You know when a girl passes you on the street in Bushwick and you immediately think DOPE then do a major head turn? That’s Megan O’Neill; imagine the extent to which she blew my mind when I saw her in Amherst, Massachusetts. I couldn’t believe we had never met in New York. In a sea of popped collar polos and Patagonia fleeces, I had to know the girl in the leopard swing coat with perfectly undone hair. Recently made Beauty & Fitness editor at ELLE magazine and a veteran of Lucky, I can’t think of a better representative of the new wave of editors heralded by Eva Chen: Megan is incredibly stylish, funny and witty — oh, and an enviously tall stunner too! Her potty mouth humor got me through many an Amherst night and it’s always a pleasure bumping into her backstage during New York Fashion Week. Extremely articulate, Megan has a skill of painting pictures with her words that often has me trying products I never knew I needed and eagerly awaiting her next article.
Whatever project I’m working on, Megan is always on my short list of awesome people to reach out to, so when I peeped the beautiful sights on her recent Instagram posts, I emailed her immediately to find out more! While going over her answers, once again, Megan O’Neill had me in awe. Megan’s vivid descriptions make you feel like you live in Bushwick and join her on beauty missions around then world.
’N: Where are you from? / Where did you grow up?
Megan: I’m from Manhattan, born and raised on the Upper West Side. My first memories are of being dragged along food shopping to Zabar’s and Fairway—that and dingy pigeons landing on our terrace during the summer.
’N: Where do you live now?
Megan: I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I love it because it’s this very urban and industrial hodgepodge. There are lots of factories—many of which have been converted into lofts—and they reside on the most wide-open, palatial streets. There is all this space, which feels so luxurious and odd as you’re walking along, and it’s so striking. Then a few blocks down, it’s not so spacious and the streets are narrower and crammed with little walk-up buildings. It’s a mix of Dominican families and hipsters. There are amazing rustic restaurants that look like they could be in Soho and then there are empty lots with stray cats and crappy delis that sell individual cigarettes and garishly colored chips. There’s real variety.
’N: Do you have to travel a lot for work?
Megan: I travel a fair amount for work, and I’m lucky because I get to go to these far-flung places like Japan and Amsterdam and St. Lucia and visit chateaus in the French countryside. There are always new, awesomely innovative beauty products and technologies, and it’s fortuitous that they’re pouring out of such gorgeous, culturally rich locations.
’N: In your opinion, what country is killing it in the beauty game right now?
Megan: I’m pretty into the landscape of beauty products here [in the US] right now! I love this emphasis on the organic and natural. It seems to me that there is just the greatest profusion of smoothing, enriching oils out now, for your body, face and hair. I see amazingly luxurious ones at the drugstore, too – they aren’t necessarily only at the little artisanal, fancy stores. Which means they have wide appeal.
’N: So, you recently had a jaunt to Sicily! Where were you? and why?
Megan: I went to Salina Island off the Sicilian coast in Italy. There are flowers everywhere and the Mediterranean sparkles the wildest blue and the breeze carries with it the soft scent of lemon trees and freesia—it’s a wild paradise! It’s unreal beautiful and so untouched, it is crazy!
’N: What was a highlight of your trip?
Megan: The flowers. They are absolutely everywhere I tell you, and they are so incredibly bright. That was just enlivening and inspiring to see every day, but the best part was the food. I’m a big cook at home, and I go through olive oil like I’m bathing in it, so I truly appreciate a great olive oil. One night at Hotel Signum where I stayed, one of the waiters (the most effusive, passionate man I’ve met in a while) let me sample an insane bottle of olive oil. It was rare, like they get a mere 18 bottles a year. Time stopped as I dunked my bread in the little pool he’d poured for me. It was a little bitter and silky and just heaven.
’N: I know you’re engaged but, how were the Sicilian men?
Megan: I am indeed happily engaged, but the men everywhere I go are great and interesting! Sicilian men do seem to live up to their reputation of being intense and very reverent of women.
’N: For 3 days on Salina Island, what are 5 packing essentials?
Trilogy’s Organic Rosehip Oil (rosehip is a skin-perfecting miracle!)
Lather Tinted Lip Balm in Plush Plum (another beautiful, natural brand)
Odacite x Moon Juice Radiance Serum, which contains complexion-clearing carrot oil. My oil obsession just goes on and on.
Shiffa Dubai Skincare Healing Balm—this super-nourishing and rich salve that helps heal my eczema
And I don’t go anywhere without my Pendleton makeup pouch that one of my best friends gave me for my birthday one year. It’s the perfect size and is just structured enough that it doesn’t flop over and spill everything that’s inside.
’N: Did you have any stand out Sicilian cuisine? Tell me about it.
Megan: One evening I had an Aperol aperitivo, and all of a sudden I felt so glamorous and not American. I sipped it from a long stemmed glass at a little table overlooking the ocean, and it was total, total bliss.
Have a look at Megan’s pics from her getaway below!
Also, random throwback: check out this hilarious video Megan and her now fiancée made a few years ago. Ahhh, I live for how cool Megan is (and for comic sans)!
Follow Megan’s adventures on instagram @megagirl and in your latest copy of ELLE magazine!