Photo from

Elise Gabriel

founder of clean beauty brand Paradox

los angeles 


Elise Gabriel has some advice for all of us.

“enjoy each season of life… we only get to live it once.” and elise, as founder of clean beauty brand Paradox and one of our favorite LA-based powerhouse pals, would know, since there are few things in life more life-consuming than starting your own business. (ahem.) but, wait, there’s more: read on for her POV on keeping that summer glow going strong — and how she finds a healthy balance between hours at the office and evenings on her deck.


last time we caught up, you were working 24/7 ahead of a product launch

— and now you are deep into a working summer. (we feel you.) how do you deal?“we’re building a really cool company at Paradox and i love what i do! no matter the phase of life, we women always have a lot on our plates — so i’ve learned to embrace it. when i founded Paradox, i wanted every customer to feel as though they were personally touched by the brand. i wanted to create a simple but powerful line of products that women could use in the way they wanted, with messaging that tells them: you don’t need lipstick, lipstick needs you. so, although the sacrifice is tough — it’s all worth it, all part of the plan.”


…and when you’re not in the office?

“when i do get time to enjoy a summer evening, it makes it even more special. enjoying my patio while drinking a glass of rosé or tea, and snuggling up with my fiancé. i finally invested in a real charcoal BBQ grill, so we’ll grill several times a week for dinner to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy during the summer. usually grilled salmon and zucchini cooked only with olive oil and basic seasonings.”


sounds perfect. what’s the accompanying soundtrack?

“when i was 13, i took a road trip with my dad up to Oregon. we listened to The Beatles the entire way, sang, and talked about life. that experience is one of my most treasured memories. so, to me, summer is always the time to listen to the classics. The Beatles, Al Green, and old school Brazilian Bossa Nova by Joao Gilberto.”


we have to ask a beauty company founder: what’s your summer beauty routine?

“more bronzer. less makeup. slather on the Paradox moisturizer! i am constantly testing our new products, lab samples, or trying new competitor products. trying literally thousands of products has made me really appreciate a high impact, minimal beauty routine (which doesn’t have to be boring, by the way).”


the product you can’t stop using right now?

“a body moisturizer and bronzing oils to keep my skin deeply hydrated and glowing — also layered with SPF (of course!).” 


… and the clothes you can’t stop wearing?

“the icon shirt, the ONE crop top, and the jet set trouser. i love keeping it simple, so as soon as i find something that works with my body type, i’m sold.”


ooh. so if you had to choose a summer style icon…

“i am channeling vintage 1960s James Bond-film style. rocking a badass suit or slick minimal look about to save the planet while drinking a martini. but in my mind, i'm James Bond, not the Bond girl! ha!” 


can you leave us with some beauty tips, pretty please?

“basically i like anything that adds a cooling effect because it’s so hot in peak summer: 1. ice facials in the morning reduce inflammation and minimize pore size. it also feels amazing as you’re struggling to wake up in the heat. 2. keep face mists in the fridge and use them to refresh your makeup and hydrate throughout the day. 3. keep a quartz face roller by my bed so it’s handy in the morning. as soon as i wake up, i apply the cold quartz of the roller to my under-eye area — the immediate cold helps me wake up and spring into action (and my early-morning matcha lattes help, too).”