MEET THE FOUNDER - ELLIS BROOKLYN
HOW DID IT ALL START?
I’ve been the beauty columnist at the New York Times for the last 11 years or so. It was about six years ago that I really started dreaming about Ellis Brooklyn. I was pregnant at the time with my daughter Ellis and living in Brooklyn— hence the name!—and I became obsessed with clean beauty. This was the time the whole industry in the US was changing. Beauty went from following fashion to following wellness and food. This was the time when Tata Harper launched and when RMS was expanding her line. There was clean makeup and clean skincare and hair care but nothing sophisticated yet clean in fragrance. I’ve always loved fragrance and that’s really where Ellis Brooklyn came from.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF YOUR BRAND?
We believe that the fundamental goal of clean beauty is safety and also respect for the environment. The answers and choices should come down to the science of ingredients and not necessarily simple marketing phrases like natural or not natural.
WHAT DOES BEAUTY MEANS TO YOU?
Beauty actually has so many meanings but I generally think of it as breaking down into two halves that feed each other. There is the surface kind of beauty that some dismiss as vanity but I’ve always found that attitude to be misogynistic. The fact that women (and to a degree, men too) are judged on our appearances is as ancient as time so it’s not quite fair to totally dismiss the pursuit of a beautiful exterior to be nothing. Also there’s something to be said about the fact that if we look our best it can help us feel better too. But beauty can also mean inner beauty which becomes more and more interesting as you get older because the inner beauty actually starts to affect outward beauty as time passes. Both are worthwhile.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION / OBSESSION?
I played competitive tennis in high school but I stopped playing for many years after. I’ve recently started coming back to the game and am falling in love with it all over again. I would play everyday if I could.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
This is not the sexiest thing to say but I’ve been paying close attention to how certain CEOs effect change. I’m particularly inspired by Rose Marcario, the ceo of Patagonia.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED (THE HARD WAY)?
There have been so many lessons! Perhaps the greatest though is that I’ve learned that I can’t do everything myself and I’m not the right person to do every task. Ask for help!
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST BEAUTY TRICKS?
Even if you don’t have a ton of product lying around, you can treat yourself with what is around you. I’ve done this more and more as I’ve had to travel more for work. An ice bath can do wonders for face bloating. Or you can also wrap a thin towel around an ice cube and rub under your eyes and anywhere that is puffy. You can ask for honey from your hotel and do a quick honey mask. You don’t need a roller for a face massage. Just put on a face oil and use your clean fingers. If you don’t have a body scrub use a wash cloth in the shower with soap for a manual exfoliation. I think we’re so rushed these days that even little things like this helps a lot. The main point here is that it’s important to pamper yourself!