Q
We're so excited to be featuring Merumaya in the BBL box as you're a brand who’s new to us here at Latest in Beauty. What was the inspiration behind starting up the brand?
A
The inspiration is integrative health which is about prevention AND cure to achieve a healthy, mobile life until the end. That concept is the basis for my Integrative Skincare which is about preventing and perfecting signs of skin ageing with evidence-based actives that deliver results at an accessible price. It is never too early or too late to prevent further skin ageing. In addition, I integrated the signature essence blend to engage the senses and put the pleasure and sensuality back into skincare. Finally, it is a British brand that is also made in Britain using global intelligence so; it supports our economy which helps everyone.
Q
It seems as if Merumaya was quite a personal labour of love. What were some of the challenges you faced creating your very own skincare line?
A
There were several challenges. Creating products with extremely high levels of actives is very costly and presenting them at these prices was a huge challenge. I had to convince suppliers that this will be the next big British brand and to give me favourable pricing and service so that I could keep to my price position. Add to that, convincing customers that price does not always equate quality. I have lower overheads and am prepared to take a lower margin and in return, I need the help of everyone who loves these products to tell all their friends. Communicating the pillars of principle that the brand stands upon – Performance, Perfect & Prevent, Price, Pleasure, Practicality as well as communicating the products via bloggers and journalists. Finally, being the David up against the corporate Goliath to achieve cut through, is a daily struggle. I hope that the British public will begin to include British premium skincare brands alongside American and French, within their buying choice because we have a long history of creativity, innovation and excellence and select on the merit of the product.
Q
You've had such a successful career and have worked with some huge names. Have you always wanted to work within the beauty industry?
A
Oh yes. There are photographs of me at two years old always with a comb in my hand and I did study hairdressing and beauty therapy. Having my own brand was a long held dream too and the reality of the products is even better than I had imagined.
Q
How have some of the things you've learnt along the way incorporated themselves into Merumaya?
A
Throughout my career, even in the most senior executive positions on both sides of the Atlantic, I always spent two days a week in the stores where I could talk to consultants and customers directly to learn what they really want from their skincare products. During the creation of my products and working with the four scientists, I always imagined the customer, their life, time restraints and thought about how I could give the best results while also adding pleasure and practicality (time saving) at a great price. Melting Cleansing Balm is an incredible example of that process. Taking an already successful category and making it better. Squeeze out of a tube, incredible ingredients, saves time, engages the senses, easy to apply and remove and about 2.5 times more cost effective than the leading brands. The customer is always at the forefront of my creative process and they are involved well before I ever launch a product with their views- those that are signed up to my e-alerts get to test the products before I manufacture.
Q
We love the Melting Cleansing Balm featured in the BBL box! Do you have any outspoken fans of the product so far?
A
This product has captured the imagination of so many, pretty much every magazine (Grazia, Tatler, You Magazine) vlogger (Essie Button and Lily Pebbles) and every blogger (Caroline Hirons) has written about it and, very favourable. Have a look and see for yourself! We've even had celebrities such as Tandie Newton and Kara Tointon Tweet about it. Tandie actually said it is her “new cleanser crush”!
Q
Cleansing balms are still relatively new to the beauty world, how exactly do you use them?
A
Traditionally, they are fairly solid and waxy which means extra time spent warming it, massaging it in and removing it. Melting Cleansing Balm saves approximately 45 seconds every time and over a year that is half a day! Bet you would rather do something other than cleanse with that time! Melting Cleansing Balm stands apart because it is squeezed out of a tube rather than scraped out of a jar. It literally melts onto the skin and picks up all the make up and debris of the day. Add a touch of water and it turns to milk, making it super quick to remove with Daily Cleansing Cloths and if you are feeling a little lazy, you can splash it off without any waxy residue. The sweet almond and echium oil along with mangosteen extract leave the skin feeling moisturised and yet thoroughly clean, soft and velvety.
Q
How important is a thorough cleansing step to a good skincare routine?
A
I believe that if you wear face make up you should double cleanse at night. That is one of the reasons why your skin feels so good after a facial – thorough cleansing. First application removes make up and the second actually cleanses the skin underneath. It is the cornerstone to vibrant healthy looking skin. If you have troubled skin, remove make up with Melting Cleansing Balm and wash the skin with Luxury Facial Wash. If you have ever seen brown streaks on your white towel or on your cotton pad with toner, you know that you have not cleaned your skin! When you do, everything else after that goes to work much better and more effectively.
Q
When you were bringing the Merumaya range to life, what kind of person did you have in mind as a Merumaya woman?
A
Every one of them in the developed and developing markets. People who aspire to trade up from mass brands, people who have semi invasive treatments at great cost and need effective skincare at a more reasonable cost, those who through the recession have re-evaluated their shopping habits, those with high disposable income that do not define themselves by how much they can afford to spend on products, those that consider what’s on offer and make their own informed decision rather than following the crowd or the latest trend, those who use mid market products already, those who want to support British brands and find they are equally if not better than international brands, those who are willing to try a non conformist brand. See, everyone!
Q
What are some of the benefits you might see to your skin when using the Merumaya range and do you recommend the products for people with severe skin concerns?
A

You will see clarity, radiance, luminosity, plumpness, hydration, vitality. Then depending on which other product, you will see the results I put on the front of the pack all designed to help perfect existing skin ageing and prevent further signs appearing . It is about YOUTHFUL AGEING. If you are ageing it is a good thing; it means you are alive! My products will help you do it more youthfully and give you pleasure in the process.

WE have not tested for the following but have had amazing reports from customers with acne, psoriasis and cancer reporting wonderful results in their skin condition. I do not make those claims but the actives are incredible and I use them in the same concentrations as they were clinically tested in all my treatment products.

Q
This is a tough one! Which Merumaya product has been your personal skin saviour?
A
If there is only one product you use, it should be Iconic Youth Serum every time. It fits into every skincare routine, you see results from the first use and they just keep getting better and better. Then combine with Skin Brilliance Supplements for a holistic approach to youthful ageing. The other partner to Iconic Youth Serum is our unsung hero, Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF15 which lives in the shadows of IYS but is a genius for hydration, moisture and protection.
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