Interviews

Inside the Fabulous, Beauty-Centric, Hangover-Free World of Us Weekly’s Gwen Flamberg

Gwen Flamberg of Us Weekly applying makeup

I thank Us Weekly® Executive Beauty & Style Editor Gwen Flamberg, 49, for teaching me how to drink tequila. It was February of 2015, and we were headed to Arizona on a press trip to watch the Super Bowl® (a fragrance brand was sponsoring athletes). Part of our job was to interview a football player about his grooming routine, and the other was to enjoy a weekend of festivities — many of which included booze and late-night elbow-rubbing. (I distinctly remember being one banquet away from Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, back when they were still a couple.) 

In her New York accent, Flamberg guided me through how to survive the chichi party scene without getting hungover. “Just drink tequila on the rocks with a bunch of fresh limes squeezed in,” she advised me. She explained that forgoing extra sugar in alcohol — be it in wine or a sweet mixer — helps the body metabolize the hard stuff slower. Plus, since it’s more condensed, you’re more likely to drink less of it and sip it slowly. So, I took her advice and nursed two tequilas over a long evening. Lo and behold, I woke up the next day not hungover and able to write the article I was on assignment to produce. 

Flamberg soon became my Yoda. As a frequent world traveler (just before I interviewed her, she returned from a trip to Marrakech, Morocco), I desired to know her ways of exclusively packing in carry-on suitcases. “I swear, I could lead a Ted TalkTM on how to pack light. I even take a carry-on on 10-day vacations,” she says. “It’s just so much more efficient. I plan my outfits and take a few alternates, plus various tees that can be layered. I also pare down on shoes and bring pairs that can go with multiple outfits. It gives me great joy when I pack to leave a holiday and realize that I’ve worn everything I brought.” She also has a savvy tip for a cheap, effective way to get all of your toiletries through security — but more on that below.

While we sat side-by-side in business class and headed home, I inquired how she keeps her forehead looking so smooth. “Injectable wrinkle reducers,” she whispered in my ear. She told me to talk to my provider once I saw moderate lines etched into my face. (Back then, I had just turned 30 and had not yet dabbled in injectables; but, I mentally noted it away in my arsenal of potential treatments to try when the time came to temporarily improve the appearance of my forehead wrinkles.)

Editor's Note

Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. They should not be used more frequently than every three months. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. 

I am not the only one who leans on Flamberg for her wisdom. She has been doling out advice in the beauty and style editorial industry for almost 20 years. Although, technically, her career started at age 14 when she was a hair model for a salon in her hometown of Forest Hills, New York. (Flamberg is known for her mermaid-length red hair.) After working at prestigious places, such as Fitness® Magazine and Ulta®, she landed her current role as the VP of Beauty and Style for American Media Inc.’s® celebrity group. This means she oversees content for Us Weekly (where she is also the Executive Beauty & Style Editor), OK!® Magazine, and Star Magazine®. She embraces a multimedia content approach, putting her seasoned touch on glossy printed pages and dot coms, as well as hosting a podcast for Us Weekly called “Get Tressed With UsTM”. 

When Flamberg isn’t jet-setting to luxe destinations as far as Shanghai to as close as the Hamptons, she can be seen out and about in NYC with her fabulous mother, Audrey; taking selfies of her lean physique in a leotard and legwarmers at her favorite workout, Ballet Beautiful®; or puckering up in the latest flaming red lipstick for her Instagram® followers — all the while, sticking to her personal goal of just being kind to others (she genuinely is). 

Here, Flamberg shares everything she is using in her makeup bag right now, which medical aesthetics and beauty treatments she’s tried, and more genius travel hacks (like how to avoid washing your hair on a weekend trip).

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