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Innovator-in-Chief: Nina Leykind

As fun as it is playing with products, it’s even more fun hanging out with brand founders and hearing the real story behind their creations. This month, we chat with Nina Leykind, who, with husband Max, founded British brand Eyeko. In addition to being a celeb favorite (Adele and Alexa Chung are fans), Eyeko is best known for transformative mascaras—a few swipes and people will think you’re wearing falsies. Learn more about the woman behind this posh British brand—and the product next on her invention list.

How did Eyeko get its start?

Eyeko has been around since 1999, but we decided to re-boot the brand in 2011 with an eye focus and a tight edit of mascaras and liners. I love it that girls now go to Eyeko for the best in mascaras and liners.
Nina & husband

What's it like working side by side with your husband?

It's been a while—16 years to be exact—so it's become a very intuitive process. Our individual skill sets really complement each other, and there is a lot of crossover in our respective roles. It's also a big plus for business trips that we get to experience new cultures and ways of doing business together. We're really looking forward to making a trip to Australia for the launch of Eyeko over there!

What three things do you always have in your purse?

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner so when something crops up last minute, I can look pulled together effortlessly. Hudsalva Forsvarets Lip Balm, which the Swedish army uses—it's so natural they even cook with it! Also, Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15 because I don't wear foundation, so this powder makes me feel polished. I love that there's a brush in the compact for touch-ups on the go. Twiggy

What is your favorite product?

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara is such a lash must-have. Even though we have five mascaras in our wardrobe, this remains a daily staple for me.

Who are your beauty icons?

I love ‘60s makeup looks, everyone from Twiggy to Françoise Hardy, where all the focus is on the eyes.

What was your first job?

When I was 16 I had a Saturday job folding jumpers in Benetton on the Kings Road in Chelsea.

Katy B

What new songs have you downloaded recently?

“Bubble Butt?” Just kidding, it was “What Love Is Made Of” by Katy B. Anything she sings gets me up and dancing.

What one product do you wish existed?

A liquid liner that's the blackest black, makes your lashes grow, and stays on the waterline. Watch this space: For me, wishing about products is the same thing as creating them.

What's your motto?

Change is the only constant in life—that you can depend on! It's so important to be adaptable.

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