Beauty / IN THE BAG

Eliana Gil Rodriguez on beauty lessons and why clichés hold true

“I’ve grown and learned so much, not just about my business but also about how to take care of myself – mentally, physically, emotionally.” Designer, model and creative director Eliana Gil Rodriguez gives us the lowdown on her beauty rituals, icons and non-negotiables.

What’s your morning beauty routine?

First, I rinse my face with water, alternating between hot and cold, followed by a swipe of Marie Veronique’s Balancing Hypo tonic on a cotton pad. Then I’ll use Kristina Holley + Marie Veronique Soothing B3 serum followed directly with their Barrier Restore serum, Barrier Lipid complex and Everyday Tinted sunscreen SPF30, warmed between my hands to avoid pilling. I’ve dealt with perioral dermatitis for the past few years, which is kind of a cross between eczema and acne.  I’ve been using this line exclusively because it’s all natural and specifically formulated to heal dermatitis by rebuilding your skin’s barrier functions. It’s not a quick fix but it works wonders.

What’s your evening beauty routine?

At night I’ll massage my face for a couple minutes with Kristina Holley + Marie Veronique Pure + E.O. Free Oil cleanser, then rinse with warm water. Then I’ll swipe with the Balancing Hypo tonic, followed again by the Barrier Restore serum and Barrier Lipid complex. A couple times a week I’ll use their Micronutrient + Hydro mask and let it soak in for like an hour.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I founded a clothing line called Gil Rodriguez and our offices are just down the street from my house in L.A. Most days I’ll wake up, jump in the shower, then deal with any pressing emails or calls while my boyfriend makes breakfast. We’ll eat together, walk our dog, then I’ll head to the office where every day is different. It can be a photoshoot or packing up a big order or running around downtown L.A. checking on our factories and fabric suppliers. I only have two employees, but we make a great team. Small businesses aren’t glamorous, but it’s a really rewarding experience. I’ve grown and learned so much, not just about my business but also about how to take care of myself – mentally, physically, emotionally.

“I go through phases. Currently my only forms of exercise are walking my dog, cleaning my house, running errands, dancing. Sometimes I like to box, do Pilates or yoga. I hike on occasion.”

What are the supermarket / drug store / chemist beauty products that you use and love?
I always stock up on pharmacy basics when I’m in Europe – Vitry Nail Repair hardener (the only nail hardener that actually works), Homeoplasmine (for lips, cracks and cuts), Bioderma Sensibio H2O and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse.

What products do you use on your body?
I love Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body wash so much. TMI perhaps, but I will not wash my vagina with anything else. It’s super gentle and doesn’t have fragrances or detergents. Other than that, I love Le Labo’s Hinoki Body cream which smells divine. I’ll sometimes do that before bed. I’m also obsessed with Prima’s CBD Bath gem. It relaxes your muscles and leaves your skin perfectly moisturised

How do you keep fit and healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
I go through phases. Currently my only forms of exercise are walking my dog, cleaning my house, running errands, dancing. Sometimes I like to box, do Pilates or yoga. I hike on occasion. I’m definitely a lot less hard on myself about working out than I used to be, for better or worse.

What cosmetic procedures / professional treatments do you have as part of your beauty routine?
I’ll get the occasional facial, but my favourite thing is to go to the Korean spa to steam, soak and get scrubbed down. You come out brand new.

What do you do when your body needs to recover?
I’ll take an Epsom salt bath and smoke a bit of CBD – I love Higgs Naturals pre-rolls. And sleep, always sleep.

You’re tired / hungover / rundown: what is your beauty hack?
A 20-minute steam sauna! You go in a tired raisin and come out a bouncy grape. It’s like magic.

What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?
I never, ever, go to bed without washing my face.

Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?
Penelope Cruz – she’s just incredible in all the ways. And she was the first celebrity who kind of looked like me, which really helped me to feel beautiful growing up. Representation working its magic!

What is the best advice on beauty you’ve received?
Less is more. It’s a cliché for a reason, and in terms of beauty I had to learn this the hard way. I used to be a product junkie which was not only wasteful, but my skin paid the price, becoming ultra-sensitised by too many active ingredients, preservatives and fragrances in everything. Now I’m focusing on rebalancing and keeping things clean and simple.

What is the best advice on health you’ve received?
Mind your microbiome! A good probiotic and balanced diet have helped me manage a slew of chronic health issues. Gut health really does change everything. (Editor’s note: read about how your gut affects your glow here.)

What is the one product you can’t live without?
Ruth’s Lacto cream from Ruth’s Skincare, one of my favourite facialists in L.A. I don’t use it every day because my skin gets dependant on it, but a tiny bit will heal almost anything (acne, dermatitis, eczema) in record time.