A Lorde fan got a right royal surprise in New York City yesterday when the purple-lipped singer planted a quick kiss on her cheek.

The spontaneous gesture came during an assured set at a swish party to herald the chart-topping singer's latest step to celebrity status - a big-brand global collaboration. Dark lipstick is, naturally, at the heart of the look.

Watch Lorde's full acceptance speech from the Taite Music Prize, and hear what manager Scott Maclachlan had to say a the awards.

From early next month, Lorde's image will appear on beauty counters at flagship M.A.C stores on the Champs-Elysees, 5th Avenue and Times Square.

The 17-year-old Aucklander, who admits to battling with acne and has spoken against her concert images being airbrushed, has become an online poster girl for keeping it real.

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Her Lorde look was all about having a distinctive performance persona "with a bit of drama" she told the Herald. "I'm not promising perfect skin."

The collection's eyeliner and lipstick were part of her own identity and it was "cool" that friends and fans could buy into that.

In New Zealand, that won't be until late June.

"I'd like to think my products are about highlighting aspects of your face that you really like and you want to accentuate, because that is what I do because I am not so confident about my skin," Lorde said.

M.A.C creative director James Gager said Lorde was a trend-setting artist. "She certainly isn't afraid of showing her unique sense of style both in her appearance as well as her performances, and we truly admire as a brand anyone that has great sense of style and isn't afraid to be who they are."

Lorde knows she is putting herself out there for renewed scrutiny with the collaboration, but she is happy to own her appearance, flaws and all. As to where that signature dark lip comes from, she laughingly explained to international media: "New Zealanders like black."

nzherald.co.nz

Watch Lorde perform Tennis Court at this week's Billboard Awards here: tinyurl.com/lordetennis.

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