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Banter Babe: Ellis Brooklyn’s Bee Shapiro

Banter Babe: Ellis Brooklyn’s Bee Shapiro

What’s your beauty vibe?
Is there such a beauty vibe as a mood ring? I’m constantly changing up my look. My makeup beauty goals would probably be Katie Jane Hughes. I’m obsessed with her Instagram account. She does so many cool color and texture combos without looking like she’s wearing a pound of makeup. Also, she does a lot of glitter shades on the eye, and I’m a sucker for anything twinkly.

What’s the first beauty product you owned and loved?
My mom was – and still is – obsessed with skincare so I feel like I’ve been using beauty products in some way, shape, or form since I was born. I remember whipping up lanolin oil hair masks in second grade and I also did egg white facials. I’m also part of the Lip Smacker generation. I had five different flavors in elementary school, including my fave: Dr. Pepper. I was also obsessed with Love’s Baby Soft fragrance. The first makeup product I was most into, though, was my black kohl eyeliner from Wet n’ Wild. I was 12 and I would wait until I got to school (so my mom wouldn’t see) and then spend some 10 minutes each day putting on gobs of it. I grew up in Seattle so I thought I was doing the grunge look justice — the important word here is “thought.” It might not have been my best beauty moment but I’m still a big fan of eyeliner, so it really was love.

What’s your favorite beauty treatment splurge?
I had a facial from Nichola Joss recently, and I swear my face looked lifted for a week afterwards. I’m a huge proponent of massage in general and she’s best known for this inner mouth massage that hurts so good. She’s also just an immensely talented, lovely person so I absolutely believe in karma and good vibes and all of that.

What’s your daily makeup routine — and how long does it take?
I have a 3-year-old and a 19-month-old, so I have gotten very good at putting on makeup in five minutes. That said, I don’t skimp. If it’s the weekend, I’ll skip foundation and might just do a tinted sunscreen. I like the radiant one from Ever or the Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense, which is so reliable. But if I’m headed to work, then I like a longwear foundation. The Dior Forever is really good, and I like the MAC Pro Longwear nourishing formula. They each have a color that works very well for me. I dot that on with a damp Beauty Blender so it’s still relatively sheer. I almost always wear eye makeup. I have virtually nonexistent eyelashes, so mascara is a must. My go-to lately is Lancome’s Monsieur Big. It’s like Too Faced’s Better Than Sex, but with a less clunky brush. Eyeshadows might be my favorite color product. I have palettes for days. Also Tom Ford just put out some glittery beauties via his Extreme line. I use a black liquid liner on top and a soft kohl or gel eyeliner on the bottom, like the one from Smashbox. For liquid, I’m fairly agnostic, but I do like the Lancome Artliner and Cle de Peau has one that has two different brush ends, thick and thin, which is nice. I might contour with CLE’s bronzy cushion compact; Charlotte Tilbury’s Bronze and Glow is good for days I’m on the oilier side because it’s a powder. I have a bunch of Chanel blushes in a variety of shades, and I’ll dust a tiny bit on just on the tops of my cheeks. For lips, I generally go for a lighter neutral color by day. The new Dior Lacquer Plump is so good—like a stain but not so drying. Brows take me the longest. Lately, I’ve been using two different pencils by Benefit. One has a wide, long tip and the other is very precise and made for drawing in hairs. I also am very into fragrance (obviously!). Since starting my line, Ellis Brooklyn, I pretty much only wear my own. I’m currently over the moon for our new Fawn scent. It’s neroli, coconut milk, amber, lily of the valley; it’s my highbrow-yet-delicious summer scent.

What’s your daily skincare routine?
Lately, I start with Skinceuticals Replenishing Cleanser, which is gentle yet gets the job done. Then I’m big on the layering scene. I can always leave a layer off. If it’s pretty mild out, I might just stick to a hyaluronic-based serum. The Innisfree Intensive Rehydrating Serum is so good for the price. Skinceuticals also has a bunch of really great serums. If it’s harsh or dry out, I might layer a cream on. I love the Avene A-Oxitive line. I’m also a huge fan of the Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream when my skin is on the fritz. At night, I do the same cleanser situation but might also use the Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. It’s super effective without being too oily. I’ll go back to the serum and then do an oil instead of a cream. I avoid silicones when I can at night. I think silicones are okay in moderation, but too many skincare products these days over-rely on them. Also, you really don’t need a silicone unless you’re out in the elements. I’ve been into the Elemis Superfoods Oil. Also, the Elemis Pro Collagen Eye Serum is so lovely and sinks in right away.

I’m also a big-time masker. I’m really loving the M-61 Fast Blast Facial Mask lately, which is like a blast of vitamin C in just 2 minutes. At night, I like the Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask. If I’m not using the sleeping mask, there are a plethora of glycolic/lactic peeling options out there.

Age gracefully or filler and botox, please and thanks?
Currently just aging but definitely considering filler and Botox. With the two kids and the fact I’m turning 37 this year, Mama looks tired. I also discovered all these tiny eye lines recently. It’s like they appeared out of nowhere.

What product do you buy in bulk?
Aquaphor. I use it for my kids and myself. For awhile, I tried to eliminate all petroleum jelly and mineral oil from the products our family uses, but then my youngest had very bad eczema and Aquaphor, along with Mustela’s Stelatopia line, was the only thing that worked. I find it one of the best multi-use products, ever.

What’s your save-the-day hair product and why?
I am so impressed with the Miriam Quevedo Glacial White Caviar Hydra-Pure Shampoo. After I had my second baby, my scalp would not stop itching. I literally tried everything from scalp masks to scrubs to sulfate-free, etc. This is the only thing that made my scalp stop itching. It’s super gentle, gets the job done, and has some sort of magic (albeit expensive magic) that rebalances your scalp’s flora.

I also really like the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair hair mask. It smells delicious and really does the job without weighing hair down too much.

Who is responsible for your hair – cut and color?
I actually get my hair cuts all over New York. I’m constantly testing out different stylists for my New York Times work. My most recent cut is by Arsen Gurgov. It’s very good because he didn’t over-layer and it’s growing out well.The best cut I ever got, though, was by the master, Serge Normant. I currently don’t have my hair colored, but I am very tempted to go crazy blonde one day.

Best piece of beauty advice you’ve received?
This one came from my mom: Don’t focus on being the most beautiful because there will always be someone more beautiful than you out there. Instead, make the most of what you have and then don’t think too much about it.

Who is your beauty icon, and why?
Probably Francoise Hardy, but since I will never look like that — I’ve never been good at that effortless French look anyway — I’ve sort of given up on the whole beauty icon business. Instead, I sort of have my muses of the moment. I’m currently super into Fernanda Ly and also the Japanese model, Kozue Akimoto.

What’s your least favorite beauty trend/ look?
The angry brow. It’s the one that’s most in your face lately. I’m actually very much in favor of a strong brow but I’ve been seeing so many pairs of angry brows on the subway. What may look decent on Instagram may just look scary in real life.

If you could only do one beauty treatment on the weekly, what would it be and why?
A massage, hands down. It just re-centers everything and gets the blood going without doing a workout.

What’s your best kept beauty secret?
If you want to keep breakouts at bay before a big event, drink a shot of aloe every morning. Don’t go for the sweetened stuff, go buy a big bottle of straight aloe juice from Whole Foods. The stuff is disgusting but I swear it works.

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Bee Shapiro, founder of Ellis Brooklyn and New York Times writer.


About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.