Meet The Founder

Meet the Founders: We Chat to Eyeko’s Inspiring Co-Creators

Eyeko, Max, Nina & Alexa Chung

Since creation in 1999, {Eyeko} has exploded onto the beauty scene – from niche British brand to global success story. And now, with Alexa Chung as Creative Consultant, the “eyeball decorators extraordinaire” are enhancing the eyes of the best beauty bloggers, models, make up artists and the AAA-List (Jennifer Lawrence and Salma Hayek are just two of Eyeko’s celebrity champions). We pitched some questions to co-creators Max and Nina Leykind, who talked us through their influences, inspiration – and of course, Alexa’s beauty secrets…

{Cult Beauty} What prompted you to create a make up range – especially a dedicated range of eye enhancers?

{Nina Leykind} Focusing on eyes started off as a personal mascara mission for me! It felt like there was always a ‘but’ – I like this one but it doesn’t hold a curl, or it runs or flakes or dries up too quickly. That was the starting point for literally re-inventing mascara – beginning with the packaging and our zero-waste squeezy tubes that enhance the longevity of the formula. Then, to make application easier, we created the ‘Eyeko Shield’ (it looks like a little guitar plectrum), and included it with every mascara; just pop behind your lashes as you apply to avoid smudging your lids and to ensure even root to tip coverage.

{CB} Were there any iconic women who inspired you?

{NL} I love the 60s aesthetic of playing up the eyes with loads of lashes and liner. All the images and icons from that era – from Twiggy’s painted on lashes to Audrey Hepburn’s doe-eyes; Francoise Hardy’s insouciant gaze to Anna Karina’s faultless liner; Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin – it was all about the EYES!

{CB} The transformative properties of eyeliner are phenomenal. Do you have any tips for creating the ‘perfect’ feline flick?

{NL} It’s something we often debate – do you start with the flick or start by lining the lid? Alexa starts with the flick and I tend to start by lining the lid – as near to the lash line as possible – and building up from there. It’s imperative to dot between the lashes as you apply so there are no gaps to be seen. Whichever way you tackle the perfect feline flick remember; practise makes perfect and using liquid eyeliner pens like ours makes it much easier, as you don’t have to fiddle about with pots of ink and separate brushes.


Alexa Chung for Eyeko

{CB} And how do you get both eyes even? Please help womankind!

{NL} To ensure even wings use your lower lash line to guide you, following the line up towards the tail of your brow. It creates the perfect angle to flatter all eye shapes for a youthful, wide-awake look. Keep a cotton bud or fine brush dipped in {Micellar Water} close by, to clean up any mistakes or remove a line that’s too thick.

{CB} You’ve a range of mascaras – can you give a quick guide to which one does what? Which is best for lengthening, volumising, wedding-season (something weep-resistant please!)?

{NL} ALL of our mascaras are water-resistant, making them perfect for every eventuality – from crying at weddings to staying up all night at festivals! Each formula is complemented by the perfect brush, to create a complete lash look – or you can mix and match to suit your specific lash needs. For instance, my lashes are very straight so I’m always craving some curl and of course you can never have enough length or volume. My favourites are {Black Magic} – our global best-seller – and {Rock Out & Lash Out} because they are both ultra black and create a dramatic lash look. All our mascaras are conditioning, and have a ‘tubing’ finish so they wash off in pieces which is why your Eyeko Mascara will never run, crumble or flake – the pigment wraps around each lash. The only exception is the {Sport Mascara} – which is highly water-resistant and so needs to be removed with oil.

{CB} Alexa is the most amazing brand ambassador. Which products does she turn to, to create her signature look?

{NL} Alexa and I worked on {Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner} and {Mascara} first to create her signature 60’s cat eye – then added {Me & My Shadow} most recently. It’s a quick and easy take on colour and it was important for both of us that it would be travel friendly. It’s like the ‘Swiss army knife’ of eye shadow as you have everything in one pen – colour, liner, primer, a blending/liner brush and automatic delivery so no need for a sharpener. It comes in 6 shades that all work perfectly together, or can be worn singularly.

{CB} Does Eyeko have any other celebrity devotees?

{NL} We’re so lucky to have an abundance of celebrity devotees and have spotted {Eyeko} on everyone from Salma Hayek to Jennifer Lawrence; Nicole Kidman to Chloe Moretz, as well as spotting Eyeko products in many make up artist’s kits (it’s also a favourite of beauty editors, and has scooped up numerous industry accolades). Best of all is when I meet women and they ask what I do and I tell them I have a little company called {Eyeko} and they start to pull out my mascaras and eyeliners to show me they already swear by it!


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...