Alexa Chung Likes Wearing a Red Lip the Day After a Party

The style icon and Code8 Ambassador shares her go-to looks.

Why Consistency Is Key for Alexa Chung's Beauty Routine

Credit: Courtesy of Code8

"The eyeliner was smudged because we were partying so hard," Alexa Chung says of the makeup looks that accented the deliberately mismatched clothing and holey tights associated with the "indie sleaze" aesthetic.

The off-kilter, in-the-moment looks that defined this time period in the 2000s have permeated #fashiontok in the last year — with Chung's past outfits as one of the blueprints for the aesthetic. The fashion icon says the resurgence of the style from that era is a direct response to how contrived fashion has gotten due to every aspect of our lives being documented online (often in real time).

"It was the last bastion of unbridled fun where you knew you weren't being observed. And I do think that that shift in self-awareness and truly getting dressed for oneself for fun versus getting dressed to project to potentially thousands of people is a different experience," Chung muses. "I like that people are drawn to that era, but I'm not necessarily sure it's for the ripped tights and hot pants. I think it's because they can probably feel the fun vibrating off of that decade."

Throughout the years, Chung's personal style has remained effortless, built around classic wardrobe staples and vintage statement pieces. She takes a similar approach to her beauty looks, which is why she was drawn to working with Code8, the British luxury clean makeup brand she's been the face of since 2020.

"I met with Sophia Chikovani [the founder of Code8] about three years ago. She explained to me the ethos behind the brand — in the terms of it celebrating the classics and being a low-key, low-maintenance approach to beauty," Chung shares. "I'm also fairly kind of simplistic when it comes to my makeup routine, so I think that's where we saw eye to eye. The line consists of simple things that have been incredibly well curated and they make you look great without having to think about it."

Ahead, Chung breaks down her current makeup routine, including why a red lip is the best look for the day after a night of revelry.

On how she chooses her makeup looks:

"It always goes hand in hand with what I'm wearing. So, makeup is never necessarily the thing I lead with, it's more in response to whatever I've got on. But if I'm feeling crazy, I'll put a lip on. Previously with Code8 I made a pillar box red lip, which kind of looks like the phone boxes in London. It's a very classic poppy red. So that's a color that I wear a lot because again, it fits into a classic look."

On her everyday makeup look:

"I use the Code8 Radiate Beauty Balm every day. Probably less so in the summer because I try and just wear sunscreen and a hat, and if I'm on a vacation then I don't want to bother with that. But definitely come winter when I start looking a bit pallid and gaunt, the Beauty Balm is really good for brightening the skin and giving you even, but quite light coverage. I curl my eyelashes every day. I don't often wear mascara just because I feel like curling them is fine. Eyebrows are a big part of my life, so I brush them up and fill in a bit where needed.

"For color, I like the Rosè Blush Palette for a flushed look. I'll lightly sweep it over my cheeks, but then often, I'll put moisturizer between my hands and then press it in so that it's all kind of blended. And then I just put on a cream lipstick or lip balm. I made my dream kind of salmon-y peach color with Code8. My lips are kind of naturally quite reddish, so that tones them down."

On how she does party makeup:

"For nighttime, if I'm going to an event or someone's party, I'm more inclined to do a coal on the upper lid or a more dramatic eye. And that's simply because I like drinking wine and I like eating whatever else they've got around. And I've always got shit in my teeth and the lipstick's moved, so it's just easier for me to approach it from an eye.

"I also really like hair accessories at the moment, like diamante clips or a Simone Rocha one. And for the holidays I am a bit more experimental. Even though it's a cliché, I might add silver glitter. I love a bare face and then silver glitter – that's my Euphoria nod."

On her day after makeup routine:

"I plunge my face into a bowl of ice water, and aside from that, just so much moisturizer because I feel like it's the dehydration that will get you. But if you want to be not caught out being hungover, I think wearing a pair of Ray-Bans and a red lip is always really good because nobody can believe that the girl that bothered to put the lip on is suffering."

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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