Lilly Ghalichi is a reality star turned ultra-successful beauty entrepreneur with her fan-favorite company, Lilly Lashes. Having had to build up her own synthetic lashes for years, Ghalichi was able to redefine false eyelashes by creating the industry's first comfortable 3D Lashes. Years later, her collection has grown to include cruelty-free and faux mink lashes for any eye shape or glam level.
SWAAY sat down and spoke with Ghalichi on how she was able to create a product line that enthralls celebrity makeup artists and beauty gurus everywhere.
1. Lilly Lashes has come to include various products, but what inspired you to launch with lashes as your hero product?
I launched Lilly Lashes due to my own personal need for them! I was filming a Bravo Reality Show at the time, and back then there were only 2 lash options- barely human hair, or ultra-fake looking synthetic lashes (...think Halloween).
To get the glam lash look I wanted, I had to stack 3 to 4 pairs of human hair lashes on my lids. Often times I had to cut them up and glue multiple pairs together just to create the unique styles I wanted. It was so time consuming, I would spend 30 minutes in glam just on lashes.
I decided enough was enough and decided to develop ultra-glam lashes for girls like me that wanted something more dramatic than human hair lashes, but something that looked more natural than synthetic Halloween lashes.....and Lilly Lashes was born.
2. What was your business plan in the beginning? How has it evolved?
I didn't really have a business plan in the beginning other than to create a product that I personally needed and didn't already exist. I decided to sell them in case there were other girls who also wanted glam lashes. Once I saw just how many girls there were like me out there, I realized this was a product SO many wanted. So I then sat down and created a plan to offer 3D Glam Lashes. My plan has since evolved into dominating the lash space, not just in 3D Dramatic Lashes, but in natural lashes, Faux Mink Lashes, Lash Tools and Accessories. We are growing so quickly that the plan evolves daily.
4. Who are your favorite beauty bloggers and influencers at the moment?
I love Nikita Dragun. I've known her for a long time and have watched her work hard to become the powerhouse she is today. She is unapologetic, and owns her individuality, sexuality and stays true to herself. Rather than following trends, she starts her own. I love that. As far as makeup goes, I live for Nikki's Tutorials, she is hands down one of the most talented makeup artists on YouTube and I am blown away by her level of skill in makeup with each video she does.
5. What's your favorite product from your own line?
People always ask me this and the truth is, it always changes! Right now, I am obsessed with 3D Lilly Lashes in style "Hollywood"- a gorgeous, fluttery, dramatic lash. If you ask me next month the answer will be 3D style "Ela" because I'm into a Princess Jasmine type almond eye, so I want a wing-shaped lash. I'm honestly obsessed with them all!
6. What’s your point of difference from other lash companies?
I don't even think we are comparable. Our product innovation and quality is incomparable, and I'm not just saying that, it truly is! We create the trends in the lash space with everyone being a year behind. We are also the #1 lash brand among Celebrities, Celebrity Makeup Artists, Social Media Influencers, Youtubers and glam girls and boys around the world. It says a lot when every-single makeup guru and beauty celeb wears and loves your product.
7. How has your status as a reality television star affected your business? Has it created a platform to promote your product or have you separated your business from your experience of being on the show?
I think most people don't even know I was on a reality show, so I think 100% I have separated the two. With that said, the show did help create a social media platform that absolutely helped my business.
8. Have you faced any challenges in creating and promoting Lilly Lashes?
Every single day! Failure (or challenges) are a part of success. Not every idea you have will be successful, and that's okay. What's important to realize is that challenges will occur, it's how you overcome them and learn from them that matters.
I always try my best not to get too discouraged from challenges and instead focus on how far I've come and overcoming it to be even better and go further- never making the same mistake twice.
9. How integral has your social media been to promoting your brand? How have your connections with other influencers and online personalities helped establish brand awareness?
SO integral! Lilly Lashes was started as a social media brand. Our brands’ advertising and promotion was exclusively done on social media, not just my own pages, but also my friends' pages and other influencers. In today's world, it is 100% the key to any e-commerce's business success in my opinion.
10. What’s next for Lilly Lashes?
We entered all Sephora USA and Canada stores in 2018 and are also entering another major beauty retailer later this year, so be on the lookout for that. Both of these partnerships will make Lilly Lashes more easily accessible to every glam girl, which is a goal of mine.
You will also see a lot of new exciting products and collections being released towards the end of 2018. We have three new collections coming out with something catering to everyone's eye shape and style.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."