founder of clean beauty brand Paradox
on her travel itinerary: Paris
(but lives in: Los Angeles)
Elise Gabriel is no stranger to an airplane.
...or to looking endlessly chic while traveling, no matter how long that flight or layover is. or — as founder of just-launched clean beauty brand Paradox and popular travel blog Accidentally Jetset — making the most of every last jam-packed minute. BUT! she recently took a break from the 24/7 job that is starting your own business (we’re right there with you, Elise!) to unwind in Paris, a city that has long held special meaning for her — and we got her to tell us all about it, along with a few hard-earned travel tips.
you just got back from paris, which you said was your first vacation in awhile. tell us about your busy days!
“i founded and run an e-commerce beauty startup called Paradox. we produce luxe, organic beauty products that are chic, and cool, and empowering — and made of sustainably-sourced clean, organic ingredients that promote skin health above all else. we have a predominantly female supply-chain, and we ethically source ingredients from all over the world. we are currently preparing to launch several new products so i’m working 24/7 in the run-up to this but I love it.”
“Paris is a city that embodies many of my favorite things: architecture. history. art. food. i love that each time i’m there, i can get lost and explore a new cafe in a new alley in a new neighborhood.”
where do you stay?
“Saint Germain. every time i visit, i stay in the same place, a small boutique hotel called Hotel Da Vinci. they have the best Parisian breakfast in the morning (the croissants are to die for; i recently found out the hotel hires a baker who makes them every morning at 4 am!) and it’s centrally located, close to all my favorite spots.“
where do you work out?
“running along the river is my workout when i’m in Paris. i should probably look for a gym, but i love to spend as much time outside as possible when i’m there.”
what did you eat during this PARTICULAR PARISIAN JAUNT?
“so many crepes. the fact that you can get a crepe on the street for three euros is one of my favorite things about the city.”
… and do?
“my fiancé and i are big history lovers, so we visited the Louvre. fun fact: there were riots going on while we were there, so we were actually locked underground — in the Louvre! — for a few hours. that was pretty memorable.”
one thing you always do when you visit?
“the first time i went to Paris, i was 20, traveling by myself, and decided to spend the afternoon reading by the fountain at Palais Royal. let’s remember that this was pre-Uber, pre-Google Maps, and i didn’t speak French. so this was a pretty gutsy solo trip for me. i ended up spending the afternoon reading and journaling about things i had learned on my trip, and goals i had for my life. it was a very special day for me, and now i try to make Palais Royal my first stop in Paris anytime i visit, as a recommitment to those goals i set for my life ten years ago.”
what did you pack?
“packing light is my jam. i love to brag that i once went on a two-week trip abroad with only a small carry-on and a small handbag. this trip, that wasn’t possible because it was winter (so cold!) and i had to take several coats. so i checked one bag of clothes, and took my Lo & Sons carry-on with me during the flight. one thing i always pack is my bottle of Paradox. it’s a clean moisturizing oil, and it’s the first product we launched — i’m really proud of it! i use it all the time to keep my skin deeply moisturized while traveling. and also the époque évolution jet set trouser and especially the nonstop tee dress — i love that i can wear it with a long coat for day and then to cocktails later. i probably need a second one to throw in the rotation, actually.”
what did you read or listen to en route?
“i usually listen to business books and podcasts when i travel, i’m currently reading a book my friend Brian recommended called Built To Last and really enjoying it. for this trip to Paris, however, i hadn’t taken a vacation all year so i went into full relax mode and watched movies the entire flight there. i’m a big cinema lover and i love a good international flight movie binge now and then.”
best all-around travel tip (or three)?
“always pack Korean sheet masks for long-haul flights and use one for every three hours of plane travel. you may look crazy while flying, but your skin will thank you later.
wear a beanie. i always wear a beanie when i travel so i can pull it over my eyes to block out out like an eye mask, and it also keeps my head warm.
create an easy-access carry-on zipper pouch that you’ll take out as you get situated into your seat before the flight takes off. this could be a ziplock bag or cosmetics bag filled with your chargers, headphones, snacks, credit card, moisturizer, extra pair of socks, etc. keeping everything you’ll need during the flight in a small tidy bag keeps life easy and makes it so you don’t have to get up and down to rummage through your larger carry-on mid-flight.”