The Celebrity Skincare Advice People Magazine’s Beauty Director Lives By

Andrea Lavinthal

If you grew up with Andrea Lavinthal in her hometown of Livingston, New Jersey, you might recall her over-tweezed, bleached eyebrows, or her affinity for Sun In®. If you met her more recently, though, you’ll recognize her as the glamorous People® magazine’s Style and Beauty Director.

Despite her self-proclaimed beauty faux pas of the past, Lavinthal, 40, has sustained her passion for products and treatments over the course of her career (for 18 years, not including internships she held before graduating from Syracuse University in 2001). In fact, during her time in the beauty department at Cosmopolitan® magazine, she started the outlet’s first beauty blog and also helped launch Cosmo RadioTM on SiriusXM®. (These days, you can listen to her on The Taylor Strecker Show, live from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.)

Much like Cosmo’s bold attitude, Lavinthal is a confident force of meme-maker-meets-mom. On Instagram®, her relatable, sometimes self-deprecating captions offer a glance into her professional life as an editor, as well as her personal life with long-time boyfriend Justin, and their kids, Saxon, 3, and Vaughn, 9 months. Occasionally, she’ll post handwritten snail mail from her childhood: personal letters sent to her parents from sleepaway camp — the text typically begs for mom and dad to take her home (they don’t). In more recent life, for Halloween, a caption summarizes her costume, “Mom Who Wishes She Was 25 and Wearing a Slutty Costume at a Party Where She’s About to Go Home With a Dude Dressed as a Hot Dog.”

Speaking of her significant other, she prefers certain words to describe her eight-year relationship. “Saying ‘my partner’ sounds like we're in a law firm together,” says Lavinthal. “Sometimes I say ‘my husband’ and sometimes I just say ‘my Justin.’”

Lavinthal and “my Justin” originally met in her Union Square apartment building — more specifically, in the laundry room. “We lived in the same building,” says Lavinthal. “I gave a note to our doorman for him, and that's how it all started.” Luckily for him, Lavinthal made the first move — and, luckily still, he gets her beauty stash leftovers. (We’re jealous.)

In our interview, Lavinthal takes us through her skincare routine and discusses what kind of facials offend her, and the rock star she wanted to marry, as well as the reality of being a beauty editor and the people who’ve supported her dreams the most.