You probably know Elle Macpherson from her countless runway shows, magazine covers (including her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue) and ad campaigns, but she’s also a mega-entrepreneur. Just recently she shared her advice with 200 aspiring young entrepreneurs at The Girls Who Start Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington, D.C., where she participated in a keynote discussion with the social venture’s 15-year-old founder and national president Ariel Beck. Her acumen has been honed over the years after launching Elle Macpherson Intimates in 1990 — before celebrities were doing such things on the regular — and co-founding WelleCo, a company creating plant-based nutritional supplements sold at retailers like Net-a-Porter. Check out her thoughtful answers to our quickfire questions and you’ll quickly see why the supermodel looks nothing short of ageless.
My morning routine… is waking up at sunrise. I gently wake my body with hot water and lemon and then practice some breathing and meditation. It’s a routine that helps balance me from the start of the day.
The beauty products I find myself buying again and again… I recently discovered DefenAge Skincare, which I love. As for makeup, I tend to gravitate towards makeup that’s subtle and good for my skin. I am enjoying the Oxygenetix line that is created and used by doctors. Their Breathable Second Skin foundation is beautiful to wear and great for sensitive skin.
I’m dying to splurge on… a mango tree for the garden, some white bougainvillea and night blooming jasmine and a hammock.
A wellness trick I swear by… nourishing my body at a cellular level with my daily SUPER ELIXIR Greens. I have found that nothing has more impact on my wellness than plant-based nutrients and this gives my body everything it needs for creating vitality in my everyday life, as well as beauty and health benefits that start from the inside out. Also, the Therasage Thera360 TM Portable Infrared Sauna. I have one at home and use it daily to detox and support my lymphatic system.
One thing I’m still striving to achieve… I want to learn how to touch type on my computer.
My fitness routine… is a mix because it keeps me feeling motivated. Some days I’ll go for a run, take my dog for a walk or work out in my home gym. I like to put on a good documentary and move from station to station.
A key to overcoming hardship has been… a good sense of humor. I’ve found that laughter opens the heart and encourages a willingness to learn. I try to see the ebbs and flows of life as learning experiences — knowing that in the end, if I choose to learn, I will be richer for it.
If you looked in my fridge, you’d find… an abundance of home-grown vegetables. I have planted my own organic vegetable garden and both the garden and fridge are thriving.
What I wish I knew about being an entrepreneur before building my brands… I don’t have any regrets or remorse. Everything I have learned has been valuable on my journey. If I had somehow been able to predict some of the things that have happened, I may not have had the courage to do them in the first place and would have lost that valuable learning experience.
The one career moment I still can’t get over… there have been many “aha” moments and crossroads. Probably the most significant as a 17-year-old Australian arriving in America for what was supposed to be a three-month experimental trip aboard, but ultimately became the first steps to beginning a new life.
My favorite beauty trick… is for creating beachy waves. I wash my hair and spritz it with a good sea salt spray to create texture, which is also important when you have highlights and lowlights as I do. I apply it through the crown, mid-lengths and ends, or throw my hair upside down and spritz liberally into the roots. Then I put it up into a knot on top of my head to dry. When I take it down, I’m left with messy, natural, beachy waves.
A tip for looking good in a picture or on camera… social media has shown us that looking good isn’t just reserved for those in the fashion industry. Once you know your best angle and get the lighting just right, it is always possible to find our inner beauty.
When it comes to dealing with insecurities… I don’t over focus on them. I find if I do, the insecurity gets bigger, but if I focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger. It’s not easy and takes a conscious decision and discipline to redirect my thoughts. Sometimes it takes me many tries before it becomes my reality, but I have discovered it is well worth the effort.
If my days had one extra hour, I’d… do something fun because most days we are ticking off our checklists and it’s easy to forget to simply let go and do something purely for joy.
The best place I’ve ever traveled… the trip I take daily — from my head to my heart.
The one clothing item I can’t live without… my Ugg slippers.
The last thing I Googled was… Coachella tickets for my son Flynn.
My guilty pleasure… there is no guilt in my pleasure, but I love dark chocolate and whipped cream.
The best piece of advice I ever got… that what we eat every day has a profound impact on the way we feel.
My biggest pet peeve… is very loud noises — I have super sensitive ears.
One thing I wish people knew about me… is that my kids are half French, so we speak a lot of French around the house, which is a bit bizarre for an Australian.
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