“Rainproof mascara is a must”
"It's hard to imagine Alexa Chung without her standout personal style, but she insists it was once so.'i strated out very model-off-duty, but I think it was makeup that evolved me into my '60s-ish Charlotte Rampling, French new wave sort of vibe.' she says. The makeup played into clothes and influenced everything."
"I rely on this Brigitte Bardot-inspired cat-eye when I want to feel dressed up with minimal effort. I use a heavy hand – the edge of the outline almost hits the crease of my eyelid – and then swoop the liner down to start in the middle of my lid. A slip-up or a smudge can just be covered over with more eyeliner (sometimes the more the better). Because the liner is bold, I use a neutral lipstick and let the retro cat-eye have the spotlight."
Eyeliner used: Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner
"Nina Leykind, founder of Eyeko, created her Hydrogel Eye Patches for a quick fix before a big event, so they're perfect to use the morning of your wedding. "For an extra cooling effect, pop the patches in the fridge 10 minutes before applying," she says. Wear them while you're having your hair done, pre-makeup application, and you'll zap any extra puffiness from tears (of joy, we hope!), lack of sleep, or all the champagne you had at the rehearsal dinner."
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"There’s something to be said about a perfectly-blended, smoky eye. Next to a statement lip, a sexy, smoldering shadow adds an instant edge to an otherwise minimal makeup look. It’s also super versatile and able to flatter every eye shape and skin tone. Though we love the classic black and gray color scheme, the effect can be toned down for daytime wear by subbing in brown and taupe shades. We teamed up with Eyeko cosmetics founder Nina Leykind to find out how to get the look exactly right, and rather than breaking out a spread of shadow palettes and blending brushes, Leykind showed us a shortcut using two of the brand’s Me and My Shadow sticks ($19 each; sephora.com) in the Taupe and Chocolate shades. Who knew getting the perfect smoky eye could be so easy? Keep reading to see our step-by-step GIF guide to creating the look on yourself."
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Every Monday we tap an industry expert for tips that only insiders know. This week, Nina Leykind, creative director and founder of cult-fave makeup brand Eyeko reveals her eyeliner and mascara secrets for perfect eyes, every time—including the look she and her team created for super stylish brand collaborator, Alexa Chung.
1. Pale pink liner is the secret to looking doe-eyed.
"For a wide-eyed, youthful look, use a pale pink-toned eyeliner to perk up your waterline. This will subtly create the illusion of bigger eyes far better than white or beige. Dot and blend along the brow bone and inner corners of the eye for a further brightening effect."
2. For cat eye beginners, play connect the dots.
"Starting midway along your lid, draw dots close to your lash line. Then simply join them together to create the perfect cat eye. Looking straight into the mirror, mark where you want the end of your flick to sit—that way, you can judge the symmetry to create perfectly even wings. Use a Q-tip to create a finer flick and clean up any mistakes."
3. Build a mascara wardrobe for the lushest lashes possible.
"To make the most of your lashes, it takes more than one mascara! Call it mascara wardrobing or cocktailing, but it’s the only way to create a bespoke lash look. I have shortish, straight lashes so I always start with a lengthening mascara on my top and bottom lashes before going in with a curling formula to lift and tease out lashes for extra volume and curl. Believe it or not, one mascara doesn’t do it all—and any make-up artist will tell you that using two or three different mascaras makes all the difference to your look."
4. Avoid annoying mascara marks on your eyelids.
"As mascara is often our last makeup step, one of the biggest eye blunders is getting mascara marks on your lids—especially annoying when you’ve just created the perfect smoky eye! Our mascaras include the Eyeko shield, which you just pop behind your lashes as you apply for smudge free lids. Looking down into a compact mirror as you apply works too."
5. Not all black mascaras are created equal.
"Be sure to buy one with a carbon black finish for extra definition and an intense sooty stare—perfect for after dark!"
6. Blue mascara is the secret to hiding a late night.
"Blue was a strong catwalk look so don’t dismiss the power of navy as a great daytime alternative to black. You get all the definition of black but softer—great for the morning after, as blue really brightens the whites of your eyes, belying lack of sleep."
7. Size matters.
"Different mascara wands do different things. Skinny brushes are ideal for shorter lashes as you can get right into the roots, allowing for a better grip to not only lengthen lashes, but to get even root to tip coverage as well. Curved wands—especially ones with nylon bristles—act as Velcro curlers to lift and curl your lashes. This is great if you have straight lashes or are irritated by your lashes hitting your glasses. If you have a medium length lashes, then any brush size will work for you—especially a bigger, bolder brush to give volume to your flutter."
8. Know how to fake it.
"Fake lashes can be fiddly, which is why it’s much easier to use sections to add a little oomph to your natural lash look. Apply mascara first, then lashes. Put the glue across the band and just below it for extra staying power. Look down, and push the lash up on to the lash line. One eye is always easier to do then the other. Make sure you get the position just so before pushing and pressing into place. Add a little bit more mascara to blend lashes with your own, and fill in the seam and the gaps with liquid eyeliner."
9. Curling your lashes is a must if you want to make the most of your mascara.
"Check your curler before use to ensure the pad is in place and the cage lines up. Gently ease the curler over your lashes, getting as close to your lid as possible, then squeeze and HOLD. Don’t pump the curler, which can cause breakage. Simply hold for at least 15 seconds, then gently open, removing the curler with care. It’s not generally recommended to use curlers after mascara application, but as my lashes are well conditioned I always do a two-second squeeze when my mascara has dried as it really holds the curl all day and beyond!"
10. However partied out or tired you are, removing your eye make-up before bed is a must.
"If you are wearing waterproof eye make-up be sure to use a specifically oil-based or bi-phase cleanser for gentle and efficient removal. Soak a cotton pad and hold it over your eye for 20 seconds to loosen up eye makeup before wiping away. Make every effort to minimize rubbing, which can cause premature aging by tugging at the delicate eye area."
11. Try a mod throwback look.
"The ‘60s are my favorite source of inspiration for eyes: Twiggy lashes, a Francoise Hardy flick, Sophia Loren’s exaggerated cat eye, Penelope Tree’s ‘banane ouverte.’ I’m so happy that the mod look is back in. Cat eyes and kitten flicks are classics, and it’s fun, quick ,and easy to update the look for fall. Use a fine brush tip liquid liner to paint on bottom lashes—Lisa Eldridge did this on Alexa at our shoot. Give a ‘banane ouverte’ a go if you have a steady hand by expanding on a basic cat eye: Try taking the wing up into the inner socket. Instead of a smoky eye, use pencil or shadow to create an exaggerated wing a la Edie Sedgwick for intense drama. It’s foolproof and looks even better worn in as the night goes on!"
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"Fall eye makeup is all about bold lashes and definition."