Unmasked: Nina Leykind, Eyeko

Take away a woman’s lipstick. Take away a woman’s blush. On a good day (and we’re talking post facial, post vacay, summer glow still in full swing kind of day) you can even take away her foundation but mess with her brow pencil and mascara and there will be hell to pay. Mostly because for the modern day sleep deprived woman, leaving the house without a wipe of that magic wand will make her look like she crawled straight from it. You can understand our excitement then when we first discovered a niche makeup line dedicated to producing bespoke products for the eyes, and the eyes-only! No anxiety inducing makeup counter with thousands of products, just core staples for perfecting those lush lashes and bushy brows.

Established in 1999, the London-born Eyeko line is the child of makeup veterans Max and Nina Leykind. Lash lover Nina draws on more than 16 years in the industry creating and marketing niche brands to deliver makeup staples that will simplify your beauty bag. We liken it to the wardrobe essentials. You know your jeans and tee kind of purchases. On repeat in LOVE TWAIN’s repertoire, the cult zero-waste squeeze tube mascara. No, not a sponsored post. We are just alerting you to the fact that a mascara that you can squeeze every last penny out of exists.

During one of our recent stalking sessions of the Eyeko website, we had a light bulb moment. A woman who has simplified her eye makeup must have simplified her beauty routine too. Naturally, we reached out to TIME magazine’s “mascara queen” and asked her to empty her beauty bag.

Routine: I favour showers over baths and always wash my make up off as Eyeko Mascara’s are predominantly tubing formulas that are best removed with warm water. I like to feel squeaky clean and super smooth so I always exfoliate and shave my legs every morning!

Scent: Byredo Blanche is everything! I have the travel atomiser that lives in my bag and I love the hair perfume too. There’s also a great textile perfume Toile that’s a great freshen up- I like a fancy Febreze

Face: I apply serum, moisturiser and eye cream religiously but I’m not devoted to any one brand. Right now I’ve got Ole Henriksen, Drunk Elephant and La Mer on the go.

Lips: I have never met a lip balm that I didn’t like! I use La Mer and Dr Lipp as both really work and recently I picked up Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip which is gorgeous too

Eyes: I don’t wear much makeup but I would never be seen without my Eyeko mascara.  I have a mascara wardrobe so I can mix and match or choose according to the occasion

My go-to look is Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara to prime my lashes and build in length with Eyeko Lash Alert Mascara on top for extra volume and curl.  Lash Alert is our latest launch and I’m obsessed with it. It has caffeine, biotin and arginine in the mix as I wanted the treatment built in to my mascara rather than faffing about with a separate serum that I’m sure I would forget to use!

The brush has incredible pick up so it’s easy to apply on the go – that’s usually in the back of a cab for me – and one swipe gives me an incredibly full fringe.  I always have Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner in my bag to take me from day to night with an instant cat eye and Eyeko Me & My Shadow in Topaz is the ultimate highlighting hue that I pop on lids, cheek bones – everywhere really.  I’m never without my Eyeko Brow Gel either and I use it at night too because it’s serum infused and my over plucked 90’s brows always need a bit of a boost

Nails: Right now I’m having a break from my OPI gels and it feels so subversive to have a literally naked nail! Not that anyone could really tell as I favour nude shades like Essie Perennial Chic and OPI Samoan Sand

Ritual: I must have scented candles burning all the time at home and at work. I’ve also started carrying crystals, I’ve always had them around the house but since my last trip to Malibu I went to Serenity Rocks and they filled our pockets with different minerals for stress, jet lag and so on that I’m hooked

Must try: Eyeko Lash Alert Mascara for wide awake eyes. Everyone deserves a great mascara and if you’re late to the Eyeko party this is a good place to start

Muse: Alexa Chung is the quintessential Eyeko girl, she’s built into our brand DNA!

Hair: Currently Ouai which smells really perfume-y and luxe

Hair mask: I don’t have time to sit at the hairdresser to do my colour let alone time for a hair mask. I use Nice n Easy Root Touch Up because it only takes 10 minutes to work its magic!

Face mask: We have been manufacturing our products in Korea for over 10 years so I’ve been into K beauty forever! Our Hydrogel Eye Patches are insane and always out of stock. I also like Glam Glow and basically any Korean sheet mask.

Shower essentials: Philosophy Amazing Grace is my absolute favourite as it smells divine and is really foamy

Travel essentials: Eyeko Travel Size mascaras – I pack Black Magic and Sport Waterproof Mascara which I layer up to see me from beach to bar. All Eyeko products are so travel-friendly – that was important to both Alexa and I when we looked at creating Me & My Shadow, which is twist up shadow liner with a built-in brush (it’s like the swiss army knife of makeup!).  EVERYTHING we do is waterproof or at the very least water resistant and packed with treatment, even our eyeliners!

Beauty obsessions: It was always my mission to make the perfect mascara driven by my personal obsession. I re-invented mascara because one of the things that drove me mad was how mascara would dry out so quickly and you could never access the last bit left in the tube! So I created a squeezy tube so there would be no waste and the formula would never dry up.

Beauty bible: Lisa Eldridge is a good friend and is such a font of knowledge about the history of makeup. I love her take on beauty and dip into her book Face Paint all the time

Beauty secret: I always line my upper lash line using Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner or Sport Waterproof Gel Eyeliner as it really gives the impression of thicker longer lashes. Or I’ll I just wiggle my mascara wand into my lash roots to flood the waterline as that will do the trick too

Beauty bag: I was so happy to do a collaboration with my favourite fashion artist David Downton. He is so talented and his work, especially the portraits, are so evocative and always focused on eyes just like us! I always tote the bag we designed together as it’s not only beautiful but super roomy too!

Beauty budget product: Fosvarets Hudsalva – it’s a great Swedish lip balm that is completely natural. So much so that the Swedish army have it in their kit and even use it to cook their sausages

Beauty splurge: I hate facials but I do love massages. I think it’s important to take time out for yourself even if all you can manage is an extra minute on massaging your moisturiser into your skin your face will thank you for it.

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