On-the-go beauty can be a challenge. There are makeup brushes to pack and you have squeeze everything into a small cosmetics case. Lindsay Ellingson and Divya Gugnani knew there had to be a better way, so they founded Wander Beauty. “We thought about what we wanted to do in beauty that’s truly innovative,” says Gugnani, Co-founder and CEO of Wander Beauty. “We talked to a lot of women—different ages, ethnicities, geographies—and asked them what the pain point in their beauty routine is. Everyone had lots of different beauty products, but didn’t know what to do with them. They had dirty makeup bags with cracked powders and dirty brushes, so we really honed in on this concept of less is more. We created Wander Beauty around the premise that we are the multitasking essential brand.”
The pair is certainly qualified to know all about on-the-go beauty. As a model for the last 12 years, Ellingson, a former Victoria’s Secret Angel, is constantly on the road. “I started my career living in Paris, so I was working with the best beauty experts all over the world,” says Ellingson, Co-founder and Creative Director of Wander Beauty. “I developed a passion for beauty instantly because I had no clue what I was doing before that, and it was the best beauty school one could have. I learned all the best backstage beauty tips and tricks and started doing my own makeup for red carpet events.” She funneled that knowledge into Wander, and it’s the fourth company Gugnani has started. She learned all about the beauty world for her last company, which was sold to QVC, and she’s also an active angel investor, having invested in over 60 companies.
When Ellingson and Gugnani were brainstorming, they realized there was an untouched white space. “Lindsay is planes, trains and automobiles—she’s always traveling,” Gugnani says. “I’m a serial entrepreneur and a mother—I have 5 minutes to get out the door. When you think about women today, we’re so much busier than we were a few years ago. The apparel industry has really morphed—Lululemon was one of the first to create clothing to suit the active lives of women. No one had done this in beauty. We’re two real-life women who are all about fuss-free, foolproof makeup that you do on yourself. We’re not about having 20 million trend colors. We’re about the essentials.”
To pack even more punch, every Wander Beauty product is enriched with global skincare ingredients that work with your skin, not against it, and the line is free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance. It launched in April of 2015 with one product: On-The-Glow Blush And Illuminator. “The ultimate multitasker, it came out with a message that we are the essentials brand,” Ellingson says. “On one side you have a shade for lips, cheeks and eyes and then on the other side you have a gorgeous illuminator which you can use a million different ways to wake up your complexion, apply on your cheekbones as highlighter, or put it on your body wherever you want to glow. It’s that fresh, glowing no makeup makeup look which people love.” It was an instant hit when Ellingson went on air on QVC with it. Wander Beauty quickly spread across the globe, and now has 17 products and 57 SKUs. But when you’re about to jet off for a summer getaway, you don’t need that many. Ellingson and Gugnani share their best travel tips:
Prep ahead. “Most of my flights are east toward Paris, London, and Spain,” Ellingson says. “It’s important to set myself up for a restful journey before I get on the plane. That involves eating a healthy meal at home so that I can skip the meal service on the plane and get more sleep. I always travel with an oversized cashmere scarf, aloe socks, and an aromatherapy eye mask that’s filled with lavender, which helps to calm me into a deep sleep.