I met Miss Leia Sergakis mid summer of 2019, at an intimate beauty event in Los Angeles. From the moment she walked into view I knew she was special. Her light was as big and bright as her smile. Her very presence effortlessly commanded attention yet was humble and approachable. Honestly, I’m not sure if Leia is completely aware of her super-power to draw attention the way she does. All I know is that she’s shaking things up with her honesty and rawness. She hosts a talk show on YouTube called Table for One with Leia Sergakis worth checking out.
Lyda and I met up with Leia a couple of weeks later to discuss life overall and how we’re all on a similar mission to uplift women and make a positive impact on the world in any way we can. We discussed all things love, life, pain and triumph and by the end of the night became fast friends. Leia made it easy to decide who I’d interview next for the Lyda Beauty “Rebels with a Cause” Interview series. Without further ado, meet Miss Leia Sergakis:
KG: What’s your full name?
LS: Vasileia Bill Sergakis, it’s a little unusual I know, my Dad’s got jokes. Seriously though, he just wanted his name in the mix.
KG: Do you have any nicknames?
LS: Leia-Bill, sometimes Lele but most of the time people call me Leia which is short for Vasileia.
KG: Where are you from?
LS: I am Greek, 2nd generation American and I was born and raised in Salt Lake, Utah.
KG: How was it growing up in Utah?
LS: Growing up in Utah… I had a hard time from a young age because most of the girls looked like Barbie dolls, they were blonde, skinny and blue eyed and here I was the chubby Greek kid with dark hair. I didn’t quite fit in. Also the majority of the state was also centered around LDS (Latter-Day Saints otherwise known as Mormons) and my family was not, so I didn’t do a lot of the things the other kids did. That taught me at a young age to create my own lane and follow my own path. As a kid that was tough but now I see it as a blessing.
KG: What insecurities that you may have had growing up are your strength now?
LS: Oh gosh, looking different. You know it is said that you never lose your childhood insecurities you just learn to live with them and I find that to be true for me. I feel comfortable in my own skin but I can’t say that I don’t struggle. I grew up in a time where my look wasn’t considered beautiful and that really affected me. At the same time it’s been a blessing because I never relied on my exterior much. I remember my father putting a high emphasis on education above all things so looks weren’t as important at home. I now love my look and I love being different.
KG: Where did your strength come from?
LS: I feel like seeing my family go through so much and still have such a strong and positive outlook on life really kept me grounded. You know my grandfather came as an immigrant at the age of 17 with no money and he struggled a lot and despite what he faced he kept going, he kept pushing and didn’t complain… I am definitely a product of that environment.
KG: What do you think of Lyda and her mission to take the road less traveled and represent the warrior woman?
LS: I love it! Honestly, the first time I met Lyda I fell in love with her! The thing is “warrior” is a big word for me and she mentioned being more about representing a warrior type of woman than the princess. I can totally relate to that because although I’m feminine I’m not really that girly in demeanor.
KG: How old were you when you first wore make-up?
LS: I started wearing very light make up in the 6th grade, so I must have been like 11 years old but it was just mascara and lip gloss or something to that affect. It wasn’t until about 15 that I started to wear powder and now at 28 we contour.
KG: What was your first impression of the Cleopatra Cat Eye Stamp?
LS: Oh my god I loved it! Its genius! I love that it stays on all day, I brought 2 with me to Utah (she chuckles). Even when I don’t use the stamp end, the felt tip is so good that it’s become my go to eyeliner.
LS: It stays on all day and doesn’t smudge and I love the way the felt tip works, it’s just really well made. Good job Lyda Beauty!
KG: Where do you see the makeup industry going?
LS: I love that it’s becoming more sustainable and it's more intentional with the ingredients they’re using to formulate with. I feel like it’s going to continue to go in that ecofriendly direction… all the make-up that we could possibly need already exists now they’re just making it better. They’re using less harmful ingredients and experimenting less and less on animals. Not to mention they’re making it better for the environment by using biodegradable packaging and the likes.
KG: So would you say that you’re excited that make-up is becoming more sustainable in general?
LS: Yes, but I think what I love the most is that no one’s getting harmed. I’m one of those people that have a hard time harming another being for my own benefit, so I do my homework and if a brand experiments on bunnies or animals in general, I don’t support it. Seeing the whole industry shifting to a more humane way of manufacturing is really beautiful.
KG: I know that you're huge on using only cruelty free products. Why is that so important to you?
LS: I have just always been such a sensitive person towards animals. I think mostly because my first pet was a pig named Babe and he was sent to a farm. And growing up I didn’t eat meat because I was afraid I’d eat Babe one day and I didn’t want to do that so I became a vegetarian early on. I’ve converted to full on vegan in the last two years because I love animals too much to eat them or support them being experimented on.
KG: What changes would you like to see more of in the beauty world?
LS: I like that it’s becoming more inclusive, I’d like to see more of that. I love that all types of humans are being represented nowadays and the beauty standard is becoming more about the beauty within. Which is great because what’s beauty on the outside if you don’t feel beautiful on the inside? For me it’s always been more about your heart than your façade because what good is a beautiful exterior if you’re not right within?
KG: What is beauty to you?
LS: Beauty to me is someone who is unapologetically themselves and don’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks of them, they’re able to just speak their mind, hold their truth and just trail blaze their own path.
KG: Were you always this outgoing?
LS: Yeah! I was always the louder one. In college I was even put apart from everyone else and literally sat next to the professor for the year. I remember thinking to myself, “Who does that in college?!?”
KG: In your circle of friends/family what are you known for?
LS: I would say I’m known for being the entertainment and the counselor.
KG: Were you always a boss or did you grow into one?
LS: I’ve always had this grind, I’ve always pushed boundaries to see how far they’d go so I guess you can say I’ve always been a go getter.
KG: I'm a fan of your table for one YouTube channel, what motivated you to start it?
LS: I was just trying to find myself through shared honest dialogue and I received a lot of attention, then BeautyCon reached out and soon after a network picked up my show.
KG: What was your childhood dream?
LS: Oh man! To be a dolphin trainer, they’re amazing creatures. I actually got to swim with them in the Bahamas not too long ago.
KG: If grown Leia could go back in time and give one bit of advice to 8 year old Leia, what would you say?
LS: I’d tell her that she’s going to be fine and that the things that make her feel out of place now will one day take her places so hang on tight and keep doing you. Also, to never dim your voice or your light to make anyone else feel comfortable, embrace every part that makes you, you!
Leia’s interview was easy and relatable because I was that oddball growing up too, kinda still am, the difference is now I have a tribe of odd balls so I don’t feel so singled out anymore. I wondered if we’d truly be the same person today had an older us advised little us? After all, is it not the pain and struggle that builds our character? I hope that whatever phase of life you’re in today, you remember that it’s but a stepping stone to a greater you. You’ve got this, we believe in you.