Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Glossier – Photos by Christina Pearson for The Style Line
Eva Alt is a true testament to the idea
that anything is possible when you put your best foot forward. The former ballerina now attributes beauty as the culprit and her sole focus in terms of her creative endeavors. Even so, that doesn’t mean her days as a dancer don’t still come in handy when on the job at celebrated beauty and media hub Into The Gloss and it’s product line, Glossier. “Ballet is a lot of self-discipline.” Eva shared when asked about the influence beauty and ballet have on her profession. “You have to be your own leader a lot of the time, so I try to carry that strength with me.” As a valued member of one of the industry’s coolest and thriving companies, we learned that while leadership can’t be bottled up in a Glossier Phase 1 Kit it still remains an an essential aspect of Eva’s work; especially as she continues to engage with ITG’s growing global community. “It’s about real girls; making the products, using the products, creating stories about the products and being genuinely OK wherever you are in life.” She said. And in matters of leading the conversation surrounding real beauty she added: “To me, real or natural beauty doesn’t necessarily mean not wearing makeup… Doing whatever makes you feel good about you and enhancing your most natural beautiful self is what it’s about.” We also had the opportunity to chat with Eva on the synergy between ballet and beauty and what steps one should take when making a creative career switch. So go beyond the gloss and read on to learn more about Eva’s story and have a glimpse into her beauty-adorned workspace.
“It’s about real girls; making the products, using the products, creating stories about the products and being genuinely OK wherever you are in life.”
Before moving to New York and working in the beauty industry, my life was ballet.
Being on that professional track didn’t come with a lot of free time—so I love having the freedom to explore. I take yoga to get my body moving, I love vintage shopping, and am even beginning a weekend acting class. Social media isn’t just my career, it’s also my favorite hobby. I’m super active on Instagram and Pinterest especially—it’s like curating my own little world of things that I love.
Initially, leaving dance left me with a bit of an identity crisis, there was a lot of “Who am I?” and “What do I do?” going on in my head during that time. Finding my way to Glossier/ITG, where I have the ability to bring my own ideas to the table and to be a part of something so special is the greatest. And what do I value most in life? Freedom, people who are authentic and creative, humor, and most of all, my loving family.
What role has discovery played in how you approach your personal beauty style and what are your beauty resolutions this year?
When I was dancing, I always enjoyed the aspect of performance makeup—most dancers do. It’s kind of similar to drag makeup, very drawn out and dramatic. Dancers like to learn from each other and eventually you find a routine that fits you. It’s all a part of getting into character. Outside of dance I never played with beauty too much in my day to day life, but I always was interested in it. I’ve been reading Into The Gloss since I was 16 years old—I used to write down what products were used on the Models in Makeup with Constance Jablonski, Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson, Arizona Muse, and go to Sephora to try the products on—just for fun.
I’ve been playing around with hot rollers and take a heavy hand with highlighter these days. Looking super glowy, dewy, and fresh is such a great look; I just use the Glossier Phase 1 Set to get there, mix some highlighter with Balm Dotcom on my cheekbones and cupids bow, fluff up my very untamed eyebrows, and do a lip stain.
Talk to us about leadership: From ballet to beauty, how has your work in these industries inspired how you lead?
Those skills you have from being in the ballet world really prepare you for life and a lot of jobs outside dance. I was 15 when I moved away from home to start training at Boston Ballet, so I grew up very quickly. Ballet is a lot of self-discipline. You have to be your own leader a lot of the time, so I try to carry that strength with me. I feel grateful that I work with some incredible leaders at ITG/Glossier, and I can learn from their example.
Through your work and expertise in the beauty industry, how do you think we can contribute to the dialogue around “real” beauty? What is real or natural beauty to you and what advice would you have for those looking to embrace their personal beauty?
I think Glossier is really contributing to the dialogue around real beauty… It’s about real girls; making the products, using the products, creating stories about the products and being genuinely OK wherever you are in life. To me, real or natural beauty doesn’t necessarily mean not wearing makeup, if you love makeup and like to wear a lot of it, that’s as real as it gets. Doing whatever makes you feel good about you and enhancing your most natural beautiful self is what it’s about.
I used to stare at myself in the mirror for 6 hours a day when I was a dancer, that’s a lot of emotional wear and tear—for anyone! So how nice it is to talk about acceptance, and individual strength, power and beauty. I feel like my self-confidence is coming back! You have to like and respect yourself first and foremost.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
“What inspires you?” Is a really good one. I think you can get to know someone by just talking about what’s inspiring them at any given moment.
What advice do you have for those looking to enter into creative careers?
I think social media is the most current avenue into the creative world. Making a Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, [and so on] are all really great ways to put your personal vision and voice out there in the world. It’s also a way to connect yourself with people that you admire. Emily Weiss, Amy Astley, and Eva Chen were always huge inspirations to me, and I was able to effectively connect with the latter two via Instagram and now I work for Emily. It’s a powerful thing.
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “style line”?
New York can feel like sensory overload sometimes, between all of the stores, ads, and of course the beautiful people walking down the street. I get inspired by social media. People that I follow on Instagram that are doing cool things inspire me. Right now I’m loving @ameliepichard, @moonjuice, @raineyqualley, @philosophiemama, @eggcanvas, and @stevie_dance. I’m inspired by the women I work with everyday and everyone’s unique style inspires my own.