Behind the scenes in California with the founder of ilia beauty

Sasha Plavsic spent over two years perfecting the first six shades of her Lip Conditioners before launching Ilia Beauty in 2011. Two more years later she had over 30 more products on the shelves of some pretty major stores like Barneys Co-Op and Colette in Paris, giving NARS a serious run for their money. The kicker? Her stuff is 85% organic and will last through just about any make-out session. We’re hooked. Sasha is also one of the coolest girls we know so we caught up with her during some rare down time and got the 411 on the world of Ilia.

WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO THE PERFECT LIPSTICK FORMULA? The ingredients sourced from around the world are the best we can find, and nearly all the formulas are started from scratch. When formulating we always have a few goals in mind for what we would like to achieve and it can take up to a year and a half to get there sometimes. There are constant tweaks happening right up to our launch and even after to perfect a product.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SO FAR? The biggest challenge to date has been skin tones, which we will start to introduce this fall. The challenge is that there are so many different tones and when launching just six colors it’s a tricky to ensure there will be something for everyone. Doing what I like for myself is the best guide and is in some ways doing what I think is best for others. You can have all the stats and marketing on what sells and why, but at the end of the day if I am not in love with something and it doesn’t work for me, why should it work for anybody else?

WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU RIGHT NOW? For the past two days I have been back in New York. The energy of the city, the sounds, the fashion – it all starts to bring new ideas. Any type of travel will get all pistons firing with lots of new thoughts.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIFE IN CALIFORNIA?
The sun! That is really the main highlight – amazing weather all year around. Secret spots in LA and weekend trips to Palm Springs are also a nice bonus.

iliabeauty.com

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