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By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | September 1, 2009

Beauty and design fuse into personal care dream team.

What really happens when two friends share a vision to create their ideal personal care product collection? Just ask Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, founders of the high-end apothecary line Malin+Goetz, best known for its grapefruit-infused facial cleansers sold at luxury outposts such as Barneys. The company opened its second Manhattan store at 82nd and Amsterdam and rolled out a collection of hair care offerings as well as new Petitgrain Tonic and Synthesized Geranium Leaf eau de toilettes out this month.

Both Mr. Malin and Mr. Goetz found a few minutes to talk to Happi about their brand’s latest buzz:

Happi: How did you decide to create a collection of personal care products?

Goetz: We thought there was a great opportunity to create a new brand when Kiehl’s was sold to L’Oréal. Matthew had been at Kiehl’s for quite a while, and had introduced me to the world of skin care. I was the marketing director for Vitra, a Swiss based furniture/design company. In addition, Bliss, Nars, Fresh and so many of the other small independent brands had been sold to big organizations. So we thought it would be create to fuse our worlds—Matthew’s world of beauty, and mine of modern design.

Malin: When all of the little family-owned and operated companies that we loved were being sold off to big corporations, we saw an opportunity to create a grass roots business with a soul. Skin care was so complicated with thousands of products and never-ending regimens, we saw a void to make it simple and easy. We started with sensitive skin first—I suffer from rosacea, eczema, seborrhea and fragrance allergies.

Happi: How are M+G products different than others in the market?

Malin:We focus our energy on the one great product in each category—if we make the best, why make more (our grapefruit face cleanser is our No. 1 product and we only have one for all skin types). We don’t over market, make false claims or use hyperbole. Rather, we choose tried and true apothecary ingredients combined with gentle technologies for performance that does what it says.By eliminating unnecessary ingredients and steps, we focus on what is pure, simple and non-irritating for everyone.

Goetz: We are different from most brands. First, we are unisex and address the majority of skin types.We are truly great for sensitive skin, and we have created a regimen that is truly modern and easy to use.We also have a fragrance division because we know people really like an olfactory experience ­ but we leave it out of our skin care because it can cause irritation.

Happi: What are your favorite ingredients to use and why?

Malin: I love that our cleansers are amino acid based. These proteins help hydrate and nourish so that each cleanser can leave the skin clean, hydrated and balanced every time. Likewise, our moisturizers are fatty acid based.

Goetz: One of my personal favorite ingredients is the polypeptides in our cellular renewal cream. They really help keep my complexion clear and supple.But this is a bit of a Sophie’s Choice question. ­ I love so many; it¹s hard to choose!

Happi: Any big plans for the company?

Malin: Our second Manhattan store opened recently at 82nd and Amsterdam—following our Chelsea store and first store in Osaka, Japan.In addition to our new moisturizing shampoo, intensive hair mask and Gentle Neroli shampoo, we have a pomade and anti-dandruff shampoo debuting this year.Our hair category will develop from three to eight in a matter of a few months!And, we just launched our first Bloomingdale’s store [within the store] in Soho and two new Barneys locations, bringing our total count of stores with Barneys to 23. More to come!

Goetz: We would definitely like to open more freestanding stores. We want to keep the brand special, and we think by opening strategic M+G stores that we can make the M+G experience really special and wonderful.Of course here are plans for lots of new products ­ but that’s top secret!

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