Skincare is an obsession amongst the QEEP UP team. Skin is important to us. No apologies!
When we find a product we love, we share… so when Maggie Q discovered Mahina Beauté’s Devavani Illuminating Face Oil, she immediately told the rest of us.
(Full disclosure: Maggie is old friends with Maria Robson, one of Mahina Beauté’s founders.)
We’re all converts to this face oil that’s vegan, organic, hand-formulated, and handcrafted in small batches. It’s rich and nourishing and absorbs beautifully into the skin. It’s not “oily” or greasy at all.
Maria and her cofounder, Suzanna Urszuly, met as teenage models in Japan, went their separate ways, and lost touch until a mutual friend put them back in contact six years ago in Los Angeles. (Maria’s the brunette; Suzanna’s the blonde, above.)
They instantly reconnected and knew they wanted to work on a project together. They started blogging about vegan and vegetarian cooking, but turned their attention to beauty when they realized how difficult it was to find high-end, vegan beauty products.
Two lucky people will win the Devavani Face Oil and the Rejuvenating Body Oil in our LOVE Giveaway, so enter now!
Startup Spotlight: Mahina Beauté
What made you pivot from food to beauty?
We were looking for a vegan hyaluronic acid and it’s really hard to find! The one we did eventually find lacked that luxury component. Skincare is a ritual and it should feel special. So we learned to make our own vegan hyaluronic acid. It was actually easy to make and it sparked something in us. It reminded us of mixing up homemade masks with our moms.
How did you learn how to formulate your own products?
We went to an English school because EU standards are way higher than in the US. We learned the basics—how to formulate and preserve—following EU regulations. We loved it. They kicked our butts and failed us the first time around for “only” getting 96%! But we loved the school and discovered we love formulating.
What do you love about formulating?
We’re making things we want to use. We found our passion, finally.
Maria: Before having a skincare company, I used to go to Sephora but now I go there, read the ingredients, and think, “This is crap, I can make it better myself!”
What are the challenges of a startup?
We officially launched in October 2019 and honestly, all the paperwork and trademarking was so time-consuming and difficult. Our lawyer at the time was a bully and we had to learn how to stand up for ourselves. Then there was the jealousy, the people who told us the market was too saturated for another beauty line. Other people who kept asking why we weren’t successful in a year.
With COVID, there was so much we didn’t have control over. So we took a step back, surrendered, and let the universe take control. Once we did that, our sales started taking off, especially in the new year.
Do you have advice for other entrepreneurs, especially women?
Suzanna: Go inwards and find something you truly love to do and create from that heart space. Don’t look externally, come from the heart.
Maria: If you can, delegate. Ask for help from friends, family, your partner. It’s hard for women; we’re expected to do everything on our own. But we should ask for help and create Me Time for ourselves.
What’s your favorite form of Me Time or Self-Care?
Maria: I love my bath. Meditation. Walking and playing with my dogs.
Suzanna: Reading spiritual books. Spending time in nature.
If there’s someone you think we should Spotlight (or if it’s you), tell us, please: firstname.lastname@example.org.