Elle Strauss, Fashion Director

Elle Strauss is a sought-after woman within Manhattan’s fashion arena. Her iconic blonde hair and British accent are just the tip of her influence as NYC fashion director of Shopbop. Elle was kind enough to invite the Beauticate team into her home between Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, where she revealed her passion for beauty almost matches her flair for fashion. 

Elle loves French pharmacy brand Nuxe

Elle loves French pharmacy brand Nuxe

Beauty to me equals good skin.

My mum drummed it into both my sister and I to always look after our skin. Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, our stocking contained a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. I love Dermalogica. Even though I love to try new brands, I return to it every time. Nuxe just reminds me of Paris. You can pick it up in any pharmacy or supermarket, but in the US it's pricey. The smells are heavenly and it just feels a little more luxurious because it's French. The lip balm is a lifesaver in winter. The mask I like to use on the plane as it's clear and you can just rub any excess into your skin.

Revive eye cream and moisturizer… 

Is also a total indulgence, but one that's totally worth it. Ren’s under eye cream is one of the ones I've found that truly works. Chanel is one that I use when it's super cold as it's a little heavier and feels like it's protecting my skin more.

 

Elle learnt the basics of skincare from her mother.

Elle learnt the basics of skincare from her mother.

A collection of Elle's favourite Amarte products.

A collection of Elle's favourite Amarte products.

Amarté is a skincare line...

that Teen Vogue assistant beauty editor, Emily Gaynor introduced me too and they're fab - the hydrating serum is my true favourite. One of my favourite products is also NUDE face oil. It's amazing at removing makeup even the toughest waterproof mascara in the gentlest way.

I’ve always preferred my hair long.

At university I did succumb to a hair stylist’s advice and had my hair cut into a seriously short bob, which was so disastrous! Luckily it was short lived and I think I managed to destroy most of the photographic evidence. I’ve been this blonde since I was 17, before that it was light brown. I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic colourist and blonde expert, Aura, from Sally Hershberger. When you've been dying your hair for as long as I have you're always on the lookout for that holy grail of a product that will save your dry and damaged locks. Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme was recommended to me by another fantastic colourist Roxie Darling, and does exactly what it says on the tin. After one wash you can totally feel the difference.

Elle swears by Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme to repair her bleached strands

Elle swears by Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme to repair her bleached strands

Elle loves winged liner with a classic red lip for evenings.

Elle loves winged liner with a classic red lip for evenings.

I think my signature look…

Is definitely winged liquid eyeliner and mascara. For night I add a red lip. The amount of makeup I wear to work definitely depends on my energy levels and time. If I feel knackered then I do tend to layer on more mascara and eyeliner in an attempt to distract from my face. I also love a spray tan, which allows for just a dash of mascara. I do tend to wear a different perfume depending on mood or occasion. Although I never actually wear Chanel No. 5, it's just a great one to have on the dressing table. I love Deja Vu Liquid Eyeliner, which I found in a Japanese supermarket in Williamsburg, thanks to a tipoff from amazing makeup artist Christine Cherbonnier. Laura Mercier Camouflage is also a life saver on hideous spots. I like to use Cherry Bomb Lip Liner from MAC, along with Dragon Girl lip pencil NARS. I fill the entire lip with Cherry Bomb and then layer with Dragon Girl.

I love interiors…

And we recently bought a house upstate which we're doing up. I'm definitely drawn to an English country aesthetic (the house upstate is Victorian, built in 1830s) as opposed to a modern feel. It's definitely reflected in my style especially with my love of lace dresses! One of my favorites is a vintage Edwardian wedding dress and also this one from Love & Lemons.

 

Elle wears Love & Lemons dress

Elle wears Love & Lemons dress

Elle has an impressive collection of art books and editions of Vogue

Elle has an impressive collection of art books and editions of Vogue

I am a huge Vogue UK fan…

Always have been (and then Vogue Paris and US). I have way too many and I shipped way too many when I moved from London, but I love them and constantly refer to them for shoot inspiration, as not everything is on the Internet. 

As a mum…

I definitely have less time for beauty and sadly I have occasionally been one of those women seen desperately throwing on mascara on the subway. But I think my real lifesaver is dry shampoo, my favourite is Boots own brand. The less time I spend on blow-drying my hair, the more time I have for other necessities like cleaning my teeth. Honor is way too young for beauty educating, but she does love lipstick and is always asking for 'lips!’ I try tricking her with lip balm but she's figured it out, so we've compromised with tinted lip-gloss. I'm a horrible exerciser, horrible. If I do exercise I go to yoga but my schedule rarely seems to fit it in. I like to think Honor keeps me fit and I do try and eat healthily. I love Organic Avenue's juices but I'm afraid Cadbury's chocolate does always find a way into my life.

Elle with her daughter Honor

Elle with her daughter Honor

 

Story by Jessica Burdon; Photography by Jonathan Bookallil; hair by Niko Weddle; makeup by Ellen Guhin.