In terms of quintessentially British beauty brands, it doesn't get better than Rimmel, founded by perfumer Eugène Rimmel on Regent Street, London, in 1834. Fast-forward almost two centuries to today. Stop a girl in the street anywhere in the U.K. and, chances are, one of the most trusted items in her makeup bag is from Rimmel. (I've been using the cult kohl eyeliner pencil for 14 years and counting...)
And who better to join the Rimmel family – which includes our favorite London girls Kate Moss and Georgia May Jagger — than fellow supermodel and friend, Cara Delevingne? Last month, Rimmel and the 24-year-old model turned actress invited Refinery29 to the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London, to unveil her first campaign with the brand and talk all things beauty, including makeup tricks and taming those world-famous brows.
Rimmel is a heritage British beauty brand. What do you love most about London and what makes you most proud to be British?
"I think from growing up around amazingly strong British women, having a lot of strong British friends, it’s the fearlessness and unapologetic-ness. Just being who you are and not scared to push the boundaries and do things outside your comfort zone in terms of beauty and style. I love the attitude [in London]. Caring, but not giving a shit at the same time, especially about the weather!"
If you were stuck on a hot desert island, what is the beauty product you’d want most?
"These brows have got to keep tame, so I have to use my brow gel, Brow This Way."
With all the travel you do, how do you take care of your skin?
"I just try to keep my skin as hydrated as possible using Jax Coco coconut oil or Skin Goddess, which is a really great natural beauty product."
When do you feel your most beautiful and empowered?
"I think those days when you wake up and you feel comfortable and happy in yourself, and you do things for yourself and look after yourself. When you’ve taken time out to treat yourself — those are the days."
If you had three minutes to get ready, what would you do?
"Wash my face with warm water as quickly as possible. Slap it, maybe, to wake the skin up!"
What’s the worst makeup mistake you’ve ever made?
"I don’t think I’ve ever made a mistake in terms of beauty [laughs]. Even if other people think that it’s wrong, you should just live by what you choose."
Who are your beauty icons and why?
"All the women in my family have been my beauty icons. My godmother, Joan Collins. Twiggy is a great one. Kate Moss, as well, and she’s in the Rimmel family."
What's a classic party beauty look for you?
"Glitter! I’m not really one for lipsticks, but dark lipsticks are a fun way to change it up. Usually, I like the no-makeup makeup look."
What’s the makeup trick every girl should know?
"I spend most of my time perfecting my mascara. I try to get every single lash. I’m super OCD about my mascara. It’s all about the eyes. I like white eyeliner inside the eye to make them look as big as possible. Dewy with a bit of lip balm on the lids."
Who in the beauty industry do you love working with and why?
"I’ve worked with so many incredible, incredible hair and makeup people. Pat McGrath, Val Garland, Charlotte Tilbury, Sam McKnight, Malcolm Edwards. They’re such lovely people. They’ve done so much for fashion and beauty — in terms of everything we do now is because of what they’ve done. [They're] constantly pushing the boundaries in creating new and amazing things, and still do that today. I don’t know how they keep coming up with all these amazing new things."
How has your approach to beauty and makeup developed as you’ve got older?
"I think when I was younger, because it was obviously my job, I didn’t used to like wearing makeup. But now, because I do less of that, I like to wear it for myself, instead of for other people. That’s probably how it’s changed. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident in yourself. That’s what I like to do"