When getting your makeup done is all in a day’s work, you tend to pick up a few tips. Supermodel Lindsay Ellingson is putting that on-the-job education to good use with a new makeup line, Wander Beauty. Here, the Co-Founder and Creative Director reveals her top backstage beauty tricks, what she always keeps in her cosmetic bag, and more.

Wander Beauty's Lindsay Ellingson
Credit: Derek Kettela

Why did you want to launch a beauty line?

I’ve been so fortunate to travel the world as a model, and I’ve worked with some of the industry’s most talented makeup artists. Over the course of my career, I’ve sat in the makeup chair for hours just absorbing information about application, global beauty trends, different color inspirations and formula inspiration. I’ve tried and tested everything, I developed a passion for beauty, and I wanted to create a beauty experience of my own. I saw that there was a huge market opportunity to create products that are easy to use and multitasking because beauty can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you’re traveling. Everything we create for Wander Beauty is easy to use, it’s foolproof, and it’s made for the woman who’s constantly on the go.

How did travel inspire the line’s first product?

The blush colors were actually inspired by specific travel stories—the coral rose, for instance was inspired by my many trips to Saint-Tropez. I started my career in Paris, and while I was there I spent a lot of time working and playing in Saint-Tropez. I wanted to capture the essence of the town: the gorgeous sunsets, the various shades of coral in the village, the sun-kissed women. Every color has a story behind it, which I think is really cool. I like to draw upon various different travel experiences, even if it’s something as simple as a sunset that I took a picture of, or a beauty trend that I saw when I was traveling in Spain.

I saw you were crowdsourcing feedback for a new eye shadow—what’s next for the brand?

It’s really exciting for us to involve our fans in the process of selecting shades for future products. We want to get them excited and also see what women actually want. I’m so happy the champagne shade won because it’s one of my favorites. That will be launching at the end of July, and then in the fall we’re launching a city-based collection. I can’t say too much, but I’ll allude to that.

What are 5 beauty products you always travel with?

I always travel with a water spray. I love Avène’s Thermal Spring Water. It doesn’t just evaporate off your skin and make it drier—it has minerals and it’s the right pH, so it absorbs easily into your skin and you can apply it over makeup.

I also travel with this multitasking hand cream—it’s called CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm. It’s a really thick creamy balm that can be used anywhere, so I put it under my eyes, on my hands, my cuticles, everything.

I always travel with Amore Pacific’s Refreshing sheet masks. I don’t use them on the plane, but I use them as soon as I’m off the plane, and I get to wherever I’m going. At my hotel I put on my sheet mask because the planes are so drying. I love those.

And obviously, I love to travel with my On-the-Glow blush and illuminator. It helps me to downsize my makeup bag because it’s taking the place of my blush, my lipstick, and my highlighter. The illuminator is so key to when I’m traveling I just put a little around my eyes, and I’m instantly awake and look fresh. When I’m traveling my skin gets so tired--and I put a little on my cheekbones and my brow bone and it instantly wakes me up. That and a little mascara and I’m ready to go.

What is the best beauty tip you’ve heard backstage at a fashion show?

Almost every makeup artist uses Embryolisse cream. So that’s a go-to, and I love when you really give yourself a facial massage—which a lot of makeup artists do for us backstage. When I was doing 10 shows a day, getting makeup put on and taken off, my skin would be so irritated. That massage really calmed everything down, and any woman can do that at home. Just take your favorite moisturizer and massage it into your skin to get the circulation going. It’ll give you a youthful glow.

Backstage at Victoria’s Secret, one trick that I’ve learned is to apply illuminator or highlighter on your lips before you put on lipstick. It gives the appearance of a fuller pout. If you’re using a lip liner, you can cheat the size of your lips by overdrawing. That’s what I do—just choose a lip liner that’s the color of your lips and cheat the shape of your lips a little bit on the top and bottom, to get a fuller pout as well.

Any tips for arriving at your destination looking flawless?

Definitely stay hydrated—I drink aloe water, which you can either make with pure aloe vera mixed it with water, or you can buy it at Juice Press or Organic Avenue, but not everybody has those conveniences like we have in New York City. Actually, you can’t take that past security, but drink it before you get on the plane, and buy a water or coconut water before you board.

If I’m on an overnight flight, I love Klorane’s eye masks. I’ll put those on, and just put a sleep mask over them, so nobody really sees me with my eye masks on. I also take off all my makeup as soon as I get on the plane. I use Bioderma Crealine to take it all off. They have these great travel-sized products. So I take off all my makeup, moisturize, and use those eye masks when I fall asleep, and I always have eye drops on hand just in case my eyes have any redness when I wake up.

Another tip I learned from a makeup artist is to prepare your body the night before you travel. Use a great exfoliator on your skin. I love Derma E—you can get it at Whole Foods. It’s the best exfoliator I’ve found and it’s organic, all natural, and inexpensive. Then just really hydrate your skin the night before after you exfoliate. And also dry-brush your body and apply your favorite moisturizer or oil. I love Jiva-Apoha oils—they’re amazing essential oils that are sourced from India and made in Brooklyn. They’re so great—I’m obsessed.

Window seat or aisle?

Aisle, for sure. I’m a little bit claustrophobic, and I hate bothering people when I have to use the restroom. I drink so much water on the plane that I’m up constantly, so i just like to have the aisle, and have it to stretch out because I have long legs.

Check your luggage or carry on?

I only carry on. I’ve become an expert packer, and I’ve also learned how to downsize my beauty bag, so that’s made a huge difference.

What’s on your travel playlist?

It’s such a random mix of music. I like calming stuff; I like stuff to boost my energy when we’re landing. I really like old-school music as well.

Where to next?

I’m leaving for Cannes tomorrow—I haven’t been in four years, so I’m very excited to experience it all over again. It’s the most extravagant event in the most beautiful place, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.