Supermodel Lindsay Ellingson on the Process of Launching Her First Beauty Brand

Victoria Moorhouse
Courtesy of Wander Beauty

Photo by Derek Kettela

After ten years of modeling, walking down runways in everything from Valentino to Victoria’s Secret wings, Lindsay Ellingson is taking what she’s learned from the industry and launching a business, specifically a multi-ethnic cosmetics line with a launch product perfect for the girl on-the-go and inspired by her life’s travels. The concept and launch—especially the fact that the brand looks to produce products that flatter multiple skin tones—is pretty intriguing, no? Given the name Wander Beauty (get the play on travel there?), Lindsay is a co-founder and the creative director of the brand along with her co-founder Divya Gugnani.

Wander Beauty meets the world in the form of a single product launch collection, featuring an On-the-Go Blush multiple stick that is available in two colors and is composed of a creamy matte blush on one end and a highlighter on the other, all of which is free of parabens, mineral oil fragrance, and can be used on both your lips, cheeks, your brow bone, and more. It’ll be available via the brand’s website and costs about $42. “It gives you a lit from within luminosity, and it’s easy to just throw in your bag. You can create an entire look out of this. Put on a little mascara and you’re ready to go,” Ellingson told us of her multipurpose product. Come fall, Wander Beauty will expand into a larger city-inspired collection featuring even more products.

And if you do travel over to the website, take a note of the try-on tool, a feature that actually shows the product on several different women (who Lindsay cast herself) with varying skin tones, designed for you to really get an idea of how it will apply on your face. Want more info on Wander Beauty and Lindsay’s decision to launch it? We caught up with the supermodel while testing out this new gem of a multiple and got you your answers. Check it out below.

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What was something that surprised you about creating a line and the production of makeup?
It’s definitely been a lot of work, but I’m surprised of how fun it is. I’m so into it. Growing up, I was really into science and chemistry, so this is really cool to understand how formulas work and how to put together a formula and tailoring it to what your needs are. Keeping the parabens out, keeping the phthalates out, and the mineral oil. It’s fun to create something that’s totally your own. I’ve been modeling for the past ten years, so this is such a fun transition to go into beauty.

Courtesy of Wander Beauty

Courtesy of Wander Beauty

What did modeling really teach you about makeup?
The past ten years, it’s been makeup school. I’ve worked with the most talented makeup artists all over the world. I’ve been absorbing global beauty trends. Each city, you see women wearing their makeup differently. Each makeup artist I work with has a different tip or trick, so I’ve just been absorbing that over ten years. I have so much information and knowledge that I want to share. I want to share that with everyone through Wander Beauty.

We noticed the makeup tutorials that you’ve been posting on Wander Beauty’s Instagram! What’s one look that you’ll never get tired of?
I’ll never get tired of mascara and blush. I don’t like to put a ton of makeup on. I like to keep it at a minimal if possible. I also love a pop of color. A lot of times for red carpet, I do my own makeup for red carpet events. I always like doing something different, changing the way that I wear makeup—making it fun and interesting. That’s part of being the fun of being a woman, changing up your look every day.

What do you want your fans to know about this line and what makes it different from something else?
What makes it different is how easy it is and how multipurpose it is. This product, you can throw it in your purse with a mascara and you’re done. You’re ready to go. You can wear this with red lipstick. There is so many different things you can do with this product and we’re going to continue that down the road—keeping it multipurpose and easy to travel with. We’re all about that.

Did you enjoy naming it?
That was one of the toughest process I think. Because so many things are already taken. When we came across Wander, it made so much sense because I had been wandering the world for the past ten years modeling. It’s so romantic and it also really represents me and my travel experiences. Each product that we are developing has a story behind it. A specific story or a place that I’ve traveled to or just something that I saw that inspired me.

You’ve seen so many different beauty looks and tried so many things. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever tried?
My facialist Ildi Pekar has this amazing treatment called micro-needling. She uses an instrument that gently rolls 360 tiny needles over your skin, your body instantly begins the repair process which stimulates collagen production! She then massages botanical stem cells, which penetrate deeper because of the micro needles, and helps to rejuvenate you skin. It’s painless and really works!

Did it hurt?
It didn’t really hurt because when you have that many, it takes away the sensation a little bit. It gently rolled and created these micro holes in your skin so then the serum was supposed to penetrate deeper into your skin. So that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever done.

Do you have blush tips?
It’s all about blending. Another great tip is to put the blush on before your foundation. You don’t need a brush with this [the the on-the-go blush] but you can use a brush or a sponge. So basically, you just dot a little bit here [on the apples of the cheeks] and then slightly blend. A little bit goes a long way. It’s buildable. It’s all about smiling and getting it on the apples of your cheeks. Smiling in the mirror, getting it on the apples of your cheeks, don’t get it below your cheekbone. You want the focus to be up to lift and brighten everything up.

Working with Victoria’s Secret, I learned so many tricks for making your lips look bigger. I put the highlighter all over my lips first and then I apply the blush and my lips look bigger. It blurs the lines of your lips so your lips look better.

Where do you get your inspiration for when you’re doing your own makeup looks for the red carpet?
I do a lot of research. I’m constantly reading beauty blogs. I get magazines delivered. I am always looking at what’s happening on the runway. I noticed that there was some really interesting runway trends for the fall, like the powder blue eyeliner, the bare-faced look. I’m waiting to try the powder-blue eyeliner thing. I’m not sure if it’ll work for me or not but I’m always up for trying new things. I love also that bright pink lips are coming back and there is a way to make it look more modern by doing it in matte and by powdering it down. There’s a lot of beauty trends, and I’m always following them. I think if you’re following what’s happening on the runway, then you’re really going to know what’s happening

The models on the website you cast yourself?
I cast them myself, yes. We had a lot of fun with it. There was a line of girls out the door that wanted to work with us. It was really cool. I was looking for girls who were really approachable because I want to continue using the same girls over the years as we continue to grow as a brand. They were so sweet. They represented the brand really well—healthy, beautiful women. And a range of skin tones. We’re representing all the women of the world.

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