Eva Mendes is forever one of our girlcrushes: talented, gorgeous, intelligent, and opinionated. So when we heard that she was launching her own makeup line, inspired by her love of Old Hollywood and her years of professional experience as an actress and model, we were beyond excited. Who better to head up a beauty brand than someone who practically defines glamour?
And we were right to be enthusiastic. Because CIRCA, Eva’s new makeup line, is amazing.
How amazing? Let’s count the ways: It takes into account a wide range of skin tones (there are currently ten shades of foundation available in every store), there are a variety of finishes and formulas in every category (would you like your blush in cream, powder or stain form?), the colors are incredibly high-impact, the wear is astonishing and the packaging is beautiful.
Oh, and did we mention that everything costs between eight and fifteen dollars and is available at Walgreens? Yeah. We’re officially obsessed.
This accessibility was incredibly important to Eva, who serves as both the face of CIRCA and it’s Creative Director. “I grew up buying drugstore cosmetics,” she told us at the brand’s launch. “That’s all I could afford. But I always felt that there was a lack in quality of the products…I wondered, why isn’t this stuff long-lasting? Why isn’t it beautiful?”
CIRCA solves both those problems, providing high quality makeup at an eminently affordable pricepoint. Consider it a little slice of Sephora at your local drugstore.
In person, Eva is exactly as beautiful and warm as you’d imagine, and she’s keen to bring her positive beauty outlook to the makeup world.
“I love beauty, and I enjoy it. I don’t think “Oh, I NEED this,” she told us at CIRCA’s brand launch. “I see it as “How exciting, that I can highlight the things I love about my face and really transform myself with makeup!”
And sometimes, that transformation is just about getting through the day-to-day with confidence. As a new mom, Mendes is sometimes short on time—but never wants to be short on glamour.
“Concealer is one of my favorite products,” she told us. “We have this Magic Hour Concealer ($12) that’s incredible. Also cheek color!” she added, enthusiastically. “It’s all about feeling alive and awake, and that’s all about the cheeks. Circa’s Ultrasuede Cream Blush in Portofino ($13) is my perfect color. The trick is to apply blush ACROSS the face, not up the cheekbone. I have a longer face, so I take it across the nose as well.”
The finishing touch for her daily look? A sheer lip color. “I’m not really a lipstick girl; I love the Tinted Lip Butters ($10) for every day, and my shade is Apricot.”
CIRCA’s lip range is truly fantastic, offering a quality rarely seen in drugstores. The Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick ($10) in particular offers stellar color and wear in a creamy, non-drying formula. We were drawn to it especially because of its sleek, architectural packaging—it’s the kind of product that you want to display on your vanity, rather than hide in your purse.
But beautiful products can only do so much; the other half of the equation is application. Eva was happy to share some of her superstar lip secrets with us.
To get the perfect nude, she recommends dabbing the color on your finger, then patting it along the lip. This gives the ideal shade and the perfect, slightly-lived in blending.
And for even more impact, “Take your concealer and dab it right along your Cupid’s Bow,” she told us. “It adds a little extra lusciousness; it’s a very small thing, but the camera really loves it.”
As we posed for photos, we asked Eva what one CIRCA product she’d take with her to a desert island.
“That’s a really good question!” she said, after many hugs and jokes. “Maybe the Cheek Stain ($13), because you can also wear it on your lips. But wait! If I was on a desert island, I’d have some color from the sun–so I have to say one of the Eye Crayons ($10).”
It’s a good choice, because the crayons are (in the opinion of this jaded beauty editor), totally legit: creamy, blendable and long-wearing. The lighter shades (Sparkling Citrine and Rose Quartz) are amazing on both eyes and to highlight cheekbones, while the more intense shades can be blended for a sheer look, or worn thick and dark as eyeliner.