"I grew up in Northern California, Colorado and Texas—my dad’s been in the wine business for 35 years—and then I went to the University of Texas. I was going to go to USC, but at the last minute decided I loved Austin more than any other city. I studied journalism and graduated early and went to work for Channel 1. I was a correspondent and an anchor there for four years. [At the same time], I had an apartment in LA, and I was there often working as a correspondent for Access Hollywood, and modeling. I always knew I was going to start a bakery. I had always baked, and came up with the idea for the bakery when I was on a run. I will never forget the loop that I did because I came up with the whole concept. I knew I wanted us to be rustic and organic. At the time, all of the cupcake stores were very neon-y and I didn’t want that. I wanted the front to reflect the integrity of our ingredients in the back. I did the whole creative process—I didn’t hire an architect or designer, and I had a really small budget for our first location. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, to this day. When we opened our first store it just felt like a community, and the community embraced us so much from day one. You can have an incredible concept, and incredible marketing, and an incredible product, but honestly if people don’t want to go there, they’re not going to go. I have a background in business as well as journalism, and I thought, ‘Well, this is a good time to do it.’
Our two locations are in San Antonio and Dallas. My grandmother had a catering company in San Antonio. Everyone loved her. People would call my mom years after she passed away asking for her recipes. I thought, at least if I open in San Antonio I’ll have all her customers who already love her recipes. So I opened just a few blocks from her house. My mom had actually owned a restaurant in San Antonio [after I was born], so we’re right next door to where her restaurant was. It’s completely full circle. [The bakery] is my biggest focus right now. We have almost 100 employees. It is a tremendous focus, but I don’t have to be there every day and I can still focus on television. Obviously you can’t be in three places at once, but I try to be there as much as I can and be very present and hands-on with every aspect.
HEALTH + BODY
I drink two to three kombuchas every single day. I swear it gives me so much energy. I love the taste and I love that it’s a probiotic and has vitamin B-12. So, I do drink kombucha to excess, but everything else is in moderation. [Laughs] Literally part of my job when I’m at the bakery is to taste everything, whether I want to or not. Well, I always want to. We bake everything from scratch every day, so consistency is one of the biggest challenges in our business. We have to make sure the buttercream isn’t getting too sweet, and that the chocolate’s on point. I literally take a bite of everything. Even on Cupcake Wars, we had to eat 150 cupcakes on camera per week—and that doesn’t mean the whole cupcake, but at least three bites. It’s a lot. At first you’re like ‘Ugh I can’t do another cupcake,’ and then by the third day you’re jonesing for the sugar. Sugar is totally addictive. It’s not beyond me that sugar is in kombucha and stuff like that—I’m probably a sugar addict. I love sugar, but I won’t really be tempted to order pasta at a restaurant—I’ll order fish. My fitness routine is that I like to walk from one place to another and I lift my kombucha with alternate arms to work on my biceps. [Laughs] I think walking is the best—it just clears your head. I wear so many hats and there’s so much happening all the time, so I feel like walking is the only way to really sort it out for me. I also go to Body by Simone in LA sometimes, which is a high intensity dance class.
I love a hot bath with a glass of wine—I think that’s the most luxurious thing. I love a Sancerre, or a Sauvignon Blanc. Isun has these Ormus bath salts that are incredible. Usually I also have two kids in there with me! [Laughs] Isun also has a great scrub and body wash. I shave my legs every day. I’m super old school! I use the men’s 4-blade Gillette razor. I cannot leave the house unless my legs are shaved. Is that weird? If I have an event where I want to add a little more evenness to my skin, I love Body Blur. Ashley Graham told me about it. We were hosting a show together and I thought, ‘Why are you glowing? My legs look like a fifth grader who just finished soccer practice.’ And she was like, ‘Because you don’t have Body Blur. You need this in your life.’ I ordered it on Amazon right then and there. It says that it has light reflecting technology or something, but it just makes everything look even and tan and glowy without making it look like you have a bad spray tan.
I’ve always loved the sun. After the birth of my first child, I had melasma. It’s very, very common, especially with people with olive skin, and is brought on by pregnancy and you can’t really do anything about it. It was on my forehead, and it went away because I was really good about staying out of the sun, but it’s crazy because if you spend one day in the sun it pops out again. What you eat can bring it on as well. Then, after my son was born, I had it in different places. It’s so strange how it manifests itself. I’ve had to be a lot more careful about the sun on my face, but I am not gonna lie—I love to put a hat on my face and get a nice body tan. I love the way the sun feels, and I know it’s terrible, but again, everything in moderation. I use a tinted sunscreen called Suntastic, and then for the babes I use Supergoop because it’s nontoxic and doesn’t have any of those gross things you don’t want absorbed in your baby’s skin.
I’m blessed enough to know a woman named Eva who does cupping and acupuncture, and she’ll come to your house. I found her through a friend a long time ago. I think the greatest luxury is to have both kids asleep, have taken a shower, and have her come over at 10:30 to do acupuncture and cupping and then just go to sleep. I tell her, ‘Leave the key under the mat!’ That’s the only way I’ll sleep solidly. I function fine on maybe four hours of sleep, but if Eva comes over I’ll get closer to six!
I’m always trying new things, but I have my tried-and-true. Since I was 17, I’ve cleansed with Jurlique Foaming Cleanser for Dry Skin. I like that it makes your skin feel clean without stripping it, and I like that it foams. I’m kind of into oil cleansers lately but I have to couple that with the foaming—especially if you have to wear so much makeup on set, you really can’t get that makeup off without something strong and foaming. I like starting with a clean base—it feels so gross to put face cream on over a dirty face. I do an exfoliating scrub a couple times a week, either the Isun Rhassoul-Crystal or May Lindstrom’s Clean Earth, and mix it with the foaming cleanser. I use the DNA Mediclear Skin Pads which are wonderful. I love the Mediclear skincare line—they have this cryo stick that’s frozen stem cells you can keep in your freezer. I’ve done experiments where I’ve had a cut, and I put the stem cells on only half of the cut for a week straight, and the half that you put it on heals in three days. I use a Benev stem cell serum—that’s plant stem cells, though and then I do an Isun serum or an oil over that. I like the Phyto 2 from Isun, which is really good for evening skin tone and texture. It’s not too heavy, and it’s a good primer for moisturizer. I love Kypris’ oils—they have the Beauty Elixir 1000 Roses Oil that has 19 different ingredients that are all living. Peptides are also really good, and Benev has a good peptide serum. I’m so open to everything, as long as it’s shelf stable.
I love the Clé de Peau cream, which is a different vibe. It has a long shelf life. It’s the heaviest cream. I use the Carasoin Cold Fusion Cream, which is from my facialist. They make it themselves in Los Angeles. It’s a whipped kind of butter. I like to put heavy cream on when I go to sleep. I do tend to be dry, and I’m on a plane three to four times a week. I am so guilty of falling asleep with my makeup on, so I’ll wake up at three in the morning and try to really make it count when I have two hours without makeup. If I do fall asleep with my makeup on and I had heavy set makeup but I have the next day free, I’ll wear a mask all day. My kids are like, ‘Oh gosh, she’s wearing a mask again!’ I’m obsessed with the Kypris Cerulean Mask right now. It’s kind of a viscous texture, but I mix DNA Vitamin C Crystals into it and create a paste. The vitamin C crystals are really good for brightening. That’s a clear mask, so you can leave it on, go out, go about your day with a mask on. Nobody can even tell but I feel the need to tell them. Osea has a white algae mask that’s wonderful, and I also mix the vitamin C crystals in with that as well. I love a sheet mask before makeup—usually the Clé de Peau and SK-II ones. I keep the little wand for my eye cream in the refrigerator—I like keeping things in the fridge. I put two soda cans on my eyes before I get my makeup done. It’s great for de-puffing. I use a Clé de Peau eye cream, or Luzern Force de Vie Eye Cream. I never saw any real difference between my moisturizer and my eye cream, and then Clé de Peau came out with one that’s so thick and luxurious and doesn’t have a fragrance or any of the things I usually don’t like about department store products, and I really love that one.
I’ve found this incredible woman who I’ve turned everyone on to in LA—so much so that she didn’t even get me in last week! Her name is Lena at Carasoin Day Spa. She’s incredible. She knows everything about every product, and puts an extraordinarily high value on effective, clean products. She has the best machines that work wonders. She always jokes that I’m a frustrated aesthetician because I’m obsessed with her job—I’m really fascinated by the science behind skincare. I’ve had facials everywhere by everyone and Lena is by far the best. She does microcurrent, she does a lot of stem cells, she does microneedling with bovine stem cells—a lot of people use plant stem cells which come in jars, but they’re not really shelf stable. She’s really good at coming up with alternatives to Botox and fillers. I’ve been doing PRP, which is where they take your blood, spin it, and inject it into your face. I think it really works.
The Intraceutical Oxygen Machine is also incredible. It’s a delivery system for serums. You put the Intraceutical serum in it, and it just plumps everything up. If my lips are dry when I get off the plane, I do the oxygen and I have Mick Jagger lips. It’s insane—like, ‘Woah, that worked!’
I am obsessed with all things Clé de Peau, and I have been from the minute I tried it. I’ve worn 030 foundation for as long as I can remember, and the Clé de Peau Ocher concealer is my favorite. I’ve tried everything else, but that’s the only thing where I feel like I’m looking at my own skin. When I’m doing my own makeup, I just take a MAC cream base and do it over, and maybe the Chanel Spices Palette. I use Chanel eyeliner usually, curl my lashes with a Shu Uemura curler, and then just mascara. Glossier Lash Slick is my favorite. I do an Anastasia pencil to fill in any gaps and then finish with Boy Brow. I love it. Lastly, I do the Haloscope highlighter just on the corner of my eyes and cheekbones. Then I use Charlotte Tilbury Filmstarbronzer. Day-to-day I wear Dior Lip Maximizer. The other day I was wearing this green Vampire’s Wife dress and needed a red lip, so I went for the Tom Ford blue-based red.
I go to Joseph Orozco at Mèche Salon in LA for my hair. I do color with Lorri Goddard at Loft 657, and Matthew Collins does my cut. For color, I like to do warm highlights. I want it to look like I just went swimming in the ocean for the weekend. I didn’t color my hair until I was 31, so I just have been doing it the past few years. My hair is really, really dark naturally, and I thought it was almost aging to have it so, so dark. I really like having my hair pulled back. I’m more of a ponytail girl than a bun girl. Otherwise, it's just a little bit of a wave and a bend. My hair’s naturally curly, so it needs to be straight, and then a bend. I live for Oribe Texture Spray.
I’ve worn the same fragrance since high school—Chloé, the original one. The guy at the Hearst building always says ‘Hey Chloe!’ And I’m like, ‘That’s not my name,’ and he says, ‘I know, but your perfume.’ Maybe I’m wearing way too much perfume if he can smell me coming. My friends will say, ‘I had so much fun at dinner last night, my house still smells like you!’"
—as told to ITG
Elizbeth Chambers Hammer photographed by Tom Newton on May 11, 2018.