When you want a makeup look but you also plan on, you know, doing things, there’s Make Up For Ever’s new promises-not-to-smudge-off-your-face Aqua XL Eye Pencils ($25 each, available at Sephora in May). The line is waterproof, transfer-proof and sweat-proof – basically, every type of proofing required of makeup worn at a music festival. (Check out this week’s #beautyplaylist video, below, for a few ideas of how to wear them.) We caught up with Charli XCX, the face of the 20-piece collection which includes matte, satin and metallic finishes, to talk cateyes, the makeup trend she wishes would die and the genius of Beyoncé-style fans.
How did your Make Up For Ever collab come about?
They reached out to me as they’d never done like a partnership like this before, and they had this product that I was really interested in because it’s long-lasting. Obviously, being a performer, I need things like that to be able to wear makeup when I perform. I also just love the whole brand and their aesthetic – even though they’re a makeup brand, they’re more about personality than makeup. So I was really excited to work with them.
Do you have any tips for applying makeup so that it doesn’t sweat off when you’re performing?
A really strong eye is always key for me, and I sort of just let my skin do it’s own thing because I jump around a lot [onstage]. But then it’s simple things, like having towels and stuff like that, which is boring, but true.
Do you have any fans pointed at you on stage, like, Beyoncé style?
No, I don’t have the Beyoncé fan. But I’ve been thinking about it though because it always looks so good, you know?
Yeah, with all of her hair blowing in the wind.
So do you have a favourite shade or favourite way to wear the liners?
I love just classic black, but I also think that there’s some really amazing blues in the collection – I think it’s on trend right now. And in terms of a way to wear it, I love doing a cateye, but kind of all the way around the eye.
Do you have any recommendations for someone who’s partial to neutral shades on how to wear some of the bolder colours in the collections?
I think that there are some really nice shades of brown in the collection and that’s always a good way to start experimenting. I used to always just wear black, and then someone said, “Put brown on your eyes” and it kind of made everything pop. Then you can experiment with greens, and go down that whole road.
Generally, what’s your approach to beauty?
I think less is more, that’s definitely my approach. I love bold colour and everything, but for me, beauty should be mood dependent. If you feel like wearing loads of makeup and you feel like partying, then you should. But if you don’t, I also think that’s gorgeous too.
Are you usually pretty good about taking your makeup off before bed?
It depends on what I’ve been doing. Sometimes I party and I don’t take it off, but I kind of don’t mind that because I love that [look] the next day, especially around the eyes. But generally, I try and have a good skin routine. It’s only when I feel really lazy that I don’t. I always try and get everything off and keep it clear. Just sometimes I get sloppy.
As do we all. Is there a beauty trend that you wish would die?
Hmm, let me think. I don’t know if it’s still around, but I remember when you’d see people use concealer as lipstick, and that was horrid for me. I hated that. It was such a weird 2000s trend that ultra nude lip.
Do you have a favorite decade for beauty looks?
I love a lot of the ‘90s Versace beauty runway looks and the ad campaigns. I just think it was so sexy and glow-y looking. But I like to get experimental, I love the use of colour, I love eyeshadow, like the ‘70s eyeshadow vibe is always amazing.
Like on the whole eyelid, right up to the eyebrow kind of thing?
Yeah. That’s cool, I love that.
What’s your best makeup skill?
I’m good at cateyes, that’s my best thing. Contouring, I have no idea how to do that.
And how did you get good at that, do you ever watch beauty vloggers or YouTube tutorials?
I must have been really un-experimental with makeup, I used to just do a cateye everyday. So I just got good at it because it was the only thing I was doing.
How do you do your cateye, do you pull on your eye a bit?
I look straight in the mirror, which is weird, so my eyes are kind of open. I start from the corner of my eye near my nose, and go out. And then it just takes a second to make sure your [lines are] matching.
Right, so you just do the line in one swoop?
Kind of, yeah.
This interview has been condensed and edited.