Keri Hilson and makeup artist Paul Innis at the Avon shoot. Courtesy Photo

We chatted with rising songstress Keri Hilson last week as the new Avon spokesmodel sat robed and perched on her makeup chair, celebrity makeup artist Paul Innis tending to her cheekbones with a contour brush and a manicurist finishing off her nails in metallic gold.

Hilson
's caramel blonde crop had just been blown and flat-ironed to a volumized and lustrous layered perfection.

Sounds super glam, doesn't it?

Don't be fooled, says Hilson.

"My fashion choices have always labeled me as a tomboy. Even with the photo shoots, it's always embedded in me. It's this go-getter mentality, the spirit of being yourself no matter what is going on around you," Hilson tells StyleList.

But being the newest face of Avon comes with its perks; among them, picking up some of Hollywood's best beauty secrets.

Celebrity makeup artist and Avon spokesperson Paul Innis. Courtesy Photo

"Paul highlights the center of my face and under eyes and then contours the outer edge in a darker color," Hilson says of Innis, who Avon just hired as the brand's new celebrity makeup artist. "I do my own makeup for my performances, and use that technique. I'm always tired, so it blankets the whole situation going on here," says Hilson, pointing to her under eyes and laughing.

Innis says the key to pulling off contouring at home is to always use a flat dark color with no red tone to it, and to blend, blend, blend! "A brown with too much red in it won't look like a shadow. The goal is to make the contour look like a shadow, so stick with a very true brown color," Innis tells StyleList.

Hilson has also recently discovered a new beauty must-have: Avon's SuperExtend Mascara in Navy.

"It isn't completely black, but it's just interesting enough to draw attention to the eyes, which I love to accentuate, especially when I perform," says the singer.

Though her finished images in magazines, on album covers and in advertising campaigns always look like flawless perfection, the 27 year-old admits to battling the same kind of skin issues so many other women contend with.

"My biggest beauty issue is clogged pores. I'm sweating in makeup all the time, and the resulting clogged pores can cause bumps and acne. I need a really great cleanser with me always, and a good full-coverage foundation to conceal it until I can get into the nearest esthetician!" reveals Hilson.

Hilson posing in an earlier Avon campaign. Courtesy Photo

The Georgia-native pulled out her beauty bag so that we could take a peek -- but instead of rifling through a zipper tote, Hilson pulled a clear Ziploc bag out with airplane-approved mini sizes of everything from clear nailpolish to lipgloss to a Tide To-Go pen.

"I always carry extra jewelry too because you never know what you might stumble upon. You gotta carry a pair of studs to jazz up whatever you may end up having to wear," advises Hilson.

Aside from voguing on Avon photo shoots, the R&B singer is in the middle of working on her next album, which she says will "prayerfully" be released later this year.

"The vibe of it is very much like my first album, it's for women. My message is to embrace your imperfections and vulnerabilities because we all have them, inner or outer. Know that there is no perfect woman out there, no matter what it looks like on the outside, we all deal with things. We can all relate," says Hilson.

While Hilson may be a performer, we think she's clearly no act.