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It’s Deeper Than Skin™
It’s Deeper Than Skin™ is a compilation of interviews featuring diverse multicultural individuals each carrying unique aspirations and desires yet bound by a common passion to create a more joyful, diverse and inclusive space for us all. They inspire, empower and help transform the way we think and feel about beauty, culture, ancient traditions, diversity, mental health, societal standards and more. Through these multifaceted lenses, we learn to celebrate our uniqueness and are reminded once again that our beauty is deeper than skin.
“I believe well-ageing is simply a shift in thinking. To happily accept the ageing process and not feel the need to erase every fine line and wrinkle that pops up.” Those who follow Gillian Latu (@growintoyourglow) will know how we couldn’t help but gravitate towards Gillian's frank, reliable and straightforward beauty blog.
While mainly focusing on skincare, her Instagram page also occasionally features makeup, hair and fragrance products, providing an all-rounded beauty guide centred around self-care, well-being and happiness.
In this interview, we speak with Gillian on her thoughts on well-ageing in the beauty industry, her routine and her favourite skincare tip.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Gillian! I’m a Canadian living in New Zealand. I’m a mother but also a stepmother and I would say my first real passion and the one thing I never doubt myself on is parenting.
What inspired you to join the online skincare community?
I started posting my routines on my personal Instagram page but my friends never understood the love and fascination I had for skincare. Then I met some friends through the beauty community who finally convinced me to start my own beauty page!
Tell us about your skin journey and how would you describe your current state of skin?
At the start of my journey into taking care of my skin, I was very into trending ingredients and brands, not doing much research into what the ingredients did or when/how I should use them (It was a mess!). The current state of my skin is happy and healthy. I haven’t had a breakout for so long (fingers-crossed I don’t jinx myself) and I got ID-ed today buying wine for Father’s Day, so that’s always fun!
As an advocate of well-ageing, what are your thoughts on how the beauty/skincare industry views ageing?
I believe well-ageing is simply a shift in thinking. To happily accept the ageing process and not feel the need to erase every fine line and wrinkle that pops up. I see the shift gradually happening in the beauty industry, but I want to see more of it.
Let’s have our models be not only the fresh faced 20-year-olds or the white haired 50-year-olds. Let’s have representation for every age group and their unique skin struggles or goals. Let’s see all ages being celebrated!
We love how you mix pampering green beauty with some hard hitting active skincare. What is important to you when compiling a skincare routine?
I find categorically mixing skincare works best for me, and more importantly, it’s what I find most pleasurable. Everyone’s routines will differ greatly depending on what’s important to them.
For me, each niche holds something special. I love the luxury/green skincare space for pampering cleansers and rich, sensory masks. Whereas, I mostly used to turn to “clinical” skincare for my actives. My favourite category of skincare has definitely become the smaller, more indie brands. That’s what has brought me and my skin the most joy and results.
Growing up, what skincare traditions or customs did you practice?
I wasn’t shown any sort of beauty traditions by my mom. We got bowl cuts by her and she didn’t wear much makeup or skincare at all. Though my grandma had long silver hair that she’d wear in a braid wrapped around her head like a crown, and I remember being in awe on rare occasions where she would take her hair out and brush it in front of me.
What is your current skincare ritual?
We’re currently in lockdown, so my AM routines are slower, which I really am grateful for. I’ve been sticking to the same products, with maximum 2 serums in the AM, which is very paired back for me. In the PM, I enjoy LED light therapy. It slows me right down and adds in so much relaxation for me.
Do you have a favourite Sachi Skin product?
I don’t like picking favourites. Sachi Skin has sort of covered all the bases with each product. The Triphala Pigmentation Corrector provides slow and steady, but instant joy, fitting in so easily with all my routines. I think I enjoy using the Complexion Clarifying Accelerator the most as I’m such a sucker for a good acid blend. However, the Ursolic Acid and Retinal Overnight Reform surprised me the most. I’ve never fallen so hard and so quickly for a retinal. It brought such noticeable results so quickly that it really astounded me. I could go on...
How has your skincare routine changed since you moved from Canada to New Zealand?
It’s amazing to see how much my taste has changed throughout the years. When I was in Canada, I was single and would be out with my friends a lot, so I paid more attention to my skin on those late nights and all of the products I used were from big brands sold at Sephora.
As I’ve now become a Mom in New Zealand, my skincare has become all about consistency and finding smaller brands to use, mostly because Sephora just opened in New Zealand a few years back and they still only stock limited brands.
Which Tattoo means the most to you?
My favourite and most meaningful piece is my sleeve. The whole thing is Toronto, from the street I grew up on, my favourite piece of Graffiti in the city, to replica of a photograph of my best friend’s hands and mine intertwined. It grounds me and brings me a lot of joy by reminding me of the city that I grew up in.
Tell us something that people may not know about you?
I have a lot of quirks that only people close to me know about. I’m definitely a bit of an oddball, which I’ve come to appreciate.
What is the best skincare advice you have received?
I think the best skincare advice I got is very basic, but something I never considered. That is, to always wash your hands before cleaning your face. I can’t imagine all the germs and grossness I used to smear around my face!
Quick fire Questions!
Coffee Tea or Neither?
Always coffee. Coffee always.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My cat Whhitacker gets me out of bed in the AMs. He’s helped me through so much. I really have so much love for my cat and pets in general.
What are you currently watching on Netflix?
My daughter forces me to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She’s obsessed.
What is on your current playlist?
I listen to so many different types of music based on my mood. My husband and I have recently started listening to 80’s jams to workout and it’s so much fun. I end up dancing half the workout away.
Finish the sentence: I feel beautiful when...
I feel beautiful when I’m with the people that know me inside out.
Anything exciting coming up for you in the next few months?
I’m not really thinking too far into the future at the moment with the two years of lockdowns, but I’ve come to accept that I will probably not be able to see my family in Toronto for a good while. At the start of the pandemic, this brought me to my knees. Now, I am just grateful that I get to FaceTime them and that they’re healthy.