After experiencing the delight of Uliv Skincare Golden Chai Facial Soufflé, I was delighted to have the chance to speak with Uliv founder Lishawn Lalonde in our exclusive interview. I found out more about her path towards wellness in the face of an autoimmune condition as well as the story behind her company. Having the chance to both corresponded and speak with Ms. Lalonde, it quickly became clear to me that she is a lovely person with a generous spirit. Just two of many examples, Ms. Lalonde consciously prices her products–which could easily be priced as niche luxury items–moderately in order to keep them accessible to people, and she has started an annual company tradition of donating 100% of an entire month’s profits to charity. Find out more about this remarkable woman below.
Lishawn Lalonde, Founder and Formulator, Uliv Skincare
Melissa (M): How did your journey with autoimmune issues inform Uliv Golden Chai’s formulation?
Lishawn Lalonde (LL): I had inflammation issues due to autoimmune issues and went through huge lifestyle changes. I got rid of chemicals and preservatives in what I ate and did a high-alkaline anti-inflammatory diet. I also went through the process of clearing my mind and dealing with emotional issues. I experienced huge benefits from using healing, anti-inflammatory ingredients internally, so I started using these healing ingredients externally. As a former esthetician, I searched for ways to apply my anti-inflammatory, holistic lifestyle to my beauty regimen. Through trial and error, I slowly perfected the formulation using the same oils, spices, and herbs that had been so transformative in my health. I also included Coenzyme Q10, Sea Ferment, and Green Tea, because I wanted some anti-aging results as well. I studied Le Mer for ideas, and that inspired me to include organic sea ferment.
M: Your company Uliv is about more than skin, isn’t it?
LL: The product captures my life journey. I’ve struggled with self-hatred and tried to be perfect. When I got seriously ill, I was forced to slow down and approach life differently. I had a lot of internal healing that took place. At the same time, I transformed my diet and lifestyle and experienced such health benefits. I came to the understanding that how I live matters. In creating skincare, I was trying to come up with a beautiful product that would build a relationship with skin, not a reaction. You can have ongoing results with Golden Chai Facial Souffle because skin inherently knows what to do with the ingredients. I wanted to create something nourishing and long-term, not an artificial instant fix. So many instant gratification products work in the moment only to end up aging you in the long run. I wanted to provide something different. At Uliv, the motto is: “I live. I love. I learn. How do Uliv?” Uliv is about being intentional, thinking about what you’re putting in and on your body, building relationship It’s a product that really will make a healing difference on your skin and will bring a glow.”
M: One of the many lovely things about Uliv Skin is that, in contrast to a lot of other handcrafted green skincare companies, the consumer does not have to pay hundreds of dollars for a great product.
LL: Yes, I can’t understand where the cost is going for some of those products. I wanted everyone to be able to afford it and have access to it. It’s not cheap because the ingredients are costly, but I want it to be accessible.
M: Uliv has a very accepting and positive stance toward aging. How did you come to this, and what advice do you have to help others move closer to acceptance?
LL: As women, we have so much pressure to look a certain way. I came to this gradually. At first, I would admire and feel pressure to look like women who had had cosmetic work done. I had to let go of the idea of turning to Botox or filler and focus instead on aging gracefully. I think we’re deceived about what beauty really is. Media covets beauty in the wrong way—the media has turned beauty into something that you can manufacture. Real beauty shines in your flaws. Your face is a history book. The process of aging is a beautiful thing, and I’m learning to embrace my lines, accept natural beauty, love who I am.
M: What inspired you to go from making products for yourself and friends to starting a company?
LL: While working as an esthetician, I started giving my cream to friends, then to some clients. Word spread, and I made it available to local people around town. I kept getting a lot of positive feedback. Everyone said they wanted to be able to purchase this cream. They said they needed their glow! In terms of stepping into the business world, I had a lot of courage when I went into the Indie Beauty Expo. We had just officially launched about two weeks before the Expo itself, so it was a huge risk, but we had a good response. That experience gave me the confidence I needed to go into the business a little more, a little deeper.
M: What’s been the biggest challenge of starting and running your own company?
LL: The technical issues of running a business have been challenging—the business license, legal details, and those sorts of things. Also, I had to have a lot of courage just to put my product out there, because it was so intimately tied to my personal journey. I was offering something very personal to me.
M: I love the smell of Golden Chai Facial Soufflé. How would you describe it?
LL: The smell that I was going for was turmeric latte with notes of turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey.
M: You are already giving back as part of Uliv’s Mission. Tell us about that.
LL: In the month of March, we partnered with Connecting to Cure Crohn’s + Colitis and gave all proceeds of the month to that cause. I plan to do it again next year. My goal is to be able to expand this and pour money into more nonprofit foundations as I become more successful.
M: What is next on the horizon for Uliv Skincare?
LL: I want to let things organically bloom out. Our products are handmade in small batches, which is important to me. We will be doing a bit of an upgrade on the Golden Chai Soufflé, and we are collaborating with local farms to bring even more incredible ingredients and make it even more stable. In terms of products, we are going to come out with Golden Chai Oil Cleanser and Golden Chai Nourishing Oil. We are partnering with an olive farm that presses their own oils (using the young harvest with the most antioxidants) on new oil-based products.
Lishawn Lalonde, Founder and Formulator of Uliv Skincare surrounded by naturePlease stay tuned for more updates as Uliv Skincare unveils these new products (because you can bet I will want to try them!).