The Clean Eye Queen: We Love Eyes' Tanya Gill
We Love Eyes is a brand-new-to-the-beauty-table company that has created an optometrist-developed vegan, all-natural eye makeup cleansing line.
We had a little chat with We Love Eyes founder/Oakland Vision Center Optometry owner/dry-eye-treater/never-say-never-er Dr. Tanya Gill about how the creation of We Love Eyes (and a few other beauty-related topics).
You have a pretty impressive professional portfolio! What caused you to shift gears and focus your attention on creating an eye makeup removal line?
Awww. Thank you so much! I created an eye makeup removal line because my patients needed something healthier. There was nothing on the market that was natural, non-toxic, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free – so I made it.
Let's be honest here. So many of my patients sleep in their eye makeup because they are afraid of hurting the delicate skin around the eyes or damaging their eyelashes. Most of my patients that do remove their eye makeup, use products with so many synthetic and toxic ingredients that it makes their eyes feel more dry, more red and less beautiful. It was a problem that seemed un-fixable as before I could never recommend any products with full confidence. Now I can.
Tea tree oil is magical. When did you first have the revelation that it would be ideal to use in an eyelid and eyelash cleansing system?
Tea tree oil is the IT thing right now for eye doctors. It naturally controls bacteria and demodex (think mites that live in dirty eyelash follicles, ick!), and thus naturally removes sources of inflammation. Optometrists love it because it's so amazing at cleaning the oil glands of the eyelid and the follicles of the eyelashes – the 2 things that keep happy eyes whiter and brighter. I didn't believe it until I tried it on myself. If I don't use We Love Eyes the night before, my eyes feel super dry in the morning.
We are always curious to know what the creating-a-new-product process is like. Mind indulging us?
Taking an idea and making it come to life is an amazing journey. First you have that problem you're trying to solve – the idea. Then you turn your kitchen into a chemistry lab for months. Then testing the product on human volunteers, i.e. friends. Next comes safety testing at an FDA-approved lab with crossed fingers. Then label design, bottle design and box design. After many months of ups and downs, production finally happens.
Creating a new product is not for the faint of heart, but there are no words to describe that moment when you are holding that idea in the palm of your hand. It's incredibly fulfilling. And yes, no friends were harmed during the process.
Since we are (sort of) on the topic of eye makeup, can you tell us which mascaras and eyeliners you always reach for?
Right now I'm obsessed with 100% Pure's Black Tea Long Last Liquid Eye Liner and Lily Lolo's Creamy Lash Alert Pure Natural Vegan Mascara. Both are plant-based, non-toxic and totally glamorous. I made the switch from NARS and MAC about 2 years ago and my white eyes haven't looked back since.
Do you live by any beauty philosophies or mantras?
Oh yes! To me, beauty is about making choices for longevity and being comfortable with your body. Here are my 2 favorite Dr. Gill-isms.
- "Beauty is brains deep."
- "It's only a walk of shame because you didn't remove your eye makeup."
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes! Sleeping in your eye makeup is totally gross. Don't do it.
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