ILIA Beauty was founded by Vancouver-born Sasha Plasvic in the spring of 2011. After studying at the London College of Communications and working in branding and packaging, she launched ILIA Beauty. Sasha is committed to ensuring each product contains 85% certified organic bio-active botanicals. After starting with six lip conditioners, the line has grown to include products such as illuminators and mascaras, and we’re not the only ones who noticed how great this brand is. ILIA has been featured in magazines like Elle and sold in stores like Barneys in the US. Basically, Canadian girls rule. So pucker up and make sure your smooch is environmentally friendly, with ILIA.
Tell us about yourself and why you started ILIA Beauty?
Looking back, I think I was ready to do something on my own and see if it could work. When it came to working with other companies, I could be creative but never had a blank canvas. At the time, there were many beauty brands and to find one that was organic and packaged with a certain aesthetic in mind was a challenge. It was this challenge that put everything in motion.
Before launching ILIA, you worked in branding and packaging for well-known cosmetics companies like Urban Decay. Describe the package for ILIA.
There’s a photo on our Instagram that shows the evolution of the first lipstick case. The packaging definitely took some time. To find the right feel, color, finish, texture, even the click had to satisfy in some way. All of our lipstick cases are made with 85% recycled aluminum. The boxes are 100% recycled paper that have a texture added to them and are then dyed with soy based inks and a metallic. At the time I was aiming to have something simple, functional and eventually recognizable.
What success surprised you the most?
We have been really lucky and so grateful for the support we’ve received from all sorts and kinds. Getting into Colette [in Paris] when we first launched was pretty amazing; Barneys was equally as nice. But receiving a nice email from a customer about why they like the product seems to set the day right.
What’s in your makeup bag?
In the morning, I have a routine of applying a tinted moisturizer with a touch of illuminator in all the right spots to add a bit of glow. I use All Of Me with Sway on top and then some Polka Dots and Moonbeams. I’m also still a sucker for the lip conditioners, and tend to rotate through some of the limited shades mixed with the limited lipsticks. Our two new shades Pink Kashmir (lipstick) and Desert Angel (lip conditioner) blend beautifully together and are becoming daily staples.
Where do you hope to take ILIA from here?
We are in the process of moving from LA to Laguna Beach to focus on growth and product development. In the coming months we launch in Hong Kong with I.T, as well as on Net-A-Porter.com. From there, we will keep working on developing a full color line, expanding into eyes, and working our way towards foundations.