I guess most of you are back in Hong Kong from your summer holidays, and adjusting back into your everyday routines. Welcome back!
September is always a great time to pause and reflect, a sort of a last quarter check-in if you will, just before we close off the year (in a couple of months). On this note, the days are indeed long and the year so terribly short. Yet, the art of living beautifully in the present moment without being too influenced by external variables is a subject that remains close to heart.
On this month’s blog post for the ZS Communitea, we caught up with our lovely friend Monica, the founder of Monica Max Skincare, a Rome based botanical skincare company whom we met two summers ago in Italy.
Her adventures in business & everyday life is a story of magic, natural plant-based remedies & listening to one’s heart.
Now, put on the kettle, make some herbal tea (I am making Radiance mixed with Jasmine flowers this evening!) & read on:
1. Tell us a little bit of your story, how did Monica Max Skincare come about?
Talking about the story of Monica Max skincare there are some mystic and green magic mixed together. I have been always keen on beauty and taking care of my skin, hair and my overall health. While all teenagers were eating junk food , I turned vegetarian at the age of 16. I was taking a special care of what I was eating and I was active doing a lot of sports , one of my favorite is jogging and especially jogging in the nature , because in the nature I can renew my energy. I loved going to a field where I could find wild flowers , such as chamomiles and do a natural herbal infusion with it, or we can say a tea and use it for washing my face and of course rinse my hair with it , as it is a natural remedy for whitening your hair and making them look stronger.
When I moved to Italy ( I'm originally from Lithuania ) I fell in love with it and I found an inspiration on every corner of this beautiful country. I was so inspired of this made in Italy "art" I wanted to create it by myself. I graduated in law and started to work at law firm in Rome , but I didn't enjoy so much this kind of job and I was meditating all the time on what is my real dream job. And one day while I was sleeping I was dreaming that I was wearing a white coat and I was in room full of skincare and cosmetics products. When I woke up I thought should I be an esthetician? And when I was looking for a place to study cosmetology I found out studies of natural skincare formulation. I thought that's it ! That was a vision from my dream and I have to follow it. I really liked the idea because it was something which I have been in love already and to work everyday with it seemed to be a wonderful and such an inspiring idea. That's why I say that there are some mystic and green magic in the story of Monica Max skincare.
"...there are some mystic and green magic in the story of Monica Max skincare..."
2. We love your skincare products especially the marine collagen mask! We also know that you work as a full time model while running Monica Max Skincare. Do you have a beauty secret or two that you could share with us?
Thank you so much , there is nothing more important for me than to hear that my products could bring more beautiful skin for everyone who uses it. Yes , I have some beauty secrets or tips I could share with you. So number one : never go to sleep with your makeup on. Refresh your skin with toner , its like water for our body and then apply your cream , this is essential like a food for us. When you have some skincare issues such as acne , redness , dryness do not cover it up with makeup, instead - heal it ! I know some days you would not look like perfect but in this way you would prevent damage and repetition of the same skin problem in the future.
3.Do you have a beauty or wellness ritual? Describe your perfect day:)
Yes, I do have a wellness ritual ! So I love to do a complete face body and hair masking , where I apply a mask on my hair , other one on my face and the third one on the whole body.
I like to put some relaxing or inspiring music , depending on the ritual I'm making is it relaxing or is it energizing. I also like to have a tea while I'm doing this.
So that's my perfect day when I have time to do and create some beauty rituals even for myself as all the time I'm doing this for others.
"...My morning starts with a cup of hot tea, as I find it really important step of the day, my stomach and I feel really good..."
4.Are you a tea or coffee person?
That's a good question. My morning starts with a cup of hot tea, as I find it really important step of the day, my stomach and I feel really good. And after taking the tea I feel regenerated . And in the day time I love to have some espressos and cappuccinos!
5.What is your vision for your line of work with Monica Max Skincare?
Well our vision is Max, the same as our philosophy. When creating products we are inserting as many as possible active ingredients which synergistically work together and bring max results to the skin. That's why we are enriching Monica Max products with cosmeceuticals - ingredients which is something between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.At the moment we have vision to create a high end professional line for spa and esthetic centers and even treatments for home spa rituals. We have mission of bringing the best of fresh Mediterranean region ingredients for creating organic and effective skincare remedy.
6.If you could give one piece of advice for those who are starting a business/or are new in the women entrepreneur community, what would it be?
My advice would be to find your own niche of whatever you do and follow the path you chose no matter what. I would suggest not to follow "fashion vibes" or something which is popular at the moment, as you would confuse others on who you or your business really are. That was my own mistake and I realized that being less popular but being yourself and following your mission is way much better in a long time term as you find people who believe in what you do.
So set the goal and just keep going , success is just right on the corner.
“...find your own niche of whatever you do and follow the path you chose no matter what. I would suggest not to follow "fashion vibes" or something which is popular at the moment, as you would confuse others on who you or your business really are. That was my own mistake...”
7.Ok , last question! Describe your usual morning ritual while in Rome :
Oh, I just love mornings ! I start my morning by a reviving shower , here helps synergetic mix of rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils presented in Monica Max 100% lavanda pura shower gel. After that, I like to refresh and prepare my skin for the day. In the morning I need to feel immediate freshness, hydration and clean skin feeling , so I use a Monica Max Vitamin C deluxe essence. It is a botanical essence rich in refreshing extracts such as aloe vera, cucumber, orange blossom , mint , vitamin c etc. and I love that a spray doubles the freshness feeling on the skin helping me and my skin to wake up. As it is a toner and serum at the same time I use a cotton pad to gently wash my face after I spray it on. Later for my skin to get the moisture and plumpness and to be ready for a day I use my Monica Max facial cream with active botanicals. In fact, I can't live anymore without this product as it is a good moisturiser and wrinkles booster and it gives relaxed and fresh skin look. It is high in actives such as hyaluronic acid, allantoin, Coenzyme Q10 , Vitamin E and other 25 precious organic oils and extracts made in our laboratory in Rome, Italy.
If I have time in the morning, I love to take a cup of tea or coffee sit in the balcony with a beautiful view to the nature and do some meditation for positive energy and the whole body balance.
I hope even the beautifying and protecting skincare products work better in this way !😀😊
& that's it - I hope you enjoyed this month's blog update. If you 'd like to explore Monica's products, please follow the link to her online store here.
If you like our teas and/or our work, please share the love and tell your friends about our work. These small acts of kindness make a world of a difference to small businesses like ours.
Catch more of our updates on Instagram at @zippysparkles !
Sending love & cups of tea,