TAKE 5 WITH LILLY WALLACE OF GENUINE GLOW
Posted on 11 October 2016
We sat down with Italian-American beauty Lilly Wallace of the popular green beauty blog, Genuine Glow to talk about all things green & beautiful.
PV: Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
LW: I am a beauty blogger, a freelance beauty writer, and I recently became a certified health coach. I read a ton and I stay current with the newest beauty trends, launches, technologies, treatments. However, I always do my own research to find out what’s really worth trying, especially when it comes to skincare and body care. I often bother professionals to get insiders’ opinions and tips. On my personal blog, Genuine Glow, I write about the products I try and share my experience with them.
PV: When did you start Genuine Glow? What inspired you? What made you decide to go green?
LW: When I started Genuine Glow, in 2012, I was already an avid blog reader and had been a beauty product fanatic all my life. However, there were only a few blogs (you could count them on one hand) that were focusing on more green options. I had been doing some research on cosmetic ingredients that left me a bit concerned, and I had just quit using fragrance (both personal fragrance and home products) because I understood that some of the symptoms that I had been experiencing were caused by them (headaches, nausea). My mother had just passed with an incurable form of brain cancer, and her suffering and craving for life inspired me to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
So I decided to create a space where I could share my best product finds with like-minded people. It was anonymous, I did not have a picture of me on it, and I really did not plan to ever put my face behind my writing. It was just out of pure interest in helping others to find the best, most effective, beauty products.
The problem was that there weren’t as many options as there are today. I currently receive an average of ten to fifteen emails from new green beauty brands every.single.day. Back when I started, I did most of my beauty shopping at the health food store. You see? Things have changed a lot, and that’s great.
Along the way, my personal research on cosmetic ingredients led me to discover other issues that are associated with the beauty industry, such as marketing frauds, environmental issues and animal testing. These are all very important topics that the majority of beauty product consumers are still ignoring and that magazines don’t focus on, so that’s where bloggers can step in and inspire their readers into making better choices.
PV: Has Genuine Glow changed over the years? (If so, how?)
LW: Definitely, and it is going to change more in the future. As I learned more about the beauty industry and about cosmetic formulations, my opinions have become more informed and my reviews are more detailed. The past year was “transitional”; I blogged sparingly and took time off while going to school and dealing with some health issues. I am currently in the process of getting back into my rhythm and working on a few things that I am excited about, including a major website re-design that will allow people to navigate easier.
PV: What is your AM routine like?
LW: Generally, it’s super quick. It changes based on how much time I have to get ready and what my schedule looks like for that day. I often don’t even have enough time to put makeup on, and that’s alright! I always cleanse my face and use a face mist, because I have slightly oily skin, so when I wake up in the morning I feel the need to cleanse it properly. Depending on what kind of day I have ahead, I follow with a couple of drops of a face oil or a sunscreen (Florida’s sunny days are merciless towards my skin). On days where I have time to apply makeup, I use a couple of drops of the Gressa foundation to make my skin look more even and polished. I fill-in my eyebrows, curl my lashes, apply a good coat of mascara, and a lipstick. Everything else (bronzer, blush, etc) are optional.
LW: It’s game time! Haha. At night I like to take extra time for skin care and a long shower (I mean, not too long, but definitely a little longer than my two minute one in the morning). I usually double cleanse, using the One Love Organics Cleansing Oil first, and then a water-soluble cleanser. After cleansing I either apply a toner and a serum or I apply a face mask. I am currently loving the new Odacite face mask, it works very well for a gentle exfoliation. A few times a week my skin really needs it. It helps me to prevent breakouts from dead skin and excess sebum build up.
PV: How would you describe your signature beauty style?
LW: Simple. Some people assume that as a beauty blogger I spend my time slathering all kinds of products on my face and body, but that’s not the case. My skin is delicate, so I give it only the basics it needs. And my go-to makeup look is quite simple as well. As I get older (I am in my mid-thirties) I find that I look better in a no-makeup makeup look.
PV: Favorite beauty look from cinema (if you have any)?
LW: I was born and raised in Italy, and I love old Italian movies, especially from the Sixties. My mother was obsessed with the beauty icons of her teen years, such as Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, so they became my favorites as well. Black liner, long lashes, nude lips, and big hair (like in Sophia Loren’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”) are my favorites, and I like to wear a toned-down version of that. Fun fact: I was born in Pozzuoli, where Sophia Loren was also born and raised.
PV: Best pro beauty tips you've learned along the way:
LW: "Less is more" sounds cliché, but it’s a concept that proves itself true all the time in both makeup and skincare. Too much foundation makes you look like you have a mask on, too much blush like a clown, too much powder like a funnel cake. Less product, applied strategically, can enhance your favorite facial features and make you look chic and pulled together. In skincare, doing too much can also damage your skin.
PV: What are you looking forward to this season (can be beauty related or not)?
LW: I love wearing a bold, dark red lip and I also have a couple of beauty-related projects I am working on. Non beauty-related: I love Fall produce like sweet potatoes, apples and pears, squash, and broccoli. Also, the weather down here in Florida is better during Fall.
PV: Favorite feel-good (vegan) snacks?
LW: I love nut butters. A spoonful of nut butter with fresh fruit or veggies gives me energy and satisfies my craving for sweet or savory, depending on whether I pair with fruit or veggies.
PV: How would you describe success? Do you have any advice for those venturing into new projects?
LW: To me success means achieving personal goals, both small and big. It does not come in the form of a paycheck or a title. As a blogger, I feel accomplished when people send me emails thanking me for my help. It’s very gratifying, especially because most of my work is unpaid, so that makes up for it. As for advice, don’t look at what other people are doing, it’s distracting. Keep your head down and work hard. Good ethics and a strong, authentic voice will always set you apart, even in an over-saturated market.
PV: Where do you look for inspiration? Any favorite quotes?
LW: I have to say that I have never felt without inspiration, so I don’t typically “look" for inspiration. I get ideas all the time, sometimes from my husband. I only struggle with finding time to put them into practice, but I never feel like I need to look at something for inspiration. People are inspiring to me. Diversity is very inspiring to me, and so are real-life situations.
A quote I love is “If you want to be original, be ready to be copied”, by Coco Chanel. I feel very strongly about authenticity and originality, and the only thing that I find draining and de-motivating are copy-cats. My husband always reminds that I should feel flattered, but nope--I hate it. Haha.
PV: We have to ask! What are your favorite Petit Vour products?
LW: This is the foundation for people who hate the feeling of foundation of the skin, but love the look of an even, polished complexion. It feels so light on the skin that I often forget that I am wearing it. It’s made with a mix of oils and pigments that don’t clog the skin, but instead have some real skincare benefits. In particular, I love that it contains broccoli seed oil because it gives it a silky, silicone-like finish. All while covering redness and giving it a natural glow.
LW: Without a doubt, one of the best face mists I have tried (and I have tried a ton of them). After cleansing, the skin’s natural pH is always out of balance. This toner helps to restore the skin’s pH quickly, making the following skincare step (which for me is serum) more effective. It contains hydration-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, in addition to plant ingredients that help to improve the skin’s health and appearance like Rose, Aloe, Prickly Pear and Goji Berry. It’s such a treat, and it’s a great pick me up in the middle of the day when the skin starts to look de-hydrated and tired.
LW: Lina bottled the scent of an exotic princess for you to wear it and feel like one. It’s feminine, exotic, and a bit sweet. I also appreciate Lina’s commitment to supporting women around the globe, so I feel even better about using her products because of it.
LW: Meow Meow Tweet is the first (and only, I believe) company that figured out the magic formula to make a truly effective “natural” deodorant that is free of baking soda. My armpits are not very sensitive to baking soda, but so many of my readers have that problem, and I am glad to be able to suggest the Meow Meow Tweet deodorants to them. They really work, and I was so happy to find a full-size jar of the Lavender one in the latest Petit Vour box!