From The Daily Summer: Lindsay Ellingson’s Total Splash

by Eddie Roche

Photographed by Gilles Bensimon

For the past decade, Lindsay Ellingson has been spreading her wings as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Now, she’s trying her hand as an entrepreneur with her new launch, Wander Beauty.

What were you summers like growing up?
I grew up in the desert in California, so it was hot—like 110 degrees. We would go to a lot of water parks to cool off, and my mom also brought us to the library all the time. We took road trips to the beach or Minnesota, where we have family. Our favorite beach was Laguna—it’s much cooler there. Summers were so fun.

How do you deal with the weather on the East Coast?
We have such brutal winters that I can take 100 percent humidity, and I’ll be happy. In the winter, I feel like I can’t put on enough to keep warm. I’m a summer girl.

Do you travel in August?
Yes! I usually have a bit of time off then, so we plan a trip. Last summer, my husband, Sean, and I went on our honeymoon in Hawaii and had the best time ever. This year, we’re going back to South Carolina in July to celebrate our first anniversary.

Do you have a favorite rosé?
Whispering Angel. I think it’s everybody’s favorite! But I like anything that’s really light and dry.

What are your favorite places in the Hamptons?
I love Serafina. Actually, I love all the restaurants in East Hampton! I rented a place there two summers ago, and I invited all my friends. We barbecued a lot. My dog had the best time ever, because she was running around all over the backyard. And the beach is so accessible!

What are your plans for July 4th?
We’re going to Nantucket, which we love. My friend got married there last October, and we fell in love with the island.

What does your husband do for a living?
He works with medical devices and spinal surgeons. He’s in the operating room with them every day doing scoliosis surgery. It’s really interesting. He’s so specialized in what he does, but he doesn’t scrub in. He just has a laser pointer and tells the doctor what size instrument to use. In college, he was a Division 1 football player. He dreamed about going pro, but it didn’t work out.

Where did you and Sean meet?
We were at a party and we started talking a little bit and immediately I was like, “You’re probably an a**hole.” He was too good to be true! My No. 1 thing about dating in the past was that I wanted to find a guy with a big heart. Nothing else matters!

What have you learned about marriage in the past year?
Date nights are really important, because you can get so stuck in your routine of working, working, working. Right now, my husband and I are so focused on our careers that we don’t want to take each other for granted. We’ll go to a movie or a restaurant just to spend some quality time together. We’re a team, and I feel settled in that area of my life. It’s so nice to have a partner that I’m going to be with for the rest of my life!

Last year, you left the Victoria’s Secret family.
It was bittersweet, because I was moving on to bigger and better things and really spreading my wings. I appreciate what they have done for my career, so I wanted to go out with a bang and make it a really positive experience.

What did reporters ask you backstage before your final show?
They always ask, “What’s your diet?” They’re so concerned about what we’re eating. I’m just one of those girls who has a fast metabolism—I’m naturally skinny. I would not be able to walk on the runway if I haven’t eaten. I try to keep my diet hearty, healthy, and energizing. I don’t believe in diets.

Last year, you turned 30. How did it feel?
I was dreading it, but now, I’m really looking forward to my thirties because I think they’re going to be even better than my twenties. I’m married and I’m starting a new venture with Wander Beauty. I’m also really looking forward to having kids. I don’t want to put a time line on it, but maybe in the next four years.

Fill us in on Wander Beauty.
It’s a line of internationally inspired, multitasking makeup essentials. After 10 years of traveling abroad as a model, I’ve worked with the industry’s most talented makeup artists, and sitting in the chair for countless hours was like makeup school. I know all the tricks of the trade: how to apply makeup, how to hide flaws, and how to accentuate your best features. I learned so much about formulas—what works and what doesn’t.

What’s your first product in the line?
The On-the-Glow Brush and Illuminator, which works for all women, no matter what age. You can use one stick to create a multitude of looks. Apply a little mascara, and you’re done! It has been doing really well—beauty editors have been raving about it. We’re selling on QVC—we’ve been on there about a month—and it’s already a best-rated top seller.

Why is it called Wander Beauty?
I’ve been wandering around the world for the past 10 years. I’m cofounder and creative director of the company—I’m not just the spokesmodel. I’m actually there, doing product development. Every single day I’m taking e-mails, on the phone, and in meetings with my co-founder, Divya Gugnani.

Who are your female entrepreneurial role models?
I always look up to other models who have taken entrepreneurial routes like Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, and Heidi Klum. I would love to have lunch with them and have them tell me everything. Somebody needs to write a book about transitioning from model to entrepreneur.

Maybe you should write it.
That’s an idea!




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