Cecilia Gorgon on Japan, skin care & a plant-based lifestyle
You might know Cecilia from the postcard inside your pink glossier bag, or from her successful ig account @ceciliagorgon where she captures her life in squares. You’ll see her sporting dewy looks and sustainable fashion, exploring Japan and cuddling with her dog Sigi.
We chatted with Cecilia to get the answers to some of the questions you might be left with after being exposed to such a beautiful and gentle soul. From her thoughts on her vegan journey to the skin care brands that she swears by -
Describe yourself using three words.
Curious, loving, thoughtful.
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu.
AM or PM?
AM! I love the light in the mornings.
Home-cooked meals or take-out?
Home-cooked meals always always always.
Favorite memory from the year so far?
I don’t have any specific favorite memory yet, but pretty much any moment spent with my husband and our puppy Sigi.
When/ where do you feel most like yourself?
I love just being at home. I also really love being around animals, I feel like my most peaceful and kind self when I am.
What does your morning routine look like?
On an ideal day, I wake up and snuggle for a bit and then take my puppy outside. I always mist my plants in the morning too, and I try to drink a litre of water right away. I was waking up and doing yoga pretty consistently but I’ve kinda been lazy lately. It feels so good to stretch and get moving right away though, so I want to get back to it ASAP.
Did you major in anything at university?
I was a Fine Art major. I studied illustration, painting, and ceramics mostly. I also minored in American Culture.
What is your dream job and how far have you come making it a reality?
I really have no idea to be honest. For awhile I wanted to do something in fashion or beauty, but I don’t feel very fulfilled by that anymore. I care a lot about the future of the planet and sustainability is really important to me. I’m not sure where those feelings will lead me, but I feel okay about that for now.
How did you first get in touch with Glossier?
I posted a picture on Instagram that tagged #ITGtopshelfie. They contacted me from there!
Could you describe the feeling of seeing yourself on a billboard for the first time?
Haha it was really just weird! It was cool and fun of course, but those kind of things never really feel real.
What is it about Japan that speaks to you?
I was in Japan for a month last summer, and it was a world shaping experience. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from home, and also the farthest I’ve ever been. One thing I really came to admire, was the japanese sense of time. In the USA people are very present minded. Americans rarely look to the past to inform decisions about the present and the future and that can be seen in how we treat each other, the land, and creatures around us. I noticed a huge difference in Japan. One thing that particularly stood out was how well they preserved their nature. The forrests were so dense, and mountains that had previously been cleared for mining were restored. Kyoto was so clean that the river was filled with frogs and cranes. It was so beautiful there. I could go on forever.
Anything exciting coming up this year?
I’m hoping to do a bit of traveling this year! I’m going to Italy this summer, and I’d love to make it to Mexico City at some point this year too.
Is there a life lesson from your childhood that you like to remind yourself of?
I remember as a child, I was always really interested and open towards other cultures. I’ve definitely continued to be that way, and I think it’s good to always remind yourself to be open to others.
One change you would like to see 2019?
I want to continue reducing my plastic usage as much as possible. I also want to work on my physical fitness and make that more of a priority because I just really hate working out but I want to get over that.
#1 tip for healthy skin?
Drink lots of water and moisturize! The more hydrated you are inside and out, the better!
Favorite skin care product, and why?
Facial oils in general because they are so versatile. You can use them to cleanse, remove makeup, moisturize, highlight in a pinch. They’re great. I love the Pure Marula oil by African Botanics and also the Renew Radiance Oil by True Botanicals.
What made you switch your diet to veganism?
First I went vegetarian back in January of 2018. I had been researching going vegan for a while before I actually made the change (probably about 6 months). I watched a ton of documentaries (like Cowspiracy and What the Health). I also did a lot of research about the health aspect of it all. There’s so much information that points to a vegan diet being the healthiest for us, but also for the planet. After learning everything I was still a little hesitant (cheese is hard to give up!). I watched a video of standard dairy farm practices by Earthling Ed on YouTube and I was crying the whole time. After I realized that I couldn’t participate in something that made me so sad. It’s been about a year of being vegan for me now, and I really feel it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What are a pro and a con when following the vegan lifestyle?
The main pro is that my actions line up with my values. I don’t want to contribute to climate change as much as possible, and being vegan is the most effective way to curb my contribution. Another pro is I feel so much better physically. A lot of people are lactose intolerant and don’t even know it! There’s so many hormones in meat and dairy and those can all have really negative effects on the body (for example, I used to get awful cramps during periods and I would have to take like 12 painkillers on the worst days, but after going vegan my periods are a completely painless and I don’t have to take any).
I don’t think there are any serious cons to going vegan, but one minor one is that depending on where you live, it can be pretty difficult to go out to eat. Some places have a really amazing vegan scene (Toronto, New York City), and other places are like complete deserts so you would just have to focus on cooking for yourself more which is probably better anyways.
Helpful tips for vegans on a budget?
I think the main way that being vegan ends up costing more is because there’s a misconception that in order to be vegan, or to be a healthy vegan, we need to eat all of the superfoods all of the time. This is definitely not true. Things like goji berries are super expensive and just not necessary. Processed things like vegan sausages etc are also pretty expensive (and unhealthy). Things like produce, beans, breads, tofu and grains are all really cheap and healthy.
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe?
My favorite thing to make is homemade tomato sauce. You’ll never want it from the can again.
Here’s my recipe:
Fill a large pot with water and put it on the stove to boil. Add a generous amount of salt. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, cut crosses at the tops of all the roma tomatoes and chop your onion. Blanch and peel the tomatoes.
While the tomatoes are in the ice water, heat olive oil in a pot and add in the onions. Saute them until they are golden and then add in the chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Mash the tomatoes (either with a potato masher, or blend them quickly on a low setting in a blender). Add the mashed/blended tomatoes to the onions and olive oil. Stir everything up and let it cook down until the sauce is thick (depending on the tomatoes this could take between 45 mins to 1 hour and half). Make sure you stir it every few minutes so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
Add more salt and pepper if you want and that’s it! The best sauce ever.
7 lbs of roma tomatoes (so you can make enough to put in a jar to use again!)
1-2 whole bulbs of garlic
What would you say is your main reason for choosing to buy/support the slow fashion movement?
I remember the first thing that made me stop wasn’t even really an ethical reason. I think it was my sophomore year of college, I had just ordered some things from Zara and they were all awful. The quality was so bad and I was just over it. I eventually ended up watching The True Cost and learning about the environmental impact and the human right issues with fast fashion. Once I learned what my own actions were feeding into, I just couldn’t participate.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is all about comfort. I also like to mix contemporary pieces with more classic designs. I feel really inspired by long hair in braids lately. I just think it looks so elegant. I feel like my style is inspired by a lot of different things and times and places and it’s really hard to summarize it haha!
Top three places to shop instead of supporting fast fashion?
Etsy is the best! There’s so much good vintage there. I also love supporting small brands like Doen and Paloma Wool.