Alexa Chung on the perfect nail shape and how to master cat-eye make-up
Here she spills the details to Rachael Mannell for Buro about the fashion-inspired collab and the beauty staples she can't live without.
What's your regular day-to-day nail look?
I don't have a day-to-day nail look and I think that's point and why I love working with Nails inc. so much. I like to experiment with different things which I change almost on a daily basis. I'm not very uniform when it comes to nails, I also don't like to match my hands and toes. I think it's fun to be experimental.
Short and square or long and oval ... which nail shape do you prefer?
When I get my nails done I usually ask them to make it like a man's hand because I really don't like long nails. A lot of my friends favour fake long nails which I suppose give you more space to play around with but my hands are already pretty sizeable so I like to cut them down. I think it's more chic to have a shorter nail and then you can play with the colour and make it more feminine that way.
When working on the new Nails Inc fashion-inspired collection, what were your inspirations - e.g. particular outfit of yours, or catwalk looks?
I wasn't necessary inspired by a particular style but more I was thinking of nails being their own thing entirely. As I say I don't think they need to be matchy-matchy and Nails inc. is renowned for being quite progressive and thinking of new technology and ways to enhance the experience. I asked them for things that perhaps would seem quite weird like the heart shaped glitter, or the holographic glitter varnish which I wanted to be really iridescent and unique. It was more playing around with pieces than it was colours.
Which is your favourite and why?
My favourite is the Alexa Hearts, or the Alexa Stars paired with the midnight blue cause I think it gives the effect of a galaxy and that's quite fun!
You're well known for your cat-eye makeup - can you please talk us through what you use and the technique you use to get this signature eye makeup effect?
I use Eyeko Eye-Do Liquid eyeliner because it's easy to apply and it holds really well. I think the nib point is very important because that way you have more control. If it's too floppy it gets squiggly and if it's too thick and stubby you can't do a sleek cat line. The only advice I have is that practice makes perfect so don't be discouraged if you don't get it right the first time...you can always take it off and keep trying again.
What are your other favourite make-up items?
I really like natural make-up so I enjoy a good concealer. Laura Mercier and MAC do a really fantastic one and then some kind of tinted moisturiser or BB cream. Burberry actually do a BB cream which is nice and it makes the skin look smooth. Chanel makes a really good moisturiser that I put on top by rubbing it in my hands and patting it onto my face to make it seem flushed.
Another beauty signature of yours is tousled waves - how do you (or your stylist) get this particular kind of wave?
I like to just wash and let it air dry naturally. My hair tends to dry in a tousled way naturally but sometimes the water in different cities can make it do weird things so I help it along with some styling tongs. Harry Josh has some really good ones. Then I use dry shampoo (any brand) just in the roots to make it more bed-heady.
What are your favourite hair care and styling products?
I use L'Oréal Inoa Colour Care as the conditioner but I just use a really cheap shampoo because the cheaper it is the more suddy it becomes and it helps dry out my hair cause my hair can get a bit greasy.
What are your current favourite skincare buys?
Charlotte Tilbury's magic cream and anything by Sisley is really nice. I really need something rich and oily. I also like Rodin Face Oil but you need to use it sparingly.
Would you share your beauty routine with us?
I don't have a beauty routine to share with you. I'm quite bad at that sort of thing. I just wash my face before bed and apply lots of moisturiser but I don't use toner or anything like that.
What's your signature scent?
My signature scent is Le Labo Santal, it has a really unique smell with a slightly masculine and earthy scent that people tend to associate with me.
Who are your own beauty icons?
Weirdly, a lot of the time it's just looking at men although Patti Smith is pretty cool. She didn't wear much make-up back in the day, she just had a bit of Kohl liner and a fairly nude face.
Do you have any final words of beauty wisdom?
If you're feeling like you're having an off day and someone is taking a picture of you I think a smile is the best accessory. Even if you're older... my mum is 70 but she always looks beautiful because she's always smiling. So turn that frown upside down!
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