When Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza last visited Vancouver, the view of the mountains was so enthralling to her that they caused her to stop in her tracks in the middle of the street.
“I was gobsmacked!” she says, adding that one of her colleagues had to force her back into the present moment and pull her off the road.
Spend a few minutes with de Heinrich and it becomes abundantly clear that this love of the natural world permeates into every facet of her life. As co-founder of Omorovicza, a luxury skin care brand that utilizes the power of Budapest’s thermal waters, she knows a thing or two about appreciating nature. “Omorovicza is all about water: where we get it, why we use it, and what it does to the skin,” she says to a small group over lunch at Tableau Bar Bistro. She says that what sets her company apart is that it doesn’t just use water as a filler in its products—at Omorovicza, H2O is the star of the show.
De Heinrich spent 15 years working for Time magazine before being offered the position of chief of staff at the U.S. embassy in Budapest. She accepted the job, and eventually fell in love with a local man named Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza. He took her to a public bath house that his family had built nearly 200 years ago, and that one little visit ended up changing her life. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” de Heinrich says, recalling that fateful day with her now-husband. De Heinrich felt soothed by the baths and began to frequent them, noticing a difference in her own skin, which she had problems with as a teenager. “I started to understand that their approach to beauty was different than mine,” she says of the Hungarian people. Eventually, an idea was born: take the healing powers of these special waters and use them in a line of beauty products.
Together the couple created Omorovicza, working with a Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning laboratory (known for discovering Vitamin C) to wring even more potency out of the water. “Innovation is such a key pillar for us,” de Heinrich emphasizes. The system created with the laboratory, called Hydro Mineral Transference, has been patented, and is the string that links all Omorovicza products together, said to leave skin firmer and suppler.
Today, Omorovicza products—carried in stores including Nordstrom and Harrods and available as the in-house brand at some St. Regis hotels and Equinox fitness clubs—include the Moor Cream Cleanser, a soft face wash utilizing Hungarian Moor mud that is rich in magnesium carbonates and calcium; the Queen of Hungary Mist, a toner inspired by the world’s first known perfume, which was made for Queen Elisabeth of Hungary in the 1300s; and the Illuminating Moisturiser, with ruby crystals to minimize fine lines and plum almond oil for hydration. Omorovicza stays away from unnatural and harmful ingredients, choosing to define itself as “pure clinical” skin care as opposed to straight “natural”—after all, the products are concocted and altered in a laboratory, but they still stay true to the philosophy of clean beauty. “They want the results but they don’t want the chemicals,” de Heinrich says of today’s skin care consumers. “And people don’t have to compromise anymore, and we’re so proud to be part of that.”
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