Lush Lips, Sustainable Line: ILIA Beauty, with Sasha Plavsic

Native to Canada, ILIA Beauty started off selling tinted lip conditioners in 2011. Now based in Los Angeles, ILIA creates natural and organic makeup and skincare products. Founder and CEO Sasha Plavsic made it a priority to create a line that was just as aesthetically pleasing and sustainable as it was functional. This month, Parvati Magazine spoke with Sasha about lips, skin, and eyeshadow.

Parvati Magazine: ILIA carries many beauty and skin care products, with a wide range of vibrant lip colours and lip care products. How did lips become a central focus at ILIA? What sets your lip products apart?

Sasha Plavsic: Lip is where we started and is the heart of the brand. I do feel like we have moved into other categories and with that in mind I am putting a big focus on lip this next year. We are going to be saying goodbye to some categories and bring new ones into light that raise the bar on performance in a clean color product.

PMAG: How do you ensure all your products use quality, natural ingredients?

SP: We have close relationships with our labs and most of the time will introduce organic suppliers when we are using organic ingredients. Otherwise, we ultimately build a relationship of trust during the R&D process. We do sell globally and must expose everything, much more than is necessary in the US, and this keeps us honest as you cannot hide anything. One of the reasons I started this brand was to ensure we can be transparent. It’s important to note that not all natural ingredients are good for the skin, and not all synthetics are bad. In order to get performance in many products you usually need a combination of both.

PMAG: Your popular Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer is multifunctional and comes in many skin tones. Tell us about it and the most optimal way to use it?

SP: This is a very sheer tint with a main focus on natural SPF. The product will not cover freckles or hide your skin. Its purpose is to enhance and protect your skin while blurring imperfections and evening tone. It does take about five minutes to dry down, whereby you can really see a difference in smoothing and light reflective properties that give a truly natural glow. Squeeze a dime-sized amount into the palm of your hand, rub hands together and apply to your face as you would a moisturizer. Our Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer also doubles as a primer.

PMAG: Over the summer, your Cucumber Water Stick was your go-to product for hydration and refreshening. What do you suggest for dry and windy winters?

SP: Depending on your skin, winter months usually call for much more hydration and moisture. Our Cucumber Water Stick is a solid toner so, like a liquid toner that you would spritz on your face, it provides a flash of hydration that helps open the pores before applying your moisturizer. During the winter, if my skin is chapped I will reach for a serum and follow up with a intense moisturizer. At the moment I am trying lots of different Korean brands as they are so good in this category.

PMAG: Your eye makeup is offered in two eye shadow palettes and silken shadow sticks. What is your recommendation when to select powder or metallic shadow sticks?

SP: It all depends on application. I do recommend using our Natural Brightening Eye Primer as a base to prep the lids, and then apply a wash of color with our Silken Shadow Sticks, followed by a powder shade to help pop and intensify the color. For something lighter, either can be used lightly. All the shades are fairly earthy in tone which makes it ideal to mix and match.

PMAG: What looks and colours are you loving right now for winter?

SP: One of the bases of the line is that if you can use one product for two purposes, it’s a win-win. With that in mind, one of this season’s trends speaks to the monochromatic look and our Multi-Stick is the perfect companion to apply a soft flush of color to lips, cheeks and eyes. At Last is a dusty rose, neutral in tone but beautiful when applied and enhances the natural pink hues of the skin in the most subtle way.

Tim SchaefferFrom a background of design, branding and marketing, Sasha Plavsic launched ILIA Beauty in 2011 following her curiosity about the ingredients of a lipstick. Her younger brother and now business partner is the Olympic sailor Zachary Ilia, who healed from severe childhood asthma and allergies through a healthy diet and natural remedies. ILIA is now available in 15 countries around the world.