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Alexa Chung Finally Found Her Perfect Makeup Match with Code8

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

When Alexa Chung shot the campaign images that cap off her new partnership with Code8, the world was a very different place. "We shot these images long before this happened, obviously," she tells me. "We had a rollout plan, including a lovely dinner in New York, which had to be canceled. It's quite funny to think about then and now. These are photos from a former life."

In that former life, Chung chose to partner with Code8, a London-based makeup brand that specializes in simple-but-effective makeup that works for various skin types, tones, and levels of beauty expertise. Together, they created a series of elegant but approachable images that (my favorite part) include features we may even be capable of recreating during stay-at-home orders, like a white T-shirt and wet hair.

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In this episode, the fashionista talks about her signature look, the differences between U.K. and U.S. beauty trends, and her favorite drugstores to shop around the world.

Reading through Code8's eight-point brand manifesto, it's clear that Chung — or at least the persona that Chung has cultivated through her many years in the spotlight as a fashionista, influencer, and businesswoman — and women like her are the reason why Code8 exists. As founders Sophia Chikovani and Nadine Ayache write it, Code8's number-one priority is for customers to "own your time," followed by "invest in high performing assets," and "embrace the real you." If you'd asked me to describe Chung, I would have said "seems busy," "chic as hell," and "into natural makeup."

To use marketing-speak, there's a synergy when a campaign fits its ambassador so beautifully (think Joan Didion and Céline). Chung and Code8 go together like Whole Foods almond butter and artisanal jelly, and Chung thinks so, too. "They're just very cool," she says of the founders. "I love the brand's art direction and the women behind it are very chic ladies. When I turned up they were wearing The Row, and I was like, 'Oh yeah, these are my people.'"

That laissez-faire approach to beauty gets an assist from Code8's penchant for universal shades, such as in the Glazé Universal Lip Gloss. "I'm also of an age where I really know myself and I really know what suits me and my style," says Chung. "I'm less experimental. I'm not going to put stickers on my face. I lived through the '90s, so I don't really want to revisit like some of the mistakes, like a thin brow or silver eye shadow. The universal color palette appeals to me because I don't want to be too daring, I just want to look kind of fresh and cool."

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That's not to say you can't make a daring beauty look out of, say the Highlight HD Palette and Matte Velour Lipstick. But Code8's simplistic offerings are here for those of us, like Chung, who want to keep makeup fresh and basic.

With stay-at-home orders forcing Chung to stay inside from London, she's pared her makeup routine down even more than usual. "I'm definitely remembering to moisturize and cleanse," she says. "As for makeup, I've not done a full face." Instead, she's adding an occasional red lip or eyelash curl "when [she] wants to feel more like a human."

As she points out, now might be the perfect time to embrace the Code8 less-is- more aesthetic. "I think a lot of us who lead quite busy lives had a shock when the concept of social life went out the window," she says. "Now I'm really just doing all of this just for me."

More beauty news:

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Now, see Sabrina Carpenter's 10-minute makeup routine:

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