Some years ago, when I was in charge of the beauty beat at one Harper’s BAZAAR title, I discovered Omorovicza. One of my monthly tasks was to put together a two-page round-up of headlines. Obsessed with beauty — and skincare, in particular — I read and researched daily to scope out the best serums and creams to put on the readers’ radar. Through this process, I discovered the luxury Hungarian skincare brand.
Founded by Margaret and her husband, Stephen (of the noble Omorovicza family) in 2006, the company harnesses the healing powers of natural minerals from thermal water sites in Budapest, Hungary. Shortly after reaching out, I received an e-mail from Margaret. Days later, I received a parcel filled with the brand’s signature products to test out.
Having tried virtually everything under the sun, I knew I’d found a gem in the sea of beauty brands that crossed my desk on a daily basis. Delivering on both effectiveness and luxury, my quality of bath and beauty routines was greatly enhanced by how pampered and plump my skin looked and felt. And I couldn’t get enough of the pretty packaging.
Today, when people ask me which brands I still love and use from my time in beauty, Omorovicza always gets a mention. Because even with an amazing back story (one of the couple’s first dates took place at Rácz Bath, which was founded by Stephen’s ancestors) and a mineral-rich heritage (their Queen of Hungary Mist was inspired by the world’s first recorded perfume. Queen Elisabeth of Hungary had its recipe written out in gold), their products actually work hard for your skin. I recently started using their Oxygen Booster, and my skin feels tangibly smoother.
The power couple are also like no other team that I’ve collaborated with. Committed to sharing their story — and the story of an ancient spa — as well as being ever-curious about new industry developments, their unwavering passion and hands-on approach to every aspect of the business makes me proud to call them my friends.
The place where it all began — Rácz Spa in Budapest, Hungary, which was built on the site of a medieval spring
Omorovicza’s acclaimed Thermal Cleansing Balm is rich in Hungarian Moor Mud, which is a black clay chock-full of minerals, vitamin enzymes, phyto-hormones, humic acid and salicylic acid
What is your daily skincare routine?
This changes often as I am constantly [trying] new products. My current favourite is to double cleanse with our Thermal Cleansing Balm and Cleansing Foam, then apply our Elemental Emulsion. Next, I mix our Instant Perfection Serum and Oxygen Booster. Finally, I use our Rejuvenating Night Cream.
The story of yours and Stephen’s skin blossoming after visiting Budapest’s ancient spas is well known. What did you notice?
I have always suffered from really bad skin — sensitivity, breakouts — you name it. I noticed my skin improve after just one visit to the spas.
“Thermal waters are so mineral rich that it is difficult to actually stabilise them — especially when we exclude harmful synthetic ingredients.”
What were the two biggest challenges of creating products that effectively transferred the minerals from the waters to the bottled formulas?
One issue is that the thermal waters are so mineral rich that it is difficult to actually stabilise them — especially when we exclude harmful synthetic ingredients.
Another challenge is that minerals, however great they are for you, are not easy to deliver to the skin. We overcame that challenge by developing and patenting a delivery system that accomplishes just that.
Singapore is sunny and humid all year round. Which Omorovicza products would you recommend for our climate?
The brand’s blue sulphate-free Cleansing Foam contains white lupin extract for revitalisation and apple pectin for suppleness
To cleanse, the Cleansing Foam is fantastic as it gives you that squeaky clean feeling without stripping the skin. Next, the Elemental Emulsion which is a lightweight, oil-free formula that delivers key nutrients and hydration without blocking pores. I also love the Instant Perfection Serum which brightens the complexion — again without the oil. Finally, our Balancing Moisturiser is ideal for this weather as it is a soothing gel cream, ideal [in controlling] sebum production and avoiding shine. It also helps blur the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What are your top three Omorovicza products?
This is a difficult question! It also changes often. I would say our Thermal Cleansing Balm, Miracle Facial Oil and Rejuvenating Night Cream.
What beauty advice will you pass on to your children?
My children are still quite young so beauty advice is not really necessary. That said, I do tell them how beautiful or handsome and special they are quite often. The reason is that my mother did this for me from an early age. If I’m being objective, I really wasn’t beautiful, [but] her telling me so gave me a lot of confidence. I often think it is confidence that can make someone memorable, not objective beauty.
A photo of Margaret and Stephen on their wedding day on the cover of The Omorovicza Chronicle – 10 Years Issue
Finally, what are your thoughts about the beauty industry becoming more eco-conscious, and more organic brands entering the market?
This seems a natural extension of how most of us try and lead our lives — being more aware of the chemicals going in and on our bodies. For me and Stephen, it is exciting to see this enthusiasm for something we feel strongly about and have built Omorovicza around.
“I often think it is confidence that can make someone memorable, not objective beauty.”
Images courtesy of Omorovicza. Additional reporting by Gay Hsiu Ping