'Back when I started modeling, there was this really great doll-face moment happening in beauty. For me, that look reminds me of the whirlwind of my first season—I got scouted in college, did a test shoot in Los Angeles, and was called over for Paris Fashion Week almost immediately. The day I landed, in jean shorts and flip flops, I met John Galliano, and he cast me for his show. I opened for Christian Dior, Lanvin, and I did Chanel that season. I was just at the right place at the right time. It snowballed, and now I’m here, starting my own cosmetics line, Wander Beauty—I'm a co-founder and the creative director. It's an amazing opportunity to take that inspiration and turn it into products...our soft pink blush is meant to emulate that healthy flush we always had to our cheeks. Everything my co-founder, Divya Gugnani, and I created is like that—all very organic and easy, which is how I am when I do my own makeup.
When I'm with my friends and not going to an event, I'm very low-key. I find that New York City is…how do I put this? I don’t want to be seen or be there to be seen. I’m not into that. When I was at the Kentucky Derby, people had pictures printed out for me to sign. I was like, 'OK guys, my signature isn’t very valuable though…you might get $30.' [Laughs] I want to wear my ripped jeans and have a great time with my girlfriends when I go out. I go to Pier 59 and Lucky Strike a lot. I also love going to Tortilla Flats in the West Village for Monday bingo night—apparently they also have a hula-hoop night on Wednesdays! I’ve been dying to go to that.
The first thing I do is put on this calming yoga Spotify playlist and sit at the dining room table because the light is amazing. My husband gets so annoyed with my closet full of beauty products and how I bring them downstairs to do my makeup. I’ll have a glass of rosé, and just enjoy the process. People say getting ready is half the fun, but I think it is three-quarters of the fun. [Laughs] And right as I'm about to leave, I'll put on a whole different playlist of energizing hip-hop.
I do my own makeup 90 percent of the time, and I'm always online researching new looks. Today I was really interested in doing a neutral smoky eye, which led to what I'm wearing tonight. I used brown eyeliner and put a little shadow in the center to give that '60s retro look.
But step-by-step, I like to start fresh and take off everything I've had on during the day with Bioderma Crealine, then I moisturize with Embryolisse. After I prep, I use one of the SK-II Signs Eye Masks. I leave them on while I do my eye makeup so that anything that falls down I can just wipe off with the mask. It keeps your under eyes clean, hydrated, and it de-puffs.
I always have mascara on. I look for something that doesn’t flake and is water resistant. It has to stand up to humid summer nights in New York. I have super long lashes, and I used to love applying individual lashes, just to add more volume and length to my eyes, but then I realized that it started looking so unnatural—so I only do it when I want a lot of drama. I used Ardell Knot Free Individuals. Knot-Free is the best because it blends in more with the root of your own lashes. I don’t use tweezers, just my fingers. I line a strip of glue on my hand, dip them in, let them dry for 15 seconds, and place it on with my finger. I think the tweezers make it much more complicated than it needs to be.
My skin type is a mixture—I have hyper pigmentation issues from whenever I am in the sun and get freckles all over. My T-zone gets a little bit oily. I like using Reviva Labs' Hyaluronic Acid Serum because, when you put it on, it instantly plumps your skin. I also find that it makes applying makeup much smoother and easier.
We're developing a foundation, which is what I have been using lately—it comes in a stick. If I want to go a bit lighter, I'll use a BB cream like the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25. It’s amazing, and because it's water-based, it looks like skin. I hardly have any of it left. I use this especially for events when I want my skin to look more dewey and natural or when I am on the beach and I need a little bit of SPF.
Like I said before, I'm in love with the look of blush. Girls like Gemma Ward and what they were doing backstage 10 years ago inspired Wander Beauty's On-The-Go Blush and Illuminator. I love peaches and corals for my skin tone. If I want to go a bit bolder, and I’m doing less of an eye and just like a black liner, then I’ll do a bright pink blush. I always want to highlight one thing more than another. If you have everything, it’s too much. You have to balance it out.
I have such a big makeup bag at home, but for events and such, I’m only allowed to bring a clutch or resort to my husband’s pocket, so I really have to downsize. I always carry around Boscia's Green Tea Blotting Linens, a little mirror, and my lipstick. Those are the three most important things—I want to make sure I am not shiny, I want to be able to touch up my lips, and make sure everything is looking good.
A lot of times I’ll wear my Rag & Bone The Skinny Jeans with a black heel, whether it be a boot or a stiletto. I like to pair it with a little cropped tee I cut myself and throw my Balenciaga jacket over it. Very low-key California. I don’t think I own sequin anything or even velvet. My closet is full of dresses I have worn before and have been photographed in so I can never wear them again because of the nature of social media and my career. I feel so attached to every dress because it brings back so many memories. I don’t want to sell it or give it away, so I end up keeping it and maybe I can wear it when I am 40 and people have forgotten. It'll be way cooler when it's vintage anyway. I’ll hand it down to my daughters.”
—as told to ITG
Lindsay Ellingson photographed by Tom Newton on May 5, 2015. Bregje Heinen brings out the deep-fryer after a late night out._