It’s been a busy year for Elena Satine. She had a baby boy and starred in Cowboy Bebop which is currently in Netflix’s top 10 TV shows. The Georgian-American actress convinced her parents to move to the States at the age of 11 to pursue her passion. Now she’s living her dream. Satine sat down with us to dish on her favorite Russian skin-care hacks, helpful tips for new mothers and her best makeup looks.
Do you have any unique beauty tips you can share?
“I have these hacks that my mom has taught me through the years, these Russian old wives tales for skin care. There are two I really love. I’ll make ice cubes out of chamomile, just like loose dry chamomile. Then I keep that in my freezer. So if I wake up puffy, I just rub the ice all over my face. Not only does it de-puff you, but it’s amazing how much it just brightens the appearance of the skin. So that is a hack that I recommend. I know there are a lot of these sorts of tools that are very expensive that you freeze and you roll on your face, but honestly, this is better than anything that I have tried, and it’s free.
The other one is the sour cream and honey mask. You pretty much just mix sour cream and a little bit of honey. I like to use manuka honey because it has great health benefits. I’ll put that on my skin, and I’ll walk around with it for like 20 minutes until it starts to get a little crusty. My husband hates it when I do this because it’ll get in my hairline, so I’ll smell like sour cream for the rest of the day until I wash my hair, but it does wonders for the skin. It makes my skin feel like velvet. I find that it really balances the skin tone and just makes it look really even and bright and shiny and beautiful.”
Tell us about your daily beauty routine.
“When I wake up in the morning, I have some apple cider vinegar and warm water. That was something that my mom taught me. She swears it’s great for the skin and great for the body. So I try to start my morning with that if I remember to, a lot of the days it’s hard, and you’re just being pulled to coffee right away. But when I’m being good, especially if I’m preparing for a job or I’m on a job, I like to start my day that way. I will rinse my face. I don’t wash my face with face wash in the morning. I just rinse my face and put on light day cream. Right now, I’m really enjoying a New Zealand-based line called Emma Lewisham that I discovered while I was filming over there last year, and she has a great line of clean products that I’m really loving at the moment. So I’ll put on her day cream and SPF if I’m leaving my house.
As far as makeup goes, I’m not somebody that wears makeup at all when I’m not working. If I’m going out to a lunch or an audition or something like that, the only thing I’ll really put on is just a little bit of very lightweight kind of cover-up. A makeup artist I’m working with at the moment who I really love, Monika Blunder, has this product called Blunder Cover that’s a very lightweight foundation. So I just brush that on in the spots that need it not all over my face, but just in certain spots. I’m very lazy when it comes to makeup. So I’ll do like a [Clinique] Lip Chubby, and I’ll put it on my lips, and then I’ll just dab my finger on my lips and spread it across my cheeks. That’s pretty much all I do if I’m leaving the house.”
And your nighttime routine?
“As far as nighttime goes, that’s when I really like to treat my skin. I’ll do a nice cleanser. I’m really loving the La Mer scrub. I’ll do that like every other night. Once I’m done with that, I put a little bit of Vintner’s Daughter Serum on, and then I do The Rich Cream by Augustinus Bader because I have very dry skin. So at night is when I really like to hydrate.”
What do you do to manage your mental health and personal wellbeing?
“I just love going on walks so much, and now that I have a baby, I do it every single day. So I’ll go on a really nice, long walk. I won’t bring my phone, I’ll completely clear my mind, and I’ll just listen to nature and feel the air on my skin, and honestly, it makes all the difference in the world.”
Was there anything you found super beneficial during your pregnancy?
“Well, I got a really bad case of pregnancy lips. I know that’s a thing. And I used to think it was funny, but oh boy, if it happens to you, it’s not funny because it happened to me during filming. I was seven months pregnant when we wrapped [Cowboy Bebop]. So towards the end of the show, my lips just looked like they got stung by bees. And for me, it was actually really painful because they cracked a lot, and when they would attempt to cover it with makeup, it would make it even worse. I found that my little chamomile ice cube actually helped my lips a ton. So I used that and Papaw Ointment, which is just so good.
Honestly, I found that being healthy and as active as I could be was really helpful throughout my pregnancy because I was still filming. I was lucky enough to have a trainer that was still working with me, and we transitioned from doing the heavier workouts into yoga and stretching and things like that, which really kept me from getting aches and pains and being very uncomfortable throughout my pregnancy. I never got to the point where I was like, ‘I need to give birth right now, or I can’t get up anymore.’ It was never like that. For me, I actually felt very much in my body up until I delivered my son. So I think just being active in a very safe way was very, very helpful for me.
Going on long walks is really helpful. I would get lymphatic massages a lot as well, which helped a ton with just keeping the swelling at bay. So that was wonderful. But again, these were things that I was fortunate enough to do because I was still on the job, and I had access to all of those things.”
Do you have any advice for new mothers?
“The one thing that I would say to any mom after giving birth is that if you are in the position to do so, I would highly recommend taking the first 30 days as slow as possible. I had a wonderful doula I worked with named Carmen Thomas-Paris who said, ‘Stay in bed, stay in bed with your baby.’ That bonding experience, that feeling, there’s nothing like it, and I felt like it really helped me heal much quicker and bond with my son and if you are in the position to do so after having a baby, just take it slow, take it slow, and enjoy those first 30 days because you know, it’s a really magical time.”
Do you have a favorite makeup look from a character you’ve played or a red carpet you’ve been on?
“When I did a show called Magic City like nine years ago, we had a wonderful makeup artist on that show named Brad Wilder, and he’s just a visionary. Honestly, every single look that he created for that character is among my favorites. It was a 1950s period piece. My look very much channeled Marilyn Monroe very soft but also sexy and natural all at the same time. So I really pretty much love every look.”
Tell us about the recent Netflix show you starred in, Cowboy Bebop.
“It’s so hard to explain. It is a noir space Western infused with jazz. So it is a very unique tone. It is a very unique setting, it’s a lot of fun and straddles a lot of different genres and worlds. I play a character named Julia, who starts out as this caged bird character who’s in a very abusive relationship, who then figures out a way to sort of use her savvy and intelligence to navigate out of that situation and into a position of power. So it had a really wonderful arc. That was a lot of fun to explore. We left off at a pretty intense cliffhanger. So I do hope we get to go back and keep telling that story.”
What do you have coming up that you’re excited for?
“At the moment, I’m so excited to be home with my family and winding down. The last two years have been such a roller coaster. I fully realize that I am so blessed and so fortunate to have been in the position that I have been in the last couple of years because the world pretty much came to a screeching halt. So to have been employed to have been able to create in New Zealand and to live this very full life, I’m just very grateful, and I’m really, really happy to be home with my family and really doing nothing at all right now other than just staring at my little boy and feeling grateful. So I’m looking forward to that and whatever next year brings.”
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