How did you meet?
When Max and I met through mutual friends it was love at first sight. It hit us so tenderly when our eyes met. We instantly knew deep down inside that we were meant to envision and build something together that would inspire to lead a life in beauty, radiance and grace. We wanted to let something utterly beautiful grow out of our love story, something that benefits the world and helps to make it a better place by encouraging people to nurture a greater harmony with their bodies, their spirit, the environment and one another. It turned out to be our delightfully holistic, purely organic, eco-luxury skincare line “max and me”. “max and me” is unique in that we aim to take skincare to another level with highly vibrant ingredients, realigning people with the wholeness that is inside themselves, with their innate healing abilities.
Where does your interest in natural beauty come from? Growing up in Austria’s pure, pristine countryside with woods, fields of wild flowers and herbs all around me, I had a very deep love for nature already at a very early age. As a little girl I walked the woods for hours collecting herbs, berries and healing plants. Early on I also began discovering that there is much more to plants than what beholds the eye, that their energy communicates with my energy. Marveling at their deep healing abilities, I started to grow and tend my own rose-garden as a teenager, as I felt a strong connection to this beauty. Later as an adult, I felt a strong pull towards the Austrian Academy of Kinesiology. There I have been trained in energetic healing, kinesiology and aromatherapy. This enforced my intuitive talent of understanding plants and being able to tap them with my creative vein while formulating.
Max also partly grew up in the countryside at a farm, being totally immersed in the planting, nurturing and harvesting cycles from a very early age on. He has such a profound understanding of the natural rhythms of mother earth having been only six years old, when starting to help with growing crops and plants on the lands he lived on with his family.
So we both had a deep connection to plants and nature at a very early age in very unspoiled, pristine surroundings, feeling and sensing the pure and potent power of plants, embracing their huge healing capacities. With this rooted deep down inside of us, turning towards natural beauty was such a natural thing to do. There was no other way for us than to offer nature’s gifts in all the pure potency they embrace
What would be your ideal day together? We would get up early, meditate and then start to walk our garden with a freshly squeezed juice in our hands and some fruits to munch on. Then we would take a long, leisurely and relaxed breakfast, oh how we love breakfasting! Sometimes we even extend it to a most joyous reading time as we both are totally enamored with books.
We would probably then go for extended walks or runs in the nearby woods which breathe so much vibrant energy. We would then spend the rest of the day in our manufactory’s lush garden, drinking in each and every moment, enjoying the laughter of the butterflies, the orchestra of the birds, the humming of the bees, connecting with flowers and trees.
Harvesting herbs, vegetables, salads and fruits from our garden would be the ideal way to prepare dinner and lunch. Then we would sit by the fire reading books and listening to each other’s heartbeats.
What are your favorite products from your line? I would absolutely pick “purity&grace“ as a first choice, our beautiful, gentle facial oil cleanser. The way you cleanse your face can give such a tremendous balancing, regulating, detoxifying and hydrating boost. It will also determine how your skin takes on the products to follow and if you manage to keep your skin’s barrier happy and healthy.
Then I would indulge in “sweet serenity” mask&wash, my absolutely number one holy-grail product. This enticing gorgeousness is bursting with super antioxidants, inflammation tamers, as well as soothing and calming ingredients. Plus its Manuka honey acts also as a most beautiful humectant drawing moisture into the skin while boosting collagen. This really works for concerns from sensitive to troubled skin, from dull to aging skin, to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. “mask&wash” gives me such instant hydrating and brightening pleasures and its energy helps me to come home to myself, feeling ready to joyously take on any challenge that might come my way. I most often follow it with our face oil “I am the light“, which always works its magic on me, giving such an instant glow-getting hydration, sinking into thirsty skin so readily, leaving it smooth to the touch, moisturized and radiant.
Max is totally into body oils with his favorite being “a journey in time”, he massages it in after showering, each and every day. He so much loves the sultry, creamy, captivating note the scent has and he adores the ageless radiance it gives him. Another of his faves is applying “I am the light” in the morning, and award winning “enchanted“ with its calming and repairing benefits at night. It always cocoons him to sleep with its beautiful bouquet of flowers and woods and he so much enjoys waking up to beautiful, soft and smooth skin in the mornings. In colder months he feeds his skin with “sweet serenity” beauty balm, which gives him such nourishing, calming and hydrating pleasures. It also always remembers him of our beautiful journey to the island of Corse where we sourced the star ingredient: powerfully collagen, boosting, healing, inflammation-taming and repairing immortelle.
Can you tell us more about the formulation of your line? Formulating just intuitively flows out of my heart, my hands, I am deeply tuned into that magical process, it’s my true passion, my mission. While doing so I feel deeply connected with the oils, plants, powders, butters, I am working with. I simply love THAT MOMENT when a spark ignites my soul, when I lose my breath with delight and I exactly know what ingredients want to dance together, creating a most beautiful cadence, a rhythm of their own leading to heightened beauty and charisma, initiating skin’s innate self-healing powers. The birth of a new scent, a new blend, a new concoction is like giving birth to a child whom you lovingly carried with you over the months, nourishing it with your emotions and feelings, your attention and care. The journey from having an inspiration to seeing it soar and evolve.
What role do your children play in max and me? I so much love this question because we as a family are in this together. From the very beginning we told our children what we were planning to do and that it will be intense and time-consuming, and they couldn’t have been more supportive, encouraging and enthusiastic about birthing max and me.
We couldn’t have done it without their love, without them accepting our constant traveling to far, reaching places when we are sourcing or connecting with our worldwide community, without the older ones being so organized, thoughtful and willing to take care of the younger ones when we are totally immersed in production.
It is always a delicate balance, striving to be fully there as parents, being very present and at the same time raising that treasured manufactory of ours with all its challenges.
To always give our children the space and attention they need, we dedicate quality time to them each and every evening, no matter how much we have to do, cell-phones turned off, computers shut down just sitting with them, listening, playing, laughing, telling stories. Being there.
Is there a scent in your line that is specifically Austrian? The purity, the close and deep connection with nature and with plants, all stems from growing up in the countryside of Austria which is so pristine and beautifully entwined with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Wherever you go in Austria, even in the cities, there is untouched nature just around the corner. The whole country is very clean (Austrian Alps supply the whole country with the purest, natural drinking water), organically minded, thoughtful and mindful when it comes to preserving nature and minimizing our footprints here on earth. Austria also has one of the strictest laws and quality controls concerning organically certified cosmetics, even stricter than the European Community. All this left a deep imprint on our brand.
What are your self-care rituals? This is so essential that we are talking self-care here. In our over paced, performance-oriented world we need a counterbalance that renders us strong, steady and centered. A place where we may come home to ourselves to start off again beautifully and serene.
Skincare as a ceremony, as a ritual, is our number one choice to take that journey within, to take time to listen to our bodies, our intuition, our hearts and to live from that place, that bright spot inside ourselves. The scents and high vibrations of our treats help to quicken that sense of the essence in oneself and help you guide towards a way of caring for your skin, that is so much filled with presence, awakeness, attentiveness and dedication that it guides you to your inner essence and you have that lifting, blissed out, mind-blowing feeling of coming home, of being connected to who you really are, to the latitude of your heart, to your own healing powers and the healing powers of nature. These are moments of bliss and they are entirely yours!
What we also cherish as a self-care ritual is meditation when you are literally forced to sit with yourself, to breathe into yourself. Each time you sit, your stress, your tensions, your fears will not only melt away at the surface but also deep down, within your cells. This so beautifully resonates with our skincare line and supports what we are aiming to do with “max and me”, shifting the energy, easing the flow and opening up new powerful spaces within.
I would so wish for everyone to have daily self-care-rituals to get and remain connected. Our over digitalized society needs this so desperately, actually learning to see us in our wholeness again, in that underlying energetic nature of our bodies, of our skin and to tune into that body’s unique life-energy system.
It seems like you place such an emphasis on the vibration of plants, what is your philosophy on that? The most beautiful ingredient of our whole “max and me” collection which inspired us to birth a completely new vision of skincare is high vibration. It is so incredible what high vibrational plants can do to skin, soul and spirit. From use one, their immense benefits can be seen and strongly felt emotionally, mentally & spiritually, inspiring joy of life, expressions of creativity and clear intuition, letting you shine in all your beauty.
Everything has a vibration, each plant and ingredient has a vibrational signature that communicates with our cells. The higher an ingredient vibrates, the purer, the more lit from within, the more healing, the gentler yet the more focused it is in its communication. The better it can target troubled zones, the more it harmonizes and regulates skin. These high vibrational ingredients interact with the body to go where nothing else can go. To the nucleus. To each and every cell, tissue and organ. They suffuse your skin and your whole being with love, light and an exquisite harmony, realigning all your bodily systems and your energetic centres with their perfectly balanced, innate structure and rhythm. Initiating regulating impulses, nurturing self-healing capacities. All this is so beautiful and powerful for transforming skin’s overall health and appearance.