Sometimes a love story unites not just hearts, but minds as well, and that’s the foundation of the Austrian brand called Max and Me. But there is much more to this brand than just the love story, all you have to do is look at their packaging or website and if you have an inner child, it will come out in delight, squealing at the drawings and marvelling at the names of products, like Dance of Elfin Lights or Circle of Protection.
The premise behind Max and Me products is the actual positive composition behind them that can help the user, meaning YOU, add a gentle veil of radiance and grace over your skin, so you feel like a protective bubble is floating around you, elevating your vibrancy, helping you to feel happier, more intuitive when it comes to daily decisions and creative when it comes to your work or family life. If you are reading this and thinking, wow, Galina, what are you talking about, let me give you an example. Imagine going to a hairdresser or a massage therapist, who your friend or colleague raved about, and coming out disappointed or feeling like a migraine is coming on. Well, sometimes, if you are intuitive, you can feel that certain people or products make you feel great, while others just don’t. With Max and Me products, their whole intention, throughout development and composition to the final formula distilled into the bottles, is to help you improve your physical, emotional and spiritual development and restore the flow of the energy in your body. Each product is composed with positive intentions and being a small brand, you know that the attention to detail is very personal.
Max and Tanja are husband and wife, as you might have already guessed and I always marvel at couples who can work harmoniously together, in addition to being life partners. Max is an entrepreneur, for whom sustainability, social responsibility and environment are important components of running a business. Tanya is gentle soul, whose love of plants stems from childhood, when she collected plants and intuitively learnt about its healing abilities. She learnt to harness plant potency through aromatherapy and expanded her knowledge of medicinal plants, like angelic root, lemon verbena and lavender and factors that affect plants, like seasonality and amount of light exposure through the day. She travelled the world, seeking inspiration from beauty rituals from different countries and also trained in various disciplines, including kinesiology. Nowadays team Max and Me also boasts a biochemist, a vibration expert, a homeopath, a dermatologist and a Japanese kinesiologist, who also offers insights into Asian beauty methods and rituals during the process of product development.
When it comes to actual Max and Me products, you have a choice of seven oil blends for the body and with names like ‘Flight In the Sun’, ‘Queen of the Elves and my personal favourite, ‘Circle of Protection’ ( more about it below), you will fidget like a child in a candy store before make purchase decisions. My personal advice is to listen to your body and choose something that YOU feel YOU need in the moment in time. Once you start using the body oil, notice how it affects your body and your emotions.
There is also a facial oil cleanser ( aptly called ‘Purity and Grace’ ) and two face oils. There is a Beauty Balm for the Lips in the works and if you are someone who is both inquisitive and a fan of alternative therapies, including Reiki, aromatherapy and homeopathy, you might want to get in touch with Max and Me team and enquire about their bespoke service, where, guided by you, Tanja will create an intuitive composition of your personal oil, expertly blending scent and essences and allowing you to glimpse into her creative process. At the heart of this service lie your needs and wishes that will be placed at the heart of the developmental and creative process.
Another important point about Max and Me products is that Tanja carefully sources carrier and essential oils from farmers, cooperatives and distillers who carefully and naturally harness plants using organic farming methods that help them produce highly vibrant ingredients that ultimately can help your body’s cells to function better. Imagine one ingredient as an instrument and specific product as an orchestra. With regular use, products aim to help you harmonies your body and spirit – a concept resonated with me from the beginning, as modern life and our addiction to gadgets disturbs our energetic vibrations and the natural rhythm of our bodies.
I was kindly sent the samples sets by Tanja and from the moment I laid my eyes on them, I felt childishly excited – in part it must be the affinity with the elves that I have had since my childhood vacations at my parents country house, surrounded by nature and dreams of magical forest creatures. When you unwrap Max and Me sample sets of oil vials, you become engrossed in opening and smelling them, letting your mind wander. I can compare this process to perfumery or wine masterclass but in the privacy of your own home, matching the smells to your memories and emotions that each evokes, as you decipher them as secret codes. When we pause and listen to our bodies, things start to clarify, whether it concerns old issues or something niggling you right now – so vital to our wellbeing, yet often lost in the crazy speed of the day. All you need to do is take a first tentative step towards improving your life and finding certain products and brand founders that your feel in-tune with – this starts a chain reaction of change, which can lead to wonderful discoveries.
In addition to sample vials sets, I received three 10ml sized sample products, when normally Max and Me products are 30 ml for face oils, 50 ml for face oil cleanser and 100 ml for body oils – strangely, they all were packed in the boxes for full-sized products, which puzzled me somewhat. So, below are just my thoughts based on the luxury sized-samples, as pure 10ml bottle of oil can last you a month, depending on the use, when it comes to face care ( for example, many of Odacite’s face oils come in 5ml full size ).
Circle of Protection: this vibrant and uplifting oil blend is suitable for all skin types and will act as your protective armour in moments of stress, vulnerability or as a cloak that bounces off someone’s negativity directed at you – judging by the mood in the UK post EU Referendum, many of us probably long for such protective shield right now.
This oil feels less ‘slippy’ than many other body oils on the market and initially it might seem that you need more of it on your skin, but after a couple of uses I realised that less is more. Some time after I applied this body oil, I found the scent undertones emotionally comforting and my skin felt suppler and more hydrated. If you do yoga or meditation, put a few drops of this oil in your hands, inhale it, calm your breath and centre your body – it will enhance your practise and make you feel more balanced from the inside.
You also get to luxuriate your skin in the combination of cold-pressed carrier oils – Moroccan Argan Oil, African Marula Oil and Chilean Rosehip Oil – how is that for a georgraphical journey around the world in one drop ? Add to that the energetic qualities of Magnolia, which eliminates fear of the dark and unknown, Manuka, a protective Maori ritual oil, Bourbon Geranium & Vetiver Bourbon that in tandem offer both protection and deflect negative energy, Jasmine that brings joy to both human and elves creatures .) plus Silver Fur that adds extra protection qualities to the oil. A precious gift that is unlike the gift of a magic fairy, which I simply and quietly came to adore.
Purity & Grace Facial Oil Cleanser: this lemony-yellow face oil cleanser has woody and herbal smell that I remain neutral on, but scent is a very personal issue. It was developed with all skin types in mind, but can help problematic skin as well. It glides easily all over the contours of your face and skin and helps to cleanse your make-up off, as well as daily environmental pollutants from your skin, restoring the individual balance of your skin in the gentles, yet luxurious way. Its rich texture is a particularly delightful when cleansing the skin in the evening and when you gently pat the face dry post cleansing, it imparts a subtle glow to your complexion. I ended up using it straight away or as quickly as possible when coming back home in the afternoon, after a particularly hectic day – that way you cleanse your skin & let it breath, as you get on with the afternoon or evening tasks in a more relaxed state of mind.
This oils combines harmonising mountain lavender, anti-inflammatory neroli and hyssop, the latter being used since ancient times as a tool for achieving mental clarity, purifying atlas cedar ( which also helps to ground you, balancing your body from top to bottom and activating your lymph and blood circulation ) and mountain Juniper, which helps you to resolve issues from the past that trouble you. All of the above ingredients are mixed in the organic carrier oils of apricot kernel, African Marula, Polynesian Tamanu, sesame and Seabuckthorn fruit, helping to protect, strengthen immunity and add antioxidant protection to your skin matrix.
What you get is not just a cleansing oil for your skin, but a product that engages your senses and helps you develop and change as a human being, according to your body’s inner needs. You might not believe in those things and if that is the case, all I suggest is that you keep an open mind, try making this oil part of your daily skincare ritual and take time to actually inhale the scent of this product. Apply it to your dry skin in the morning or evening or both, massage it with upward circular movements first, then moisten the tips of your fingers and repeat the process. Remove it with a face cloth moistened with warm water, gently exfoliating your top skin layer. Let your skin breath for a few minutes, while you take deeper breaths and then apply your serum, face moisturiser or oil. Do it for a couple of weeks at least and see if any surprises, like a clearer, more balanced complexion emerges and with it, a happier, calmer you….
I Am the Light Facial Oil: many women seem to be divided on the subject of face oils – some ( I belong to this camp ) love using them as part of daily skincare ritual, others aren’t fans for various reasons. While I won’t use just any face oil on my skin, I know that my skin responds beautifully to the ones that I choose to use, irrespective of the time of the year. This pale-yellow coloured face oil smells of liquid sunshine and happiness and its rich texture is a delight for the skin, absorbing it within a few minutes. It adds luminosity even to a tired complexion and helps your face look more radiant, even if you are well past your 20s.
Blending together shimmering Moroccan Argan, protective African Marula, rejuvenating Chilean Rosehip, mood-enhancing St. John’s Wort, headache disappearing Apple Blossom, regenerative Macadamia Nut and anti-inflammatory Pomegranate Oils, with added notes of sublime lotus, beautiful rose, glittering jasmine, vibrant neroli, cypriol ( helps activate your third eye, for those of you who are interested in chakra work, take note ), inspiring frangipani and strengthening white fir – just visualise this gorgeous bouquet ! – applying it to your face, inhaling leisurely its aroma, helps let go of day’s grievances and tiredness and just revel in the moment of being – happy, quite, content, serene.
So, when you feel like you or your skin needs some TLC, warm two or three drops of this oil in the clean palm of your hand, take a couple of deep breaths, inhaling the beautifully uplifting aroma and massage the oil all over your face. You can also massage this face oil into your skin when it is slightly damp.
If you are a spiritual person, start your face oil application with focussing on the circular, counter-clockwise oil application onto your third eye area, located between your eyebrows. If you feel like it, you can quietly recite ‘I am the light’ , visualising bright light rays beaming outwards from it.
However you choose to use this oil, enjoy the glow and the positive vibes that it imparts on you and see if you can share yours with people who you care for or love. The world is a better place when people are happy and your happiness always starts from within and spreads outwards.
To find out more about Max and Me philosophy and products, click here