and Ferulic acid help protect against damage from the sun, while stimulating natural collagen production to diminish signs of aging. I’ve noticed a big difference in my skin since using it.

KS: What is your philosophy about beauty?

JW: That beauty must first emanate from within.

KS: Of all of the experiences you have had with The Civil Wars, what is the most epic?

JW: Getting to do a Q&A for my dear, friend Kendra’s, blog…. 🙂

KS: Thanks you my friend for giving us some insight into your beauty likes and tips. I am sure we will all be running to the store now to try out your recommendations and perhaps drink more water : )



I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Are you on The List? Join the Citizens of Beauty newsletter and get the FREE Makeup Basics E-Book! You can also anticipate insider exclusives on skincare, makeup and style tips as well that come straight to your inbox!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.