Some relationships take time to come to fruition. That was the case of my relationship with Alyssa Barie, Founder & CEO of TravelBeauty.com. We met about five years ago when she was working for the New York Times, and had this brilliant idea about a beauty website geared towards travelers. I loved the idea back then, have loved seeing her bring her idea from concept to reality. In the few months since her launch, her company has been featured on TV, in Elle Magazine, and more. Learn more about the brains behind this project (my favorite factoid: she keeps nail polish in the fridge). And don’t pack for your next trip without visiting her website.
AP: What city were you born in? AB: New York City, NY.
AP: What city do you live in? AB: New York City, NY.
AP: What is your middle name? AB: My middle name is actually Barrie. In my twenties I was an actress and stand-up comedian and changed my last name to Barrie because I thought that my real last name, Weiss, sounded too Jewish. I didn’t want people to have preconceived notions of me before I walked through the audition room door. I wanted to make certain that I created my own first impression.
AP: What is your astrological sign? AB: Leo.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? AB: For 6 years I was an actress and stand-up comedian.
AP: What is your most prized possession? AB: I wouldn’t call it a possession. While possessions can make life a bit nicer or exciting at times, the most important thing in my life is my family.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? AB: My husband. It’s not anything really so romantic, he is simply the person that I enjoy spending time with the most.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. AB: Not possible. I dress completely differently almost every day. I tend to dress for the day or occasion. Stella Adler used to say that your costume gives you the part or helps you get into character. I dress according to the character that I need to be on a given day. It’s always me inside but it’s important to know your audience and dress right for the part.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? AB: Funny you should ask. My watch is at the watchmaker being fixed and I feel absolutely naked without it. I keep looking at a bare left wrist that gives no guidance as to what time it is. It’s a Cartier Tank Francaise.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? AB: I would have to say diamonds, but I prefer that they be fancy yellow.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? AB: Taking care of my skin consistently. That means going for a facial, at least once a quarter and making sure to keep my skin, clean, hydrated, and protected from the elements. I also massage my face on a daily basis to wake up the dermis and muscles under the skin. I believe in being in touch with my body. Just like when we are hungry we generally know what we our bodies are craving, we must listen to our skin too. If you know yourself and your skin, you know what you need on a given day. Sometimes my skin will be dry and will require a richer moisturizer, other times I might have a light breakout and only require a light serum and a dab of moisturizer. Learning to take care of one’s skin means learning to listen to it.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? AB: I typically do not wear a fragrance, but while in Italy, earlier this summer, I found a very light scent called Acqua Dell’Elba, from the Island of Elba on the Tuscan Archipelago. I have been wearing it all summer and love it.
AP: Botox or not? AB: I believe in doing whatever is necessary to feel and look great. If Botox is part of that practice and it works, I am all for that.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? AB: Not. My hair is actually colored to look faux! I believe in committing to a look and going for it! I color my hair and am proud!
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? AB: I believe in listening to my body. If you sit with yourself quietly for a moment, you can feel if you are hungry, full, about to be hungry etc. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satiated. Growing up I fought with eating disorders galore and found peace by tuning into my body.
AP: What do you do for exercise? AB: I used to be so good about exercising but not so much anymore. When I do, I play tennis, do TRX or Physique 57. I need something hard-core.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? AB: Nail polish, jarred Italian capers and Stonewall Country Ketchup. With the exception of the nail polish, in moments of desperation, a meal can be made from these items.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? AB: Barley flavored Shochu. Very tasty, very strong…..no hangover.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? AB: I struggle with this. Right now I work significantly more than I do anything else. What has helped me is scheduling things that I know I need to fit into my day. As pathetic as it may sound, that might include having dinner with my husband or scheduling some time to read a book.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? AB: I fly at least five or six times a year sometimes more. I would say around 34,000 miles, mostly to Europe and Israel.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? AB: 1. Don’t skimp on what you need! People end up compromising on what they take with them when they travel, whether it’s clothing, shoes or beauty and grooming products because they feel they must. It’s hard to feel your best when you don’t have your best stuff with you! So take it all! 2. As much as possible, pack clothes and beauty products that multitask. Whether it’s a blazer that you can pair with dress pants or jeans, or face oil that can also be used on the hair, body and nail cuticles. 3. When flying, resist the urge to apply eye makeup. It can really dry the skin around the eyes, and combined with dry cabin air, can cause puffy lids. A simple cleansing and moisturizing regimen is your best bet. If you must cover your skin, try a BB Cream over a light serum.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. AB: Right now I am listening to mixed songs by Paolo Conte, The Stars and The Afghan Whigs.
AP: What book are you reading right now? AB: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.
AP: Quote to live by. AB: “Success can depend on tiny things,” Vincent Van Gogh.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? AB: Pet Peeves. Everyone has something that really irks him or her. The sooner we move on and focus on what we love, the better off we will be.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? AB: I typically wake up at 5:30am and get at least 7.5 hours of sleep. I can’t function optimally with less.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? AB: Working in an industry that one is passionate is about is extremely rewarding and I am OCD about products. With so much new technology and product on the horizon, the prospect of finding incredible brands and products is very exciting.
AP: Least favorite thing. AB: I can’t think of one!
AP: Who is your mentor? AB: My mother. She is a successful entrepreneur and a trailblazer in her field. My work ethic comes from her. She taught my brother and I to have respect for everyone and stressed the importance of being charitable, compassionate and a good person. These are values I hold dear.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. AB: Be open minded and learn everything you can from everyone you come into contact with. Make certain that you have a voice and your voice is heard. Know that you will get further with kindness, but expect that if you are driven and successful you will have critics and that is ok. Don’t worry too much about what people think of you.