If you look through Samantha Yanks’ Instagram feed, you’ll see decadent photos of beautiful food, drool-worthy fashion and jewelry, snaps of beautiful landscapes and precious moments shared with her adorable daughter, Sadie, 7. It’s but a glimpse into Yanks’ rarified world as Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons Magazine and Editor-at-Large of it’s equally luxe sister publication, Gotham Magazine.
As a born and bred New Yorker who worked her way through Vogue and O, The Oprah Magazine, setting a style standard is second nature for Yanks. With roots in fashion—she’s also the Fashion Director for the publishing company behind Hamptons and Gotham—and as founder of SPYLUXE, her very own, very chic lifestyle website, Yanks artfully curates the best of fashion, culture and beauty, not only in the pages of her magazines, but in real life. It’s a job requirement for Yanks to attend countless parties, openings and events each week—while meeting her deadlines and raising her daughter. She always looks perfectly put together in New York City, and glamorously undone at the beach—and happy. She radiates warmth and genuine good cheer.
I couldn’t wait to talk to her.
As expected, Yanks introduced me to a few of her favorite products I can’t wait to try, and she also made me cry a little when she talked about beauty and how she finds it in motherhood, inside and out.
Anastasia Brow Fix. I CANNOT live without it. It’s a wax stick that allows me to keep a weighty but defined brow.
Air dry in the summer, I love an ocean induced curl in the Hamptons. Blow dry in the city for sure. My crazy mane doesn’t work in the office.
Christy Turlington and Carolyn Murphy share the top spot for me.
I just don’t feel like myself with a bold lip as much as I love it on everyone else. I’m all about the eyes. Short answer, bold eye, neutral lip.
Top knot or bun and I feel done in the summer. But pretty safe to say I wear it down and blown out for city life.
Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté hair oil. It’s from Paris and all natural. (My friend Bianka Lefferts, who owns 27 Hampton Salon, introduced me to her products and they are amazing.)
Samantha and Sadie at a benefit for the CMEE:
Tom Ford lipstick, my gold AERIN Kabuki brush, Dior Addict lipglosses, Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer, Benefit BADgal mascara and Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer. Tom Ford brushes and lipstick. They are the premier and their price is justified. The Chanel Sublimage line is their most luxe and so fabulous.
Chantecaille, Mario Badescu, By Terry, själ , Sisely, Dior, Clé de Peau Beauté and Perricone MD.
Napoleon Perdis Matte Bronzer, Aerin Lipstick in Leibling or Whisper, Dior Addict Gloss in Charm, Benefit BADGal mascara, Bobbi Brown’s Rich Brown Eye Shadow. Also the Nano Gold products from Chantecaille are brilliant.
NYC: Ten Over Ten for nails, Warren Tricomi and Paul Labreque for hair, HibbaNYC for brows, Susan Ciminelli, Christine Chin, and Tracie Martyn for facials. The La Prarie Spa and Aire Ancient Baths for massages and other indulgences. I also do a lot of reflexology.
Hamptons: I live at 27 Hampton Salon for hair and makeup. I have a masseuse come to my house from Refresh Body. Vensette also does at home makeup out at the beach now which is brilliant.
I keep a pretty solid at home skin regimen. I take off my makeup the moment I get home with Chantecaille Rose Eye Make Up remover and Mario Badescu cucumber cleansing lotion. I put on Rodin face oil, Mario Badescu seaweed night cream, La Mer Eye Balm Intense and By Terry Lip Balm. I love the Perricone MD Chloro Plasma masks which I try to do at least twice a week and the Serge Lutens makeup remover pads are my go-to for travel.
My graduation from high school, for sure. I listened to someone else and made a beauty move I never should have, thinking it was a moment to be bold. Like your wedding day, you should do a trial and see yourself in photos first. At that time I had super long hair and never wore makeup. So for my most important day what did I do? A slicked back my hair in a bun and wore super dark lipstick. My mom was horrified. Honestly, so was I.
I’ve learned to take care of my hair myself. I blow it dry with the only hair dryer I know how to use, the Conair Ion Shine hair dryer, and then hit it with a flat iron. My makeup I can also do relatively easily. When I first started doing a lot of television segments I had to learn how to be camera-ready on the fly. Taking care of your skin needs to be put the hands of professionals though!
My lifestyle has always led my beauty choices, not the other way around. If I have time to get my makeup and hair done, great. But I would never take time away from my husband or daughter to fit that in. I am more than happy to do my own hair and makeup and that’s how I have become such a product expert. I know what works for myself and in photos because I try it, use it and see the results. I have taken oodles of bad photos but I know what I am wearing in the good ones. At the end of the day clean and natural is more beautiful to me. Sometimes it takes a lot of products to achieve that.
I am on the board of Literarcy Partners and am on the benefit committees for Super Saturday benefiting Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Love Heals benefiting The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS and active with Step Up Women’s Network and the UJA Federation of New York.
I’ve been an on-air expert on numerous television segments discussing fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I’ve appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” and “Nightly News”, Bloomberg TV, and I have a regular segment on NBC’s “Weekend Today” show.
Sadie loves a good shoe and reminds me so much of myself at her age. She raids my closet and marches around in sky high Christian Louboutins. She’s not into my makeup, thank goodness, but she can’t live without the EOS lip balms.
Sadie looked at the two of us in the mirror the other day and she said “Wow, I look just like you.” It was quite adorable. I love being au natural with her. Tanned skin, no makeup, beachy hair and then we look like twins. When I am in full maquillage both my husband and daughter think I look odd—which in the end is quite flattering.
My mom does not buy a lot, but she buys well. La Mer for her skin and only Chanel for her makeup. She doesn’t stray and it’s done well for her. She looks amazing. When one of her colors gets discontinued … that’s another story.
Beauty comes from within. It really does. You have to love yourself and that, I learned from my mom. There’s a great difference between being pompous and being self aware. I love myself, my friends and my family and I believe that the confidence of knowing you are surrounded by good people makes you prettier than any product ever could.
Paddle boarding, some white wine and a stunning sunset. My friend Gina Bradley has a company called Paddle Diva in the Hamptons and she gave me the confidence to get up on a board out on the water by myself. I am so used to being surrounded by people at events, work and in life. I released so much with her just being alone…very cathartic indeed. The truth is, though, I take that time. You have to. We are built as people, not as machines, so we have to take care of ourselves.
When you work as much as I do it is very easy to begin to rely on other people. My style of parenting is hard to define but I know when I need to be there and when I can rely on support. Life is short and somewhat unforgiving so when my daughter needs me there isn’t anything that is more important than that.