Christie Brinkley: Embracing Beauty, Business and Beekeeping in the Hamptons

Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley
PRNewsfoto/SBLA Beauty

If anyone can afford to rest on her supermodel status, it’s Christie Brinkley.

But peek at her Instagram and you’ll quickly realize Brinkley is not hanging up her swimsuit—or any of her various ventures—anytime soon.

Whether brandishing a beauty wand to wipe away facial wrinkles or holding up a bottle of her exclusive line of organic prosecco, Bellissima, Brinkley is busy as a bee—even donning protective gear and netting as she shows her Insta fans from her backyard in Bridgehampton what beekeeping is all about.

She’s not afraid to show her sense of humor either, lip-synching on Instagram to an Aretha Franklin tune as she embraces life, seemingly on all four burners. The supermodel is also a super mom, friend, businesswoman and earth goddess, raising chickens and tending to her organic garden in the Hamptons, where she has spent most of her time this past year.

Her career, of course, is legendary—a model for over 30 years and 45 years in the beauty business, she has graced 500 magazine covers worldwide, and is one of the most famous Sports Illustrated swimsuit icons of all time—making a splash and a name for herself as the first model to appear on three consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues (1979, 1980, 1981). The CoverGirl contract she landed in 1976 marked a 25-year partnership, the longest-running cosmetics contract of any model in history.

Brinkley’s beauty brand, Brinkley Beauty, has grown tremendously over the years, and she has tested the waters and successfully navigated her career as an actress (Chicago on Broadway, Parks & Recreation, National Lampoon’s Vacation), a best-selling author (Timeless Beauty) and an entrepreneur.

At 67, she is living proof that age is a simply a number.

We caught up with Christie Brinkley via telephone from her home in the Hamptons. She was in good spirits and talked about coming out of COVID-19, her brands, how proud she is of her children (Alexa Ray Joel, Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Jack Brinkley-Cook) and her passion for life and living on the East End.

Let’s start with these beauty wands. Obviously, you’re gorgeous, so we can only imagine how many brands must approach you. What makes you choose a product to endorse or partner with?

It’s funny you say that because, yes, I’ve been in this business for 48 years and I’ve been pitched almost everything you can think of, and with the wands I actually called them, which was a first for me.

I had been in quarantine, and I thought my skin looked like it needed a little love. I asked some friends, “What are you using; what are you doing?” One said, “Oh, I’ve been using these wands, and they have miraculously transformed my skin from day one, they have redefined my jawline and smoothed out my wrinkles,” and I thought, “How much can one serum do?”

I said, “I have to try them.” They are three separate wands: An instant facial sculpting one, one for the neck and one for the jaw/chin.

Explain how the wands work.

The wands don’t vibrate or heat up, they simply deliver the products to you at their peak potency. The proprietary ingredients tell your body to create iresine in a target area—iresine is what your body creates in response to exercise and is what burns fat in your body when you exercise. The company (SBLA) found a way to put that in your jowls to redefine the jawline and tighten all of that up.

How long does it take to see results?

The results are instant. I was first and foremost impressed with the facial wand—from the very moment I rubbed it on my forehead, I felt like I was ironing out the wrinkles. What happens with the facial wand is it has plant-based ingredients that “ask” the forehead to kind of relax. Then you get more long-term ingredients that actually tell the body to create more collagen and elastin that gets into your skin on cellular level.

You are so active. It’s hard “keeping up with Christie.”

I must say I’m not that kind to my skin because everything I love doing is outdoors. I love being on the water and paddling and swimming and boating, and I love being in the garden, so I’m constantly out there. And yes, sometimes I wear a hat and sunblock, but it wears off and washes off, and I always end up tanned and exposing my skin to the elements.

The wands have really been amazing to my skin because, you know, when you are 67, you look in the mirror in raw light and see creases and think, “Where did those come from?” Luckily, my eyesight ain’t what it used to be [laughs]. That’s one of the kinder touches in aging—just when you need a blurry lens, they give it to you!

Where were you living this past year?

I was out here. I was very, very grateful to breathe in the air. My son Jack and I were quarantining in the Hamptons. And my daughters were in the city.

The Belissima prosecco line
The Belissima prosecco line

Guessing it was the year to drink a lot of prosecco!

Yes, it was, ha. This summer I have a new sugar-free line coming out—it is so great, you can’t even believe zero sugar in a sparking white wine.

It is, of course, made with organic grapes; it’s also vegan so we don’t filter it through animal parts like traditional wines. And the GMO packaging means the boxes are recycled cardboard with veggie dye.

Drinking sugar is the very worst way you can have sugar—it’s the biggest glycemic shock to your body. These wines are so delicious you wonder why you would even bother with wine with sugar in it.

How did you get involved in partnering with the Belissima prosecco line?

They asked me! Rich and Ro DeCicco came to me with these delicious wines. Ro had been following me on Instagram. She and her husband found a vineyard in Italy that never had chemicals on it, a history clean and pure, and they said, “We need someone who can speak to the organic message,” and Ro said “We’re following Christie Brinkley on Instagram, and all she talks about is her organic garden and why we should be going organic.” They said, “We know you are an artist and can design the bottle and help us from the get-go.” And here we are.

How is your Victory Garden coming along? [Brinkley started an organic garden years ago in her sloping backyard area; during quarantine she decided to terrace the land and work the soil producing organic fruits and vegetables for her family, friends and the local community.]

It’s great. I learned a lot last year about my soil; I dug up all my soil, put compost in it, churned it and enriched it with all organic ingredients. I’m so excited to start planting my little seedlings.

I hope I can continue to give loads of food to the food pantries. My chickens have been producing—bringing my eggs to the food pantries is a big hit. It’s really exciting to be able to help a lot of people. You would never guess the Hamptons have food insecurity and really need us to be good neighbors.

How are you feeling and where do you plan on spending your summer?

I’m feeling well, the kids are well—everybody is good. I’m hoping for a better season, it’s been a trying time. I plan on being here and seeing friends and having meals together again in our double vaxxed space and let the world start to normalize and get back to where we were—hopefully in a better place than where we were.