Operating out of the Grey agency in London, Ellis takes the title of regional creative director, beauty, and will oversee the creative output on Procter & Gamble's Pantene and Clairol accounts across Europe.
Her hiring follows the appointment of Kathy Phillips, Vogue's former health and beauty editor, to the Grey London advisory board in February.
Ellis was formerly a group creative director at Deutsch, where she was responsible for Revlon's global account and developed the ad campaign featuring the Hollywood actress Halle Berry.
Previously, she helped to evolve Isabella Rosellini's Manifesto for Coty, led the global L'Oreal account at McCann-Erickson and worked on the launch of the Liz Hurley campaign while at Estee Lauder.
Her arrival at Grey culminates an extensive worldwide search by headhunters, which concentrated particularly on possible candidates in New York and Paris.
Nicola Mendelsohn, the head of new business at Grey London, said: "Ellis' credentials screamed out at us. Accounts such as Pantene and Clairol require a different sort of expertise.
"What's more, beauty is a growing sector and there are a lot more clients in that area we could attract."
Ellis, one of whose paintings featured on the cover of Time magazine last year, said: "Grey is committed to developing excellent creative work throughout its network and across all sectors. I am looking forward to being a part of that."