In the Hot Seat With Eyeko’s Nina Leykind


The eyes have it when it comes to London-based Eyeko, the beauty brand that focuses on the lashes and the eyes. The range is a bespoke label for your eyes only…literally.

Co-Founder and Creative Director, Nina Leykind, who has a background in beauty and PR, found herself In the Hot Seat this month. We were beyond glad to have her, since she offered a lot of information about how properly dressing the eyes can change your entire look. We <3 her and her products.

With her husband, Max, Leykind founded the brand, which is known as the LBD of eye makeup. We couldn’t agree more. Eyeko’s offerings are essential and something every woman should own, like an LBD! But they’ve also got products that are like couture gowns for the eyes.

Eye, eye, cap’n!

BN: The eyes have it with Eyeko! Why did you chose to create a line that was eyes only?
NL: We all have our thing that makes us feel confident like Alexa [Chung] with her eyeliner and for me, it’s mascara. Focusing on eyes made a lot of sense to us because there are so many mascaras out there claiming to do this, that and the other, but very few that actually work.

Ten years ago, I made it my mission to create the perfect mascara, working on every aspect from the squeeze tube to ensure there is no waste to the really long-lasting, conditioning formulas packed with botanicals for long-term lash care and hand-finished bristle brushes that give you dramatic effects.

BN: Is there a tip or technique you can share that all women can utilize when it comes to enhancing their eyes?
NL: The right mascara is key to any look. Always curl your lashes before applying — our lash curler is sprung, making it extra easy to use as it just takes one squeeze and won’t pinch or pull your lashes.

To make the most of your lashes, it often takes more than one mascara. That’s where your mascara wardrobe comes into play. I begin with Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara to grab and capture the tiniest of lashes (especially on the bottom) to extend and lengthen.

Be sure to get the brush right to the roots of your lashes for evenly-coated color – pop the Eyeko Shield provided behind your lashes as you apply to maximize length and minimize smudges!

Then to build up the drama and curl, I go in with either Eyeko Black Magic or Eye Do Mascara. Both have a carbon black finish, which makes for standout, beautifully defined lashes.

As a finishing touch, tight line the upper waterline with Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Liner to really thicken up that lashline and apply Eyeko Brow Gel to style and define your brows.

BN: What is your favorite product you’ve created and why?
NL: I’m all about mascara, but I’m also really proud of our award-winning Eyeko Brow Gel as there’s nothing else like it. It really packs a punch as not only does it style and define with a hint of a tint and natural look, but it’s packed with growth-enhancing botanicals that really work.

One of our models swore that it was the only product she ever used that made the hair grow back of her scar on her brow!

BN: Is there a product you didn’t create BUT love, love, love and why?
I love Försvarets Hudsalva lip balm that’s used by the Swedish army. It’s so utilitarian in look and usage — you can use it to fry up some campfire sausages, heal blisters or wax your skis. I do love multi-tasking products. That’s why with Eyeko, we pack in as much as we can to each product, making it very travel-friendly too. I think the Swedish army would approve!

BN: Do you have a favorite lip product?
NL: See above! For color, I do like Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments. I have all the shades.

BN: And your favorite bargain/discount product?
I get lost for hours in U.S. stores like CVS, Walgreens and Target to stock up basics like Seche Vite Top Coat, Visine Eye Drops, Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms and packs of Downy fabric softener sheets. I’m obsessed with the smell and I always put a few sheets in my luggage when I travel to avoid that airplane smell getting on my clothes!

BN: If doing a heavy eye, do you have a go-to lip product? Since the experts always say to balance your look and go with a light lip if doing a heavy eye. What’s your take?
NL: Any tinted lip balm, really. I’m not a fan of a bold lip color that gets in the way of kissing, eating and drinking!

BN: Here’s my dilemma – SUPER DUPER STRAIGHT, REFUSE-TO-CURL LASHES. No matter what I use –curling mascara, heated lash curler, you name it– they don’t curl. HELP!
NL: See Answer No. 2! Most of us have straight lashes so grab those curlers and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, featuring our unique brush that will lift lashes for a 90-degree curl and a water-resistant formula that really holds the curl.
With key ingredients Shea Butter and Keratin, your lashes stay lifted but feel so soft. It’s a huge favorite with Salma Hayek!

BN: Any new launches planned for 2014 you’d like to share or discuss?
NL: We’re excited for to launch our Alexa Chung for Eyeko limited edition set in Sephora, available now. Alexa said she liked the idea of having more benefits in the eyeliner the way we do with all our mascaras. We added lash-enhancing ingredient WIDELASH™ which boosts lash growth. Also, it was important to make it pitch black, which is what Alexa loves about our Skinny Liquid Eyeliner so we decided to make it our blackest eyeliner yet and of course it had to be long-lasting and waterproof to see her through day to night.

We made Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner in France and it’s definitely our couture version of eyeliners! If Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is the LBD of eyeliners, Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner is the ultimate couture gown! The mascara that completes the set also features a new brush and new formula to enhance your lashes. After a sell-out launch in the U.K., we’re excited to introduce the set to our U.S. fans!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Subscribe to our Beauty News NYC Newsletter.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x