Mirror Palais Designer Marcelo Gaia on the French Cream Mask That Has Transformed His Skin

In the head-spinning age of multi-step skin-care routines and mic-drop makeup launches, The One is a space for minimalists to sound off on the single beauty product that’s found a longtime spot in their carefully curated routines.

“My beauty philosophy is less is more,” Marcelo Gaia, founder of womenswear label Mirror Palais, tells Vogue from his Chinatown office. The thoughtful personal approach has translated to his designs: Launched in 2019, Mirror Palais has quickly become an Internet favorite for its assortment of sensual staples designed to be worn season after season, tailor-made to a customer’s measurements. The brand’s recently released Collection III is what Gaia calls “a modern take on romantic silhouettes,” designed for the woman not afraid to embrace her sexiness. “The women who inspire me are the reference for the designs,” he explains, his first muse being his mother.

At age 15, he discovered makeup on his mother’s vanity, using it as a means to mask his pubescent acne. But like many of us, he came to realize that overloading his skin with makeup and skin care only worsened his stressed teenage skin, so in his twenties he leaned into minimalism. Now 31, the designer swears by esthetician Mandy Slusarczyk’s New Jersey spa for monthly facials, which is where he came across Biologique Recherche’s Crème Masque Vernix (as well as their P50 exfoliant, equally beloved). Inspired by the vernix, or the protective coating on a newborn’s skin, the formula is packed with antioxidant peptides, lipids, and proteins to prevent water loss and reduce signs of aging. Gaia opts for this restorative, protective cream at night when he needs a hydration boost, and has found that its continued use prevents him from ever getting dry patches. Since he committed to this regimen, Gaia says his skin has “transformed.”

“I feel the most beautiful when my natural features shine through,” he says. “When you give your skin everything it needs, what I’ve noticed is that you can get yourself back to normal.”

Below, shop Marcelo Gaia’s The One.

Biologique Recherche Crème Masque Vernix

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