This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Andrea Lavinthal, a mom of two who is the Style & Beauty Director at PEOPLE. Like many families, Andrea and her husband, Justin Gregory and their kids Saxon, 4.5 and Vaughn, 2.5, moved to the suburbs (in her case, Greenwich, CT) from the city (NYC) at the beginning of the pandemic. “Though I grew up in New Jersey (shoutout to Livingston!), I never thought I’d actually move out of the city, let alone to a town where I only knew one person (hi, Liz Hanigan!), but I also never thought I’d have something called maskne, so here we are,” explains Andrea. We chatted with Andrea about her new suburban life, her multifaceted role at PEOPLE (including her new podcast, where she interviews guests like 90210’s Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling!), her Fall mom uniform and more.
Can you tell us about your career and your job at PEOPLE?
I’m the Style and Beauty Director at PEOPLE. An enormous amount of effort goes into what you read in the magazine and on the site, and it’s on my team and I to package all of it. I conduct interviews, write and edit stories and test and select beauty products and fashion merchandise to feature. I also do TV segments for shows like Access and Today and co-host a podcast for the brand called PEOPLE in the ’90s.
Have you always worked in magazines/digital?
I wanted to be a magazine writer since I was a kid (yes, I know how weird that sounds). I went to the journalism school at Syracuse where I was able to major in magazines. I started working in the beauty department at Cosmopolitan a few months after graduating and have remained in the industry ever since.
How has the industry changed since you first started out?
It was all about print when I first started out. Now, you have to be where your audience is and that’s everywhere from social media and audio to streaming platforms.
What is your podcast all about?
It’s called PEOPLE in the ’90s and I host it with our Deputy West Coast editor, Jason Scheeler. We take the listeners back to the best decade ever with celebrity interviews, deep dives into cultural touchstones and just totally fun nostalgia. My favorite guests were Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. I couldn’t believe I was just chatting it up with Kelly Taylor and Donna Martin.
Amazing! Who is your dream interview and/or podcast guest?
Axl Rose in the ’90s.
What is your career highlight?
I’ve interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Emmys, SAG Awards, Oscars and Met Gala and it’s always a total thrill.
If you didn’t go into magazines, what other career path would you have taken?
I would’ve been a producer for Dateline. I’m obsessed with Keith Morrison.
What’s one thing that has surprised you about Greenwich, CT since you moved there?
The size. It’s so big, which I love since it means there’s always somewhere new to go and someone new to meet.
What do you miss about the city?
Walking and taking the subway everywhere.
How do you handle busy days/weeks as a working mom? Any strategies or mantras that help you get through?
You can’t be a full-time working mom without dependable childcare. That, and a group text with other moms. My Greenwich mom friends are so smart and resourceful, not to mention absolutely hilarious. They’re the reason I love living here so much.
What is one thing you haven’t done professionally that you still want to do?
Host my own podcast where I can talk about everything from Dateline (I wasn’t kidding when I said I was obsessed) to influencers I love to hate follow.
What is your mom uniform for Fall?
My favorite Levi’s 501 jeans with a bodysuit (blame the ’90s podcast) and a new pair of Rag & Bone boots.
Beauty item you can’t live without?
Eyelash curler. Even if I have a 6 am flight, I’m curling my lashes before I leave the house. It’s like hitting the “on” button for me.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love to connect with people via Instagram so slide into my DMs and say hi!
We love to support local businesses. What are your favorite places in the Greenwich, CT area:
Go to dinner with your kids: Little Pub. The food is always delicious and the staff is so nice.
Go for girls night: Usually someone’s house, but if we go out it’s to the bar at East End.
Have a date night: Anywhere that has pizza and/or killer margaritas. Any suggestions?
Have fun as a family: Tods Point. I’m ride or die for the Jersey Shore, but the Greenwich beach is pretty great.
Get your hair done: Sara Clemente at Warren Tricomi
Get your nails done: Coco Nails in Riverside
Get a facial: Autumn Henry (she does house calls and your face will glow for days after)
Shop for yourself: Back 40 Mercantile
Shop for your kids: Smart Kids Toys