Eva Mendes launches Circa, beauty for everyone

Actress Eva Mendes goes for a fresh but glamorous look on the red carpet.

Actress Eva Mendes goes for a fresh but glamorous look on the red carpet.

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Eva Mendes is an actress, singer, model, fashion designer and former ambassador for brands such as Revlon and Pantene.

Now add beauty impressario to that list. Mendes is the creative director of Circa, a new accessibly priced ($8-$15) cosmetics offering that aims to appeal to women of all skin tones and ethnicities.

“Whenever I’m in a makeup chair ... we’re always pulling different references for inspiration — Giulietta Masina circa ‘Juliet of the Spirits,’ Uma Thurman circa ‘Pulp Fiction,’” she said. “That [method] really represented the way we think about makeup and experiment with transformation in this line. The packaging is inspired by architecture — we pulled design elements from the Chrysler Building and Frank Lloyd Wright’s work.” Mendes plans to work with her favorite makeup artists to steer color and texture trends for Circa, which is rolling out this month exclusively at Walgreens and on We asked her a few questions about beauty.

All those times you sat in a makeup artist’s chair, getting ready for a red carpet event — what have you learned that translates into what women need in their beauty products for their everyday lives?


I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing makeup artists throughout the years. Every time I’ve sat down to get my makeup done, my skin looks different from the last. What I eat, how much sleep I’ve gotten and a bunch of other things factor into how my skin looks. So it was important for me to make a variety of products that cater to specific skin needs.

It’s a pretty huge offering — some 133 different products. Was the idea behind that to cover every possible need for all types of skin tones and complexions?

Exactly. When I first started in films about 15 years ago, there weren’t many makeup options for my skin tone. When I look back at things from the beginning of my career, I can see how off the shades were! We wanted to make sure that in the complexion products, anyone could find their shade match. And in the color products for lips and eyes, we wanted a good mix of timeless shades and trend-driven ones, so that we could offer some products that were fun but also practical.

What are some of your personal favorites from the collection?

I love them all, but right now I especially love the Magic Hour Illuminating Concealer. It has been a lifesaver product. I’m also really into blush. I apply it across my face, instead of up towards my temples, and the Ultrasuede Cream Blush in Portofino is perfect for that. I rarely wear lipstick, but it’s still nice to get a bit of color, which is why the Color Treatment Tinted Lip Butter is another one of my go-tos. The shade Sheer Apricot is actually based on one of my favorite, discontinued lip colors. And I love green eye makeup, so the Color Focus Eye Shadow Palette in Metamorphosis is a favorite.

Were you always into makeup, even as a little girl?


My earliest memory of makeup was watching my sisters get ready to go out. Especially my beautiful big sister, Becky. She’s 10 years older, so when I was little I would watch her go from a beautiful big sister in an oversized T-shirt to a total glamazon. It was the ’80s, so she really went for it. I loved seeing that transformation. I still love the art of transformation. It’s the most fun part of my job.

What beauty products do you always carry in your purse?

Circa’s Ultrasuede Cream Blush in Portofino, a container of Egyptian Magic and a tiny bottle of Estée Lauder’s Knowing. I’ve been wearing that scent since I was 13.