Alexa Chung on her simple beauty routine, and how she navigates lipstick and face masks

Here, Alexa Chung talks to about how this year has shifted her approach to beauty.

Lockdown has thrown a lot of our routines out of sync. This has had a big impact on the way that we approach our beauty products. For some, it’s a chance to add a slice of normality to their day and for others, it all feels a bit pointless.

Alexa Chung, presenter, fashion designer and ambassador for Code8, leans towards the former. “It’s been a different vibe to my usual travel schedule,” she tells “Even just staying in the same country or city for this long, but it’s been quite nice. Before, there was always a suitcase at the door.”

Here, Chung talks us through her beauty approach throughout lockdown, her go-to hair routine and how she navigates wearing lipsticks with a mask.

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On wearing lipstick with a mask

“I still wear lipstick but then it starts wearing me when it’s transferred onto my mask. I don’t actually mind that though because then I know which mask is mine and which is my boyfriend’s.

“When it comes to colours, a vibrant lipstick is great if you don’t have any time but want to make it look like you’re not hungover and tried to make an effort. That’s one for the handbag.

“But my favourite shade is actually a nude colour – Code8’s Affogato Lipstick, which I created with the brand. It’s has a certain depth that enhances your natural lip colour without being too much.

“It makes you look polished but doesn’t require a full face of make-up so you can literally just wear that and some blusher and you’re good to go.”

On her simple skincare routine

“I should probably flag that I’ve never really had a routine and that was because of my constant travelling. Before lockdown, I never really had a day that looks like the next one. I didn’t even have a particular time to set my alarm. But I’m quite simplistic.

“In the morning, after showering and cleaning my face, I just use serum and a moisturiser. For moisturiser, I’m currently using Weleda’s Calendula Face Cream, £6.37. And before that, I was using CeraVe. It was a great basic moisturiser because I overdid it on trying out different oils and needed to calm down my skin.”

On her effortless make-up routine

“I love eyebrow products, especially when they have a brush at the end. I’ve got quite big eyebrows so I don’t really need too much product on them. I just fill in the beginning bit of my eyebrow nearer to my nose. That’s where my eyebrows are sparser.

“These days, I’m more likely to forego the eyeliner. I’m known as ‘the cat eye girl’ and I like to kick back against that a bit. Instead, I put a kohl eyeliner along my lashline.

The key is to get it as close to the lashline as possible. I also prefer quite a thin line as I feel like I have less eyelid with age and if you make it too thick, it can get it everywhere. You know when you blink and it transfers? If I decide to put on liquid eyeliner, I’m not too bad at drawing, which I think plays to my advantage for application technique.

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“For base, I reach for Code8’s Radiant Beauty Balm, £30.76. It’s filled a gap in my make-up routine. Before discovering it, I would mix a foundation with a moisturiser or overuse a concealer instead. I needed a more lightweight approach to base so I think this is my hero product. I put it on the back of my hand first and then take it across my cheekbones and blend it out from there. On days that I feel like I need extra coverage, I follow up with a concealer on my chin and under my eyes.

“I usually need a blusher because I’m quite pasty. I’m still quite influenced by magazines I read when I was growing up which told you to smile and put it on the apple’s of your cheeks, so that’s what I do. I don’t even know if that’s the right thing to do but it’s something that has stuck with me since I was younger.

“For my overall make-up look, I really a peachier vibe – something like using a blusher as an eyeshadow so it’s more of a warm, uniform tone. If I’m going out and want something more flashy, I love this pink eye and red lip make-up look I did with make-up artist Lisa Eldridge. Tonally, the two colours work together.”

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On her easy-yet-effective hair routine

“I have to wash my hair every day and once a week, I use Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, £40. In terms of washing, I use any shampoo that’s hanging around. Sometimes I’ll have slightly fancier ones that I picked up at the hairdressers and sometimes it’ll be something more inexpensive like Aussie products that I picked up from Boots. After shampooing, I only condition the very ends of my hair, otherwise it gets too flat.

“To style my hair, I have this Australian Salt Spray from David Mallett that’s amazing. I just put it through the ends of my hair and let it naturally dry. If I’ve got a bigger thing going on – which will hopefully be the case post-lockdown – and want to look more polished, I’ll tong my hair. I learnt how to do that through George [Northwood, Chung’s long-term hairdresser]. He did a tutorial for my YouTube channel, which I have to re-watch to remember how to do it, but once I get the hang of it, it’s quite simple. It doesn’t take me that long to do either but it has a good finished effect.”

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Alexa Chung’s beauty kit

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Main image: courtesy of Code8