Although you may not know her name, chances are that you’ve tried more than one of Jami Morse Heidegger’s beauty products. The former heiress to the Kiehl’s empire comes from a long lineage of “lotion and potion players,” and masterminded many of the brand’s cult skincare products during her family’s reign. The story goes that her grandfather Mr. Irving Morse, purchased the American pharmacy in 1921 and with the assistance of her father, the two built it to the star status in which is resides today. Then, in 1988, Jami joined the business and eventually sold Kiehl’s to L’Oreal in early 2000, retaining her position at the company until she felt like she was missing out on her children’s early years. “I just wanted to spend time with them and be a stay at home mom,” she says. Years of school runs and happy family life followed, until Jami turned 40 and noticed that her skin wasn’t what it used to be. “It was getting drier and I could see it rapidly and visibly aging.” Like any cosmetic heiress with an encyclopedic knowledge of ingredients in her bones, her solution was to contact a scientist and directly inform him what she wanted: A fragrance-free, potent moisturizer loaded with natural antioxidants in a highly absorbable and penetrative serum formula. “I instructed him to leave no stone unturned creating it, regardless of price. It was just for me and I needed it to be perfect.”
When the formula was finally perfected, Jami started to share her secret potion with friends and fellow parents on her children’s horse riding and skiing circuit. “It was a real cottage industry, but then my husband pointed out that I was just bankrolling everyone’s beauty routine. I had no intention of going back to work, but eventually his sense prevailed and thus the Retrouvé line was born and I was coerced out of retirement.”
Launched in collaboration with said persuasive husband Klaus Heidegger, Retrouvé takes its name from the French expression for ‘found again.’ To begin, the two tested the market quietly in Paris and Vienna—initially unsure if the formula would be met with success or if people would be willing to invest so heavily in skincare. Any worries were quickly abated and so earlier this year, the duo brought Retrouvé stateside to a select number of beauty counters. “We make a limited number of products via a very complicated procedure and use the least amount of preservatives possible,” explains Jami. “It’s really something that hasn’t existed on the market before and it can’t be made in the same clinical way as most beauty products. There is romance and artistry in the entire process of Retrouvé—from the way it’s made to ritual in which you apply it.”
The one-product line has now expanded to include four tried and tested face and eye formulas, which satisfy Jami’s original plan to prevent and treat visible signs of aging. Synthetic fillers don’t exist in the world of Retrouvé, so in their place you’ll find a high concentration of precious natural ingredients ranging from white tea to deep-sea marine algaes. The packaging and glass bottles come uniformly cloaked in black to avoid oxidization, and each formula is released via an airless pump to avoid product contamination and increase shelf life. Due to the fact that fragrance is known to be the most common skin irritant, all Retrouvé products are and always will be fragrance-free.
Later this month, Retrouvé is launching a new cleanser that will complete the routine. The formula contains fruit acids to gently clean and slough away dead skin cells, priming the face for maximum absorption of any subsequent treatment. “It’s a shame to invest in great creams only to put them on dead skin. That’s why this product was a real must for us to launch,” says Jami. “It has the same thick, luxurious, elegant texture which I strive for in everything that we make.” After that, Jami hopes to launch a body oil which she’s been using on herself for some time.
Naturally, such attention to detail doesn’t come cheap, but we can personally vouch that Retrouvé products work. Investing in luxury skincare is really the same concept as buying a classic Chanel handbag over ten fad items which you’ll throw away over time. The costs per wear add up, and if you’re going to scrimp, why chose to do so on something as visible as your skin? Call us vain, but there is no argument for that.
Portrait Francesco CarrozziniEND
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createdAt:Mon, 01 May 2017 19:15:49 +0000