|Eleanor Langston and Elvis at home|
|Products galore in the master bathroom|
|The fully-stocked fragrance tray in Eleanor's bedroom|
|A few lip favorites|
|Her glittery Paintbox manicure|
|Top photos by Alyssa Hertzig; bottom two images c/o Paintbox|
Meet my friend Eleanor Langston. Elle and I met years ago when we were both rising beauty editors in the industry. She was always one of the sweetest (and smartest) editors around, making her mark at magazines like Cosmo, Fitness, and Self. Then, after ten years in the industry, she went from writing about nail polish...to being the CEO of her own nail empire. She opened Paintbox, the chicest nail salon ever, earlier this year--and it's amazing. (I wrote all about it here.) Recently, I visited Elle in the gorgeous Tribeca apartment that she shares with her husband, her young son, and her adorable pup, Elvis, to get a glimpse at her behind-the-scenes beauty life. Read on to find out how she always, well, nails it.
Why did you decide to make the move from beauty editor to business owner? "There’s no denying I am a beauty girl through and through. Blowouts, lipsticks, facials, manicures, fragrance–I love it all. I attribute that to my Southern roots. I spent a decade as beauty editor at various magazines–and you know the drill as a fellow beauty editor–your job is to look at all of the various trends and narrow them down to what it is relevant for readers. I treat my role at Paintbox the same way: to edit down all of the nail art trends and all of the latest polishes to what's coolest and best for our clients."
And now on to your beauty routine! What's your favorite eyeshadow? "MAC Satin Taupe. This color is hard to describe–a little bit pewter, a little bit metallic beige, a little earthy gold–but 100 percent flattering on brown eyes. I’ve been wearing this shade since my wedding 10 years ago. And the texture sweeps across lids effortlessly, never feels chalky or too powdery that it goes everywhere."
Lip color? "NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose. I recently discovered this cult-favorite, and I can totally see why girls are obsessed with it. It glides across your lips and the color truly lasts all day. It’s the perfect texture, gives my face a pop of color–without the 'whoa!' of sometimes-aging bright red–and it stays in place."
Blush? "My cheeks tend to be a little pink (especially after a glass or two of wine!), so I like to downplay the rosiness. I try to stay away from pink at all costs and use powder bronzers or highlighters in pearl- or light-gold shades instead. My favorite is the goof-proof Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. Its divided by soft-focus powders to wear in dim, radiant, and incandescent light. #genius."
Foundation? "Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I have my sister, my mom, and most of my friends hooked on this satin-y cream base that seems to melt into my skin so seamlessly. It’s hydrating and gives your skin that perfect I-woke-up-like-this (cue Beyonce) luminosity. Then, Smashbox Perfecting Powder is my go-to for finishing my makeup every day. It’s the perfect setting powder to make your makeup blend together and look flawless."
Mascara? "CoverGirl LashExact Mascara. The wand gets every single lash–even the hard-to-reach ones on the sides–and makes them look long, jet black, lush and glossy."
Hair products? "The Redken All Soft line makes my hair feel so much less tangly than usual and is one of my recent faves. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for sexy, Blake Lively-esque texture is one of my must-haves, and I use Shu Uemura Nourishing Protective Oil on my ends every day. It’s a dry-texture oil that protects my ends from heat damage, but doesn’t weigh down my waves. And I like the T3 SinglePass Twirl Curling Iron because I can use it to get beachy waves really quickly without worrying about burning myself. It’s the only hair tool I ever bring on vacation."
Skin-care products? "SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 is my go-to sun shield. It’s liquid-y texture makes blending a cinch, plus it doesn’t mess up my makeup at all."
Body product? "St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion has the most luxurious texture ever that rivals even the priciest body lotions. Also, I love that it has a pump. I sometimes mix it with Tata Harper body oils for a boost of more hydration."
Nail polish shade? "Essie Clambake is the perfect poppy red that’s not too orange or too red. It’s just bright enough for summer but looks classic and chic all year."
Fragrance? "Frederic Malle Carnal Flower–a deep, sexy tuberose that I’ve been wearing for about eight years. I’ve tried hundreds of other perfumes, but I always go back to this one for its incredibly complex floral scent."
What is your favorite manicure to get at Paintbox? "How can I pick just one?! Right now, I am loving 'Electric Youth' (from our All is Bright summer capsule collection), but I’m also drawn to 'Divide and Conquer' (perfect for accentuating almond nail shades and lengthening your fingers and nails–love it in beiges and lavenders with a white line), and 'Bling Ring' (glittery and sparkly, but super chic and a little sexy with the negative space, which is also perfect for disguising regrowth–love it in rose golds and multicolored glitters.'"
What's your best makeup tip? "One of my tricks is at the end of my makeup routine I spray a little bit of Jurlique Rosewater Mist on a big bronzer brush and very lightly dust it over my face. It makes everything look more naturally dewy and less makeup-y."
Your best time-saving tip? "If you need to get out the door fast, skip a full face of makeup and just focus on your brows. Many girls skip this step, but I think it’s the single most important feature to play up. If your brows are defined and polished, you’ll instantly elevate your look."
What's your beauty look for a typical day? "I usually define my brows and then do a soft, smoky nude eye. My hair is usually in messy waves and sometimes pulled back half-way."
And for night? "I amp up my lipstick and add more black eyeliner in the waterline of my eyes–that makes a huge difference. Needless to say, day or night, my nails are on point–benefit of owning Paintbox!"
How long does it take you to get ready? "I can get ready in 15 minutes–seriously. I usually shower at night, so I just go back in and smooth out my waves with my T3 curling iron. Then, I put on my makeup, brush my teeth, etc while my son watches some Elmo videos."
Since you're from the South, I'm curious: Do Southerners differ from New Yorkers in terms of beauty? "It really depends on the city in the South. New Yorkers are definitely edgier with eyeliner, a bolder lip, or a signature hairstyle. In the South, girls mostly stick to highlighting their natural beauty with softer lip, eye, and hair choices. And it’s absolutely a stereotype that you’ll see bigger hair in the South–but generally, I find it to be true."
Is there anything you miss about being a beauty editor? "Seeing my editor friends on a more consistent basis. Beauty editors are a tight crew!"
Take a guess: How many beauty products do you have at home? "Gulp...200-plus and about 50-plus nail polishes. So embarrassed to say it, but the truth is, our apartment resembles Sephora. My husband would vouch for that."
SHOP ELEANOR'S FAVORITES
Want more product porn? Check out the Beauty Secrets of:
• TV-fashion blogger Dana Weiss (a.k.a. Possessionista)
• Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide