Lesson Learned! Beauty is Not One Size Fits All


As told by Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA Cosmetics

“During ILIA’s first year, I was hosting trainings and events, and there was one occasion when a client couldn’t find a foundation that worked for her skin tone in our original limited range. (At the time, we only had six shades.) I could tell she wasn’t thrilled with any of the choices we had to offer, and at that moment I knew there was no point in trying to force a fit.

Instead, I diverted her attention to another brand I respected and found a shade with shimmer that suited her perfectly. She left happy and remembered that experience with ILIA, which was important to me. But I also took it as an opportunity to make note of what we were missing in our line. That bit of information gathered from this prospective customer was sort of an a-ha moment that we had to expand, so we wouldn’t run into the same situation again. In the end, it made me even more excited to keep growing the ILIA line and introducing new shades.

From that one interaction early on in my career, I learned that you can never react negatively when posed with a situation like this, because it could make the client feel uncomfortable. Making a big deal out of something, which is really nothing, won’t get anyone anywhere. And if you have to go outside your own offerings to recommend a product that’s truly appropriate, so be it. That client will appreciate the fact that you put her first.

The experience also made me realize every client truly is an individual. What I think might be the right shade for one person will be completely different on someone else—which was an important lesson for the founder of a makeup line.

My advice would be to not worry about making mistakes. It’s the only way we all learn. And when you look back later they’ll be a distant memory.”