We’re excited to continue our new series, The Close-Up, where we take a closer look at celebrities, influencers, and pop culture phenomena. You’ve read about them on the internet and clipped their photos out of magazines—but now you’ll have the chance to get to know them personally through fun Polaroids, handwritten beauty advice, product recommendations, and so much more.
If there’s ever an appropriate setting to meet up with Alexa Chung, it’s a garden tea party. The British fashion model and television personality invited us to join her for finger sandwiches, scones, and rosé in the garden at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to celebrate the launch of her app Villoid. There, Chung brought garden party chic to a whole new level, dressed in a bright pink slip dress and high-top Converse. Her beauty look is low-key—hair down and tousled, makeup minimal except for a thin flick of black eyeliner—a perfect look for our Polaroid camera to capture. Chung has mastered, or perhaps was born with, the enviable ability to make I woke up like this beauty look polished and deliberate, all the while maintaining the effortless aspect that so often gets lost. We sat down with Chung to discover her beauty secrets—scroll through to find out how to do off-duty beauty like Alexa Chung and see her Polaroids.
First, let’s talk about the app. “The app was an opportunity to democratise fashion, in a way, because it’s somewhere girls can hang out and talk about clothes and start their own community,” Chung says, “but also showcase their style without the pressure of having to buy anything or actually wear anything. So it’s a platform for self-expression, communication, and fun, essentially, but should you want to buy anything, you can!”
Of course we can’t help but inquire about the beauty component to the Pinterest-meets-Instagram social shopping app. “We have some beauty brands on there,” Chung says. “We just started, actually. But I think that’ll be our next progression. A lot of the boards themselves have a lot of imagery in them that are [beauty focused]—you can have a picture of Julie Christie, and they’ll have to emulate that look. So, it actually lends itself very well to creating a beauty palette.” Chung’s beauty palette is understated, per usual. In fact, she did her own makeup for the day’s event. “I was just upstairs getting ready and I was like, ‘I’m so sh*t at doing my makeup—do I look terrible?’” She, of course, did not.
Chungs admits she doesn't like makeup, but she did go to Sephora the day before the event to pick up an illuminator (Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold, £34), per the recommendation of makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. "I got that Becca shimmering rose thing, my Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (£12), and a Perricone MD cleanser."
Makeup may not be the British beauty's forte ("my eyeliner is like the only thing I care about," she notes), but skincare is another story. "Now I take skincare a bit more seriously as I’m getting older," Chung says. "I just went to that Ling Spa in New York and she had something that was like a serum that was really good. I love oils, but then the facialist was like oils are not great to use—I thought it was hydrating. It’s not. It’s a barrier after you’ve done the hydrating. I didn’t realise that, so now I’ve been using a serum, then moisturiser, and then the oil." Chung also loves Sisley, Decléor, and Glossier (Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser and Soothing Face Mist are two of her favorites, but they're not yet available in the UK).
For today's impromptu Polaroid shoot, Chung is wearing her new Becca highlighter, a flick of her Eyeko black liquid liner, "some weird eyeshadow palette found in like a gift bag," and a (discontinued) Burberry lipstick mixed with Lucas's Papaw Ointment (£10).
"I’m just quite low-maintenance when it comes to day to day," Chung says. When asked about her hair, Chung told us "I just wash and hope for the best." A mentality we can definitely get on board with. She also shared with us that she's liking her shorter tresses, though "it comes and goes." However, she really preferred the mullet she had a few weeks ago.
Chung's beauty style is very much wash-and-go, with a particularly simple face washing routine. “I sometimes wash my face, but that’s kind of rare. I wash it in the shower in the morning.” She admitted she probably won’t wash her face tonight (which made us cringe a tiny bit), but at least her reasoning was good. “I want to go to bed looking like a babe. I don’t want to go to bed with no makeup on.”