Charli XCX may have come onto our radar a little later in her career (she’s been writing songs and performing since she was 14), particularly when she was featured in Iggy Azalea’s lead single “Fancy,” but we realized that there’s more to this 23-year-old pop star’s career than collaborating with other artists–like her affinity for rocking the cat eye. We caught up with Charli XCX at the Make Up For Ever event where she’s collaborating with the brand on the new Aqua XL Eye Pencil (available this month at Sephora), and chatted beauty, pizza and personal style.
Why was Make Up For Ever the right brand for you to collaborate with?
When they approached me, I was definitely still looking for a product for being on stage”the one that’s going to last the whole show, the one that’s not going to rub off, the one that I can wear day, night, whenever. When they came to me with Aqua XL, I was like, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for since I was 16 years old. The fact that it comes in like 20 different shades is something that is really fun to play with. I felt like they really got me as an artist.
Why colour? Why not a mascara or a foundation or something?
Being on stage, obviously mascara and foundation are great, but to be able to create such an instant look, I think that’s either an eye or a lip. My signature look has always been a cat-eye, so be able to play with that huge range of colour on my eyes is perfect for me.
Looking at your eye now, would you be able to create this yourself?
You know what? I think I could. Colby [Smith] talked me through it”I’m wearing four different shades of blue on my eyes. They’re so easy to blend and because they’re so close in colour, they kind of just fall into one another. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty good and the cat eye”it’s like my one pro move when it comes to makeup. To do a really clean line, I start in the corner, and then I do the wing and then I join it up.
What’s your favourite shade in the line?
I love the brown D-62 because brown is kind of a new colour for me. It’s kind of shimmery metallic. I feel like brown for some people is a regular colour, but for me I only really just discovered it as something I can wear in the day”something that brings out the amber tones in my eyes. That or the blues”the blues are amazing.
How would you describe your personal style?
I think my style is really dependent on my mood with both fashion and beauty. When I wake up and decide how I feel, that’s how I decide how much makeup I want to wear or which clothes I want to wear. Sometimes I’ll say I just want to do all black and do all black makeup and sometimes I’ll say I want to throw millions of colours on.
How do you keep your energy for shows and when you’re traveling a lot and how do you unwind?
I mean, it’s like when you’re on stage, you kind of take on another life form. Even if you’re super-tired and so rundown and jet-lagged, when you’re on stage, there’s just another life pumped into you. To unwind, I love watching movies and going to the cinema”I love eating pizza.
How do you boost your confidence?
You know what? Getting dressed, doing my makeup and doing my hair. Also, hanging out with friends. When I’m sick, if I ever put on makeup, I automatically feel better. Same if I hang out with my friends. I think you have to have the comforts of things that’ll make you feel good surrounding you.
How do you prepare for a show? Any rituals?
Always listen to Britney Spears before I go on stage”I have like a dance party to Britney. Right now my favourite Britney song is kind of a downer song, Everytime. It kind of gets me going crazy right now, but I don’t know why”it’s kind of epic.
Who have been some of your major style and beauty influences?
Beauty, I would say Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, but also Marilyn Manson”his use of makeup was so badass in the ˜90s. The use of colour and he used makeup to really create an effect and that was really amazing, so I like that. Style-wise, I like a lot of ˜90s runway, when it was the real era of the supermodel with Naomi”that was pretty amazing.
What’s one thing you never leave home without?
My phone. I know that’s lame, but it’s true.
Favourite vacation destination?
I would love to go to Jamaica”I’ve never been
Coffee or tea?
Ocean or pool?
Call or text?
Snapchat or Instagram?
Morning person or night owl?