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violet vanities:

ELAINE
WELTEROTH

Journalist, Project Runway judge, and New York Times best-selling author Elaine Welteroth is forever chasing the glow. VIOLET GREY helps her get it.


Written By YING CHU
Photography By CASSANDRA GREY
Hair By NAI'VASHA
Makeup By ALANA WRIGHT

VIOLET STATS:
Name: Elaine Welteroth
Job Description: Journalist, author, TV personality
Instagram: @elainewelteroth
 

Meet Elaine. She’s a feminist and a fashion darling. And if you follow her work—as the groundbreaking former editor-in-chief of  Teen Vogue, the spirited judge on Project Runway, and the recently minted The New York Times best-selling author—you know this already. If you don’t, might I suggest you start by reading her new book, More than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say), (Viking; 2019)? Filmmaker Ava DuVernay wrote its beautiful forward and Reese Witherspoon considers it “a call for young women to find their voice and spark their courage.”

I got to know Elaine back when we were both beauty directors at Condé Nast (her at Teen Vogue, me at Glamour). She was a force back then, always warm, often perfectly (self-)styled—and with a deep knowledge about beauty. So when we got together recently to talk shop, I knew she’d have a strong point of view—both around topics like the social acceptance of black hair in mainstream culture, and in finding genuinely dope products: Her mainstays include Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream for her signature curls, Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 which, she says, “needs to be marketed to brown girls—it’s the only totally transparent sunscreen out there,” and Sisley’s All Day All Year multi-purpose moisturizer.

“I am all the way on or all the way off—an introverted extrovert,” says Elaine. “The duality captures who I am. I’ve spent the last year filming a show in full TV hair and makeup, feeling really extra thanks to my glam fam. But also writing a book—at home, in sweats, no makeup, barely washing my face. Could I be doing better with my lazy girl routine? Well, yes!”

Cue VIOLET GREY. Read up as we prescribe her seven Violet Code-approved essentials that are both low on effort and high on results.
 


ELAINE'S
ESSENTIALS UPGRADE

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“Consider me Queen of the Backseat Beat—I’m always doing my makeup in the back of Ubers. It terrifies the drivers. Concealer, eyeliner, mascara, and I sculpt with Chanel Les Beiges powder. Some days I crave a little more for my skin, but it has to be a fresh finish.” Fitting the bill, this tint combines hydration with a subtle hint of glowy color. It’s mistake-proof, making it well suited for on-the-go application.

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 “I won’t even shave my legs unless the outfit calls for it,” says Elaine. And, at the CFDA Awards in June, she proved her point by only shaving the side exposed by the thigh-high slit of her Brandon Maxwell dress. To inspire more regular upkeep, the Mave Razor boasts a long, elegant handle for easy reach, and it looks great perched on any tub or shower—so there’s no need to stash it away.

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“Hair care is essential between all the styling I have done,” explains Elaine. “I need something that brings bounce back to my curls, that can double as a detangler. And it needs to smell delicious.” This Leonor Greyl mask provides all that: it’s loaded with an incredible hydrating cocktail of Cupucacu, Manketti, and coconut oils. Apply to dry hair and throw it into a bun while you take a call or check the ‘gram. Rinse and style.

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“My combination skin means I’m sometimes dry, sometimes oily. I need a serum in the morning that will act as a barrier and base for makeup while brightening up lingering dark spots from breakouts,” says Elaine. Much like Dr. Barbara Sturm’s OG Hyaluronic Serum, this formula, created with input from Hollywood icon Angela Bassett, works like a cool drink for your skin to hydrate and soften lines. The addition of Lumicol helps boost radiance for all skin tones.

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“I’m 32 and I’m obsessed with lifting,” says Elaine. “A ponytail or snatch bun does that. But sometimes I want my hair down.” The perfect primer for Elaine’s red carpet events and book tour appearances, this hydrogel sheet mask comes in four separate pieces for the upper and lower face, neck, and chest and boasts a cocktail of peptides to lift, smooth, and sculpt skin instantly. (And the black latex-like finish just begs for a selfie moment.)

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“I am forever chasing the glow. Is there a tool for that?” says Elaine. Short answer: Yes. Use this microneedling device two to three times a week on face, neck and décolleté to help smooth lines and boost the effectiveness of your serums and hydrators.

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“If I’m being really good, I try to add a retinol to my routine,” says Elaine. Applied before bed, preferably following a session with the GloPro, this lightweight, fast-absorbing serum works hard on erasing sun damage and dark spots while you sleep.