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The Highlighter





The new face of MAKE UP FOR EVER sounds off on festival looks and the perfect cat eye.

Like the icons of ’80s new wave, Charli XCX splits the difference between high glam and punk vigor. The prolific singer-songwriter and founder of her own label has never shied away from statement-making outfits or makeup. MAKE UP FOR EVER took note and asked her to be the face of its Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Liner collection, a colorful range for lively personalities who want makeup to match. The Sephora Glossy caught up with Charli and got the scoop on her approach to beauty—naturally, it’s all about experimentation. ARIANNA STERN


How did you react when MAKE UP FOR EVER approached you about this campaign?

Charli XCX: “I was so excited! I love the creative energy of MAKE UP FOR EVER. They create products that allow me to experiment and be free. When I wear makeup, I can feel all sorts of different things—sexy, demure, classic, futuristic. MAKE UP FOR EVER understands that it’s about more than just looking good.”


MAKE UP FOR EVER is known for vibrant colors. What’s the most out-there makeup color you’ve worn?

Charli XCX: “When we shot the campaign for Aqua XL, it was one of the first times I’ve experimented with yellow. Usually yellow as an eye color, people freak out about that, but it opened my world to yellow as a color for my eyes. It was fun to play with and create a statement look.”


What are your favorite beauty looks to wear using the Aqua XL pencil?

Charli XCX: “I’m going through a blue phase at the moment. I like my eyes to be electric, and blue does that for me. I also like classic black and brown for when I feel like going for a softer look.”


How would you wear the Aqua XL pencil to a festival?

Charli XCX: “Festivals are the dream place to wear the Aqua XL Eye Pencils! You can be totally bold and wild and still feel at home. I think I would do a multi-layered wing with lots of different colors, and maybe draw some cute stuff on my body too—that’s always a fun trend to experiment with at festivals.”


What are your other favorite MAKE UP FOR EVER products?

Charli XCX: “I love wearing Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. It looks flawless when you put it on and it’s super lightweight.”


Are there any beauty techniques you worked hard to master?

Charli XCX: “Cat-eye winged liner. I don’t want to brag, but I think I’m pretty good at it! That’s something I’ve been doing since I was 14 years old, so it’s a natural [wrist] movement for me. I start from the inner corner of the eye and work my way out. It always looks really good onstage and in daily life, so it’s multifunctional for me.”


Are there any makeup trends you can’t stand?

Charli XCX: “I actually love all the makeup trends that are unconventional, like a strong lip liner or body glitter. I really think you should experiment with every trend because you never know, it might suit you. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!”


Does your makeup change with your sound?

Charli XCX: “When I create music that’s darker, with more bass and more sinister or mysterious lyrics, I always want to go fully gothic. I remember I did a night with my band where we all dressed totally gothic on stage. We were in Houston and we had safety pins in our hair and round our necks and loads of black lipstick and red eyeshadow.


When I make cute dance music though, I want to be completely bubblegum pink and glossy! So it does change, but I never feel like I’m playing a character—I still always feel like me.”


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