Before Lindsay Ellingson would walk runways for Chanel and Valentino, front fashion magazine covers or put on Victoria's Secret Angel wings, she was a fifth grader giddy over her first beauty buy. "It was the first time my mom let me buy makeup—it was a sheer lipstick from Covergirl and that was the only makeup she let me wear," she told us. That was the beginning of a beauty obsession that kept growing after ten years of modeling and working with top makeup artists. Today, the self-proclaimed beauty junkie launches her own makeup line, Wander Beauty, as a co-founder and creative director.
Wander Beauty caters to women on-the-go with multipurpose products that will streamline your routine and make application easier than ever. While the brand plans to roll out more products this summer and fall, with an hour-long show slated on QVC this September, you can purchase the first product, a blush and highlighter duo stick ($42) today. There's no more need for carrying around a makeup brush and multiple products. The matte blush and illuminator can be worn on your cheeks, lips and eyes. Plus, they work on every skintone. Ellingson told us that she wanted to emphasize a multi-ethnic approach to Wander—the site features models of all backgrounds weearing the shades so you get a better idea of how it'll look on you. It gets even better—for those of you avoiding harmful chemicals, Wander's goods are cruelty-free, paraben-free, mineral oil-free, phtalate-free and fragrance-free.
We sat down with Ellingson to chat more about her collection, skincare routine and pro beauty tips she's picked up from a decade of runways and photoshoots.
Why did you decide to call your makeup line Wander?
"Everything is inspired by my ten years of traveling the world and working with amazing designers and artists. Every color, every product has a story and inspiration behind it."
What is the inspiration for the coral and soft pink blushes?
"I fell in love with St. Tropez a long time ago; I've been there many times for work and fun. In the village, you see these different shades of coral so that's what inspired this color. As for the soft pink, when I entered the fashion industry the doll look was very much in, and Gemma Ward was the top model. I remember always having a healthy flush on our cheeks like this."
Since Wander is inspired by travel, how does your beauty routine change by location?
"One thing I notice is when you go to Spain, you can definitely play up more of a burgundy lip or deep red lip and it's just a little more sexy. French women are very effortless. Red lipstick is their accessory and they'll do barely anything on their eyes. Italian women are ultra sexy and glamorous. When I'm in New York City, I love doing a smoky eye—it's urban, it's cool."
You've mentioned before that you love all-natural skincare—when did you start using green beauty? Any favorite products?
"I read a book called The Truth About Beauty and it turned me on to Wen by Chaz Dean. It has a cleansing conditioner ($37) free of sulfates and after a year of using it, my hair is so much healthier after having gone through ten years of damage. It really turned back the clock and my hair is much healthier now, and it also introduced me to so many brands like Derma E's Microdermabrasion Scrub ($33). I love Tata Harper's Regenerating Cleanser ($75), it's amazing. It's like a daily natural exfoliant and all my makeup comes off. Another one of my favorites is Pratima spa's oils. I love the Love Oil ($28), I put it on my back—and they have the Baby Oil ($25), which I rub all over my skin morning and night, and there's a Rejuvenating Oil ($26) I put on at night and I mix it with a Vitamin C serum so it really penetrates deep into my skin. So, my night routine is intense [laughs]. I just keep it on my nightstand to make it easier."
What are some of your favorite tips you've learned from makeup artists?
"A great tip before applying makeup is to give yourself an amazing face massage. Just massage your cheeks with an oil. Really, really massaging your face just brings your skin to life. It starts the circulation going and makeup will apply so much better on skin that's really moisturized. You just look like you're glowing already once you give yourself that massage—I think there's actually this thing called face yoga where you can exercise it. Another great tip is to apply blush before your foundation. It will make it look much more natural, more like it's a part of you than looking like makeup."
What is one product you always have on you?
"My eyelash curler ($21) is always in my bag. I'm always curling my eyelashes throughout the day! I also always carry a rosewater spray ($7) just to freshen up my makeup."
Who do you consider your beauty inspiration?
"For me, I love January Jones. I think that she's really daring on the red carpet. I noticed she wore powder blue eyeliner on the red carpet the other day, which is a big trend right now, and I'm like dying to try it. So, I love her. Another one is the model from the '60s Jean Shrimpton because the pictures of her were so gorgeous. I have this Pinterest beauty board where I just collect pictures that inspire me, and she's definitely another one of my beauty icons."
How has your beauty routine changed over time?
"I was a dancer for ten years so we wore heavy, full-on makeup. For every competition, we were applying tons of blush—I mean, it was intense. I look back on those pictures now and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh!' It's a little too much. Once I started modeling is when I learned really how to use makeup to make you feel confident and beautiful, so it's really fun. I love playing with color—I don't know if I already mentioned that but on the red carpet when I do premieres or charity events, I love to do an orange lip or red lip or green eye, blue eye—it's so much fun to play with color."