We liken Jillian Wright to superwoman, or a modern day version anyway. Trading the spangly outfit and gold cuffs for a star-powered product line and a beauty expo gaining momentum faster than a speeding bullet. She’s innovative, she’s intelligent, and most of all she’s helping small brands, including hers, receive the acclaim and attention they deserve while simultaneously fueling a movement.
What sparked your passion for clean beauty?
It’s simple. Clean beauty is better beauty. If I use a product that contains fillers and unnecessary ingredients, I would break out or my skin would become inflamed. Logically, if I apply a cream to my skin and wear it for 12 hours, whatever is in that product is going to be absorbed into my system. Our skin’s “eco-system” is fragile. The thought of accumulated toxins and unnecessary fillers didn’t sit well with me. I would feel dirty if I used skincare with copious amounts of fragrance and chemically driven ingredients. To me clean beauty is a no brainer. It makes me feel better.
Do you have any tips on transitioning to clean beauty?
I’m a firm believer in less is more. Start with a cleanser that you can use day and night. Make sure it is not too thick or too thin. You don’t want it to leave a residue or give you the feeling of being stripped. Find one that makes your skin feel clean, fresh and alive. Sometimes your cleanser can act as a makeup remover, but if not, you can use your makeup remover like a pre-cleanse as well.
An exfoliator is a must in everyone skincare regimen. You cannot skip exfoliating even if you have sensitive skin. Your skin, even at night, is shedding dead skin cells. These dead skin cells can leave your complexion looking sallow, gray and shadowed. Exfoliating revs up microcirculation which brings oxygen to the surface giving you a rosy glow. There are several amping exfoliants on the market, pick on that is suited for your skin. You can have two or three in your cabinet as long as they do not have plastic micro beads. This is a big no-no in our industry especially if you care for the environment.
Further, I would continue with collecting these clean products: serum, to supercharge the skin with active ingredients; a day moisturizer, which helps guard your skin from free radical damage; a night moisturizer, which helps replenish and rejuvenate your skin while sleeping; eye cream, which is really essential once you reach your late 20’s; and sunscreen, A MUST EVERY DAY. My favorite is MD Solar Science. I’m slightly addicted to it. It feels so good, uses less water and has a better ingredient deck.
What are your “can’t live without” products?
My brand new Coconut Cleanser, Kopari Beauty Coconut Body Oil and JW Premium Reserve Moisturizer.
As a successful career woman with her own line, you added more to your plate and created the Indie Beauty Expo, what inspired you to take this step?
I felt like an outsider in my own industry that I dedicated my life to for 17 years. I’m also raising a family in NYC. In the world of a small business, I’ve done everything right. When it came to “exhibiting” my brand, I didn’t know where to go. Either the pop-ups weren’t worth my time or the trade shows were too big and I wasn’t ready. I was frustrated that I didn’t have a platform to do serious business with consumers and buyers. I knew what I wanted and I couldn’t find it. Investing in a trade show is a lot for a small brand. It’s not something to take lightly. There needs to be a return. I created iBE out of selfish reasons that
Investing in a trade show is a lot for a small brand. It’s not something to take lightly, there needs to be a return. I created iBE out of selfish reasons but it has turned into a community effort. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one that felt lost. Nader, my co-founder and I, plus our extremely dedicated team work day and night for iBE. We are loving this process and it is growing substantially every day. It’s a beautiful thing when we see so many people come together and build a community that is ending up being an actual movement in the beauty industry. It’s time to take indie brands seriously. The time is now and it is very exciting.
Beauty Expos seem to be having a moment, but this one is drastically different. What can we expect to find at Indie Beauty Expo that we can’t find elsewhere?
More brands, more space, more time. Speakers, panels and workshops. It’s important to me that people don’t waste their time or money. I want them to learn something, to be enriched, to make new contacts and friends. We want people to share on social, get in on it, make the change happen, take ownership, have fun doing it! This year we lowered the price of entry so consumers will spend more with the brands. The brands will incentivize the consumers by offering a gift with purchase. It’s a win-win for everyone. The consumers get to try multiple products, the brands feel appreciated and supported and we all learn something new and feel good about ourselves and each other. I don’t mean to get all hippy on you, but it’s true.
Lastly, what is your life’s Pursuit?
I receive intense gratification when I can help others succeed. I like to pay it forward. But I also have an incredible work ethic and believe nothing of value is for free. It’s ok to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to be a better person. I remove the “I” and create a “we” and in my life this formula works. It’s important to have a backbone and not let the little things get you down, I’m tough that way. I tell my kids, there is a solution for everything. Suck it up! Strengthen that backbone and you will be a better person in the world. Use logical thinking. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Use common sense. Be happy with simplicity. Everything you do has a direct impact on your health, your family and friends, community and environment. Less is more and listen. Listening and not interrupting is a great skill to possess. Be kind.