17 Must-Haves: The Maker of Ilia's Gorgeous Organic Lipsticks Craves Banana Split Cookies and a Cashmere Onesie

By Courtney Balestier |

© Shawn Firth

Where does your lipstick disappear to when it wears off? Besides a napkin or the rim of a glass, chances are you’re eating some of it throughout the day as well as absorbing the rest of your makeup through your skin. If that’s not enough of a reason to look for products with natural ingredients like jojoba oil and beeswax, then Ilia Beauty founder Sasha Plavsic may convince you to give them a try with her sultry-creamy lipsticks and soft illuminators. A Vancouver native based in Laguna Beach, California, Plavsic created an organic line that’s easy to wear and free of petrolatum, gluten and lead (which turns up in some lipsticks!). Her ethos extends to food and other well-made buys. Here, she talks about her favorite L.A. finds and how she fends off entrepreneur fatigue with macadamias, Dutch cheese and banana split cookies. 

Photo © Ilia

What’s your typical eating day?
My relationship to food has changed a lot recently: Two years ago, I caught a parasite in Bali that attacked my adrenals. I was working like crazy with the company, and I went into Stage 3 adrenal fatigue. It took a year to recover, and I had to totally monitor my food and eat every two hours. Now, before work in the morning, I try to eat something that balances protein and carbs. I’ll have (1) soft-boiled eggs with avocado and toast, and I feel like I can push through the morning. Presentation is also important to me. Each morning we put everything on the table—all the butter and jams—even if we’re not going to use it. You create a breakfast scenario where everybody sits down together. It’s the same as work: It should be a [pleasant] area where you come together to discuss things. 

For snacks, I love (2) macadamia nuts. I’ll make a mix of organic macadamia nuts, organic raw almonds and organic cashews and put them in a (3) Heath Ceramics bowl on my desk, something that I can reach out to at all times. One thing that would usually go with that is tea. I order from this company in Florida called (4) Teas Etc.—their packaging is not beautiful, but man, their product is amazing. They have hundreds of green teas—which I can’t drink anymore, since I’ve been pregnant—and amazing jasmine pearl tea, like one called Kukicha. In the morning, I’d drink a whack-load of green tea and just keep a pot on my desk.

For lunch in L.A., I like (5) Joan’s on Third. They have great food deli-style, like wild fish with steamed greens. In Laguna, we eat at a place called (6) The Stand, which has been there since like 1975. It’s all vegan, about a block from the beach; this old dude runs it, and he always has these girl hippies in there who are stoned, and they do everything fresh. They have pita pockets, enchiladas, soups, smoothies, wheatgrass. You just sit outside underneath the big eucalyptus tree and chow down. We’ll ride our bikes there.

I have to go to L.A. once or twice a week with work, and if you’re on the freeway anytime after 3:30 you’re pretty much screwed, so I’ve been trying to find places for dinner on the way out of L.A. I just went to this amazing spot called (7) Manhattan Beach Post. The interior design was simple: a lot of wood to make it feel cozy, shared tables. It was a really boisterous, social environment. The dishes were interesting and hearty: The bacon-cheddar biscuits are a must-have.

My husband’s Dutch, so at home we also love a lot of (8) Dutch cheese and fruit, like mandarins. Of course, if it’s the end of the day and I need more, I’ll open a bag of chips. (9) Trader Joe’s has these nacho-cheese chips, which I’m sure are horrible, but they’re so good. Otherwise, it’s common sense: If you have to work or you’re in a creative environment, you need energy and stamina. If you’re only gonna eat carbs or sugar, your energy is not gonna hold as well.

Do you cook?
My husband and I like to cook together, and his mom has recipes for a lot of comforting Dutch dishes. (10) Boerenkool is basically kale and mashed potatoes blended together, and then you make a gravy and cook sausages. You use a lot of butter, then you basically dig a hole in the mashed potatoes and kale and pour the butter in. It’s so good. And then, I don’t want to sound cliché, but sometimes I’ll go to (11) Goop and look at her recipes.

What's your favorite dinner look? 
A nice blouse like Giada Forte—there’s a boutique in Venice, (12) Heist, that has a lot of her stuff—leather leggings and a pair of (13) Celine black pointy heels that are so classic, they always look great. And I always have a scarf. The brand I really like is ridiculously luxe and a little overpriced, but when you get one, you don’t really go back: (14) Faliero Sarti. They’re from Italy—beautiful blends of wool, cashmere and silk, gorgeous colors, gorgeous textures.

Where else do you like to shop?
I think (15) OK in L.A. is one of the best home-good stores in the world. It has a great selection of gifts, jewelry, bowls, tableware. It’s amazing. In the pregnancy category, (16) Hatch has a cashmere onesie that I’m loving, because it’s pretty much one of the only things I can fit into.

Name your wild card must-have.
(17) Milk Jar Cookies are crazy. Every time I go to LA, my husband is like, “Are you going to be going by that area…?” They have banana split, which is a banana cookie with a strawberry in the middle. They’re all amazing, but the chocolate chip is the hero.

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