There’s no doubt that Elena Doukas has an eye for style. As Head Designer of Garrett Leight California Optical, she designs and creates eyeglasses that are effortlessly, classically cool. She also understands what’s important to someone when they’re choosing what to put on their face. “Eyewear is just as personal as beauty is,” she says, “I think people want a product that they can feel an emotional connection to.” We couldn’t agree more.
For Doukas, her work in the fashion space and her concept of beauty is inextricably linked, which means she knows a thing or two about beauty. Here are five key beauty lessons we learned from talking with her about the intersection of beauty and style.
Beauty starts inside
Doukas learned at an early age that what you put inside your body is just as important (if not more!) than what you put on it. “My mom always approached beauty from the inside out, and her products and routines would follow what we call clean beauty today,” she says. Of course we know now that her mom was majorly ahead of her time. “A lot of her skincare issues she would solve with dietary changes, and if she used actual beauty products it was sparingly and she was very conscious of the ingredients,” says Doukas. Words to live by.
Invest in quality
When it comes to beauty budgeting, take a cue from your wardrobe. “With fashion, I invest in classic pieces that remain with me for a long time and keep everything else simple around them,” says Doukas. “With beauty, it’s similar, where I have key products I love to use that are staples but keep everything else simple.” There are certain products you shouldn’t skimp on, like active serums or skincare workhorses you use everyday. Dedicate your beauty budget to those, and save the impulse buying for those out-there beauty trends (how often are you *really* going to wear that funky blue lipstick?).
“Eyewear is just as personal as beauty.”
Ask a professional
We rely on hairdressers, nail techs, and dermatologists for their expertise, so why not do the same for eyewear? “I highly recommend getting fitted for glasses,” Doukas says, “I constantly relate eyewear fittings to what you would gain from a makeup artist or hairstylist.” Seek professional advice if you’re unsure of what color your hair should be, what your skincare regimen should consist of, or which glasses flatter your face: they’re there to help you find exactly what you want.
Enhance, don’t cover
Doukas’ philosophy on beauty is simple: work with what you’ve got. “I don’t like the feeling of trying to cover up what I don’t like,” she says, “I would rather buy and use products that enhance what I have.” If you love your eyes, frame them with liner and mascara, and if you’re all about your cheekbones, make them pop with a sheer highlight. Play up your best features, and above all, choose looks that make you feel like you.
When in doubt, reach for a bold lip
Beauty trends come and go, but a red lip never goes out of style. Doukas cites a red Chanel formula as her first coveted beauty product, and we say that an iconic tube of lipstick is still just as covetable as ever. Bonus: a bold lip pairs beautifully with a pair of statement glasses, and is a look that’s as low-key as it is glam.