Chances are you’ve seen a glittering, gemstone-heavy makeup look influenced by Alexa Demie if you have an Instagram account. Or, rather, in HBO’s Euphoria, influenced by her badass heroine, Maddie. Alexa Demie soon became a symbol of elegance after acting alongside Zendaya and Hunter Schafer in the hit film. By now, everyone who hasn’t seen the neon-lit thriller is presumably living under a bedazzled brick. Alexa Demie has now partnered up with MAC Cosmetics to debut a range of Redesigned Eye Shades, Major Raise Fiber Gel Eye Brows, and Dazzle shadow Extremes to build their own Maddie-approved looks for beauty lovers.
To chat about her beauty inspirations, her latest MAC Makeup collection, and her bizarrely adorable secret talent, I caught up with the Euphoria star by cell.
For your first MAC line, why did you plan to concentrate on eye items and what influenced the products you chose?
“Well, that was MAC—they came to me a had the idea already that it would be for the new eyeshadows. I was really happy about that because I love eyes; eyes and lips are kind of my thing, so I loved that I got to explore all the new eyeshadow colors with them.
I grew up mainly just doing lashes with liner or just brows or nudes on the eyes, so it was really exciting that I got to play with a lot of color. “ell, that was MAC-they came to me and already had the idea that it would be for the new eyeshadows. I was really happy about that because I love eyes; my thing is kind of like eyes and lips, so I loved that with them I had to explore all the new eyeshadow colors. I grew up primarily doing lashes on the eyes with liner or just brows or nudes, so it was really exciting that I had to play.
Have you grown up with a passion in fashion?
I grew up with modeling magazines filling the building. I know, as a little kid, I would just sit on the floor and go through every single magazine, because it just became part of who I was when I was so young to be drawn to it. And I liked it! I may have overlooked stuff like that, but I was so attracted to them and enjoyed them. For me, they are a diversion from life and I’ve fallen in love with fantasy. That’s why it’s just a dream that I want to replicate with imagery and makeup.
Are there any models of perfection you were looking up to?
Sophia Loren, Maria Felix, Sara Montiel, Cher, and Irma Serrano, the most popular and craziest-looking Mexican singer ever. She’d push the eyeliner and eyebrows to another degree entirely.
Do you ever feel tokenized by big businesses, including beauty, as an individual of color? What attracted you to MAC initially?
Yes! Yes! Fully, I do feel that way. Even simply walking with my mom to the supermarkets and meeting all the various people who would work there, with all the kindness and encouragement and acceptance of all of them. I grew up in Los Angeles, and my schools and my community were really diverse, so I still had friends from all over the world. You never see a black woman or a Latin woman or a trans individual as your face, like a lot of bigger labels. That’s where I feel MAC did an amazing job and continues to do so. I did never see a mixed-race girl like me growing up, but it sort of seemed unlikely.
“With a lot of bigger brands, you don’t ever see a Black woman or a Latin woman or a trans person as the face. That is where I think MAC has done an incredible job.”
IN OTHER INTERVIEWS, YOU HAVE SAID THAT, AS IN EUPHORIA AND POPULAR, YOU PREFER TO GRAVITATE TOWARDS DARKER, DRAMATIC POSITIONS. THAT’S A DELIBERATE DECISION, DO YOU THINK?
I assume that it’s both conscious and not conscious. In my life, I have been through a number of stuff. I grew up being really empathetic, which I think is a good thing, but when I was younger. I didn’t know how to do it, I will feel really emotional or depressed over stuff that I see happening to myself or my friends in the community. Inside me, I really have a lot of feelings. It is not because these positions are easy for me to perform, but that I gravitate towards them.
I really agree that all of those positions are very well-written and well-rounded. So for me it seems like the correct presence. I enjoy comedy too, and I love comedy as well. Some are more challenging to come by. I’m not drawn to a lot of authentic comedies, but it’s certainly something that I’m not saying “no” to. It so happens that the roles I’ve performed have been dramatic, so I’ll probably keep doing such roles.
How did your role in Euphoria as Maddie affect your beauty routine? The same way you did before the broadcast, should you approach makeup?
“AD: “Yes and no. I don’t always carry too much makeup for me on a day-to-day basis. I really approach my makeup in a very serious manner whether I’m heading to a conference or I’m going to a dinner or I’m going to a function. I’m thinking, “What’s the look? What’s the inspiration?” I thought it was so fun for Maddie because I got to put all these looks I’ve been hoarding in a folder on my desktop.
So, I think I’m getting a little crazier now with my makeup.
Have you had a hand in making them? The Instagram discovery page is full of people trying out their own Euphoria looks?
AD: “Well yeah, I mean most of the looks were all just from pictures I’ve been saving for years that I’d just been dying to do. I had a long conversation with Sam, the show’s creator, before the season began. I asked, “Should I create a moodboard with all the looks I want to do?” And he was like, “Of course.” So I came in with a full moodboard, I remember bringing some little gems in that I had at mom.”
Your mom was a makeup artist-how did it impact your own development of beauty and what stuff did you gain from her?
Alexa Demie: “In a lot of ways, I think it affected me.” She did a ton of editorial and runway makeup, so I grew up watching her doing all these very complicated, lovely looks. But then her trademark look was still like a dark smokey eye with a lip liner and a naked lip, which certainly impacted me because I was fascinated with a brown lip liner and a naked lip. Skincare, including taking care of the face, has always been her thing. At any given moment, any given period, she would make me wash my face, and she was always about just blending and making sure the skin was flawless. She sure showed me a lot.
How has your Mexican background affected the way you view attractiveness on the part of your mom?
Alexa Demie: “All the women on my Mexican side in my family are really just strong, beautiful women. I think it influenced me the most because I was really drawn to old Mexican cinema. It was a classic beauty; it was always a winged liner and a lip and really clean skin.
Growing up, who were the models for style and beauty?
Alexa Demie: “I grew up watching all these iconic Mexican singers and actresses, María Félix and Irma Serrano, and I kind of looked at them and their beauty.” She was a Spanish singer and actress, Sophia Loren, Cher, for sure, Elizabeth Taylor, a lot of women in movies, such as Sharon Stone in Casino, Sarah Montreal. In the ’90s, Madonna even got a lot of absolutely impressive styles. These are a couple.
For makeup hacks, a lot of people look at YouTube. Do you have any favorite gurus you want to follow for inspiration?
Alexa Demie: “Unfortunately, I don’t watch makeup tutorials on YouTube.” I don’t like seeing other people because I like to discover out on my own because I like to do stuff on my face, and what everyone does on your face might not work for you.
What beauty product would you need in order to live if you were stranded on an island?
Alexa Demie: “Frankly, probably a lip.” Like a transparent lip gloss that moisturizes. You’d always be cute, you wouldn’t have chapped hands.
In your makeup kit, what are the three most used items?
“Lip liner, rosewater, and lipstick.”Lip liner, lipstick, and rosewater.
What’s your dream movie comedy?
I want movies that, like Robert De Niro’s King of Humor, aren’t funny in your face. Loved Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler. I love Tiffany Haddish, too. She’s funny, actually.
Okay, one more question: What do you think people would be shocked to find out about you?
“I can move my ears, ummmm.” Down and up. Not like a total wiggle, but you remember, like, up and down? “