As far as the natural skincare game goes, Jessica Morelli is one of our favorites. Her thoughtful line of luxe face and body product, Palermo Body, is consciously formulated and handmade in small batches with both your skin and the planet in mind, and named after the hometown of her Sicilian grandmother–who first inspired her to stick with natural ingredients. Anomie is officially hooked on the Detox Body Scrub and the Repairing Body Oil, sunburned or not. And like most everything we try to carry at the store, the packaging is minimalist perfection.
We’re lucky enough to be hosting this Brooklyn maker on her trip west, for a Meet the Maker event at the store this Saturday. Read on for some serious natural beauty wisdom from our chat with Jessica, or stop by the event and meet her in person!
MEET THE MAKER: Jessica Morelli of Palermo Body
Saturday, April 23rd, 12-3PM
ANOMIE // 2149 Union Street
As told to Jennifer Bastien.
How do you develop your recipes?
When formulating a product, I begin by identifying what it is that I want the product to do. Then I choose each ingredient to accomplish the purpose of the product with mindfulness of its benefits to your skin. The goal is to create a balanced product by using the ingredients in the optimal ratio in order to make it effective and comfortable to use.
Your packaging is beautiful. What’s your process for that?
Thank you, I love it too! Packaging is very important so when I decided to take my products from a hobby to a shelf-ready line I knew I wanted to work with a professional design team to help me accomplish the look I was going for. It was important to me that the packaging represents the purist approach of the ingredients and is easy to understand while having a design that adds beauty to your daily routine. I think they nailed it and I couldn’t be happier with the look of the line.
You’ve lived in New York for 5 years… Are you more New Yorker than West Coaster now?
Ahhh this is hard because I love the West Coast and miss it so much when I go home, but I definitely identify more with New York now. My father’s entire side of the family are native New Yorkers so I’m sure that has a lot to do with why NY suits my personality so well. The energy, the hustle, and sense of urgency here is something that really keeps me going, especially at this stage of growing my business. New York is without a doubt the most difficult place I’ve ever lived and it challenges you on a regular basis but I think there is a sense of camaraderie between New Yorkers because of this. When it comes down to it, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else right now–however I’m 100% open to new places in the future.
What gets you most excited about your work?
I get most excited about customers using and enjoying my products and especially excited when I have repeat customers. I find such pleasure in using my products so I’m thrilled when others feel the same way. There are a great deal of natural products on the market, so when someone finds a product of mine that really works for them it’s extremely gratifying. It means something I’ve created is part of their daily life and is something they use to feel great. That continually blows my mind and is a big part of what keeps me going.
What’s the hardest part?
Wearing all the hats and being my own boss. As a small business owner you need to learn how to do a lot of things on your own so it can be difficult to know whether you’re doing them well. Also making sure I am staying on task is difficult for me. It’s important to find a balance of the fun stuff with the not so fun stuff.
What’s your own daily beauty routine like? How does it inform your products?
I keep it fairly simple on a daily basis, and my products definitely play into that by being easy to work into your current routine. I wash my face with my bar soap once a day and it’s usually at night, so in the morning I do what I call a “minute mask” as a cleanser which consists of the following; I put a small amount of my Vitamin C Facial Mask into my palm and add enough water to make it a thinner consistency than if I were doing a full treatment. I apply the mask to my face and exfoliate in circular motions for 45 to 60 seconds. I leave the mask on while I brush my teeth or choose my outfit and then rinse it off. I follow the mask with a few spritzes of my Hydrating Toner and Regenerative Facial Serum and that’s usually it.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve gotten?
Get enough sleep! I’m an insomniac, as many creative entrepreneurs are, so falling asleep even when I’m exhausted is not easy for me. If I know I need to look and feel my best the next day, I attempt to schedule things later in the day in order to allow myself time to sleep in with zero guilt.
If you weren’t cooking up skincare products, what else would you be making?
Ceramics for sure. My grandfather taught me how throw on the wheel when I was ten or eleven and it’s always stuck with me. Maybe one day my love for ceramics will make its way into Palermo Body, but for now it’s just my humble hobby.
Photography by Amy Schneider + ANOMIE