In January, we launched in The Beautyaholic's Shop, a Rome-based collective of gorgeous, hand-picked natural skincare brands. We chat to The Beautyaholic's founder and skincare aficionado Paola Malaspina about spearheading clean beauty in Italy, her skincare routine and the Irene Forte Skincare products she loves most.
Why and when did you start The Beautyaholic's store?
The Beautyaholic’s Shop was born in 2011. It was originally an online store, with the aim to bring the best clean and organic international brands to Italy. Before our store, these kinds of brands were only available in big cities like New York or London.
The Italian market was full of herbalists and perfumeries; there was clearly a need for something new, that could satisfy our customers' requests.
What have your biggest challenges been?
The biggest challenge was to convince the Italian market that organic and clean formulations could be highly effective, and not just healthy. Now, the biggest challenge is to raise funds that can allow us to expand our business in Italy, as other operators have done in France or the US.
At the moment we have a Flagship store in Rome and two store-in-stores in Milan and Turin. I believe that there are huge opportunities for organic and wellness focussed brands in the Italian market.
What do you look for when selecting a skincare brand?
Effectiveness is key! And then, of course, the formulas must be clean and, if possible, have pleasant textures and smells.
Why did you choose Irene Forte Skincare?
I was looking to find an Italian brand that would reflect our philosophy, and when I discovered Irene Forte Skincare, I understood that it matched perfectly with our store. The brand has delicious textures, ingredients and smells, super-effective formulas and is completely Italian. I had the chance to try a facial treatment at the new spa of the Hotel De La Ville in Rome, a super experience that I wanted all my customers to try!
What's the one beauty product you can't live without?
I love toners and mists! I use them morning and evening in my daily beauty routine, but also during the day to refresh my face or before applying make-up. When I can, I soak a cotton pad in toner and let it cool in the freezer; I then apply it on my face. The effect is fab; it closes pores, smoothes and cleans, leaving the skin perfect. It is great before applying make-up for an important event. The Lemon Toner by Irene Forte Skincare is perfect for this.
What sort of ingredients do you look for when choosing your personal skincare routine?
I have complicated skin with some small imperfections. Rather than an ingredient, I look for sophisticated and effective formulas that help nourish the skin, fight against ageing and discolorations, without being heavy.
I love light textures, natural perfumes and complex routines with a lot of steps. My routine – especially in the evening – is a moment of wellness, a moment for myself.
What do you think the future of skincare looks like?
Without a doubt, the future of skincare is green and clean. The newest technologies applied to natural formulas will highly improve performance, without compromising the product. Furthermore, the future of packaging will always be more recyclable or, even better, refillable.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell her to follow her passions and to create her dream job without hesitations or limits. The path is undoubtedly hard, but it will lead to a satisfaction that is not comparable to anything.