by Laura Regensdorf

Vogue Daily — Carrie Underwood

Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images 

Temperatures in Nashville plunged into the single digits last week, but you can count on Carrie Underwood—the fresh-faced, Grammy-winning country music star—to warm up a room, even one as soaring as the Grand Ole Opry concert hall, where she recently led a backstage tour after sitting down for an interview with Vogue. The Oklahoma native made her Opry debut back in 2005, weeks after winning American Idol’s fourth season. Four chart-topping albums later, her portrait now hangs inside the Music City institution alongside the likes of Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, and Underwood is proud to call the Tennessee capital home.

With her cornsilk blonde waves and small-town good manners, the singer, dressed in a black plunging-waist jumpsuit and flashing a metallic statement necklace, is the picture of Southern charm. She’s also the new face of Almay—a fitting role for a heavyweight stage presence who does her own hair and makeup on tour. Here, Underwood reveals her skill with a curling iron, her cold-weather beauty secrets, and her love for all things shiny (eye shadow and nail polish included).

We hear you’re a one-woman show when it comes to getting stage-ready on tour. How did that happen?
I love having my hair and makeup done for red carpets, but to have that done every day would be exhausting. It’s hard to have a bunch of hands on me when I’m about to walk on stage. It’s such a nice time [getting ready] on my bus. I can watch TV or play some music with my dogs running around. It’s something I enjoy. I’m kind of a makeup junkie.

Most women tend to be either an eye person or a lip person. Which are you?
When I’m onstage, I wear a lot more eyeliner and mascara and I put on [false] lashes. I love eye shadows that are shimmery and playing with colors. There’s just more you can do with your eyes.

Plus, as a singer, you’re holding a microphone.
Right! I get in so much trouble because I hold my mic directly in front of my mouth.

Tell me about your hair:  Who cuts and colors it?
Melissa Schleicher [at Brentwood’s Parlour 3 salon]. But when I don’t have to color my hair, I don’t. I actually haven’t colored it for about six months. Over the winter, I’m off tour so I can relax.

Something tells me you’re a whiz with a curling iron.
I am—I’m pretty good with a curling iron. I’m really lucky in the sense that my hair holds curl awesomely well. It looks the same at 10 p.m. as it does at 10 a.m. One of my favorite products is Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I can get a lot of volume with it. I’m from the South—I like big hair.  

Being onstage requires stamina. How do you stay in shape—and how do you get those killer legs?
Thank you! I make an effort for sure—not just for stamina, because I am pretty active onstage, but it also keeps me healthy. I eat things I shouldn’t eat all the time. I have to work out so I can enjoy myself! I like to run, and I’ll do body weight stuff: push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups. I have a trainer [Erin Oprea] who I work with a couple of times a week. It makes my workouts on my own better because I understand proper form.

Your husband [hockey player Mike Fisher] is a pro athlete—do you work out together at all?
We have, which is really funny, because my friends who knew Mike in high school tell me that he never worked out with any of his girlfriends before me. They were like, “Oh, you work out with him? Wow, this is serious.”

Speaking of health, you’re a vegan living in Nashville, a city known for its comfort food. Any insider vegan foodie destinations?
Vegan cupcakes [from IveyCake], for sure. Nashville’s gotten so much better as far as its vegetarian/vegan options. There’s a place called Rolf and Daughters here in town that makes their own pasta. Everybody loves bready things once in a while.  

The city is frigid right now! What products are getting you through this arctic weather?
[Almay’s] CC Cream is good because it’s so moisturizing. I’ll also get either coconut oil or vitamin E oil and put it on my elbows, knees, and the places that tend to get superdry, the second I get out of the shower.

Your collection of nail polishes for Nicole by OPI just launched this month. Where do you go for manicures? 
I usually don’t have time to go anywhere. I wish I did. I feel like a new woman when I walk out of the spa. Generally, I have ten minutes and I’m doing it myself. My last manicure had sparkles—I love sparkles. When I was on Idol, the stylist said, “You’re a little magpie. You just go to anything shiny.”