The Essence of
I’ll admit, when Diane Reade, Modern Minerals Makeup Founder, told me she was creating a hair care line, I was surprised and skeptical. In the time I had known Diane, we never discussed hair care, but there was a magical spark in her voice that made me feel that she was confident in where she was taking the brand. She was inspired and fueled by her friendship with celebrated hair professional Damon Thomas.
In the past year and a half, I loved receiving updates from Diane about the line, eager to see what she and Damon had created together. Then I got an email that samples were on their way. What arrived was four styling products—Texture Mist, Hydrating Mist, Styling Jelly and Dry Shampoo—in violet miron glass bottles, a departure from the white, modern look of Modern Minerals. The labels said “Mo Mi” and were decorated with a sketch of a girl whose hair is in the perfect messy bun. I still had no idea what would be inside the bottle, but I couldn’t wait to play. It’s not often that I get excited about hair care and styling products, but as I held Mo Mi in my hands, I was filled with the giddiness that comes when I discover something I truly love!
I mean this when I say it: The Mo Mi hair care products are unlike any other, in a class of their own! Formulated with a base of organic aloe vera, infused with Lotus Wei flower and gem essences, preserved with radish root ferment, these products were effective, clean and felt amazing on my hair…oh, and the scent was just perfect—uplifting, refreshing and non-cloying or artificial. When we launched our Level Up Ambassador Discovery in September, I wasn’t surprised at all when Mercedes of L’Amour et La Musique selected the Mo Mi Collection as her Hero products. And the more I have used the Mo Mi collection, the stronger I felt it needed to be recognized. Hair care can be challenging to formulate, but Diane and Damon’s hard work not only deliver on results (think: lightweight hold, easy manageability, and finally a dry shampoo that doesn’t leave an ashy residue!), but leaves hair with an addictive yet delicate floral aroma, a signature of Modern Minerals.
Read along as Diane and Damon take us behind-the-scenes into their process and inspiration behind the brand.
What led you from make up with Modern Minerals to hair care with Mo Mi?
Hair care is a ritual that I really enjoy. It wasn’t always that way, I’ve been through my share of hair challenges, but eventually I learned how to work with my own hair type and which got too time intensive. When Damon joined me on this journey, hair care was the natural next step for Modern Minerals. Damon has been a professional in the hair care industry for many years. He has been a long time friend of mine and has been with me through many hair disasters. We have so many hilarious memories and now working together now on Mo Mi’s hair line feels like it was destined. Hair care is an integral part of my own self-care ritual, it has made the process of getting ready in the morning, after a workout and while traveling is so much easier and a feel good ritual that we want to share.
Can you walk us through the process? All four products are unique and so beautiful. I am someone who rarely puts product in my hair. And now, I can’t live without all four Mo Mi products….it’s quite amazing. How did you do that?
We feel like these products are nice addition to any beauty ritual as they are really easy to use. We put a lot of care into selecting the right formula to make them work for various hair types and create different styles to suit different moods. They are also infused with a special emotive essences of Pink Lotus and Rose Quartz.
The Texture Mist was something we wanted to create to help create different hair styles like top knots, messy buns, braids and multi-layered/styled ponytails. This helps to provide a little extra styling hold and extra lightweight texture on the hair to make it easier to work with.
The Dry Shampoo underwent several versions to get just the right balance of texture without feeling too gritty so that its easily buildable to extend from one day to the next. The shade of pink works for universal hair colors. It does not create a white cast in the dark hair and is transparent on light hair as well as on the scalp. It has the right balance of an uplifting light floral scent, and is also uplifting in the sense that it creates volume from the roots up.
The Styling Jelly is one of our all time favorites for us. We wanted something that created a different type of hold than hairspray. The Styling Jelly provides a very precise control while applying. It also works beautifully for natural curls as well as natural waves and straight hair. Its application can be strategic when applying to tame flyaways or just to smooth the ends of hair. Its so much more than your 90’s hair gel that is hard and leave hair crunchy. Mo Mi’s Styling Jelly creates a flexible hold and allows hair to flow naturally.
The Hydrating Mist is more than just for hair. We wanted to create a multitasker with a luscious scent to provide a light, dewey, silkiness that can be used on your hair and skin, especially after a bath or shower to help to hydrate. It was intended for hair while hair is still wet or dry or just thought the day. To help dry hair feel more hydrated and as a light hair perfume and while wet it also helps to detangle long hair.
Can you share with us more about the flower essences that are in the products? Where do you get them, what are they and how do they work?
The flower and gem essences are another beloved collaboration with Lotus Wei. This collection is emotively charged with the essences of Korean Pink Lotus Flower and blush Rose Quartz. The pink lotus flower essence was solar infused in Korea. According to Katie Hess, “the Pink Lotus flower is a catalyst, precipitating or encouraging change” It inspires us to embrace change and personal evolution and growth to bloom into our purest self. These four products aligned with these intentions as our hair is growing and changing everyday and Rose Quartz is the universal gem associated with love, harmony and renewal.
I just love the illustrations on the bottles, they are so fresh and feel universal. Can you tell me about them?
These illustrations portray her confidence, inner peace and soul centered clarity that we aspire to inspire. The feel of the designs mirror that authentic clarity expressed through the flowing, curvilinear, crisp and clean line art. We also chose pink as our overall theme color because we feel that being fiercely feminine, an attribute of inner strength and courage stay true to our beliefs – its super power to be celebrated.
What are a few unique ways we can use the products that we might think of? Can you and Damon share a few trade tips and inspirations?
Each of the first four styling products were created to make hair styling easy and help make the process of caring for your hair become a self care ritual rather than a challenge – wehave enough challenges in life and felt like caring for our hair (and skin) is to be enjoyed. We started with styling products because we felt wanted to create easy for everyday styling solutions.
Some tips from Damon: “The Dry Shampoo is amazing for creating volume at the roots of freshly washed and dried hair. So many people think of it as only second day product but it really is great for everyday. You can add a little for just a little lift or keep building for your desired effect. As for the Hydration Mist, I don’t think of it just for the hair. It’s an incredible body moisturizer as well. It soaks in and leaves the skin feeling hydrated but not oily or greasy! We can’t stop using it especially since the drier winter season has started. I love the Styling Jelly. After towel drying my hair I put a quarter sized amount of the jelly in my hands. I then rub my hands together and apply the Styling Jelly to my hair. I usually start at the crown and work my way towards the forehead and then to the back and sides. I prefer to have the product everywhere so the texture looks even. Then I comb it through and style my hair however I feel that day. Sometime with the blow dryer and sometimes just letting it air dry. Sometimes when I want more texture I’ll even put it in my hair when its dry. Adding very small amounts at a time. For creating braids, a top knot or special ponytail, you can add some spritzes of Texture Mist onto hair from mid-shafts to ends to help give hair a light amount of texture to work with while keeping your scalp clear for other products like the Dry Shampoo to add that extra volume”.
Did you change the name of Modern Minerals to Mo Mi officially? Tell us all about the name…
Mo Mi is derived from the two first letters of Modern Minerals, it was important to maintain that synchronicity, because its an extension of Modern Minerals. Modern Minerals didn’t quite fit the description of the new products we are launching and we felt that Mo Mi captures the essence of our new hair & our coming lifestyle collection. Its feels spontaneous in the way life can be – whether you’re simply enjoying self care through hair care or indulging in another of our new lifestyle care products.
What’s next for Mo Mi? More hair care, makeup or something else?
We’ve got some surprises coming for both. Our new Mo Mi collection is centered around a wellness ritual called Shinrin-yoku also known as Forest Therapy. Studies have shown this has real benefits that come from the simple experience of spending time the forest, tuning into nature, the serenity and scent of aromatic compounds from the forest called phytoncides. These combined with the practice are believed to help bridge a connection to feeling happier. Since we don’t all have access to the forest or don’t always have the opportunity to get out into nature we’re working on some new products with this in mind.
A little passion project we have in the works is Dog Shampoo that we’re going to be donating a portion of the sales to various animal rescues. Our dogs deserve to have products that are just as clean and as transparent as we use on ourselves. Dogs require a more gentle shampoo, their skin is different than ours. They also have different herbal and aromatherapeutic needs than we do. Their olfactory senses are more sensitive and their skin requires a very gentle PH balance. We wanted to create a shampoo specifically with these things in mind so that you can be assured is made with the best ingredients that are safe, gentle, effective and smell great.