In Elite Daily’s One Nightstand, your favorite celebs and influencers spill allllllll the details about their Holy Grail beauty products — the select few they always have within arm’s reach on their nightstand. In this installment, model and YouTuber Ellie Thumann reveals her top three picks, including the $25 hair color she’s grown to love.
Ellie Thumann’s grown up on YouTube, literally. Thumann’s earliest video, posted in March 2014, shows a petite, 12-year-old Ellie spouting off 10 facts about her. Her favorite color was purple. She had a fish named Ginger. She loved Bath & Body Works’ Sweet Pea fragrance and EOS lip balm and Stitch. She ends the video with a twirl to show off her #OOTD: a striped sweater and jorts. Now 19, Thumann’s latest videos show a much different version of her. She’s taller, for one. Sadly, Ginger’s no longer with us. And her beauty routine, after some time, has evolved past Sweet Pea and egg-shaped lip balms.
Even though she began modeling when she was a child, it wasn’t until she was around 16 or 17 that she started to take her skin care routine or hair care routine seriously. “I feel like, when I was younger, I didn't really understand what it [meant] to actually properly focus on skincare and find products that are good for both my makeup routine and my hair routine,” she tells me over the phone recently. Fortunately, Thumann had her older sister Erin to show her the ropes, particularly when it came to taking care of her hair; Thumann returned the favor with her sage makeup advice. “[Erin] has naturally super wavy hair, so she taught me things that would help my kind of hair.”
In the more than 200 videos that followed Thumann’s first, subscribers have seen her through it all — braces, the trials and tribulations of online classes. They’ve watched as she spent a week in an abandoned school, moved into a dorm, and got her first tattoo. But for someone so willing to try new things for the sake of a good YouTube video, Thumann has, surprisingly, never went wild with coloring her hair, save for some blonde highlights. “I never experimented with a [hair] color for fear of having that ‘Oh my gosh, what did I do?’ moment,” she says.
Naturally, when Hally Hair, a hair color brand, approached Thumann this year about a potential collab, she was nervous. “I always grew up wanting to [dye my hair]; I always saw my friends doing that,” she says. “I thought it was so cool. But the idea of something like that being permanent and damaging to my hair really scared me.” Soon enough, though, she took the plunge with the brand’s Color Cloud in the new, limited-edition, demi-permanent shade Blue Crush ($25, Hally Hair), which contains no ammonia and boasts an easy-to-apply foam formula. Now, this instant-fun-hair in a bottle has made it onto the list of Thumann’s top three beauty products of all time — ones she’d keep on her nightstand so they’re never far from reach. Below, she shares why three products, in particular, are ones she can’t live without.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Elite Daily: You are not the first person to tell me this! Why Aquaphor?
Ellie Thumann: There are so many random and overly expensive lip balms out there that you would think would work, and you try them out and they just don't. But I’ve just found that the cheap drugstore one, like an Aquaphor... I just absolutely love.
ED: Who first introduced you to Aquaphor?
ET: Believe it or not, it was my dad, which sounds so weird. But he would use it for the most random things around the house. And I think there were just random times where I asked him, “Oh, do you have lip balm?” I remember he would have it in his work car, and he would let me use it. I was like, "Huh, this is a good lip balm." And so, honestly, I think, after trying different ones, I would just always go back to that. I remember I would steal his at times and he would get mad, and my sister would [steal his], too. We both just loved it. Finally, I started getting my own because, as I got older, I was like, “Nothing really beats this.”
ED: We love a brow gel. How do you use this one in your routine?
ET: If I'm doing a full face of makeup, I definitely have a Sephora Collection brow pencil that I'll use first — I've used that one for years — [before the gel]. But I also don't always have these perfect brows. So on a day when I'm not doing a lot of makeup or if I'm traveling or super busy or just in the car — especially during the summer when I barely wear makeup in Arizona because it's so hot and you're going to sweat it all off — I think it's just easy to swipe [the gel] through ... It definitely helps make my brows look bigger, fuller, and just really structured.
ED: And why do you like this particular brow gel over similar ones?
ET: I just think it applies really well. It's a great price, and I'm very picky with how it applies because I've tried so many different ones since brows are my special little thing that I focus in on. I just love how it applies a little bit. It's not sticky. It doesn't make [my brows] feel kind of gross when you're taking off your makeup. And [it has] a very strong hold while also not hurting or removing some of the hairs. I've tried some [brow gels] where it's almost too much and then it removes some hair.
Hally Color Cloud in Blue Crush ($25, Hally Hair)
ED: Obviously, you had so much fun using this one. How does your hair feel after using it?
ET: Ellie: My hair honestly felt literally so healthy, which was really surprising to me, because you think, when you're adding any sort of color to your hair ... it's going to add a layer of damage to it or get kind of dry. I really didn't notice that at all with Hally; I just felt like, right away, it just felt extremely healthy. It felt like something that my hair really liked having on it.
ED: Has using this hair color inspired you to be a little more daring with your hair, maybe to try another color or try different ways of coloring your hair?
ET: Oh, 100%. I think knowing it's something that isn't permanent almost makes it dangerous, because now, I just want to try all sorts of different things, knowing that it's not going to damage [my hair] and it's not stuck in there forever. I think the next one I’d want to try after the blue would maybe be a pretty pink color. I’d definitely stick to the dip-dye trend, because that's what I did with Hally, where you just color the ends of your hair. It's, like, a really cool, faded balayage ombre. I think that's just such a cool look on my hair, and it's definitely something I would do again.