Alexa Demie on Being Everyone's New Favorite Makeup Muse: "I'm Not Mad"
For the 25 years I've been on this planet, I never once had the innate urgency to bedazzle my eyelid crease with tiny rhinestones. Then, around some time last August, I watched Euphoria and was introduced to Maddy Perez, played by Alexa Demie. Almost all at once I, along with a vast majority of my generation, became eager to craft the most experimental makeup looks we could dream up. While most of the credit for that goes to the show's creator Sam Levinson and makeup department head Doniella Davy, it's hard to imagine that some of this inspiration would be possible if Demie hadn't been cast in the pivotal role. Without her, I highly doubt I'd ever want to glue chain mail from Michael's onto my lash line.
Take a peek at Demie's Instagram and you'll quickly learn that she's a bit of a beauty guru IRL. Her signature cat eye is expertly snatched on a daily basis, her go-to brown lip consists of a cocktail of lipsticks and liners, and her contour is so precise and perfect you'd think it was constructed by FaceTune (it's not). While most of us learned our makeup skills from YouTube, Demie got hers from her mother, Rose Mendez, who started her career as a makeup artist at a MAC counter. So, when MAC partnered with Demie for a holiday collection in late 2019, it felt kismet for the actress, like life was coming full circle.
Now, she's the face for the More Than Meets the Eye MAC collection that admittedly looks and feels like a no-brainer fit for Demie. She told POPSUGAR exactly why ahead.
Alexa Demie Doesn't Follow Trends — She Sets Them
It makes a lot of sense that MAC — a brand made for and by artists — would want to pair up with Demie to create a new product collection. While she may not be an actual pro, her techniques shadow one. Just watch one of her makeup tutorials online and you'll be quick to notice her patience and attention to detail. She's mentioned in previous interviews that her mother, a makeup artist, relayed her biggest beauty secrets to her, like never go to bed with your makeup on; that and being surrounded by stacks of fashion and beauty magazines her entire childhood formulated how she looks at beauty today.
This also might explain why she's so inventive and admittedly apathetic toward trends. Although, she's well aware of the fact that she's kind of her own trend, at least, her character Maddy is. When I asked her what it's like to own a character who's spawned so many look-alikes — on and off the runway — she happily replied, "I love it. I love seeing it." She then added with a laugh, "I personally don't like to follow trends, but I'm not mad at setting the trends."
To be fair, Demie always had that thing about her — a level of creative expression that can have a rippling effect. "What's so funny is that ever since I was younger and in high school, I would always wear things that people would kind of make fun of me for," she said. "Then, like a week or two later, I would see everybody wearing it or doing [what I was]." Cue everyone and their mother being tuned into what Demie's doing now. "I like seeing everyone recreate Maddy's makeup looks and do their own version. I think it's really cool," she told me, specifically noting that this is definitely the time that makeup, in general, is getting really fun. "There are girls on Instagram doing the most beautiful, unique work on their faces, like painting murals and illusion art. I love that people are getting inspired and being really creative."
The Truth Behind Maddy's Make-Under on Euphoria
It isn't just her experimental makeup on the show that has everyone hooked on Demie; it's her acting chops, too. I told her this over the phone, noting one specific episode in particular where Maddy is distraught and in denial of the emotional and physical abuse of her boyfriend, Nate (played by Jacob Elordi). What struck me was that her makeup was nearly gone in those scenes, elevating the emotional distress her character was clearly under. Demie agreed, "I try not to let the makeup overpower the vulnerability of a scene, and obviously makeup is a huge aspect of Maddy's character, so it made perfect sense that in [those scenes] we see her for the first time run down." Demie let me in on a secret though: that look wasn't necessarily a make-under, it was that Maddy wasn't taking care of herself. "She still had eyeliner and mascara, she just wasn't washing her face or her hair for weeks and that was Sam's idea," she explained. "He wanted her makeup to get more and more smeared because that's what she was going through. It was a really hard time for her, so he wanted [her makeup] to reflect that."
Maddy eventually bounces back, and unfortunately, so does her relationship. Still, there's no doubt we're all waiting with bated breath for the anticipated second season (rumor has it the first table read was this week). But for as talented as Demie is at doing her own makeup, you probably won't ever catch her doing it on set for the show. "I love the idea of doing it myself and would love to one day for a film, but I think it's too complicated for TV," she said. "I honestly prefer to have it done and just sit there and read my script." Still, she admitted that sometimes she does get her eyeliner or lip liner started before stepping into a scene, but for now that's it.
Eyebrow Gel Is Alexa Demie's Biggest Makeup Secret
So, Demie likes to do her own eyeliner flick, but that's not even close to my favorite of her makeup secrets. The real MVP is that she almost never fills in her brows — seriously. She once said in a Vogue video that it was because she doesn't know how to do them, but I was determined to debunk that claim during our conversation.
"It's not that I don't know how, it's that I've never even tried because I like my brows," she admitted. "That's the truth: I love my brows." She added that she barely has to groom them (she doesn't pluck or wax them), which is why she strictly relies on eyebrow gel for the limited styling she does to her arches, making it even more fitting that the unsung hero of the More Than Meets the Eye collection is MAC's Eye Brows Big Boost Fibre Gel ($23). "I had no idea that there was going to be eyebrow gel [in the collection]," she told me. "That was something that MAC did and I was obviously really happy because it's true that it's the only thing that I ever wear on my brows. It's kind of perfect."
MAC Dazzleshadow Extreme
"Perfect" isn't the only way Demie would describe this collection (which also includes an array of new eye shadows, like the MAC Dazzleshadow Extreme ($20).) In fact, I asked her to give me a description that only true fans might expect of her. After all, most of the projects she's worked on have utilized scripts that are so deeply intertwined with carefully constructed soundtracks. If music is the pulse of most of her work, I wondered, what song best describes her MAC collection? Her answer: "Drama" by JSMN. I'm not mad at it.