Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, founder of luxury skincare range Madara, talks us through the products that have earned pride of place on her bathroom shelf…
‘My mother didn’t have many beauty products, but my grandmother always had some bits in the drawers of her dressing table. Kohl eye colours, pomades – all that adorable old-fashioned stuff.
I don’t know if my grandmother noticed that I was using more of them than she was.
When I was a little child, I spent every summer living at her countryside house which was surrounded by hilly forests. She taught me that the forest and meadows were full of healing herbs so if I hurt my knee, I should take a leaf of a plantain, rub it and put in on the bruise and it would stop bleeding and promote regeneration.
The first ultimate skincare experience was when I visited bathrooms of my Japanese study mates – there was a whole new world of textures – emulsions, essences and lotions I had never tried before. These Asian products developed my sense for perfectly textured cremes and fluids – rich and hydrating, yet lightweight at the same time. I always prefer natural and organic products and I believe that nature offers the widest menu of safe, functional and amazing ingredients for great looking skin.
I use a lot of natural oils, serums, lotions and tinted moisturisers that are full of antioxidants, vitamins, essential omegas and lipids. Free radicals, the main cause of premature aging, are constantly around us – in the air, a result of stress and even in the food we eat – and I want to be sure that I use products with the best quality ingredients that can undermine that stress.
I am a skincare addict and I tend to add just a tiny bit of blush and bronzer over layers of hydrating serums. My favourite is the Madara Time Miracle Cellular Repair Serum, £38. It’s made with 80% organic birch sap that literally returns aged dermal cells to their younger cycle of life. I use it every day after Madara Time Miracle Cellular Nutrient Toning Mist which is a fusion between a toner and a serum and is one of my Asian-inspired products.I spritz this toner on clean skin before applying serum then one of the Madara Superseed Facial Oils, £40. As a person who works in product development, I am so happy for the current trend of facial oils. The superseed range is formulated using the seeds of unique Nordic berries and herbs, all of which contain extremely precious oils that are made of 60-80% Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids – essential nutrients for our skin. A classic soap bar is always on my bathroom table. It gives that nice retro vibe to the beauty ritual and one of my favourites is the Madara Birch & Algae Soap, £7.
My industry experience has made me aware that some fine fragrances contain many doubtful ingredients. I am a big fan of niche perfumers and artisan perfumers, because they try to re-adapt to using natural raw materials (not fully cutting off synthetics though), which are way more expensive, but make the vibe of the fragrance and interaction with our body chemicals much more irresistible. I love Byredo Gypsy Water, £88 and Blanche, £88.
It is good to know that home perfume is clean and non-toxic. Isle of Wolf candles, £15, are made in the historic Isle of Wolf manor using natural soy wax and 100% natural perfumes. Cinnamon Spice and Rose Absolute are my all-time favourites. I have lots of them in my bathroom, living room and even kitchen.
I really respect Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup expertise and product collection. I adore her Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49 – the duo of shades is so perfect and provides a totally natural finish. I also love nude pink lipsticks – but I’m yet to find ‘the one’, so I usually mix 3-4 different colours together. Even though colour cosmetics isn’t my topic, I should probably try and create one myself!’