MARIA’S FAVES:

Elle (Canada) - - Beauty - On­line Food

My first in­ter­ac­tion with the beauty in­dus­try was in [my home­land] Greece, when I started work­ing for Sev­en­teen mag­a­zine. I be­gan to see a gap in the mar­ket for a skin­care range that would of­fer nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tives to plas­tic surgery, but I didn’t have the business skills or knowl­edge to do any­thing about it. I ended up mov­ing to New York, study­ing business and then work­ing for an in­vest­ment bank—first in New York and then in London. Three years in, I re­al­ized that it just wasn’t my pas­sion. In 1999, I de­cided to launch Rodial. I worked from home, packed boxes—I did ev­ery­thing. Now we have over 100 em­ploy­ees around the world. Our big break came when our Tummy Tuck was put in an Os­cars af­ter­party gift bag and got into the hands of celebri­ties like Tom Cruise and An­gelina Jolie.

“Although we started with body prod­ucts, our skin­care range re­ally drives the business. The in­gre­di­ents have amaz­ing sto­ries. We started with our snake-venom serum, which uses a neu­ropep­tide that copies the ef­fect viper venom has on vic­tims, pro­vid­ing a freeze­like ef­fect. Our new­est launch is the Dragon’s Blood Eye Mask. It con­tains the red sap of the rare dragon’s blood tree from Ye­men to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, ar­nica ex­tract for dark cir­cles and co­conut fat to hydrate and mois­tur­ize.

“When you tran­si­tion your skin­care rou­tine into the win­ter sea­son, you need to keep skin hy­drated and not stripped of mois­ture; the cleanser you use is just as im­por­tant as the cream you use af­ter­wards. I think the most im­por­tant thing is to switch to a cleanser that won’t strip the skin and will keep it hy­drated—at this time of year, you need all the mois­ture you can get.

“My guilty plea­sure? I love The Real House­wives re­al­ity-TV shows. Orange County. And New York. And...I’ve watched all the At­lanta ones too. [Laughs] After a re­ally hard day in the of­fice, it puts your own prob­lems into per­spec­tive.” ■

Ji­va­mukti yoga “It’s very spir­i­tual and re­laxes me.” Cal­cium and mag­ne­sium “I take th­ese sup­ple­ments with an Emer­gen-C im­mune-sys­tem booster when­ever I fly.” Mykonos, Greece “I go there to re­lax; it’s our yearly fam­ily hol­i­day.” shop­ping “I love Wil­liamVin­tage—a vin­tage whole­sale shop with an on­line pres­ence—and Al­fies An­tique Mar­ket for home.” stops “I go to places in London that are sim­ple and cool: Pizza East, Shored­itch House, the Chiltern Firehouse, Elec­tric Diner.”

Maria Hatzis­te­fa­nis, founder of Rodial Soho House, London, Eng­land

Rodial Su­per Fit Boob Job Body­care ($82); Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks ($39 for eight sa­chets); Rodial Su­per Fit Size Zero Body­care ($68); Rodial Stem­cell Su­per-Food Cleanser ($38). For de­tails, see Shop­ping Guide.

Skin­care se­crets and guilty plea­sures

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