Beauty & The Beat
From Budapest with love: The story of Omorovicza skin care
You never know who or what your will find at Neiman-Marcus. My mom was performing her ritual In Circle points sweep though the store's cosmetic department where she unexpectedly met a charming young Hungarian prince. The prince was Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza, who personally introduced my mom to Omorovicza, the Budapest-based skin care line he co-founded with his wife in 2006.
Certainly this was just a fun fairy tale story, until I noticed my mom's skin literally glowing a few weeks later; her face, hands and arms appeared strikingly soft and radiant. Naturally my inquiring beauty mind wanted to know more, and Mom confessed that she was smitten with her newly discovered Omorovicza products.
What is Omorovicza, and how do we even say it? Pronounced OH-MOR-O-VEET-ZAH, it is an innovative natural mineral skin care and cosmetic line, the result of a fascinating mix of love, history, beauty and science.
The real fairy tale is Omorovicza's genesis. Swiss-born but of noble Hungarian descent, Omorovicza met his gorgeous American wife, Margaret, in Budapest while she served as chief of staff to the American ambassador. The pair fell in love, married and now have a young family.
During their courtship, they frequently relaxed in the Hungarian capital's world renown thermal baths, a ritual Budapest pastime. While relaxing in the spas, the couple realized the waters' positive transforming effects on their skin. Moreover, Margaret noticed that smooth, supple skin appeared to be a prevalent Hungarian trademark.
For over two thousand years, people have flocked to Hungarian thermal baths for the water's restorative properties. Even the Roman caesars built hospitals around the naturally occurring healing waters to cure their injured soldiers and horses. Omorvicza's web site highlights that the word "spa" is derived from the Latin phrase, sanitas par acqua, or "health through water." The ancient Roman baths eventually became luxurious hammam palaces, built by the Ottoman Empire's pashas. These opulent structures still exist today and play a major role in Hungarian culture.
The spa visits inspired the couple to investigate the healing waters' possibilities. Coincidentally, Margaret was responsible for directing the ambassador's national healthcare program and had unique access to elite scientific resources. At a Hungarian Nobel Prize winning dermatological laboratory, the couple inquired about the thermal waters' potential healing properties and discovered the ample mineral concentration of calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese and zinc provided the Hungarian waters with powerful anti-aging and curative properties.
Why this water? Because Hungary occupies a geographical position directly above a uniquely thin section of the Earth's crust, allowing the water to become infused with higher mineral concentrations.
Margaret and Stephen created a skin care line based on the Hungarian thermal waters' healing properties. The couple consulted the same lab to develop Omorovizca's Mineral Cosmetology, which the company describes as "a pioneering patented delivery system that takes mineral skin care to a new level."
In August 2006, the couple established their sumptuous Omorovicza Spa in Budapest. Soon after the spa's inception, Neiman Marcus took notice of the magical minerals and stocked their shelves with the Omorvizca line in 2008. Now the Hungarian secret is out, and beauty editors from Vogue UK to Allure consistently rave about the rich Budapest beauty treatments.
Composed of 28 products (and growing!) their merchandise ranges from around $70 to $300, and the mineral-rich line may be found on their Omorvicza website and exclusive retail and spa locations world wide, including select Four Seasons, St. Regis, Rosewood and Oberoi resorts. Importantly, Omorvicza is committed to manufacturing products that are are free of parabens, petrochemicals, PEGs, silicones, sodium laureth sulfates or synthetic fragrances or colors.
My personal exposure to Omorovicza has been impressive. I had the luxury of experiencing Omorovicza facial and body treatments first hand, as the line's trained estheticians periodically grace Neiman's treatment rooms, transporting their pampered clients back to the mother-lode Omorovicza Budapest spa.
As a result of this rejuvenating experience, Omorovicza' Body Cream and Gold Shimmer Oil are now my winter staples for combatting my ridiculously dry skin (compounded by rigorous air travel and high altitude exposure). My parched extremities instantly absorb the luxurious Body Cream maintaining all hydrated and happy.
For extra moisture, just a touch of the GoldShimmer Oil effortlessly glosses over even the most reptilian skin circumstances; the oil's soft elegant fragrance and its golden flecks add soft luster to the skin. Yes, it's a splurge, but my rationalization is that the skin is the body's largest organ, and why not budget to treat it lavishly?
Now feeling the full force of winter, I am considering "taking to the waters" via Omorovicza's facial products to quench my dehydrated complexion. Fortunately I had the opportunity to ask Margaret de Heinrich about her personal Omorovicza recommendations.
Q: What are your top 3 best selling products worldwide?
A: The Thermal Cleansing Balm, as it miraculously removes waterproof mascara and infuses the skin with nourishing nutrients at the same time. It also smells heavenly of orange blossom. The Instant Plumping Cream retextures dry, aging skin and leterally fills in fine lines and wrinkles. There is a trick to the application which is to activate the hyaluronic filling spheres by using the Queen of Hungary Mist; Queen of Hungary Mist is another top seller. This is our alcohol free toner which rebalances the skin's Ph level as well as infuses it with your anti-aging and patented Mineral Cosmetology (TM) complex, or energy for the skin.
Q: Which products would you recommend for Houston's climate?
A: I would recommend all three of the above mentioned products for Houston's climate, plus our amazing Deep Cleansing Mud Mask. I just used this last night and am always blown away wit how much of a difference this makes immediately to my complexion."
Margaret de Heinrich will make a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus, Houston Galleria today from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For appointments, call 713-621-7100, and request the Omorovicza counter.
Disclaimer: individual results may vary; this review based upon sample size products.