Photographs by Fanny Amanda Nilsson
Luxury, nature and slow living. Words that resonate so clearly, I can almost hear the seaside calling…
Founded by Rose Gwet, Luxcey beauty is designed to inspire slow living, a communion with nature, and stepping into positive rituals. Drawing on her roots and time spent living in a Cameroonian village, Gwet finds inspiration in life’s simple moments and believes in dedicating time to one’s well-being.
Luxcey brings us back to the basics by offering non-toxic products, purposefully crafted to cater to our natural beauty. With names like Noah Smoothing Body Scrub, Zoe Smoothing Body Oil and Emma Ultra-Moisturizing Body Balm, you just can’t help but want to lather yourself up in Luxcey’s silky goodness. Made with love in Montreal, these products are meant to be part of your daily practice, which Gwet believes are essential to one’s connectedness, and growth.
“Rituals add meaning, dimension and benefit to one’s daily routine”.
But Gwet doesn’t just talk the talk – she walks the walk. With daily rituals of her own, like oil pulling, exfoliation and gratitude lists, there’s a lot to be inspired by.
Read on for a deeper look into what inspires Luxcey and Rose.
There are so many products out there that provide our skin with health benefits. What do you believe makes Luxcey Beauty products stand apart?
I started this company for myself; I had eczema, acne and my skin was very dry. I used to suffer from allergies to so many products. I even reacted to natural products, specially those formulated with high amounts of essential oils.
One thing I see more and more in the natural beauty care industry, is that these companies are following the same system as companies like L’Oréal. They have all these different creams. One for the eyes, the t-zone, hands, body – so many. They have all these different products for different parts of the body and face.
I wanted to create a very minimalistic line; one that allows people to have only a few products on their shelves, which they can use in different ways. For the moment, Luxcey is focused on the body and hair, but in the future, it will also carry a minimal face-care line.
But more than that, what makes us different is the focus on rituals. I’m from Central Africa, from Cameroon. Over there we’re obsessed with exfoliating and massages. We have so many rituals in my village, as do many other cultures. I really wanted to share this practice and love of rituals, with as many people as possible. The product is based on rituals, and this is very specific.
Can you tell us why you think rituals are so important?
I was born in France. And at the age of seven, my parents decided to take us to Cameroon; not into the big cities, but really into the village. We stayed there for 5 years, and the experience really marked me. I’m deeply rooted, I know where I’m from, where I am and where I’m going. The people from the village might not have free healthcare, or other privileges such as these, but they are focused, calm and at peace.
When I went back to France at the age of 12 years, I was so disturbed by the noise in the Occidental life. We’re always jumping around from one thing to the next, and we haven’t established our daily habits. During my teenage years, I found peace and a way to connect back with my roots through rituals. At the age of 16, I had started a modelling career. And with the traveling, and all the new experiences, my rituals helped me to stay focused and keep up with my modelling & school work. I would wake up do my oil pulling, gratitude lists, massage and exfoliation. It was really important to me to reflect on what I had learned in my time living in the village with people who were poor, but so sophisticated in their simplicity. I carry this with me everywhere. Luxcey is a way for me to share this lifestyle; one that is peaceful, centred and focused.
I am in bed every night with my husband at 8pm. We lay in bed, we try to have positive discussions, and write in our gratitude journals. This process of creating rituals is one that has taken me 15 years to create, and one that I’m still working on.
When did you start Luxcey?
Luxcey unofficially started 15 years ago, when I had my own skin problems. When I came to Canada 6 years ago, I was a poor student because I’d invested all my money in University. When friends would have their birthdays, I would buy natural ingredients, and make them their own creams. Let’s say this friend loved peaches, then, I would make them a body balm with natural peach perfume. They loved their personalized gifts. Then their gifts would finish and they’d ask for more. I would say ‘oh, it’s complicated to make.’ And they would say “I’ll pay you”! They wanted custom products, which I began making about 4 years ago.
My husband was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. I decided to quit my job to take care of him because he was not getting better, even after a few years. I knew something was wrong with our lifestyle. I stopped working and he quit his job too, so last year, we were totally broke. We left our loft in Old Port and we’re sleeping in the car. Then, we started Luxcey. It went from zero, to where we are now.
Wow, that is one incredible story. So then tell us, what is your mission, your why.
To inspire people to take on rituals without feeling like it’s a duty, or more work they need to get through. I want them to feel like it’s a natural, organic way to be the best version of themselves.
Montreal is filled with conscious creators who are contributing to the world in their own right, big or small. Are there any that you’re a fan of that you would like to mention?
Desirables by Isabelle Deslauriers. She creates porcelain sex toys that promote slow sex. The product has a kind of medical context, like even women who have cancer can use them because they’re natural.
Sokoloff lingerie by Sofia Sokoloff. That woman is so centred and works from a completely conscious place. She helped me a lot by giving me great advice. I gained a whole year of maturity from just one hour of meeting her. She is a rare kind of person.
Another great woman is Mariella Katz, the owner of Frenzr. She is only 24 years old. but already running this agency with a few employees. She takes care of our social media.
And Sofia Echadli from A New Woman Today. She is creating a whole movement in North America. I had a wonderful experience speaking at the first edition in February 2016, about the link between beauty and health.
How do you define a conscious creator?
Someone who’s true to him or herself. By true, I mean you really have information about what you’re doing. You’re conscious about your strengths and your weaknesses. You’re on the journey of self-improvement. It’s not just about helping the planet or judging other people on what they’re doing. It’s about being conscious of being true to yourself, and to be stronger.
Where can people buy your products? And is there one you that you think is a must-have for everyone?
We have a few points of sales, in Montreal, Milan, soon in Paris. The stockists will be updated on our website in the next month.
People can purchase the products on our website.
We also offer massages for men and women, and we do health and beauty workshops at people’s homes and offices.
Zoé, is the must-have and also our best seller. It’s a body oil infused with precious flowers. Dry oils have very popular over the last decade, but I chose to create Zoé with food-grade oils to nourish & protect the skin. All ingredients are natural, up to 80% are organic. Zoé is also an amazing massage oil , my favourite ritual!