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Eva Mendes is the new creative director of Circa—and she takes her job very seriously. (Photo: Instagram)
Many celebrities pose for makeup campaigns or slap their name on a product line with very little involvement, but Eva Mendes took her new role as creative director for Circa very seriously. “I was very excited about creating a quality, prestige product available at a place like Walgreens that’s so accessible, with beautiful packaging with a variety of shade ranges—that is very important to me as a Latin woman.” The high quality, high pigment cosmetics rival what you’d find in a Sephora store, and they started rolling out to Walgreens stores nationwide this week for $8 to $15.
Many of the products are riffs on the cosmetics very near and dear to Mendes. “I had a couple of old products that were faded, you couldn’t see the name, you couldn’t even see who it was originally by,” she says. We matched some of my favorite ones that are discontinued from other lines. We were like archeologists in there!” She even copied one of her favorite competitive products on the market. “Benefit has this product [Benetint] that I was obsessed with for so long, because you can use it on your cheeks, you can apply it on your lips. It was my desert island product before Circa. So now our Lip & Cheek Stain [in Baracoa] has become one of my favorites.” Circa’s version, which comes with a brush applicator, is $13 to Benefit’s $30 price tag. “I challenge you to find this in a drugstore today! It really doesn’t exist.”
The collection, which includes a range of 10 foundations, full coverage, BB cream, a trio of mascaras, lip crayons, and shadow trios, is changing the game thanks to in-store testers. Finally you can match your foundation to your skin tone. And soon there will be tutorials to show you exactly how Mendes does her own makeup. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best makeup artists in the world. I have a lot of tricks in my bag, so I’m excited to share those and you’ll be seeing them in some tutorials,” says Mendes.
Eva Mendes was very selective about the development of the budget-friendly brand, from packaging to color. (Photo: Circa)
The name of the brand was inspired by her career. “As an actress whether it’s getting ready for a role or getting ready for a photo shoot, we always work off of inspiration boards and images, and it’s from these wonderful, beautiful, stunning women that came before us,” says Mendes. “So a look that we’re going for one day might be Diana Ross circa Mahogany, or Sophia Loren circa Two Women early ‘50s. That word is constantly part of our everyday lingo, and we thought it lends itself to this.”
Mendes confessed she’s a huge architecture and design lover, which was integrated into the product design. “I thought it was important for us to have beautiful packaging—I’m sorry if that sounds a bit superficial, but it is important to me. I wanted something very architectural, and maybe that looked a little vintage.”
Despite her interest in makeup, Mendes, who’s a new mom, has a very low-maintenance routine. “I don’t like spending a lot of time getting ready,” she says. “I wish I was calm and poised. I’m not. I’m super loud. I do everything in a rush. So it’s about having those five products that work for me. It’s a foundation that I can make as light or as heavy as I need to so I can mix it with moisturizer, and finding that perfect shade. It’s about cream blush, concealer, our lip butter that moisturizes, and our eye crayon, in case I want to do a little smudgy smudge. I can do my makeup in five minutes and I’m decent and ready to face the world.”
Read on for her must-have products, and personal tips and tricks.
Some of the products from Eva Mendes’ Circa beauty collection. (Photo: Circa)
Concealer to look rested
“These days as a new mom I’m leaning really heavily towards our concealer [Laughs]. Our illuminating concealer has a little brush and you can apply where need be. This is my lifesaver these days.”
Cream blush for a sunkissed look
“I am a blush girl. Our cream blush in Portofino is just incredible. It’s really luxurious and it’s great for layering.” When it comes to blush, she says application is as important as which product you use. “My makeup artist said it’s better for my face shape to apply blush across the face and even go over the nose, not this way [on an upwards slant]. If you do it across it breaks up your face, it gives you fuller cheeks, and it looks more cohesive, and natural, and sunkissed. It makes a huge difference.”
Primer for a stay-put face
“I wasn’t a primer girl so much before, I thought, ‘One more thing to add? Really?’ But I’ve really seen the value in the last year or so when you have those long days and you need your makeup to last. It’s weightless.”
Eye crayon as liner
“The eye crayon is incredible because you can use it as a liner and you can smudge it in, and you could also use it as a shadow. In order to open my eye, most of the time I line the eye and leave the corners open. I just stop short if I’m looking tired.”
Defined brows to frame your face
“I have a crazy one that I can’t control! It’s so embarrassing. In all honesty, I haven’t used our brow pencil yet, because I like to put shadow in my brows. That’s how I do it. Finishing the brow is such an easy place to go wrong. I can’t use a little mirror and do my own brows, because I will Frida Kahlo it completely, and be like ‘what did I do!’”
Illuminator for plumped-up lips
You can use illuminator by your cupid’s bow and it just creates a little bit of definition and it’s great on camera.
Lip butter for a low-commitment look
“The lip butter is so incredibly moisturizing and Apricot is my favorite color. I’m just not a lipstick girl unless I’m going out to an event. I love the look of it, but sometimes I’m not going to take the time to apply it and commit to it, so this is my everyday, right here. It’s almost like a tinted moisturizer for your lips. It’s really sheer and amazing.”