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Eloise DeJoria: It’s A Beautiful World

It’s quite clear…Eloise DeJoria lives a spectacular life. Just like the precocious Eloise of children’s book fame, DeJoria instantly captivates any environment she encounters. All over the world, and especially in her home base of Central Texas, where she and her husband John Paul and son, John Anthony have lived for nearly a decade. And she gets by with a little help from her friends…

Lead: Fit and fabulous are the two words that best describe the bundle of energy named Eloise DeJoria. She’s a wife. Mother. Model. All-around cool chick. With several upcoming acting roles, and her new Fit At 40 + exercise DVDs flying off the shelves, we get a behind-the-scenes look at how she’s making this world a more beautiful place.

“She’s so sweet and easy to get along with. And a great mother. We’ve gotten to be great friends. We love to go to dinner and hiking together. We both Taurus’s and one time Eloise, Pierce Brosnan and I had a big, combined birthday party in London. We had the best time,” Cher told me recently about DeJoria. DeJoria’s loves living her star-studded life.

The genesis of her strong upbringing was in the Memorial area of Houston, the daughter of a lawyer and a stay-at-home artist mom. Friends for years, DeJoria and I happened to share the same flight to Los Angeles years ago. She was going there for a photo shoot with Town & Country magazine. She shared stories with me of growing up in Texas, which I found quite touching. Among them, DeJoria recounts, “I loved playing in the woods where I was either building a fort or pretending I was Ann Margaret. We’d ride our horses to Buffalo Bayou. You know, I still find spirituality outdoors.” Her childhood pal Rebecca Allen revealed more insight, “It was her parents’ unconditional love and supervised freedom that provided Eloise with her humble self-assurance. She has an unwavering honesty, respect, heartfelt kindness and Texas-bred confidence, while continuing to value what she considers her most important life contribution… being a loving human.”


So for DeJoria, returning to Texas was like coming home again. “It was like The Beverly Hillbillies, but in reverse. I dragged John Paul back here to where my heart is,” she confides. Austin was also a natural fit for her husband, beauty product tycoon John Paul DeJoria, creator of the Paul Mitchell product line. In the early salad days of his career, John Paul DeJoria lived in Austin selling Redken products out of his car, so he had an early affinity for Texas. Born and raised on the mean streets of east L.A., he created an empire from sheer willpower and the great products that he and his partner developed.

DeJoria has been a part of her husband’s success for the nearly15 years they’ve been together. The decision to make Texas their home base was a happy compromise for their healthy lifestyle. John Paul DeJoria is succinct when it comes to describing his wife, “She’s simply perfect.” They met on a blind date in Beverly Hills, when she was modeling and pursuing an acting career. She told me it was love at first sight and the couple was married in Malibu in 1993. Roger Daltrey of The Who even sang Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful at their wedding, while her sons, Michaels and Justin walked her down the aisle. “What a beautiful woman, a wonderful mum, a fantastic wife. She’s a true friend with a wicked sense of humor… she’s brilliant”, Roger Daltrey shared with me recently. Cher joined in the singing fun, too. “It really was the most brilliant wedding. Afterward we all got up and sang, which was really fun,” Cher also said. DeJoria told me it was a dream come true since she was such a fan of both performers.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of adventure. They each have children from other marriages they’ve blended into one family, along with their own son. It’s evident DeJoria loves her role as a super mom. “My pride and joy are my children,” she confides. “We are still growing up together. When I look at them, I begin to tear up with the most powerful feeling of love.” “Eloise is a great beauty and a real sweetheart. She is the perfect wife and help-mate of the handsome hair-product tycoon. He certainly couldn't be married to an Elephant Girl,” jokes Phyllis Diller.

When I caught up with DeJoria recently, she was in the kitchen baking the cinnamon streusel muffins her son adores. She often bakes oatmeal raisin cookies her husband loves, too. It says a lot about a woman with such a busy schedule that she actually takes time to bake treats for her family, friends and the usual menagerie of guests who enjoy dropping by the DeJoria home. Their lake view home in Austin is just one of their several residences across the world, including a home in Malibu, one in Hawaii, an apartment in New York, and more. One can just imagine DeJoria standing on her 33rd floor Manhattan penthouse terrace surrounded by Henri Bendel hat boxes, just like Eva Gabor in the opening credits of Green Acres.

The DeJorias love to entertain their family and friends. And they love to have fun while doing it.... on a grand scale. I once attended a party at their Malibu estate honoring Patron Spirits, a company John Paul owns. To say that is was a swanky affair is an understatement. From the moment a cadre of valet parkers greeted the arrivals, the DeJorias were there to make sure they had their photo taken with each guest to memorialize the event in their dozens of photo albums. Then, stepping into the Italianate courtyard any Medici would envy, with of 15-foot-high ice sculptures in the shape of Patron bottles, I was surrounded by throngs of The Beautiful People. Pals of the DeJorias.

Guests and friends such as Fran Drescher dropped in…barefoot, with a purse-sized dog in tow. There was the not-so-desperate housewife Nicolette Sheridan chatting in the corner with Dynasty’s Catherine Oxenberg and her husband, action-movie star Caspar Van Dien. Standing nearby were astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his wife, Lois. All the while Dan Ackroyd and his wife, Donna Dixon, were in the hosts’ gourmet kitchen, happily baking homemade pizzas that were later passed around for the guests to enjoy. “Eloise is one of the most embracing, open and generous women we have ever met,” said the Ackroyd’s. “As a hostess in her magnificent homes, she sets the mark for abundant hospitality and fun.”

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While a mariachi band and a DJ played music for the DeJorias and their guests, the party kicked into high gear and everyone was having the time of their lives. The party was a perfect reflection of its hosts – hip, yet unpretentious. “Eloise is a creative hostess and her beautiful parties always push the envelope on fun, while incorporating a good cause,” affirmed DeJoria’s dear friend Keely Shaye Brosnan, wife of actor Pierce Brosnan. Naturally, the event appeared on E!, Extra, AccessHollywood, and CNN Showbiz News the following day. Just a typical Saturday night in Malibu. Their annual Christmas Eve party in California requires that snow be trucked in every year. Now that’s entertaining.

In addition to being the spokesmodel for Paul Mitchell and all her other endeavors (Elly May Records, Elly May Productions and Elly and Kelly Designs), DeJoria has turned her sights to making this world a healthier place. As a model, her looks are important. That’s why she teamed with fitness expert Janice Nichols for a new series of exercise videos, Fit At 40 +. On the day of this magazine’s photo shoot, Eloise mentioned to me that the Paul Mitchell Company is shooting its new advertising campaign. I asked who was photographing it since the legendary, and recently deceased, Richard Avedon photographed the last one. “You know, that’s a good question,” said DeJoria. “We haven’t decided yet. We asked Annie Leibovitz, but she’s booked until 2007. Can you imagine? I’m sure we’ll find someone else great.” And I have no doubt that they will. The DeJorias live in a rarefied world where just about anything is possible.

Part of managing that busy world is DeJoria’s daily commitment to keeping fit. “My stomach started to get that middle-aged spread and my arms started to get cellulite until I went to Janice Nichols’ Pilates class at Barton Creek Country Club in Austin,” said DeJoria. “I saw a difference in my waist after only one of her classes, so I knew we had to do something to help others. Now we are partners in producing Fit at 40 +, which can be found in stores like Borders, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, Target.” Nichols also told me, “Health, beauty and self-image are all achievements from dedication and hard work. There are no shortcuts. That’s why Eloise and I created our very own workout programs to jumpstart the path to a new you.”

When asked why she wanted to do an exercise production like this, DeJoria told me, “I love being a part of people getting healthy. It’s such a high.” That high comes from her own exercise endorphins, too. She tells me, “The secret to me staying fit and healthy is my own motivation. I can’t depend on someone else to go with me to work out, even though it’s so much more fun with a friend. I adhere to the basic rule of no dairy, no fried foods and no butter. I love carbs and I’ve found I can have them because I do work out enough. I think smaller portions are really important. I do count calories, and try to keep it well under 1,700 a day. That’s my goal, anyway.” When I asked her to share the secrets of her very youthful figure, she confessed, “It’s just as easy to walk on my treadmill if I watch television at night than it is to sit down and watch, so I have much better results.” All I can say if that if that’s what almost 50 looks like, thanks to exercise and diet, she’s sure to inspire disciples with her Pilate’s rituals.

DeJoria continues to pursue her acting career, and has a vital role in Grand Champions, now airing on Showtime. She also just wrapped shooting on The Dukes with co-stars Chaz Palmenterri (The Usual Supects, Analyze This) and Robert Davi (Die Hard, Showgirls). Davi told me, “Eloise has an arresting authenticity as an actress that is a direct result of who she is as a woman. She also has an emotional availability the camera loves. She has an excitement for challenges and growth that, with all she has accomplished, is just the tip of the iceberg.” Actor/director Rick Schroeder agrees by telling me, “I worked with her recently running some lines for the movie she was in this summer and I was impressed with her talent and dedication. The more I get to know her, the more I admire her. She is down to earth, smart and a great actress.”

Expect much more from DeJoria, who is doing her part to make this a healthier and more beautiful world. When it comes to defining DeJoria, her life and her world, actor David Carradine shared his thoughts, “They say that beauty is skin-deep, and that would be enough for me, I guess. But when you look into Eloise's eyes, you can see that it goes beyond that. John Paul is a very lucky man.”

Big 12: Eloise’s Guide to Fitness, Beauty and Well-being

1. Be consistent. I shoot for a 30 minute workout twice a day. If you get up to 90 minutes, your bod will really be rockin’. I do my Pilates 10-minute full body workout from the DVDs, which is perfect for on the road or at home. Our four DVDs are for all levels.

2. Eat healthy little meals and snacks all through the day. I try to keep the calories intake between 1,300 and 1,700.

3. Listen to your body and have choices ready in your head for your workout. Pilates is so easy on your body and so darned effective, along with walking and running. To add variety, add aerobic machines.

4. If the sun is out, and if I don’t at least take a long walk, I’ll go outside every day for at least 10 minutes at a time. It feels so good, and the Vitamin D is great for you.

5. I recommend playing with your children – jump on the trampoline, play a little basketball. They’ll stay fit, as well.

6. Get some rest. It’s so important for you emotionally and physically.

7. Drink lots of water. I always have water beside my bed and a little bottle in my purse. I also love black tea in the morning and decaffeinated green tea for the rest of the day. Sleepy Time tea at night.

8. I exfoliate my face and body. Moisturizing twice a day is also crucial. For an extra treat, I love to use scented lotion. In fact, I’m developing one now.

9. For healthy hair, of course I use the fabulous Paul Mitchell products. I use the Color shampoo, the Awapuhi spray, and I spray a bit of Modern Elixirs Illuminating Spray if I need a bit more shine on my hair during the day.

10. I use Paul Mitchell Conditioner to shave my legs. It really works and moisturizes my skin.

11 . Laugh a lot. Go out to a theater and see a comedian or funny movies for a good laugh. It makes life so much nicer.

12. Finally, take a relaxing, warm bath with Epson salts and a candle. I also like to say my prayers (hopefully everyone address their own spiritual side) and then blow out the candles as I finish my prayers for each loved one. Being a loving person helps you make the right choices in life. If you take care of your health, your spirit will shine.