Out: How did you two get started in this business?
Matthew Malin: I moved to New York City out of college to work at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was a Cosmetic Buyer for Barneys, the V.P. of Sales for Kiehls, and the Director of Beauty for Prada and Helmet Lang before (Malin+Goetz).
Andrew Goetz: I’m from the design world. Beauty comes to me via osmosis, or, to be more specific, via Matthew. He comes from the world of beauty and we have been partners in life for 18 years. I’m a minimalist by design, and my beauty regimen when we met was a reflection of this. I literally used a bar of soap to wash my face, body, and hair. Matthew definitely helped me to step up my game.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
MM: Positive feedback, seeing customers in our stores, waiting on them when they visit, using our products every day, and feeling proud that we made them.
AG: That’s a tough question, as there are so many things that I love about my job. That being said, I really love creating things, so building new stores is always really inspiring. I really enjoy anything that involves the creative process.
What is a typical day for the both at the office?
MM: The business is only eight years old, and we are a small team. We do everything from a tiny office near the Fashion Institute of Technology.
AG: A typical day usually involves trying to get myself out from under the email tsunami as quickly as possible. I'm able to get more contemplative work done once everyone has left, which means that staying late is typical, but very productive.
What is your inspiration for you getting up in the morning and getting to work?
MM: Fear of failure.
AG: My alarm clock is incredibly inspiring—or at least convincing—in terms of getting me out of bed. I love everything about my work and can’t wait to get to the office.
When you meet someone, what is the first thing that you notice about someone? Why?
MM: Shoes. If you have nice shoes, your outfit can be second-rate and it's O.K.
AG: I’m not exactly sure, but what a person has to say, and how they say it, is something that always makes an impression on me.
What is the most common mistake men make, when taking care of their skin?
MM: Most men are just beginning to “take care.” As such, they start with only a shaving item or resist investing in an effective cleanser and moisturizer. It's like a nice car or good bottle of wine—you get what you pay for. Spending a little more to have your face looking its best makes a difference.
AG: I think the biggest mistake they make is not taking care of their skin.
What is the best way a man can keep his skin looking flawless?
MM: Maintenance and prevention. This means, simply, washing your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day and moisturizing with a non-irritating hydrating cream afterwards. Staying out of the sun or using sunscreen. No smoking, no drinking, no other bad stuff (or, at least, the first three steps). If there was a fourth step, for me, it would be shaving with the grain and using a non-drying and non-irritating cream. We have all of these products, by the way.
AG: My unofficial motto is, “less is more.” Start with a great facial cleanser and follow it with a great facial moisturizer. Our Grapefruit Face Cleanser and Vitamin E Face Moisturizer definitely fits the bill. The face cleanser is gentle, but thorough and our face moisturizer is really nourishing, absorbs quickly and is super-hydrating. If your skin has any problems that need to be addressed, we most likely have a product for it.
Since we are the topic of skin, what are your best skin care tips?
AG: In addition to following an easy skin care regimen, it important to remember that your skin is your largest organ. So it’s really important to treat it well by eating properly and exercising. Of course, protecting your skin from the sun is a must—and smoking is strictly verboten.
What is the best shaving advice that you have ever gotten?
MM: Shave with the grain. Use a cream that does not dry out or irritate the skin, but, rather, hydrates.
AG: Shave after you shower, and never shave against the grain.
What sets your products apart?
MM: Three things: They are simple to use. They're effective items developed and formulated for sensitive skin, so anyone can see a benefit without irritatione. We are an independent, family-owned and -operated business, something we are very proud of—we care.
AG: Our products are very transparent, meaning they do everything we say they are going to do. The brand was developed on the concept of taking the mystery out skincare, making it simple and easy. By fusing natural ingredients with modern scientific technology; and not using any artificial fragrances in our skincare, we have been able to create a unique portfolio of products. Plus they're incredibly well-designed.
If you were not doing this what would you both be doing?
MM: Hmmm. Maybe I would be the proprietor of a chocolate shop. I like retail.
AG: Living in Paris.