Some of us pop out of the womb knowing what we want to do with our lives, and others of us spend our lives trying to figure it out. Andrea Lavinthal, former beauty editor at Cosmopolitan and now Senior Beauty Editor for Real Beauty, seems to have been one of those baby “bloomers” (don’t be jealous lost souls, you’ll find your way). Her third book, Your So Called Life, a bit of a rescue guide for anyone who just hit the big 3-0 is due out on September 14, and it’s full of witty banter and expert opinions to help you out of your mid-life crisis.
I spoke to Andrea about how her beauty routine has changed throughout the years and what products she can’t live without. And, to our delight, she filled us in on the story behind all of the adorable pictures below.
So that’s my natural hair color. I think this is the only time I looked good with bangs. The blow-out was courtesy of my dad. He was really good at doing my hair when I was little.
Describe your first experience with makeup was it love at first sight?
Andrea Lavinthal: I was about four years old when I discovered the wonders of makeup. It was at my dance recital and I was doing a tap routine to Deep in the Heart of Texas. My mom put a little blush and lipstick on me so that I wouldnt get washed out under the stage lights (she wasnt a crazy pageant mom or anything; it was in the costume instructions). I thought I looked stunning and convinced her to add some blue eyes shadow to match my leotard.
That’s how I was introduced to makeup too! Now those are embarrassing pictures… Are there any products that youve been using all of your life that youll never part with?
Ive always loved Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash and Baby Lotion. Theyre gentle on my skin, smell great, and because they cost less than $5 each, I can use gobs of the stuff without feeling guilty that Im wasting precious product.
It’s hard to tell from this photo, but this was at the height of my “blonderexia.” I’m also wearing about thirteen layers of frosty eye shadow and enough bronzer for an entire sorority, which was fitting since this is from my senior year college formal.
Let’s move on to when you were in college. What was your beauty routine like when you were a partying 21-year-old?
I was a total highlight-a-holic with a secondary addiction to my flatiron. And while I didnt wear SPF on a daily basis, I was always good about washing my skin and applying moisturizer before passing out after a night of chugging beers and dancing on the bar with my friends (remember, I was 21).
I think we can all relate to that! And how has that routine changed today?
Thanks to Marie Robinson, my amazing colorist of five years, my hair is a much more natural shade of bronde, and I rarely use a flatiron, preferring a wavier look. I am fanatic about applying SPF 30 every day (even during the winter), and it takes me about 10 minutes to complete my full skincare regimen before bedtime (it includes cleansing, exfoliating, a serum, a moisturizer and eye cream). As for the beer and dancing on tables, these days its more like a glass of wine and Dancing With the Stars.
This was taken right before my 25th birthday party. The reason my hair looks super long and Gisele-like is because I had Great Lengths extensions. I loved my fake strands, but I hated going to the salon every month for what I called “crop rotation” (swapping out the old extensions for new ones). Even I’m not that high maintenance.
With a career in beauty, have you learned any quick tricks for getting ready in the morning?
Before I go to bed, I gather my hair into a high ponytail, twist the length of the tail, then wrap it into a bun. I secure the bun with a soft scrunchie so it doesnt leave a dent. When I wake up, my hair is wavy with lots of volume so I barely need to touch it with a blow-dryer. I also rely on a tinted moisturizer with SPF to even out my skin tone, provide sun protection and give me a nice glow in one shot.
At what age did you start using anti-aging products, or have you yet?
I started using eye cream at sixteen mostly because I wanted an excuse to buy an extra product at the drugstore.
With a busy career and a full event schedule, what product do you go to after a late night to hide those dark circles and tired eyes?
If my eyes are puffy, I put a small bag of frozen edamame over them (who actually keeps peas in their freezer?) for about 15 minutes. If I have dark circles, I blend a peach-hued concealer like BeneFit Erase Paste directly over the dark rings. And my quick fix for tired eyes is a squirt of redness-reducing eye drops.
And lastly, what is the one beauty product you carry with you for emergencies?
Mally Beauty Visible Skin Adjustable Coverage Foundation. Its perfect for on-the-go touch-ups, and you can apply it damp for more coverage.
And finally, we’ll leave you with one last flashback image just because we love the ’80s style
All images courtesy of Andrea Lavinthal