Meet Munemi of MUN Skincare
It's time for another peek into the life of a founder in our Behind the Beauty series, where you get a glimpse into the little known stories about our newest brands. We're chatting with Munemi Imai, founder of MUN skincare, today and we're so excited about the launch of this luxurious, high-performing line. Composed of just a few hero products based in the powerful prickly pear seed oil, MUN is quickly becoming a cult favorite. Read on to find out more about the line and get $15 off your purchase of $100 or more from the line through March 8!
Tell us the origin story of MUN skincare.
The idea of launching my own skin care line started brewing while I was consulting for Japanese corporation Kao on their prestigious line est cosmetics back in 2008. There were some trials and failures along the way, but I always learned and gained something through the process. By the beginning of 2010, I knew I wanted to create an effective organic skin care line that incorporates aromatherapy (which I was studying at the time). That summer I took a research trip to Morocco looking for interesting ingredients to formulate with. During that first trip, I came upon prickly pear seed oil. I also met my (eventual) business partner Anas on the return flight from Casablanca to JFK. We were assigned seats next to each other and talked throughout the flight and exchanged contact info. One thing led to another and it didn’t take too long before he joined the venture. We launched the original version of No.1 Aknari Serum in 2012.
What’s your beauty philosophy?
Quality over quantity. Style over trends. Although my makeup artist beauty closet is full of so much makeup, when it comes to my own beauty routine, I am a minimalist. I like to keep it simple with essentials that truly matter on a daily basis and that are gentle, effective, and multi-purpose.
Being a long time freelance makeup artist and traveling for work really shaped my vision. Having worked on faces from all over the world, I’ve learned that the definition of beauty depends on where you are, but there is always universal beauty and that is healthy, beautiful skin.
What is your prescription for health?
Green juice. Sleep. Yoga. Deep breathing.
Do you have a favorite ingredient? What do you love about it?
For MUN’s line up it’s prickly pear seed oil. There is a lot to love about this special oil. Not only what it does to the skin, but also how environmentally friendly it is as a crop. It’s a cactus and therefore needs very little water to grow. Also it has allowed us to partner with women’s cooperatives in Morocco and led to the joys of experiencing mutual growth there.
What inspires you?
Vast nature. NYC. People. Creativity. Art. Travel. Being exposed to different cultures. Learning about things that interest me. Great philosophies and ways of life that benefit others and the planet. When I learned about the Native American philosophy of living harmoniously with the environment and all other creatures existing on the planet, I was very inspired. Making decisions bearing in mind seven generations to come is a beautiful thing.
How do you power up in the morning? How do you get energized?
I prefer to have a quiet morning to start. Sip a cup of coffee. Have a good breakfast. Take some deep breaths. Mornings set the tone for the entire day.
Do you have a personal mantra? What is it?
I’ve held this one with me since I was in my early 20s. My mother gave me this line to encourage pursuing my dreams before she passed away: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
How do you unwind at the end of the day? How do you relax?
I recently relocated to Honolulu and commute back to NYC as needed, so it really depends on where I am.
In Honolulu, I start working around 7 a.m and am normally done by 5 or 6 p.m. I take our dog Ana for a walk and admire Manoa Mountain. The valley’s color changes throughout the day and is absolutely beautiful. It’s so green and peaceful. It helps me clear my mind.
In NYC, the problem is, it’s hard to stop working. The city is 24/7. Pretty much all my friends there are work friends, so we all talk about work even after hours. I love brainstorming, exchanging ideas and getting stimulated, but it can be never ending so bedtime is important. I love being in a comfortable bed, reading or watching something for a bit before going to sleep. That’s the only time when my phone is on silent.
Where are we most likely to run into you on a Sunday?
In Honolulu, some Sundays, my boyfriend and I are more outgoing and explore the island so we could be driving around, hiking or on a beach with the dog. Also it tends to be a grocery shopping day and we like to go to Whole Foods.
In NYC, I like a long brunch with friends. I go to Le Pain Quotidien a lot. Other favorite brunch places include Spring Street Natural, Penelope and Café Mogador. I also adore some quiet “me” time to disconnect.
Thanks for sharing, Munemi! We're so excited to have MUN skincare as part of the EcoDiva Beauty family, and we're giving you a unique chance to try it out for yourself with our special deal: From March 1 through March 8, spend $100 or more on MUN skincare and get $15 off your entire purchase! Just add your products to your cart and we'll subtract the discount at checkout. Enjoy! #ecodivalovesyou