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Lynn Elstein

Image: Barbara Banks

A self-proclaimed “wannabe hippie,” cookbook author Lynn Elstein grew up in Forest Hills, New York, where she majored in musical theater at Syracuse University and went on to Nova University to obtain her master’s degree in counseling psychology. But it was a European tour at age 18 with her family that fueled her lifelong passion for travel and gourmet cuisine.

Since then Lynn traveled and tasted a world flavors with her husband Bill and children Stephen, Jennifer and Bree. While doing so, she’s studied cooking all over the planet—including the renowned Culinary Institute of America and the famed Ritz Escoffier Ecole de Gastronomie Française.  

Through the years friends and family had encouraged Lynn to write a cookbook, but it was dinner with pals Terry McKee and Gayle Guynup that sealed the fate of her labor of love, titled Delicious Adventures. It can be found here

I talked to the gourmand and author about her beauty routine, which includes a cheeky take on a the meaning of "signature scent." Read on!

Describe your morning makeup routine.

I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to assess what state my face is in.  Then I ask my husband if I should be natural that day or put some makeup on.  He says, "Put some makeup on." That is the routine!

What did your mother/mother-figure teach you about beauty?

My mother taught me that at 12 years old I was too young to shave my legs. So I locked myself in the bathroom and got as far shaving as one leg when my mother somehow appeared. She was horrified and did not let me shave my other leg. It took me a while before I got both legs shaved. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or your mother).

How do you nourish your beauty from the inside?

Have a positive outlook on life. Turn those lemons into lemonade—or lemon drop martinis. At least once a day, try to do something you truly enjoy. Hang around nice people, ignore the others. Smile more. 

Any treatment that you outsource?

Thankfully, my husband is a dermatologist. I outsource everything to him and so far he's doing a great job.  Every woman should be married to a dermatologist!

How about your nighttime skincare ritual?

I'm always so tired before I go to sleep that I promise myself I'll do my nighttime beauty ritual as soon as I wake up in the morning. My husband does have some private-label creams made for him that I occasionally indulge in. 

Do you have a signature scent, and what do you love about it?

I love the smell of brisket cooking in the oven. The wine, the onions and the garlic—there's nothing more seductive then that! It's what my husband fell in love with.

What is the biggest beauty blunder?

Never look into a magnifying mirror. You will be shocked at the sight of your enlarged pores and other unsavory sights, and never get over it. Give yourself a quick look in a skinny mirror and be done with it for the day. Tell yourself how beautiful you are. 

More women should…

More women should just cool it. The older I get, I think women (and men) should talk less and listen more. It's really refreshing to hear someone else's point of view. And you'll get more beautiful in the process.

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