Exclusive: Eva Mendes On Her New Line (And "Crazy" Eyebrow)

We loved Eva Mendes before we pinned her down for an adorable interview about her just-launched New York & Company collaboration. But after speaking candidly with the star about her dream job (It may involve Mickey Mouse), what it was like working with Nick Cage (It may have involved ligers), and her beauty insecurity (We don't think she has one), we're even more in love. Plus, her pieces are totally wearable (and affordable!) for any 9 to 5...even if our day-to-day may not involve QT with one beloved blonde whose name rhymes with cryin' flossling.
Click through for our exclusive interview and a look at Mendes' designs, which you can shop now at New York & Company.
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

Your design aesthetic seems feminine and flirty, but also work appropriate. And work clothes tend to get a bad rep. What's your number one way of punching them up? What's your go-to suggestion for the day-to-day, 9-to-5 look?
"For me, punching up a daytime work look is about accessorizing. That's where a great chunky necklace can come into play. I also love some kind of hair accessory. It can be as dramatic as a turban or a simple decorative headband. The right piece can really give you that extra something special you’re looking for."

What corporate job would you be doing if you weren't acting?
"If I had to go corporate, I would work for Disneyland. I would love to design amusement park rides."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

Are there any particularly memorable moments that came with designing the pieces from start to finish? It's quite the undertaking! 
"Designing these pieces has been fun from the start. I especially love it when the samples of what we've designed arrive. There's an excitement in the air, kind of like Christmas morning. That is when you really get to feel the clothes. I try on every piece before I make my selections. It's a blast. I really love the whole process."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

What is one article of clothing or trend you'd never wear and what's one thing you wear to death?
"I probably would never wear neon lace. Scratch that. Actually, I know I will never wear neon lace. One thing I'll wear to death are turbans or hair wraps. I can't get enough. They're so fun."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

What is the balance between personal style and getting "styled" in Hollywood, and where do you fall on that spectrum? How much do you dictate what you look like on the red carpet?
"What I choose to wear on the red carpet is completely up to me. I love collaborating with a stylist who will bring me amazing options and opinions, but ultimately, if I want to wear it, I wear it. I never worry about being on a worst-dressed list. In fact, if I end up on one, it means I took a risk. I believe there is no right or wrong when it comes to personal style. There is no "who wore it better." That's just silly. As long as you feel good in it, wear it."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.
What is your favorite "day off" look?
"My favorite look for a day off is an easy dress with wedges and maybe a headscarf. I love dresses. I live in them."

Where do you look for fashion inspiration?
"For fashion inspiration, I look to women like Monica Vitti, Capucine, Daliah Lavi, and Francoise Hardy. I also love the style of Keira Knightley, Thandie Newton, Emma Stone, Liv Tyler, and Kerri Washington."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

Many see you as flawless. Have you ever had a beauty or fashion insecurity? And how did you shake that off?
"Of course I have! I have this one crazy eyebrow, my right one, that has a mind of its own! I'm serious, it will just raise itself and I don’t even know it’s happening. Sometimes, I'll see a picture of me on the red carpet and there's my crazy eyebrow gone rogue. It's been happening for years. Now I think it's funny, but I'm sure it looks insane!"
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.
What was it like to work with Werner Herzog and Nicolas Cage on the same movie?
"I'm not exactly sure how they first mated a lion and a tiger in order to create the first liger, but watching Nic and Werner work together gave me some idea of how it might have went down. It was a mysterious and wonderful thing to behold."
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Photo: Courtesy of New York & Company.

What is your guilty pleasure?

What is your favorite YouTube video?
"My favorite YouTube video is 'The Girl Who Cried Crystals'. I mean, come on! I could watch that forever."