In 2014, the concept of branding yourself is no longer something reserved for megastars, adults, or even humans — just ask Kid President, Choupette Lagerfeld, or Grumpy Cat. But long before pulling yourself up by your Instagram feed became standard practice, Elle “The Body” Macpherson parlayed her supermodel status and marketing savvy into a big business. Her impressive résumé includes a lingerie line, a skincare collection, and now WelleCo, a health company she founded with beauty entrepreneur Andrea Bux. The brand’s debut product, The Super Elixir, was created by London-based nutrition expert Dr. Simone Laubscher, and is a fine-tuned version of the powder supplement she has concocted for Macpherson for years. Not one to keep the good stuff to herself, the model-turned-mogul decided to offer the mix of vitamins, Chinese herbs, enzymes, super-greens, and pre- and probiotics — which can be blended with water, juice, or sprinkled over salad — to anyone who has a credit card and Internet access. (And just in time for the rigors of fashion month the company launched the Travel Pack, which contains a seven-day supply of the Super Elixir to subsidize a diet consisting mainly of espresso and champagne.) Although the supe speaks passionately about how this version of the elixir has improved her health over the past year, the recent bikini photo she posted on Twitter says it all — at 50, she’s still got it. “It was very important to me to introduce this wellness business on [March 29, 2014] my 50th birthday because it really represents this phase of my life. It’s about wellness. Feeling good, being nourished, and being healthy is the new beauty to me. It’s what I value as I’ve gotten older, and I wanted to share this with other women,” she says. Here’s what else Macpherson had to say about eating right, staying fit, and getting better with age.
What’s your go-to way to consume this magical Super Elixir?
I’ve been using it for years, but I’ve had this new formula created by my doctor for a year. I’ve seen the benefits more quickly, and that has inspired me to be very disciplined about taking it. If I forget in the morning, I will drive back home to go get it because it affects how I function throughout the day. So how do I use it? I have my espresso, then an hour and a half later, I have my super-greens. I put 2 teaspoons of it in ice-cold coconut water. If I want something more substantial, I’ll mix it with almond milk and fruit.
What else do you eat for energy and to stay healthy?
Quinoa, beets, barley, fish, avocados, spinach, kale, almonds, coconut milk, and I drink 3 liters of water a day.
Please tell me you indulge once in a while.
I have dark chocolate twice a day, usually after lunch and after dinner. There’s an island coconut water you can get in the Bahamas that’s probably full of sugar — it’s so good. I love peanut butter and I love cheese. I call cheese an indulgence because I’m not great on dairy. If I’m going to have a decadent meal, I like pad Thai or some sort of curry.
People are often afraid of the physical changes that happen as we age, but for you is there anything that has gotten better with age?
Everything! My spirit, my wisdom, my ability to handle situations that used to baffle me. I actually think I look better because less is more. I do less and focus on grooming — great hands, great nails, good hair color, and a good haircut. So my core grooming routine is very polished, and it doesn’t depend on makeup or fashion. The core foundation is strong. And I feel more confident in the way I dress. I stick with simple uniforms. I don’t want to try on 10 outfits to decide who I want to be today. I stick with Isabel Marant T-shirts and the jeans I love. I streamline everything. That simplicity in my life gives me more time for the things that are important.
There’s so much pressure for women over 40 to look young and fit — how do you handle the scrutiny?
I don’t feel scrutinized. I do think that if I’m in a bad mood people notice that way more than if I have crow’s-feet around my eyes. I feel like my attitude and character are more important to the way people perceive me than my skin texture or my gray hair — I don’t have any grays, by the way. [ laughs]
What’s your favorite way to stay in shape?
Sports. I don’t really like to go to the gym. I like to hike, road bike, snow ski, water ski, and I’m swimming a lot more at the moment. I’ll do a different sport every day if I can. I mix it up, but no matter what, I do 45 minutes of something a day.
How do you keep that up when you’re traveling?
I tend to travel to places that I know, so if I go to L.A. and I’m staying in Venice Beach, there are two places I go to do hot yoga or circuit training. If I’m going to Aspen, I’ll be hiking and biking. If I’m in London, I might be running around the Serpentine [River]. And there’s a place there that I love called Grace Belgravia. It’s an all-women’s club and it has a holistic approach. There’s a doctor, alternative therapy, a gym, and a restaurant. If I’m on the road traveling to somewhere I don’t know, I’ll go for a 30- to 40-minute run. Running is one of the best ways to get to know a city. And I always try to find a pool wherever I am.
When you want to relax, what do you do?
Laughter is one of the best relaxants. I hang out with funny people, watch funny movies, or make fun of myself. I like to have a massage, too. My outdoor activities are also relaxing to me. When I’m swimming, my breathing gets regulated, so it’s like meditation.
Describe your perfect night out.
It depends. I’m very family-oriented. I spend time with my husband, children, stepchildren, and all my friends have children. I like to be with people I love; it doesn’t matter if it’s out or in. My idea of fun is to call up somebody and go heli-skiing. I like spontaneous adventure.
What do you do to keep your hair gorgeous and healthy?
One of the things Josh Wood, my colorist in London, has said to me over the years is “grow out the natural color because you don’t have any grays and so many women at 50 do. We’ll keep the ends sun-kissed because that’s your lifestyle.” People look great when hair [flatters] their individual skin color. Super-greens have helped with my hair a lot because it’s nourished.
What are your must-have makeup products?
I use a Laura Mercier concealer. I put it around my eyes and nose and I use a translucent powder to even it out. I use Australian paw paw ointment on my lips. Burberry makes a good cheek shine that I use on my cheekbones — there’s no color. If I’m going out at night, I’ll do dark eyes.
You’ve done it all — is there anything else careerwise you want to accomplish?
I would love to see this business expand and grow and have people feel and look better for it. That’s a big ambition for me right now and it feels very true.
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