"Both my parents are actors. The other night someone was complaining about kids growing up to do the same things as their parents, and I said it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. During my childhood, I sat around a dining room table and listened to them talk about career stuff, and it became this shorthand for me. I then called up agents, went around and met with them, and one signed me when I was 19. I went to Oxford and did work on my summer holidays. My first film was called Stage Beauty, with Claire Danes and Billy Crudup. I would work, and then go back to school. I did a Tom Stoppard play called Rock ‘n’ Roll that we did in the Royal Court, and then West End, and I guess Steven Spielberg came to that. At that time, he was producing She’s Out of My League—straight off the bat, I went to do She’s Out of My League. After that, I kind of was just here [in LA]. I had a world in England, but Los Angeles is such a nice place to live. It’s nice being really far away and being like, ‘This is my life, this is my world, and I’ll set my own rules.’ Of course, I miss my family. But I kind of like the escape that it gave me.
The roles I used to be cast for were typically objectified women, so I was always being shown or spoken about through the lens of the guy. It was nice to have a blowout and everything… [laughs] but that’s not really how I thought of myself or how I feel inside. I just did this thing for Netflix—it’s a Marvel show, where I play this character called Typhoid Mary who’s supremely violent, and has multiple personalities, and is deeply angry. It goes into a slightly darker side of my personality, and it’s something I’m really enjoying at the moment. I’ve also really enjoyed all the action—I’ve been working with the stunt team. It’s amazing because it’s learning a totally different skill. You think of the women who were doing movies in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and they were triple threats—they were dancing, they were singing, they were acting, doing it live. That’s kind of where I want to go a bit more.
It’s no secret that beauty starts with water. It’s just a basic thing—you look better if you drink loads of water. When I’m working, that’s definitely the main thing I do. I will go to bed at 10, and I won’t always sleep—I don’t necessarily have a great relationship with sleep. So, instead, I’ll drink loads of water. I’m also not particularly loyal to any products—I will continue to rotate them, because I think my skin responds best to that, when it doesn’t get used to a product. I really love the micellar waters that have become popular, and I have to say I’ve noticed a difference since I started using them. Everyone makes them—Bioderma is one, but you can get them in any shop. That’s kept my skin level. I do get a lot of facials, because I think that when you don’t extract, your pores inevitably fill up more. I believe that facials keep your pores smaller. I’m really loyal to Biba de Sousa. She’s an excellent extractor, but she also does a bunch of other stuff.
I always wake up and make sure to check in with myself—I think about the day before and anything today that’s coming. I sort of square my feelings about it all. I try and delay looking at my phone for as long as I can, because it’s such a precious time before the information floods in. I try not to check Instagram in the morning—I have sort of checked out a bit. I have a French facialist in New York who always tells me not to put water on my face in the morning, so I’ll just get a cotton pad and do the micellar water. I put on my cream, which at the moment is Lancer, and then I put on SPF from Actinica. I love it—you don’t change colors a bit. I think my nighttime routine is more comprehensive. I’ll wash my makeup off, then I’ll tone, then I might exfoliate, and then I have this thing from my facialist in London called Linda Meredith that’s a gel you put on and rub off. It sort of sloughs off the dead skin, but it’s a gentle exfoliation. I have a sort of weird relationship with exfoliation—I know it’s super popular, and I’ll go to a Korean spa and have my body exfoliated with a brush, but I’m not sure if I want to do that kind of stuff to my face too often. I feel like rubbing things on my face injures it a little bit. I’d rather something gentle. The gel I was talking about is from a French brand called Yon-Ka, it’s the Gommage Exfoliating Gel. Another thing that I do is from my grandma—a lot of my face stuff is simple and traditional. I take a clean, hot towel—only use it once— put it on your face and let it steam, and rub it a bit. That kind of exfoliates enough. I’m addicted to those sheet masks, so sometimes I’ll do one. I literally pick one up wherever I go—if I see it, I buy it. They’re everywhere now. I always look for hydrating ones. The other thing I really like is the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask. That’s a nice pore cleaner.
I’m friends with Cassandra Grey, who has Violet Grey. She always tells me what the good makeup is. The most recent one that I’m obsessed with is the Tom Ford Shutter Lash Mascara. It just goes on in such a nice, sexy, wet look. It’s really classic mascara. I only use Armani foundations or tinted moisturizers because they don’t have any of the ingredients that block pores—even though I have dry skin, I can break out. I use the Luminescent Color Control Bright Moisturizer from Armani. I always rotate my blush, but at the moment I’m using a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact. And I love the Charlotte Tilbury palette called Filmstar Bronze and Glow with the brown and the shimmer. It’s a little bit of what you’d use for contouring, but it’s not really contouring. I was using the Tom Ford liquid liner for the top lid, but I’ve moved on to Stila Waterproof Liquid Liner, which I read about in the Sunday Times. It’s not a brush, it’s a little applicator which has a little more precision. The brush seems to flick out a bit if I do something wrong, but that’s so not the case [with the Stila]. I use the Glossier Boy Brow, and then I have many lip glosses and lips. I am at the moment using the Maybelline—I mean, I know everyone has these sort of permanent lipsticks now, but my favorite one is still Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink. You put this on in the morning, and it just stays on all day. It’s so great. I’ve always used Guerlain powders. It’s sort of a reflective, translucent powder, and I use it as the final thing I put on my face. I use the Meteorites in Medium—it’s just so pretty. Everything about Guerlain is pretty. I’ve been enjoying my Tarte full-coverage concealer—I quite like a thick concealer. You use a tiny bit of it, but it’s really good. I might even re-purchase it. I used to go to India a lot, and the eyeliner there is so rich. I used to be so confused to how the ladies got that effect on their eyes, because I couldn’t buy that stuff anywhere [here]. I was researching online, and they have this company that does this eyeliner that goes on wet look, and it’s for the waterline. It just stays on, and you can leave it on—if you’re on holiday, you can get in and out of the sea, and it looks better and better all day. It’s super smudgy, so you have to be careful with it. It has almost that doughy quality. It’s called Biotique Kaajal, the traditional Ayurvedic one. It’s my favorite one.
I go through phases, and the look stays the same for the face. Like, I’ll stay in a phase, lose that thing or forget about it, and move on to a completely different thing. Already this year I’ve had red hair and bangs, when I was in New York, and when you have red hair you have to do something else. It’s not the same life as having blonde hair—you have to think of your clothes differently, you’ve got to find different lipsticks. I like the changes [acting] forces you to make—I’m not super attached. I played a younger Emma Thompson in Men in Black 3, and I said something about what they wanted to do my hair, and she said, ‘Oh darling, let them do anything, I have no relationship with my hair whatsoever.’ I thought it was such good advice, because as an actor, you can’t be attached to your physicality. You’ve got to be willing to change it—whether it’s gain weight, lose weight, change your hair, change your eyebrows. You really change yourself. I did a film with my brother which was set in the '30s, and I dyed my eyebrows like Rihanna in that Vogue cover recently—they looked pencil thin, like '30s brows.
I try and wash my hair as much as possible. I’ve been surfing a lot this summer, and been washing it a bit more because there’s sand in it. If I train, I have to wash it, because I sweat. I use Aveeno—I like to use really simple hair stuff. I have a lot of hair, and because it goes all over me I don’t want to have too many chemicals. I use Aveeno shampoo and conditioner, because it’s kind of pure ingredients. I have a lot of hair and it kind of takes care of itself. I don’t have to put too much time or effort into it. Sometimes I’ll put an oil and leave it for a day, so it stays moisturized. But I don’t pay that much attention to my hair. I think that my natural hair is blonde with middle parting, so when I get to that after I’ve done a job then it’s like, ‘Alright, I look boring now, maybe I’ll change it.’ But I do try and keep my color up to date, and try not to have too many roots…but now I have loads of roots, so!
I really like Aesop and Kiehl’s. The Aesop Body Balm smells so nice, and the Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is good too. I did Sex and the City 2, and Sarah Jessica Parker is very knowledgeable about all her beauty stuff. She was obsessed with exfoliating her heels. I do that a lot now, because I always want my heels to be smooth. And then sometimes I’ll put on Bio Oil—if I’m in a rush, I’ll put Bio Oil all over in the shower, while I’m wet. I’ll stand there for a second, and then put the towel on—I feel like I’m moisturized, like I’ve done it. I’ve been loyal to Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for about eight years. I feel like that’s been a really good relationship. I’m obsessed with perfume—if I had another job, it would be as a nose in Paris. The other thing I love is Nuxe—it has a nice smell to it. If I’m on holiday, I don’t like wearing perfume at the beach, so I’ll just wear a body oil that smells nice. Recently, I felt like I just had to change [my scent], so I went to this shop in Soho in New York, and I smelled this perfume [that I loved], but then I couldn’t remember the name or who made it. I was looking around for it for ages, and then I went to Liberty, and they just had brought this new perfume in by this company called DS and Durga. They have one called Durga, which I guess is their namesake. I wore it for three weeks, and I don’t think anyone noticed or smelled it or anything, and I just was like, ‘Maybe this perfume isn’t working for me.’ Then finally one day a woman was like, ‘I like your perfume!’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, thanks so much!’ [Laughs] I have to have gardenia—I need something with a slight sweetness, but now that I’m older the sweetness has to be a bit less. And I do like something musky, or oaky, but not an oud. That one doesn’t work for me so much. I like it to have levels—to be sort of bright, and then have something more."
—as told to ITG
Alice Eve photographed by David Cortes in Los Angeles on August 8, 2018.