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The Glowdown

The Glowdown: Simona Popvassilev

After years of letting skincare take a backseat, Simona found herself face-to-face with a bevy of skincare flare-ups that helped her recognize the importance of washing her face and committing to a skincare routine targeting her adult acne, hyperpigmentation and dryness. Find out what skincare solutions helped her create a clear, bright complexion to face life’s challenges, from running her own business to going on bad Bumble dates!

The Basics

Name Simona Popvassilev

Age 28

Occupation Co-Founder of Name of Love

Location NYC

Astrological Sign Full-blown Sagittarius

If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Curious, Independent, Self-Aware

When were you first introduced to Erno Laszlo and how?

I couldn’t help but notice serious Erno Laszlo mentions and testimonials all over my favorite beauty blogs and websites in the past year (Into The Gloss, Violet Grey, Byrdie Beauty).

What does Erno Laszlo mean to you?
I think of EL as being trusted European science & with an American POV.

Favorite Erno Laszlo product?

Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask! The texture is unlike any mask I’ve had – light, cool and super, super hydrating. It also has an incredible scent that makes bedtime all-the-more exciting.

Career

What does a typical day look like for you at work?

Co-Founding a business means every day is different, as you have your hand in absolutely every aspect of the business, from the fun stuff like photo selects and social captions, to the absolute most boring – like tax compliance! A typical day starts with a status update with my partner on all areas. We’ll work on certain items together, but with so much at hand – I love to encourage us to divide and conquer, assign and kick-start certain items independently, and come together for review. (Pro Tip!)

What is one piece of advice you would give others trying to get where you are today?

We’ve all heard it – but being a business owner is both the most gratifying and most terrifying job you’ll have. On the scale of commitments, it feels like having a child. Conceiving it is the fun part and maintaining it is a full-time job. You get what you put in. If you think you’re ready to make the leap, assess the potential impact to your lifestyle and your personal relationships against the (potentially amazing) rewards, and decide if you can devote what it takes.  

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about your job?

That for a pretty polished and growing company, we’re still a lean operation! As a founder, I’m super hands-on in absolutely every aspect.  

Love

What’s your favorite date night spot in New York City?

Some favorites in my neighborhood (Williamsburg) include:

St Mazie’s - a classic for cocktails, bites and a 1930’s jazz band live band in a romantic setting.

Fresh Kills - another cocktail bar in Williamsburg.

Mezcalaria Milagrosa – because my ideal date ends in dancing in a tiny new mezcal bar to disco records played on vinyl.

Briefly describe to us your best and worst date.

Best has been any great, charismatic guy who’s ever taken me dancing. (Hi, guys!) Worst was a distant Bumble date with a very good looking, zero-personality guy (at a stupid bar of his choice), whose conversation skills were about as interesting as watching paint dry.  

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in regards to love/relationships?

Don’t let him tell you more than once that he doesn’t want you.

Skincare

Tell us about your relationship with skincare. Where did it start? How has it evolved?

Oh, this is so much fun. My relationship with skincare was nothing until about two years ago, when suddenly I noticed my complexion was every bad thing that they said would happen if I kept staring into the sun without SPF and not washing off my makeup. I woke up one day at 26 and had adult acne, hyperpigmentation, dryness, dark circles and wrinkles. For the past two years, I’ve been educating myself and taking pride (and a lot of pleasure) in trying new things for positive long-term results and prevention. Details below!

Best beauty advice your Mom/Grandma/Aunt, etc. shared with you?

Wash. Your. Face.  

What is your skincare/beauty guilty pleasure/confession? (We won't judge!)

Despite knowing it’s wrong, I still like to sit in front of a magnifying mirror and harrass my pores for hours.

Walk us through your typical morning and evening skincare routine. How and why does it differ on a daily basis?

They are very similar, save for a few key products. Evenings, I start by scrubbing off the day with a strong salicylic acid cleanser (for the acne). Then I tone. Lately I use Kate Sommervile’s Clarifying Lactic acid toner. I alternate nights between Skinceuticals 1.0 Retinol – and mask nights with Erno’s Hydra-Therapy Mask. I also take Murad’s Clarifying Dietary Supplement – which I swear has wiped my adult acne - both day and night. Mornings, I use a gentler cleanser, take the Murad pill, tone again and use Erno’s Firmarine Moisturizer – which is so delicious and rich and has SPF. I’m also very generous with Erno’s Ocuphel Emollient Eye Cream. I really love both of these because my skin is so, so dry without.

Do you have a skincare/beauty hack to share?

For me, the miracle of the year for my fight against Acne has been the Murad Clarifying pills. I think the key active is Zinc. Turns out, some things really are best cured from within.

Beauty

You’re stranded on a deserted island and can only bring 5 skincare/beauty products. What are they?

Face wipes, SPF, Erno’s Firmarine Moisturizer and Ocuphel Eye Cream, so even if I am dying of dehydration, my skin isn’t. And retinol – so I can recover from the inevitable sun damage like a fresh daisy.

Who is your #1 beauty icon?

Call me basic, but Kim K. all the way.

You snoozed your alarm and only have time to brush your teeth and do one step in your skincare/beauty routine? What is it?

Moisturize!

The beauty (and fashion!) space is constantly evolving. What are your thoughts on its current status and how that impacts you as a woman? What do you wish this space would continue to improve on?

I think the most notable shift and trend in beauty currently is an openness amongst all types of women toward restoration and prevention, plus an interest in self-care. This has opened up more communication around cosmetic (invasive or non – from facials to needling to lasers to fillers and beyond) procedures. I think the taboo is lifting around those things. It used to be that people would divide the “Kardashian” type beauty from the organic naturalists – but the truth in beauty nowadays for most women is somewhere in between. You don’t have to pick a camp and you certainly don’t have to be apologetic about wanting to look and feel your best.

Et Cetera

Last Book You Read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcom Gladwell

Last Selfie You Took Saturday night, feeling myself in front of a “unite with love” poster

Last Text You Sent To my group girl chat re: an upcoming trip to Tulum

Last TV Show/Movie You Watched Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Last Thing You Ate Spicy Tuna Roll