Bee Shaprio isn’t the type of name you forget. Best know in the industry for her witty and extensive beauty coverage in Vogue, Vanity Fair InStyle and so on, she has garnered a well-respected reputation. But now Bee is giving us all another reason to pay attention: her new(ish) body care line that quietly launched in July at Shen Beauty called Ellis Brooklyn.
Ellis Brooklyn, named after her daughter, couples paraben-free and phthalates-free creations with scents that are meant to elevate your life. They are uncomplicated, unisex and have cult classic written all over them. Her big break was the partnership with renowned perfumer Jerome Epinette, the French nose behind other brands like Atelier Cologne, Vilhelm Parfumerie and Byredo. No big deal. Her natural formulations are carefully crafted in small batches in upstate New York.
I sat down with my latest Glow Girl on a rainy afternoon in her Brooklyn neighborhood to discuss the 3 B’s: beauty, ballet and body care.
You have interviewed some of the biggest names in beauty over the years. What is the best tip you have ever learned?
This is a tough one! Not gonna lie: I often will go back to the lipstick colors people mention and retry them. Some colors are really just genius. But the one that has probably impacted me the most is from Zoe Kravitz. She does Ballet Beautiful online videos when she’s on the road and when I was pregnant with my now 2-year-old, Ellis (hence, the name of Ellis Brooklyn), I started doing those vids at home. They’re surprisingly tough! The Swan Arms segment kills me.
What’s been your most favorite interview?
Hands down Anna Kendrick. Celebrity interviews, they’re by nature an awkward set-up. The celebrity is (usually) trying to make a good impression but at the same time, most of them hold you at a distance if you’re a reporter. Interviewing Anna is like talking to a real, very funny person that you want to be your friend. She’s hilarious, of course, but also she’s able to be both professional and cool about the whole process.
Where do you shop for beauty, online and in stores?
I love all the new K beauty online shops like Peach & Lily. I’m also on Sephora.com and Net-a-Porter.com a lot to see what’s new. If I’m shopping in person though, I love walking through the Barneys Madison store. But now that Barneys is downtown, I go there more often. And if I’m going in person, I also love my neighborhood beauty stores because they are so laidback. Shen Beauty is simply awesome.
What’s your 5-minute morning beauty routine?
Since I’m often testing product as an editor, my line-up changes all the time. Currently, I’ve been doing the Shiseido cleansing oil, followed by Tatcha serum and Josie Maran argan oil. Then I’ll do a bit of eye cream. I’ve been switching between the Chanel Hydra Beauty eye gel and the Fresh Lotus Eye Gel. I don’t wear perfume, but I’ve been using our Ellis Brooklyn Rrose body milk as my scent. Then, I always wear SPF and only the mineral-based ones. I like the Omorovica one and also SkinCeuticals makes a great sunscreen that also has a slight tint to it.
What is your #1 favorite skincare/ makeup / hair product?
Oy, there are so many good ones! I’m a sucker for Urban Decay eyeshadows. They seem to stay the longest. For lip colors, if I’m going out at night, Bobbi Brown, especially the creamy matte, really gets the pinky-nude thing right. RMS’s lip to cheek pot is lovely too. I always have some M.A.C. lying around as well. Their eye pencils are great—they stay and they’re relatively affordable. For my hair, I’m into the Christophe Robin rose hair volumizing mist lately. It smells wonderful and I like a little texture. For skin, I can’t get enough of the SK-II masks and the Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray lately.
What is your favorite on-the-go snack?
Considering I’m pregnant right now, my snacks are all over the board! If I’m working from home, I love the black sesame mochi ice cream balls. But if I’m out and about at meetings, I might pick up some those roasted honey nuts from a street vendor.
What are your handbag beauty essentials?
I tend to have a lot of lip stuff with me because I’m often at lunch meetings and my eyes are already done if I’m headed out the door. I tend to do a stronger eye and little to no lip during the day. I’m all about the Dior Addict Lip Glow lately. It gives you just the ideal hint of color—totally the no-makeup makeup thing happening. If I’m going out I’ll do the Bobbi Brown or YSL Glossy Stain. As far as lip balms go I’m into the Ama-la one. I believe the formula is pretty natural.
I see a major shift happening in beauty. It’s less about Kim K. contouring and a lot more about skin. Where do you see the future of beauty going? What do you think is the biggest trend happening at the moment?
From the beauty editor side of things, skin has always been in. You could buy the best and most expensive makeup in the world and you’ll never be able to cover up bad skin. But the trend I’m most interested in right now is the naturals movement happening in Korea. K beauty has been so innovative in skincare that I’m curious to see how the naturals movement will translate there. I’d love to see better development in naturals skincare through technology and not just all the focus on essential oils as it is here in the U.S.
Now let’s talk about your gorgeous line. What were the first steps you took in starting Ellis? What did those first 2-3 years look like?
Those first years were all about asking for favors! The thing is, the chemists, the companies, the partners you’re looking for to help you make your line real are so difficult to find that it’s truly through word of mouth and recommendation. And then you have to hustle of course. I’ve been doing things that I never thought I would do, from pitching other editors for press to packing shipments to going on sales meetings. It’s pretty crazy at times but also pretty wonderful.
Is your line organic/all-natural?
We try to be as natural as possible but we will use a synthetic if it’s the better option, whether that may be for safety reasons or for sustainability. For example, our body milks are 98% natural, but they do have a bit of synthetic preservative in it and also a bit of synthetic in the fragrance.
As a mom, what factors were the most important to you when creating Ellis?
I wanted them to be luxurious and I wanted them to be safe, and I didn’t want to compromise. For example, I was very keen about making sure our candles burned cleanly. I didn’t know before that scented paraffin candles are terrible for the air if you burn them in your house. That’s why we went with a domestically grown soy wax blend with hemp wick. We actually have our candles tested in Europe for emissions and we are very, very clean.